International Ataxia Awareness Day

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International Ataxia Awareness Day

On Monday, September 25, 2017, people around the world will dedicate the day as International Ataxia Awareness Day. Organizations around the world promoting a better awareness of ataxia will join together in an attempt to educate more people about this issue and to find ways of bringing increased freedom and help to those suffering from ataxia.

Raising Ataxia Awareness

Ataxia begins with problems in the cells of the brain. In particular, the cerebellum of the brain is affected, which in turn greatly affects the person’s balance and coordination. Symptoms typically include difficulty walking and problems with fine motor tasks, such as writing or picking up small objects. Some may also have problems speaking or swallowing, leading to poor nutrition.

Children may be born with problems leading to ataxia or may develop it over time. For example, children with cerebral palsy or celiac disease may have ataxia. While there are ways to make their lives easier or more pleasant, there is not typically a cure for ataxia. Instead, children may be forced to use wheelchairs, scooters or special walkers in order to get around in their own homes or at school.

These children may end up in special education classrooms due to their disabilities. They will need extra help getting around in school and may require physical therapy and speech therapy to progress physically and mentally. However, some parents may have trouble getting the services that their children need.

Special Education Evaluation

To get special education services approved for children, parents must follow a specific plan. The child must go through an evaluation to determine if he or she can receive these services. Sometimes, the parents and the evaluator disagree on the services that are needed. In these cases, parents can request a re-evaluation.

This can be a long and difficult process, filled with stress and disappointment. Having someone who is knowledgeable in this area and who can help get necessary services approved and set up with the school district is invaluable. At Newman, Aaronson, Vanaman, we have numerous special education attorneys who have worked with these children and with local school districts for decades, setting up necessary services for children. They also help with fair hearings, assessments, Individualized Education Plans and financial planning for special needs children heading into adulthood. Parents who have children diagnosed with ataxia are encouraged to call us for help in getting a great education for their children.