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A Touch of Understanding's

Most Recent News Articles


  • Perry Raising Son with Down Syndrome
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    On his day job, 44-year-old David M. Perry of Brookfield, Illinois, is a Dominican University history professor and Medieval Venice expert. After hours, he's a disability rights journalist

  • Mom Fighting Tooth and Nail
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    Sandra Domenech became aware of this column through a friend who read it in a Florida weekly. She said she and her 13-year-old son with ASD recently moved out of Florida due to unkind treatment

  • Safi Creates App for Managing Finances
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    I've occasionally looked outside the United States for people with disabilities to feature, including people from Canada, Great Britain, Africa, and Australia, with

  • Genetics, Environment Combine to Influence Autism-Associated Genes
    News Release
    Researchers at UC Davis have shown that a well-known neurotoxin (PCB 95) and a chromosomal duplication (Dup15q) have a profound impact on DNA methylation, the epigenetic process

  • U.S. Military Helped Sgt. Gutierrez
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    On June 18, 2006, Sgt. Joshua Gutierrez of the 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas, was on patrol near Osut, Iraq, searching for missing U.S. Soldiers.

  • Man Coming to Grips with Disorder
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    Our featured person this week wanted to be known as "Oliver" and his full identity hidden because of possible repercussions. He is in his 20s

  • Baseball Great Should be in the Hall
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    At least once annually, I offer my best "pitch" for the late, rocket-armed, speedy William "Dummy" Hoy and for his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame

  • Harvard Grad Had Different Life Planned
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    The world seemed to come crashing down hard on June 20, 1993, for then 36-year-old "Bart" of Queens, New York. Before that day, he had earned college degrees from Dartmouth and Harvard

  • Genetic Testing Could Prevent Disability
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    Recently, I had quite an experience trying to prevent a disability or two in myself. Several years ago, I found online a genetic testing service and later another similar

  • Double Amputee Lives for Yet Another Day
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    For personal reasons, "Billy" did not want his real name revealed here. He lives in the Midwest as a double-leg, below-knee amputee and has had more brushes

  • Childhood Trauma Leading to Adult Disability
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    Many adults with disabilities may have their disabling conditions because of emotional trauma experienced in childhood, said book author

  • 6 Wheelchair User Lessons
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    Months ago, 56-year-old Susan Schaub of Albert Lea, Minnesota, had ankle surgery. She then wrote about her six-week experience of having to use a wheelchair and gave me permission

  • Harvard Law Grad with Autism Advocates
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    The Washington D.C.-based Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is a nonprofit organization run by and for people on the autism spectrum

  • College Program for Students With Intellectual Disabilities
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    They have a residential, individualized academic program at Millersville University (Penn.) for students with intellectual disabilities, where students right now are working through

  • Eye Doctor Opening People's Eyes
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    His disability forced a major career change, one that has benefited thousands. Dr. John Shepherd since 2008 has been director of the

  • OH Biz Executive Fights Dementia
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    It was a rough transition for Paulan Gordon of Cincinnati, Ohio.

  • How Counseling Nourishes Your Life & Your Goals
    Katie Thomas, LMFT, Hearts & Hands Counseling
    How often do you get fifty minutes to truly focus on yourself in a productive way?

  • Parent Has Twin Daughters With CP
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    Jon Ebersole of Oak Park, Illinois, believes his 24-year-old twin daughters' shared disability, cerebral palsy, created at times a challenging experience

  • How Swim lessons Can Help Children and Adults with Special Needs Emotionally
    Amy Motroni - Sea Otter Swim Lessons
    Taking swim lessons can benefit an individual in multiple ways. Not only are they learning a life-saving skill through

  • Creating More Inclusive Zoos and Museums
    Daniel J. Vance MS, LPCC
    Not long last week after featuring a 35-year-old man named "Tony" (a pseudonym), who became legally blind at birth due to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP),

  • Physical Benefits of Swim Lessons for Individuals with Special Needs
    Amy Montroni
    According to the National Autism Association, drowning is among the leading causes of death for adults and children with autism.

  • Blindness Etiquette
    Darlene O'Brien
    If you are meeting a person who is blind or visually impaired for the first time, do you offer your hand for him to shake?