Guest Post – Disability education information and resources

My name is Savannah, I’m with Reviews.com, a website dedicated to conducting data driven and unbiased research about topics that can help make an impact in people’s lives. We have just finished two studies that I wanted to share with you to see if they could be valuable for families in your community.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, higher levels of education translate to higher employment rates and higher lifetime earnings. There are many obstacles that students face that interfere with their higher education pursuits, so we attempted to address two of them with our recent guides.

The first is an in-depth tutoring guide designed specifically to help students who find a large classroom setting challenging. Whether it be learning difficulties or simply the inability to stay engaged with the required classwork, the guide covers the benefits of different types of tutoring, resources that are freely available, as well as tools specifically designed for students with learning disabilities.

For the second, I’m guessing that like us, you too have noticed there is no shortage of information about the numerous scholarships available to students with disabilities. In the course of our research, we found a common pain point among students was having the tools to help sort through all the available scholarships to find those that would be most applicable to their situation. So we spent over 200 hours researching 17 of the most popular scholarship search platforms that are currently available. We analyzed and audited them using five core metrics to identify key functionality, research tools, scholarship results, and useful student resources.

You can see our free collections of guides and tools here:

We’re trying to raise awareness around the barriers that hinder students from pursuing their potential and wanted to see if you could help us. We would appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with you to share the guides on your website http://www.autismdad.net/resources/ so that students and their families can have access to these resources. Of course, you are free to choose the best place for it on your site.

Let me know what you think or if you have any questions. If there’s someone else you prefer I send this to, please let me know as well, I’d be happy to connect with them.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Savannah Robinson

Special Needs Hockey League Scores With Parents And Kids

Eager player, nervous dad!

I was more than a little nervous the first time my son suited up in hockey gear and hit the ice. He couldn’t skate, had no concept of hockey, and he has autism. I was scared.

Luckily, the coaches (especially the one-on-one Junior Coaches) of the New Jersey Dare Devils Hockey Club made it easy for both my son and I. They helped Rocco get suited up, (Hockey Rule #1: There is a LOT of equipment!) and out on the ice. The NJ Dare Devils Coaches (a shout out to Wayne’s own, Andy Piccirillo, Team Manager!) assured me everything would be fine.

“We haven’t met a kid yet we couldn’t teach to skate!” one coach assured me, but I was still anxious. I can’t skate, roller nor ice, and I felt very detached. All I could do was watch through the Plexiglass.

And what I saw wasn’t pretty, especially at first. My son spent most of his 45-minute skating session lying down on the ice. After three weeks of similar sessions, I was ready to bail on hockey.

But on his fourth trip to the ice, my son spent a solid 15 minutes up on his skates. The next week it was 30. Now he can skate the entire 45 minutes with only an occasional break.

His stick handling skills have improved, too. He’s not very speedy down the ice (most senior citizens could probably walk—and perhaps even skate—faster) but his passing game is good. Last week at practice he scored several goals, shooting into an empty net. I couldn’t have been more proud.

The New Jersey Dare Devils was started in 2002 by the mother of a child seeking to find a physical outlet for her child with autism. Today there are 50 boys and girls ages 6 to 28, with various special needs, playing for the NJDD at the Richard Codey Arena in West Orange NJ.  Supporting these special hockey players are 12 adult coaches and over 75 junior/student coaches who are local youth hockey players helping to instruct the NJDD players in the intricacies of the game.

Rocco gets ready to hit the ice!

The league gives generous holiday gifts to the players and coaches, and makes sure every player gets a monogrammed uniform and proper equipment (did I mention there’s A LOT of equipment?) This season, the Dare Devils will play road games in Rochester, Albany, Long Island, and Lake Placid, offering players and their families discount getaways and the chance to play abroad.

My son isn’t ready for road games just yet (nor is he ready for home games) but he’s part of the team. He’s trying, and, little by little, he’s succeeding.

And that’s the goal of NJ Dare Devils hockey.

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