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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.
How to Set Up an E-mail Account for Your Child...
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. Page 2.
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 Are "Special Needs"?
An explanation of the term. Children With Special Needs.
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 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.
Long Wait with a Fidgety Kid? 101 Things You...
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.
What Is V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome?
A definition of V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome, with links to more information.
What Is Osteogenesis Imperfecta?
A definition of OI, 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.
Should Head Lice Keep Kids Out of School?
No Nits policies limit lice infestations, but at the expense of lost school days for kids. Some professionals say the end doesn't justify the means.
Keep a Big 'Bag of Tricks'
Amuse. Bribe. Comfort. Distract. Keep items at your fingertips that can do one of more of these things for your kids at all times.
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.
What Is an IEP?
Introduction to Individualized Education Plans for special needs children.
What Is a Functional Behavioral Assessment?
Learn more about Functional Behavioral Assessments and how they can help improve your child's behavior in the classroom.
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.
10 Reasons You Really Do Have to Go to...
If Back-to-School Night, that evening early in the school year when you're invited to walk through your child's schedule and meet the teachers, doesn't draw you in, you're not alone -- fewer and fewer parents are making attending a priority. But that's just one of the reasons why you should make sure to be there. Read about that and nine more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Before You Look for Information on Autism...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with autism.
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. These celebrities have talked about their child's disability in the media, providing inspiration or advocacy or, in some cases, controversy.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Book Review: All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome
This cute book -- perfect for kids or cat lovers -- matches photos of kittens with descriptions of behavior that felines and children with Asperger's share.
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.
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.
Accommodations for Specific Disabilities
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > by Linda Wilmshurt, Ph.D. ABPP and Alan
Help the Teacher Report on Your Child's 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 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.
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?
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.
25 Signs Your Child's School Is Really...
Many schools say they're doing inclusion, but how do you know they're not just giving lip service to the idea? Check for these 25 signs that your child's inclusion experience is for real.
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.
10 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior
From choosing realistic goals to picking your battles, here are ten strategies for making your child more manageable.
Today in Special-Needs News
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What Does 'Gross Motor' Mean?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Definition: Gross
Set Up an iTunes Allowance for Your Child
An iTunes allowance lets you provide a monthly reward for your child, without worrying about where cash might be going. First, though, you'll need to set up an iTunes account using the allowance instead of a credit card for payment. Here's how.
Preparing the Teacher for Your Child With...
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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
Help Your Child Learn Life Skills With Backward...
A definition of backward chaining, a technique for teaching life skills to children with special needs.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A definition of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, with a link to more information.
10 Things You Can Do for the Parent of a Child...
People often ask parents of kids with special needs if there's anything they can do, without any idea (on either side) of what that might be. Here are ten ideas to consider.
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.
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.
What Is Speech Therapy?
A definition of speech therapy, with a link to more information.
12 Questions to Ask About Your Child's School...
Most special education students take the bus to their school placements, even at the tender age of three. What should you know before you put your child on that little bus?
What Are Fetal Alcohol Effects?
Definition of Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), with links to more information.
Book Review: Inclusion - 450 Strategies for...
By Peggy A. Hammeken; 192 pages. Subtitle: A Practical Guide for All Educators Who Teach Students With
What Is Phelan-McDermid Syndrome?
A definition of Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (22q13 Deletion), and a link to more information.
How to Relieve School Anxiety
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.
What Is Mosaic Down Syndrome?
A definition of Mosaic Down syndrome, with links to more information.
Who Attends an IEP Meeting?
Description of the Child Study Team.
25 Signs Your Child's Classroom Isn't Really So...
Many schools say they're doing inclusion, but what's actually going on in those classrooms is anything but. If you're unsure that the school's doing it right, check for these 25 signs that something's wrong.
Site of the Day Alphabetical Index
Looking for somewhere good to surf? Stop by here first for a daily destination of interest to parents of children with special needs, to parents in general, or to anyone looking for diversion. On this page of the alphabetical index, find sites that start with A.
The 'No Pants' Potty-Training Method
Step-by-step description of a potty training method suited to children with special needs, who may have trouble focusing on the task or sensing their need to go.
10 Ways to Work Out with Your Child
Getting out of the house long enough to get some decent exercise can be hard for parents of children with special needs. These products can help you get moving right where you are -- and have fun with your child at the same time.
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.
What Is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
A definition of CAS, with a link to more information.
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.
Index of Children's Disabilities by Name
Looking for information on your child's diagnosis? Start with our alphabetical index to find definitions and resources.
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.
Halloween Costumes for Kids in Wheelchairs
Looking for good Halloween costume ideas for a child in a wheelchair? These sites offer inspiration, photos, and specific instructions for outfits that either disguise the ride or use it as part of the ensemble. Use them to get your little goblin in fine trick-or-treating form.
Book Review: Smart But Scattered
Review of a book that looks at executive skills and how they can cause even smart kids to lose focus.
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.
5 Bad Reasons to Avoid Early Intervention
Labels, therapy, your mother-in-law's disapproval-- these are bad reasons to deny your child the advantages that early-intervention can bring.
Your IEP Questions Answered
Frequently asked questions about the Individualized Education Plan
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.
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.
What Is Early Intervention?
A brief definition of the services offered for young children with special needs.
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.
Reactive Attachment Disorder
A definition of RAD, with links to more information.
Resources and Websites on Oppositional Defiant...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
What Is a Papoose Board?
Definition of a device used to immobilize children for medical procedures.
Make Choosing Chores a Game
When your child has a list of things to do and no inclination to do them, make picking the next activity into a game.
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.
What Is Echolalia?
Does your child repeat things? Learn more about echolalia, what it might mean, and how understanding it can help your child.
How to Research Your Child's Disability
The About Parenting Special Needs is full of information on specific disabilities and general behaviors and issues that apply to kids with special needs. Here's how to find the information you're looking for, and more.
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.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
A definition of Borderline Personality Disorder, with a link to more information.
Breathing Techniques to Relax Your Child
An excerpt from. Children With Special Needs.
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.
Sensory Integration Tools and Toys
A listing of sites that offer products to help children with sensory integration problems.
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.
You Are Loving
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs basks in their affection. Page 14.
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.
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.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Definition of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with links to more information.
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.
Person-First Language
A definition of person-first language, with a link to more information.
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.
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.
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.
10 Sneaky Ways to Get Your Child's Attention
Need your child to focus on you? Try surprises, silliness and secrets instead of shouting.
What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
A short definition of narcissistic personality disorder, with links to more information.
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.
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.
Self-Mutilation: Releasing the Pain
Excerpt from the book. Children With Special Needs.
Gluten-Free Candy
Where to find lists of candies that are safe for children on a gluten-free diet
Send Encouraging Notes to School With Your Child
Let your child know you're thinking about him or her all through the day with encouraging notes stuck in lunch bags, school books, backpacks.
What Is Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental...
Defines the acronym ARND, describing fetal alcohol impairment.
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.
The ABCs of Behavior Management
Learn how to improve your behavior management and handle specific behaviors and situations with an ABC primer of parenting tips, and links to helpful articles and books.
20 Things Siblings Would Like Parents and...
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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.
IEP Meeting Alert Levels
What alert level do you hit before going to your child's IEP meeting? Measure your risk of outrage and deception with this handy chart. Page 4.
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.
Dairy-Free Scalloped Potatoes: 9 Recipes to Try
Scalloped potatoes are an Easter favorite, but if your child can't tolerate milk or cheese, your traditional recipe may not work.
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.
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.
Before You Sign Your Child's Individualized...
Don't approve your child's Individualized Education Plan before you check these items.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Before You Send Your Child to School Wearing a...
Some parents have resorted to sending a recording device to school with their child to capture verbal abuse from teachers and aides. If you're not ready to go to those lengths, there are other options for learning what's happening at school and doing something about it.
Special-Needs Sites of the Day for September 2014
Find a daily destination of interest to parents of kids with special needs. The site for September 20 is this weekend's listing of fun things to do.
Warning Labels
Does your child need to avoid certain foods, shrink from certain sensory experiences, or otherwise require people to know what not to do to him or her? Print out one of these warning labels, tape or pin it on your child's shirt, and put everyone on alert.
Five Journal Ideas You Can Really Keep Up With
Writing in a journal is a great way for parents of children with special needs to get in touch with their feelings and confront their worries, but it can sometimes be hard to find the energy or inspiration to keep up with one. Here are five ideas that will give you the motivation you need.
How to Write an Essay: Example 4 - Your Rough...
This final example of the steps involved in writing a five-paragraph essay shows what a completed rough draft might look like.
Help Your Child Recognize Emotions
Identifying emotions -- in other people, and in themselves -- can be hard for children with special needs. Here are five fun ways to help your child learn what facial expressions mean, how to recognize emotions in others, and what those same emotions feel like to them.
Alphabet Soup Quiz: Special Education Edition
Test your special-education acronym acumen.: education edition alphabet soup special ed cheat sheet special education
What Is Asperger Syndrome?
A definition of AS, with links to more information.
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.
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.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
A definition of occupational therapy, with a link to more information.
How to Set Get-able Goals for Your Child
Whether setting goals for your child with special needs, your family, or yourself, thinking small and short-term can help you find big, long-lasting success.
What Is Attachment Therapy?
An overview of the issues surrounding attachment therapy, and information on where to find a therapist.
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.
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.
Fun Things to Do: Family Activities
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 family activities, along with links to four more indexes of fun things to do.
What Happens at an IEP Meeting?
What to expect when you attend an IEP meeting, at various stages of your child's education.
What Is Fine Motor?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Definition: Fine
Need to Get Your Kid's Attention? Try Texting
For kids for whom even tiny transitions are frustrating, a text instead of a verbal demand may get the processing going without an emotional outburst.
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.
Gluten-Free Fruitcake
Being able to avoid fruitcake might seem like the rare good thing about a gluten-free diet, but these recipes let you leave out the wheat and opt for treats rich in dried fruit and low on dry cake.
Krabbe Disease
A definition of KD, with a link to more information.
Differentiating Instruction
Differentiating instruction helps teachers meet the needs of special-education and regular-education students in one classroom. Yes, it can be done.
10 Places to Find a Babysitter for a Child with...
Finding a babysitter you can trust with your child's special health-care or behavioral needs, even just for a night out, may seem an impossible task. Here are ten places to start your search.
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.
2013 Readers' Choice Award Winner: A Special...
Laura Matuszewski's 'A Special Friend' is a finalist for Favorite Special-Needs Children's Book in the 2013 About.com Readers' Choice Awards. Learn more about what makes it award-worthy.
When You Absolutely, Positively Have to Miss...
Back-to-School Night is a great way to meet your child's teachers and see their classrooms. But if you absolutely have to miss it, you can still get some of the benefits on your own schedule. Here's how.
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