Living With Your Child With Special Needs
By Terri Mauro, About.com Guide
When kids can't understand or control their own behavior, it's all up to the parents to make things work. Find some useful techniques for managing and modifying behavior in children with special needs.
- Behavior Analysis Basics
- How to Make Behavior Charts Work
- Choose Your Battles
- Count to 10
- Keep a Big "Bag of Tricks"
- Set Get-able Goals
- How to Make a Transition
- Say What You Mean
- Top 10 Time-Out Spots
- Lying vs. "Truthiness"
- When Ultimatums Don't Work
- Keep It Calm
- Teach Your Child to Succeed
- Reviews: Parenting Books
In the Community
Your community may not always seem like the most welcoming place for your child, but helping others get to know him and introducing her to the world beyond your family are worthwhile pursuits. Here are some ways to get your child out and about, and to handle the problems that may come up.
- Worshiping With a Special-Needs Child
- Before You Go to the Mall With Your Child
- Dining Out With Your Child
- Special-Needs Sports
- Special-Needs Summer Camps
- Warning Labels for Allergic Kids
- Dealing With Toxic People
- Sites of the Day: Special Programs
It may seem easier to just do everything for your child than to put up with error-filled attempts. But ultimately, both you and your child will benefit from efforts to teach basic living skills. Here's some help in making that happen in a slow, steady, smooth way.
- Teach Your Child Self-Care Skills
- Before You Potty Train
- The "No Pants" Toilet Training Method
- Help Your Child Eat Neat
- End Face-Washing Struggles
- Teach Your Child to Cook
- Picking Up After Packrats
- Teach Your Child to Stay in Bed All Night
Brothers and sisters of children with special needs have special challenges of their own, including finding their place in a family that may seem preoccupied with one sick child, and dealing on a daily basis with behavior that may be hard to understand. Read more about how to help the whole family at a trying time.
- Book Review: Supporting Siblings and Their Families During Intensive Baby Care
- Book Review: Brothers and Sisters
- A "Mom Moment" on Siblings
- Video: A Tribute to Trent From His Four-Year-Old Sister
- Video: A Brother Helps His Sister With Her New Walker
- Site of the Day: Sibling Support Project
Parenting a challenging child can put a great strain on a marriage. It doesn't have to tear you apart, though, if you learn how to work together and devote some time to each other.
- Book Review: Married With Special-Needs Children
- How to Make Talking Less Distressing
- What Mothers Really Need
- Ten Places to Find a Babysitter for a Child With Special Needs
- Create a Caregiver "Cheat Sheet"
Holidays and special times with extended family should be a wonderful and enriching time for your child, but all too often it's a source of stress, strain, and hopelessness. Adjusting your expectations of everyone involved -- including yourself -- can make a big difference.
- Special-Needs Children and Special Occasions
- Christmas Help
- Valentine's Day Help
- Easter Help
- Passover Help
Planning for the Future
What will happen to your child when you're gone? The time to start answering that question is now. Right now.
- What Is a Special-Needs Trust?
- Writing a Letter of Intent
- Books on Financial Planning
- Book Review: Steps to Independence
There's pretty much no way for the parent of a child with special needs to avoid stress entirely, but you can manage it instead of letting it manage you. Here are some techniques for taking control.
- Keep a Journal
- Worry More Constructively
- Give Yourself a Time Out
- Control Your Reactions
- Work Out With Your Child
- Take a Day Off
- Streamline Your Morning Routine
- Keep a School Year Calendar
- Request a Work Schedule Change
- 20 Things Not to Worry About Today
Support and Inspiration
Knowing that others have been there, done that, and survived is an empowering thing for parents of children with special needs. Find some inspiration and companionship to help you make it through the day.
- Finding a Support Group
- Love Notes for Special Parents
- Enterprising Parents
- Mom Moments
- Eight Quick Ways to Get Inspired