Special Needs Companies

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Mary Beth McMahon, President and CEO of Special Olympics Massachusetts, joined Parenting Impossible with Host Annette Hines to discuss the transition to virtual activities and society’s perspective on people with disabilities.  When COVID-19 forced Mary Beth to move the organization’s events and summer games online, she knew she would need to keep the events engaging and inclusive. One of the biggest ways that she has pivoted during this time is by continuing to promote the…
Derek “Tank” Schottle, a Special Olympian with Autism from Sugar Land, Texas, joined Parenting Impossible to share his experience with sports and inspiring other people with disabilities through social media. Tank joined the Special Olympics in 2001, and plays seven sports: softball, basketball, volleyball, track, bocce, golf, and soccer.  Annette has been following Tank on Twitter and was inspired by his positive messages—he is known best for his inspiring message about the Special Olympics and…
Conversations about inclusion often talk about race and diversity, but one topic that people often leave off the table is ability. In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, Michelle Sie Whitten, the President and CEO of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, and her daughter, Sophia Whitten, who has Down Syndrome, joined Parenting Impossible to discuss the meaning of true inclusion for people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities in society, research, education, and more. …
In a time of confusion and fear, Parenting Impossible guest Laura Whitaker says that she is leading her business with courageous and thoughtful decision making rather than being reactive to the constant changes that are occurring. Laura is the Executive Director of Extra Special People (ESP) in Athens, Georgia, an organization that provides summer camp, resources, support, and services for families of kids with disabilities. She started in this role when she was 19 years…
After six years of proposals, feedback and edits, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finalized the Achieving A Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts regulations on Oct. 1, 2020. While some of the regulations were expected or familiar, others were a bit of a surprise. In this episode of Parenting Impossible, Host Annette Hines talks with her favorite podcast guest, her husband Mark Worthington, about this finalized document and the implications it could have for people with…
We are pleased to announce that both Special Needs Companies founder Annette Hines and her husband, expert attorney Mark Worthington, have been recognized by Super Lawyers as Top Rated Estate Planning & Probate Attorneys in Framingham, MA. 2020 marks the 7th year in a row that Annette has been honored with this elite recognition and the 13th consecutive year of recognition for Mark.   Each year, Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a patented multiphase selection…
In this episode of our Parenting Impossible podcast, Annette interviews “warrior woman,” Nina Bakoyiannis, to discuss the interwoven framework of disability discrimination in our society that exists both interpersonally and institutionally.  Under her pen name “Despina Bakos,” Nina created a blog where she talks more generally about her experiences growing up with a physical disability and the issue of ableism in our society. She also works with a grassroots disability rights organization in New York…
The death of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has brought a new push for disability rights. In this episode of Parenting Impossible, Host Annette Hines talks to Alison Barkoff, Director of Advocacy at the Center for Public Representation in Washington D.C. They discuss the impact of Justice Ginsburg‘s death on the disability community‘s fight for civil rights and why litigation to combat institutional bias is essential for the wellbeing of people…
In this episode of Parenting Impossible, Host Annette Hines talks about bringing behavioral analysis training home with her guest, Jessica Guzman. Jessica previously worked as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, or BCBA, in Austin, Texas, to help families navigate challenging behavior for their young children with special needs. She also has a master’s in education. Recently, she created her own company, “Little Wildlings Ltd. Co. ” where she is a behavior consultant who helps kids…
In this special episode of Parenting Impossible, Host Annette Hines welcomes back some of her early podcast guests, Hillary Dunn Stanisz, Cheryl Ryan Chan, and Dave Greenwood, to celebrate the podcast’s first anniversary and open the door to the future of conversations about special needs. This episode is also significant because Annette lights a candle for her daughter, Elizabeth, in honor of Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week.  Annette launched Parenting Impossible – The Special Needs…