Saturday, May 5, 2012

A new special needs video series and other Stuff Worth Knowing About

A video series about kids with special needs: Check out Our Special Life on YouTube from CafĂ©Mom Studios. Each episode profiles a different family that has a child with special needs; this shot is from the video about Anabel, a five-year-old girl with Isodicentric 15 who has autism. As I watched them, I was reminded of how much special needs parents have in common, no matter what our children's diagnoses are. So true, right?

My new go-to pair of comfy pants: I recently won a $100 Lands' End gift card from Blueprint For Style, and I was psyched: Lands End is my source for basics. I'm obsessed with the Starfish Stretch Crop Pants; they're super-soft and they have this wide waistband that holds in your mummy tummy (not that YOU have one, but I most definitely do). Be warned, you might be tempted to sleep in them, they're that lovable.

A comedian who does his routine with a speech device: Meet Lee Ridley, a British comedian with cerebral palsy who uses a voice synthesizer, LightWriter, to speak his jokes. He describes himself as "Like Stephen Hawking (but cleverer and better looking)." Love his sense of humor and his ability to poke fun at himself; thanks to Shannon at Thinking Person's Guide To Autism for sharing it.

Way to make your computer work better: My MacBook Pro (I am a diehard Mac girl) had been running on the slow side and occasionally crashing, and when a company called Crucial asked if I'd like to test out a memory upgrade I said sure. They're dedicated to taking the fear factor out of DIY memory upgrades and sure enough, it was easy. I just downloaded a system scanner, which then recommended taking my 4GB of RAM to 8GB to boost performance; the cost would be $60. The modules arrive in the mail, and you just unscrew the back of your computer and slide them in (you need a teeny tiny screwdriver). My computer has been running more smoothly now. Word to techphobes like me: Yes, you can do this yourself.

The skin problem women don't know they have: For most of my life, I was psyched that I had a naturally rosy flush. Then suddenly, I started getting these little spider veins on my face. It was rosacea, a skin condition that typically sets in after age 30 and affects some 16 million Americans; only 10 percent are treated for it. I keep mine under control with a topical cream, Finacea. Cynthia Nixon also has it, and made this Public Service Announcement about it.  Get more info over RosaceaFacts.

Take a sec and vote? A reader asked us to help out a friend of hers. Amy Chally has cerebral palsy; she wasn't able to afford a service dog, but was able to get one for free through the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence (CCI). Amy's entered Yazzen into the Humane Society's Hero Dog Awards; if they win, CCI will get $50,000. The contest goes until June 30 and you can vote once a day here.


  1. Thank you for posting about Amy!

  2. Lost Voice Guy is awesome! I was cracking up watching the video - had to share! :)

  3. great dog happy vote for amy

  4. I will watch the video series as per your suggestion and as for Lee surprisingly I've heard of him (I follow him on Twitter)

  5. NEWSFLASH: My 14 year old daughter with autism Erika spoke her first word today! At lunch after making sounds and playing with her Ipad she said Hiiii(Hi) then got up and went to her sister Isabella and said,Iella This made me cry though her sounds have improved in the past 2 years and her mouth formations in the past 6 monthes and her vocabulary has skyrocketed scince getting an Ipad a year ago.I am so very proud of her.Her speech therpist said after I called her with the news said It is wonderful and the "hard" sounds will come later.

  6. Jon, that is AWESOME!!! Thanks so much for sharing her.

  7. I just watched all 5 of the Our Special Life viedos they are great cant wait to see more

  8. I just ordered the pants on your recommendatation. Looking forward to getting them!


Thanks for sharing!

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