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Children With Special Needs: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What Is a 504 Plan? State by State Info
Information on accommodations for students with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
What Are "Special Needs"?
'Special Needs' is an umbrella under which a huge array of diagnoses can be wedged. Still, it's useful for getting services and maybe some understanding.
Wonder What a 504 Plan Looks Like? See Some...
504 plans spell out accommodations to keep students with disabilities safe and available for learning. Review these sample plans before helping plan your child's.
What Is Osteogenesis Imperfecta?
A definition of OI, with links to more information.
How to Set Up an E-mail for Your Child You Can...
If you want your child to have e-mail but worry about what might turn up in that inbox, set up a Gmail account to forward copies of everything to you.
What the Difference Between a 504 Plan and an...
Learn about the difference between accommodations offered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and services offered through an IEP under IDEA.
What You Should Know About Paraprofessionals
Learn more about the aides who help children and teachers in special education classrooms.
What Is V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome?
A definition of V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome, with links to more information.
What Should IEPs Look Like?
IEPs spell out the details of a child's special-education program, from goals and accommodations to time spent in different types of classrooms and paraprofessional assistance. Wondering what an IEP looks like? Check these samples for reference.
101 Things to Do With a Fidgety Kid
No matter how organized the parent, there will always be times when kids need distraction and there are no books or games or toys at hand. Here are 101 informal time-wasters to amuse your child when you've nothing more than your wits about you.
Write Your Own School Behavior Plan
Blank forms and sample behavior management plans can help you be an active participant in devising a plan for your child -- or proposing one yourself.
How to Smother Head Lice
A nontoxic way to handle head lice is to put a substance on the head that kills lice by smothering them. As a bonus, it makes the nits easier to comb out.
11 Steps to Getting an IEP for Your Child
Whether you've requested an Individualized Educational Plan for your child or have been asked to consider one by school or state personnel, these are the steps you'll go through, from initial referral through provision of services and triennial reevaluation.
What Is an FBA? Learn About Functional...
Learn more about Functional Behavioral Assessments and how they can help improve your child's behavior in the classroom.
How to Make a Paper-Bag Book Cover
Forgot how to make one of those brown paper-bag book covers? These ten illustrated steps will jog your memory. Start by cutting the bag open.
What Is an IEP?
An introduction to the Individualized Education Plan or Program for children with special needs who require special-education services.
Make Your Own Therapy Tools and Toys
Can't afford the fancy therapy items in sensory integration and speech therapy catalogs? Make or find your own using these 20 easy suggestions.
What's a Behavior Intervention Plan?
Learn more about Behavior Intervention Plans and how they can help improve your child's behavior in the classroom.
Can Tea Tree Oil Kill Head Lice?
Do the dangers of pesticide shampoos have you looking for a natural head-lice solution? Tea tree oil shampoo can get rid of the critters and keep them away.
What Type of Special Education Placement Should...
Learn about the different types of special-education placements and why each might be right -- or wrong -- for your child.
Accommodations for Specific Disabilities
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Can Backward Chaining Help Your Child Learn...
Backward chaining is a technique for teaching life skills to children with special needs. Follow these examples of how to start doing it right now.
Is Your Child a Hoarder? 10 Questions to Consider
Your child hoards odd objects and refuses to let you touch them. Should you be worried? Ask yourself these 10 questions for guidance.
5 Ways to Stop School Behavior Problems --...
School behavior problems are a sign that something is not working for your child. Here are five ways to fix them before they get out of control.
10 Easy Steps to a Free iTunes Account (No...
It's possible to start an iTunes account with no money or credit-card information, though it's not obvious how to do it. Follow this step-by-step to set it up.
Try This Sample Work Flexibility Proposal Memo
If your current work schedule and your childcare needs don't coincide, think about whether a change in hours would solve your problems. Then use a sample flexibility proposal memo from the book
How to Get a 504 Plan for Your Child
Learn how to get the accommodations offered by a 504 plan, a provision of disability law, for your child with special needs.
How to Report a 504 Violation
Your child is not getting the accommodations and modifications specified in her 504 plan. What are you going to do about it? Here are five steps that, in most cases, will get you to a resolution of the problem.
Celebrity Parents of Children with Special Needs
Having a celebrity speak out about his or her child's special needs is often a good way to get attention for a particular disability.
Alphabet Soup Quiz: Special Education Edition
Test your special-education acronym acumen.: education edition alphabet soup special ed cheat sheet special education
What Is Speech Therapy?
A definition of speech therapy, with a link to more information.
Child Won't Sit Still at School? 5 Things You...
If your child's teacher complains that he's always out of his seat or squirming, suggest one of these techniques for helping kids stay seated.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Definition of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with links to more information.
Making Behavior Charts Work for Your Child With...
Awarding points or checkmarks for jobs well done can be effective motivational tools for kids, but behavior charts are often too abstract for children with special needs. Here are some ways to make them work.
Fun Things to Do Today: Family Activities
Running out of inspiration? Here's a handful of things to do -- with your kids, or for your own procrastinating self -- to keep you informed, amused and occupied.
5 Steps to Starting a Special-Needs Trust
If you know enough to be aware that you need to look into Special Needs Trusts, but not enough to know how to go about it, these five quick tips will get you started.
Guided Relaxation for Children with Special Needs
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Swim Gear for Children With Special Needs
Children with special needs may face special challenges when it comes to water play -- from keeping ear tubes dry to finding extra-large swim diapers.
Answers to Your Questions About 504 Plans
If your child requires accommodations to fully participate in the classroom, a 504 plan may be called for. Learn more about this tool ensuring your child's rights.
Sports Programs for Children and Adults With...
Every child has the right to enjoy the fun of playing sports, the joy of teamwork, the achievement of hitting a ball or making a goal or crossing the finish line. Many programs have been developed to get children and adults with disabilities in the game. Find one that's right for your child.
Learn More About Your Child's School Behavior...
Provide your child's busy teacher with a simple check-off school behavior chart to track progress on three goals so you can reward success and address problems.
How to Set Up iTunes for Your Child with a Gift...
iTunes gift certificates and allowances can be great rewards and motivators for kids with special needs. If you want to set up an account for your child but don't want to provide unlimited access to your credit card, you can use a gift card or certificate to get the account started. Here's how.
225 Substitutes for the R-Word
A plentiful supply of replacements for offensive slurs against individuals with intellectual disabilities are just a thesaurus away.
Pick a Student Planner
If your child has ever missed homework assignments because the assignment never came home, you know that planners are important. What kind will work best for your student? Here are six options to consider.
Where to Find a Scholarship for Your Child With...
Find a disability scholarship for your child with special needs by checking these sources of information around the Web and your own community.
8 Delicious Dairy-Free Scalloped Potato Recipes...
Scalloped potatoes are a dinner favorite, but if your child can't tolerate milk or cheese, a traditional recipe may not work. Here are 8 recipes that will.
What Is Mosaic Down Syndrome?
A definition of Mosaic Down syndrome, with links to more information.
What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
A short definition of narcissistic personality disorder, with links to more information.
Love Notes for Special Parents Greeting Cards
Messages from the Love Notes for Special Parents Gallery decorate greeting cards for a variety of occasions, including Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, and birthday.
What Is Early Intervention?
A brief definition of the services offered for young children with special needs.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
A definition of occupational therapy, with a link to more information.
Special-Needs TV
A big part of raising awareness and acceptance for people with disabilities is making their stories part of popular culture. Check my list of TV series that have regularly featured characters or performers with special needs, and add a review of these or other shows I've missed.
What is ADD?
A definition of ADD, with links to more information.
Your Advocacy Style Quiz - Find Out What Kind...
What kind of IEP advocate are you? Find out your personal advocacy style by taking this fun quiz.
What Are Fetal Alcohol Effects?
Definition of Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), with links to more information.
What Is Reactive Attachment Disorder?
A definition of RAD, with links to more information.
Before You Sign Your Child's Individualized...
Don't approve your child's Individualized Education Plan before you check these items.
10 Ways to Improve Your Special Needs Child's...
From choosing realistic goals to picking your battles, here are ten strategies for making your child more manageable.
Food Allergy Turned New Business
Profile of an online store offering medical ID bracelets, necklaces, charms, and dogtags.
Pencils and Other Writing Tools for Kids With...
Does your child's pencil suit his needs? Before you stock up on school supplies, be sure to pick a pencil that really works for your child.
Special-Education Transitions - Pre-K Through...
Children in special education go through a variety of important transitions, each one needing parents to be informed and pro-active. Learn more about the second transition your child will make, at age three, from pre-kindergarten to kindergarten. Page 3.
Love Notes for Special Parents Gallery
Artful notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs, suitable for printing and framing or giving.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A definition of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, with a link to more information.
How to Write a Research Paper with a I-II-III...
Writing a research paper requires organization, and a I-II-III A-B-C outline is a great way to develop your ideas, expand your thoughts, and create a rough draft.
What Is Seizure Disorder?
A definition of SD, with links to more information.
Who Attends an IEP Meeting?
Description of the Child Study Team.
Sensory Integration Tools and Toys
A listing of sites that offer products to help children with sensory integration problems.
Meet Your IEP Team: A Parent's Guide to the...
That gang of serious-looking people around the IEP planning table can be intimidating to a parent. Here's your quick guide to who they all are, and how you can be a team player, too.
How to Motivate Your Teen to Attend and Engage...
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31 Ways to Tell Your Child "I Love You"
Children with special needs don't always respond to declarations of love the way we'd like. Sometimes you can get the message through easier if you show rather than tell.
All-Purpose Apology Templates for Special-Needs...
It's become a familiar cycle -- celebrity uses the R-word or makes disability a punchline, celebrity gets complaints from people with disabilities and their families, celebrity apologizes. To speed up the process, this apology template can get the stars back in the sky with a minimum of fuss and sincerity.
What Is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
A definition of CAS, with a link to more information.
Why Does My Child DO That?
If you find yourself wondering what on earth your child could be thinking when he or she misbehaves, informal behavior analysis can help you find an answer. Here's how.
10 Coupons to Reward (or Bribe) Your Kids
A coupon good for a swift release from time-out is a useful small reward or motivational goal for a child's behavior chart, or an easy gift add-on.
Resources and Websites on Oppositional Defiant...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
How to Write a Paragraph
Writing gets a lot easier when you have an organized plan and just need to fill in the blanks. Use an outline to assemble a strong five-sentence paragraph.
What Are Motor Skills?
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What Is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?
Learn more about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects, and the many ways they can impair a child's development.
Preparing the School for Your Child with...
The best way to make sure that teachers have all the information and resources they need to work with your child is to provide those things yourself. Here are suggestions, tips and fact sheets on a variety of special needs you can copy, rewrite, print out, and send in to give your child and his or her teacher the best chance at success.
How to Write an Essay with a I-II-III A-B-C...
A five-paragraph essay is easy to put together if you start with an outline and fill in your sentences from there. Follow these steps and examples.
10 Special-Needs School Tools
Help your child sit stiller, write better, and read easier with these cool school tools for students with learning disabilities, fine motor delays, sensory integration challenges, or a bad case of the wiggles.
Preparing the Teacher for Your Child With...
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What Is Asperger Syndrome?
A definition of AS, with links to more information.
Before You Look for Information on Kidney Disease
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with kidney disease.
Intellectual Disabilities
A definition of intellectual disabilities, with a link to more information.
Children's Books on Special Needs
Explaining a disability to your child or his classmates, friends and young relatives can be a challenge for parents. These books discuss special needs in a kid-friendly way that can shine a positive light on a tricky topic.
What Is Dysfunction of Sensory Integration?
A definition of DSI, with links to more information.
Your IEP Questions Answered
Frequently asked questions about the Individualized Education Plan
How to Relieve School Anxiety for Children With...
School can be a stressful and fearsome place for kids, especially those with special needs. Here are some good ways to start a dialog and lessen the load.
Gifts for Children and Teens in Wheelchairs
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Early-Intervention Services in Georgia
Georgia's early-intervention program is called Babies Can't Wait. Learn more about Georgia's early-intervention services and how you can quickly get started.
8 Ways to Get Ready for an IEP Meeting
The night and morning before an IEP meeting can be a time of tense anticipation for parents. Use that nervous energy to prepare yourself for the meeting and make sure you put your best case forward.
Early-Intervention Services in Florida
Florida's early-intervention program is called Early Steps. Learn more about Florida early-intervention services and how you can quickly get started.
Valentine's Day and Special Needs
From allergy-free candy to gifts that benefit research to ways to explain sex to your special-needs child, here are 24 articles to help families of children with disabilities have a sweet, safe and happy Valentine's Day.
Preparing the School for Your Child with RAD
School can be a dangerous place for children with an attachment disorder -- and for the families that send them there. Let the school know what your child needs to be safe with these tips and printouts.
Before You Look for Information on Osteogenesis...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with osteogenesis imperfecta.
What Happens at an IEP Meeting?
What to expect when you attend an IEP meeting, at various stages of your child's education.
Pick a 3-Ring Binder
Your child's school binder may be a wonder of organizational technology or a wreck held together by duct tape and cardboard fibers, but whatever's getting stuffed in that backpack each morning, make sure it suits your child's special needs.
School for Students With Special Needs
Children with special needs can face many issues in getting a free and appropriate education. Some may need special education services, while others may need modifications to make school accessible or medical assistance to make it safe. For some students, struggles with learning or behavior require special management to avoid school disruption. Parents have lots of questions about what their children will need and how to get it. Find your answers here.
Breathing Techniques to Relax Your Child
An excerpt from 'The Floppy Sleep Game Book' by Patti Teel gives parents a way to help kids practice deep breathing.
Differentiating Instruction
Differentiating instruction helps teachers meet the needs of special-education and regular-education students in one classroom. Yes, it can be done.
Writing a Letter of Intent
If you were to die suddenly, would those left behind know all the details of your child's everyday life? Use this Letter of Intent template to guide your child's guardians.
Teach Your Child Self-Care Skills
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What Is the R-word?
A definition of the R-word, with links to more information.
Nut-Free Candy and Other Sweet Treats
Find safe sweets for your child who's allergic to nuts at these online retailers, run by parents and family members of children with food allergies.
What Is Echolalia?
Does your child repeat things? Learn more about echolalia, what it might mean, and how understanding it can help your child.
Learning Disabilities
A definition of LD, with a link to more information.
Special Education Acronyms: Decipher That...
Is your child getting a FAPE in the LRE with a BIP, OT, PT, APE, and SLP? Find your way through all those acronyms with this quick guide.
How to Report an IEP Violation
Your child is not getting services he is legally entitled to. What do you do now? Here are 4 steps that, in most cases, will get you to a resolution.
Are 504 plans really necessary?
Learn why you're better off with a legal document outlining accommodations for your child rather than making informal arrangements with the school.
Dress for Less Stress With Clothes that Address...
If you spend a lot of time warning against chewing or slipping off or dirtying or other mussings of outfits, a change of clothes may be called for.
Special Education in Florida
Getting started with special education can be an intimidating experience. Here are five ways for parents in Florida to get information about the special-education process and find the contacts they need.
Apps for Children With Special Needs
Many of the apps offered for iPhones and iPads aren't just for fun or everyday organization -- they're designed specifically to make life easier for people with special needs, by making communication or behavior management or health management easier. Check out these special-needs apps, and tell us about the ones you've tried.
What Is Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental...
Defines the acronym ARND, describing fetal alcohol impairment.
You Are Strong
One of a series of artful notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs praises their strength and ability.
What Is Attachment Therapy?
An overview of the issues surrounding attachment therapy, and information on where to find a therapist.
Book Review: Childhood Speech, Language and...
An overview of the many types of children's communications problems, and what parents and therapists can do about them.
What Is Adapted Physical Education?
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What Is the Americans With Disabilities Act?
Learn about the law that requires organizations accepting public funds to make their buildings and their programs accessible to people with disabilities.
Preparing the Teacher for Your Child with...
Giving teachers the information they need to help your child is an imporant part of school advocacy. Here's how to translate our
Special-Needs Awareness and Advocacy Events,...
Use this January index to make sure you mark days set aside to promote awareness or advocacy of an illness, disability, or other special-needs cause.
Top 10 Signs That You Are a Great Teacher
Give a special-education teacher a special acknowledgment with these free printable mini-posters. Page 2.
5 Ways to Keep Speech Therapy Going Over School...
Professional speech therapy, at school or in a private office, can be invaluable to a child with speech and language problems. But what do you do when school's out, or the therapist is unvailable? Try these five ideas for being an at-home speech therapist -- and keep them up even when therapy's in session to maximize your child's progress.
What Is a Philtrum (and What Causes a Flat...
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What Is a Special Needs Trust?
Definition of a Special Needs Trust, with a link to more information.
This Mom Deducted Her Special Needs Kids on Her...
Disability-related tax credits may be available to parents of children with special needs. Check these resources to see if they apply to you and your family.
Before You Send Your Child to School Wearing a...
You don't have to hid a recording device in your kid's backpack. There are other options for learning what's really going on at school.
What Are Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Definition of ASD, with links to resources for getting more information.
What Is Physical Therapy?
A definition of physical therapy, with a link to more information.
Before You Look for Information on Sensory...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Dysfunction of Sensory Integration.
What Is Dandy-Walker Syndrome?
A short definition of Dandy-Walker Syndrome, with a link to more information.
First 5 Things to Do When Your Child Is...
A handful of easy, quick suggestions to help you get a fast start on helping your child diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome.
Fun Things to Do: Websites for Kids
Every week on About.com Parenting Special Needs, I round up five fun things to do -- a family activity, a children's website, a shopping website, some online humor or inspiration, and a site that's just goofy or fun. Here's the index for all those children's websites, along with links to four more indexes of fun things to do.
How to Write a Note to the Teacher
When you spend a lot of time battling Child Study Teams and fighting for your child's rights, it can be hard to dial back and write a simple note to the teacher over a matter of minor import. Follow these steps to produce some friendly correspondence for a change.
What Is Special Education?
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Resources and Websites on Reactive Attachment...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Reactive Attachment Disorder.
You Are a Good Parent
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs hails them as good parents. Page 3.
Self-Mutilation: Releasing the Pain
An excerpt from the book 'My Kind of Sad' addresses cutting and other self-mutilation in teenagers with depression.
Opening Locks and Lockers
When your child moves up to middle school or high school, opening a lock or locker may become a necessary skill. Here's how to make that combination-working easier, or avoid the need for it in the first place.
Your Guide to Children's Disability Terms
Wondering about all those alphabet letters that seem to define your child these days? Check our alphabetical acronym listing to learn the meaning behind the characters and find resources to help you help your child.
Parental Input Statement: Have Your Say on Your...
Your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) has a spot for you to add any information you would like to share or comments you would like to make. Don't miss the opportunity to have your say.
If Back-to-School-Night Speeches Were Like IEP...
Those upbeat words moms and dads hear on back-to-school night bear little resemblance to what we hear around the IEP table. What if we flipped that?
Five Familiar Games for Sneaky Speech Therapy
Chances are the word games you're playing with your child are already ones that help strengthen speech and language skills. Here's how to tweak them for some impromptu speech therapy. Page 4.
Diabetes
A definition of diabetes, with links to more information.
What to Do After the Diagnosis
Information on the next steps to take after you receive a diagnosis for your child with special needs. Includes general suggestions appropriate to a wide range of disabilities.
Before You Look for Information on Angelman...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Angelman Syndrome.
Ten Reasons to Try Flash Cards
Children with special learning needs require lots of repetition and reinforcement to learn new concepts. Flash cards provide that service cheaply, efficiently, and at pocket-size. Here are 10 reasons to try them.
Person-First Language
A definition of person-first language, with a link to more information.
Before You Look for Information on FASD
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Special-Education Eligibility Categories, State...
A state-by-state listing of categories that make a child eligible for special education, with links to the relevant state and federal laws and regulations.

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