Archive for July, 2012

Tips to keep children with autism and other disabilities safe from sexual abuse

July 8, 2012

Keeping children and adults with autism and other disabilities safe from sexual abuse is a critical topic that people don’t like to talk about, but warrants more attention than it often receives. Several studies have indicated that children with disabilities face a higher risk of sexual abuse than those without disabilities. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, women with disabilities are sexually abused at a rate at least twice that of the general population.

Children with autism and other disabilities can be especially vulnerable because of communication problems or a lack of fear. Incidents may go unreported because children with disabilities may not be able to convey what happened, may not fully understand what is inappropriate, or may not be seen as credible because of communication problems.

To see the rest of my article on, click here.


Maryland basketball star Len Bias: remembering ACC great who died 26 years ago

July 8, 2012

The poster is old and wrinkled, gathering dust. Len Bias is slamming home one of his ferocious dunks. The caption reads, “I’m Bias. Maryland is number one.”

It has been 26 years since Maryland basketball superstar Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose in a dorm room. Bias’ sudden death became the biggest story in the history of Washington, D.C. area sports, and one of the biggest news stories in the city’s history. How could such a seemingly invincible player be gone all of a sudden, just two days after being drafted second overall in the 1986 draft by the Boston Celtics?

To read the rest of my article on, click here.

D.C. United at Maryland SoccerPlex

July 8, 2012

D.C. United plays its home games at old RFK Stadium in Washington, which shakes and teems with character and memories. But United plays a couple of games each season at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, which seats just a few thousand, but is an excellent venue for soccer. I went to a game about a month ago against the Philadelphia Union.

Here’s the article on

Use flashcards to prompt reading and speech for children on autism spectrum

July 8, 2012

One of the most frustrating and heartbreaking problems for children with autism and their families is when kids have poor verbal communication skills, or even an outright inability to speak. Despite trying every therapy under the sun, some children may never communicate verbally. However, for those who do learn to communicate out loud, identifying the words that go with particular items can give them a jump-start to understanding the concept of communication.

One simple intervention that can be accomplished in the home, even without a professional therapist, involves labeling household items. This may make the home look tacky, but the potential gains trump those concerns a thousandfold.

If children see the words that are associated with objects day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year, they should eventually learn them. If done in conjunction with a reading program, kids can learn words in a concrete way in a natural environment.

To read my entire article on, click here.