Columns

Independence Means Proactive Living

Over the years, I’ve talked with many SMA individuals and people with other disabilities who crave more independence in their lives. Beyond the physical limitations that come with having a disability, the biggest frustrations have to do with finding resources to become more independent. Society doesn’t exactly make…

What a New Season Means to Me

If you’re anything like me, then you are just as excited about the turn of the season that happened a few days ago. It is officially spring, here in the Northern Hemisphere of the world. Pretty soon, cherry blossoms will begin to bloom again, the sun will grace…

The Tyranny of ‘More’

I envy my younger self. Throughout childhood, I was content pretty much all the time. In the race of life, I was on equal ground with everyone else. Sure, I had physical limitations, but they didn’t keep me from moving forward in life. I went to school…

Big Sister Chimes In

Editor’s note: Columnist Michael Casten continues his “Family Perspectives” series in which he explores how different people who surround Ella tackle the diagnosis of her SMA. Read an introduction to the series here. A smart little girl of 10, Ava gravitates to her friends more often now…

Using My ‘Handicapped Card’

When I was a kid, my family used me to bump to the front of the line for the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney World. Despite my kicking and screaming because I was scared of the ghosts and creepy effects on the ride, my parents made me…

4 Qualities of the Ideal Caregiver

Caregiving is an important job. After all, people like me would not exist without them. In a way, caregivers are my heroes. There are not many jobs that dictate the well-being, or even the very existence of another person, but this one does. It…

From the Heart of a Mother

Editor’s note: Columnist Michael Casten continues his “Family Perspectives” series in which he explores how different people who surround Ella tackle the diagnosis of her SMA. Read an introduction to the series here. Lindsay, Ella’s mom and my wife, is a vibrant woman whose beauty is surpassed…

Using My Amazon Echo Show, Part 2

I’ve written in the past about my Echo Show from Amazon Alexa, but I wanted to provide further updates on how this device is helping me in my daily life. At the time of writing this, Skynet still hasn’t achieved total world domination, so I’m still OK…