Epilepsy affects 3.5 million Americans, yet stigma prevents many from speaking out, which in turn prolongs the stigma. An award-winning writer who has epilepsy describes the discrimination faced by people with seizure disorders and dispels the many myths many people hold about them.
Many people with dwarfism also face skeletal abnormalities which can lead to disability. Experts, and little people themselves, discuss major causes of dwarfism, the hurdles they create, the struggle for respect, and the prospect of treatments that could one day make little people much more rare.
Dr. Jennifer Arnold, co-star, TLC’s The Little Couple and co-author, Think Big
Ericka Okenfuss, licensed genetic counselor, Kaiser Permanente, Sacramento, CA
Gary Arnold, President, Little People of America and Public Affairs Manager, Access Living, Chicago, IL
Many children are bullied, especially in the middle school years, and many parents worry about their kids, especially if the parents have experienced this themselves growing up. But kids with disabilities are about twice as likely to be victims as those without disabilities. Experts discuss the problem and provide specific how-to’s to educate parents and schools to work together to prevent bullying of these children.
Barb Ziemke, Senior Advocate and Parent Trainer, Pacer Center and National No Bullying Prevention Center, Minneapolis
Jan Urbanski, Director of Safe and Humane Schools, Clemson University Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life and Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
Imagine waking up and no longer being able to hear in one of your ears. And, after losing the ability to hear, you are suddenly affected by bouts of vertigo attacks that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. This is what happened to James Raath, business consultant and author of Love Mondays, who suffers from Meniere’s disease which is a disease that is caused by a fluid imbalance in the inner ear that forces the membrane separating the chambers to rupture.
Dr. David Friedland, Professor and Vice Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at Medical College of Wisconsin, explains that this disease is commonly diagnosed, however, it is an uncommon disease to have. While the main symptoms, tinnitus and vertigo, are experienced by many people, the presence of both does not necessarily imply that the person has Meniere’s. Furthermore, Dr. Friedland explains that it is unknown whether the rupturing of the membrane is caused by the endolymphatic sac absorbing too little or too much fluid. But, the sufferer will be relieved of the symptoms once the membrane fixes itself. However, regular occurrences of this rupturing can have long term effects. Dr. Friedland explains that a person may suffer from progressive loss of hearing and increased weakness in the balance system.
So, what can be done to stop the progression of this disease? Dr. Friedland explains a few ways in which physicians can go about treating Meniere’s disease. The first, he says, is allergy medicine because allergies appear to be a trigger that can set off the fluid imbalance. Another way that he suggests to counteract the disease is to consume a low salt diet and water pills. In some cases, Dr. Friedland states some patients may get a shot that can drain excess fluid in the ear and improve the hearing loss. A final treatment that he explains is ablation which destroys the balance cells within the inner ear. The goal of this procedure is to reduce vertigo by making it so that an imbalance of fluid in the ear does not affect the balance system that causes vertigo. However, he warns that this procedure does not change the disease process, but instead, only changes the balance system so it cannot be stimulated by the disorder. While there is no cure to Meniere’s disease, there are many ways in which those who suffer from the disease can work to counteract or slow down the process.
James Raath, business consultant and author of Love Mondays
Dr. David Friedland, Professor and Vice Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at Medical College of Wisconsin
CYBER BULLYING GUIDE: Here’s a great resource to educate families about the importance and impact of cyber bullying. The guide points out the warning signs, how to report and prevent it in the future.
Many children are bullied especially in the middle school years, but kids with disabilities are about twice as likely to be victims. Experts discuss the problem and how parents and schools can work together to prevent bullying of these children.