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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.
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.
50 Non-Candy Easter-Basket Treats
A list of 50 fun little gifts that do NOT include food, thus avoiding sugar, preservatives, colors, or food allergens.
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 You Should Know About Paraprofessionals
Learn more about the aides who help children and teachers in special education classrooms.
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.
What Is Osteogenesis Imperfecta?
A definition of OI, with links to more information.
What Is V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome?
A definition of V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome, with links to more information.
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.
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 an IEP?
Introduction to Individualized Education Plans for special needs children.
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.
Nut-Free Charoset
The Passover specialty Charoset is traditionally made with fruit and nuts, but if your child has a food allergy, that dish will need a do-over. Instead of just leaving the nuts out of your usual family recipe, try one of these five from around the Web that don't have nuts in the first place.
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 a Functional Behavioral Assessment?
Learn more about Functional Behavioral Assessments and how they can help improve your child's behavior in the classroom.
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.
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.
Accommodations for Specific Disabilities
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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Is Asperger Syndrome?
A definition of AS, with links to more information.
Help Your Child Learn Life Skills With Backward...
A definition of backward chaining, a technique for teaching life skills to children with special needs.
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.
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.
225 Substitutes for the R-Word
A plentiful supply of replacements for offensive slurs against individuals with intellectual disabilities are just a thesaurus away.
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.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
A definition of occupational therapy, with a link to more information.
What Are Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Definition of ASD, with links to resources for getting more information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A definition of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, with a link to more information.
What Is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
A definition of CAS, with a link to more information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Special-Needs Sites of the Day for March 2015
Find daily destinations of interest to parents of kids with special needs. Featured for 3/28-29: Your weekend roundup of fun things to do.
What Is Mosaic Down Syndrome?
A definition of Mosaic Down syndrome, with links to more information.
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.
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.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Definition of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with links to more information.
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.
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.
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.
Preparing the Teacher for Your Child With...
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Who Attends an IEP Meeting?
Description of the Child Study Team.
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.
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 Angelman Syndrome?
A definition of Angelman Syndrome, with a link to more information.
What Is Early Intervention?
A brief definition of the services offered for young children with special needs.
Intellectual Disabilities
A definition of intellectual disabilities, 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.
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.
Before You Sign Your Child's Individualized...
Don't approve your child's Individualized Education Plan before you check these items.
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.
Reactive Attachment Disorder
A definition of RAD, with links to more information.
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.
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.
Resources and Websites on Oppositional Defiant...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
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.
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 Are Fetal Alcohol Effects?
Definition of Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), with links to more information.
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
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.
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.
Differentiating Instruction
Differentiating instruction helps teachers meet the needs of special-education and regular-education students in one classroom. Yes, it can be done.
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.
Your IEP Questions Answered
Frequently asked questions about the Individualized Education Plan
What Is the R-word?
A definition of the R-word, with links to more information.
Independent Educational Evaluation
Learn more about getting an independent evaluation for your child to help in determining special education services.
Gluten-Free Candy
Where to find lists of candies that are safe for children on a gluten-free diet
You Are an Expert
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs praises their expertise. Page 2.
Krabbe Disease
A definition of KD, 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.
Special-Needs Scholarships
An index of college scholarships for students with specific disabilities.
Alphabet Soup Quiz: Special Education Edition
Test your special-education acronym acumen.: education edition alphabet soup special ed cheat sheet special education
Seizure Disorder
A definition of SD, with links to more information.
Eight Reasons to Be Inclusive
If you've convinced yourself that inclusion is a bad idea and not a practical possibility for your school or church or club or community, I've got eight reasons to reconsider.
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.
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.
Breathing Techniques to Relax Your Child
An excerpt from. Children With Special Needs.
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.
When Good Weather Brings Bad Behavior
Children with special needs may react to the changes spring brings with out-of-control behavior and a raging case of the sillies. Here are some reasons why, and what parents can do to bring a little order to the chaos.
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.
Positive Experience Certificate
Give a special-education teacher a special acknowledgment with these free printable mini-posters.
What Is Dysfunction of Sensory Integration?
A definition of DSI, with links to more information.
Book Review: Transforming the Difficult Child
This excellent behavior-management approach helps focus intense, energetic kids into more positive patterns, and gives parents something to feel good about too.
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.
Down Syndrome
A definition of Down syndrome, 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.
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.
Self-Mutilation: Releasing the Pain
Excerpt from the book. Children With Special Needs.
Sensory Integration Tools and Toys
A listing of sites that offer products to help children with sensory integration problems.
What Is Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental...
Defines the acronym ARND, describing fetal alcohol impairment.
Teach Your Child Self-Care Skills
For some children with special needs, even the simplest things require carefully thought-out teaching. Dressing
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.
Before You Look for Information on Angelman...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Angelman Syndrome.
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.
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.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
A definition of CP, with a link to more information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You Are Blessed
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs celebrates the good things in their lives. Page 9.
Learning Disabilities
A definition of LD, with a link to more information.
What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
A short definition of narcissistic personality disorder, with links to more information.
You Make a Difference
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs celebrates the ways they impact others. Page 4.
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 Echolalia?
Does your child repeat things? Learn more about echolalia, what it might mean, and how understanding it can help your child.
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.
What Happens at an IEP Meeting?
What to expect when you attend an IEP meeting, at various stages of your child's education.
Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy
A definition of MMD, with a link to more information.
First 5 Things to Do After Your Child Is...
A handful of easy, quick suggestions to help you get a fast start on helping your child diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.
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.
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.
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 Does Extended School Year (ESY) Mean?
Learn more about your child's right to an Extended School Year.
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.
How to Get a Diagnosis
Helpful resources: Before You Worry About Your Child Behavior Analysis Basics Keep a Care Notebook Book
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.
What Is Palliative Care?
Definition of palliative care as it applies to severely ill or injured patients.
What 'Dancing With the Stars' Can Teach Us...
All right, go with me here -- though it's a sparkly, silly reality show, DWTS can serve as a model for dealing with a group of learners with diverse needs.
What Is Prader-Willi Syndrome?
A definition of PWS, with links to more information.
Resources and Websites on Reactive Attachment...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Reactive Attachment Disorder.
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.
How to Research Your Child's Disability
The About Parenting Special Needs site is full of information on specific disabilities and general issues. Here's how to find the info you need.
What Is a Special Needs Trust?
Definition of a Special Needs Trust, with a link to more information.
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 Special Education?
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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.
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.
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.
Before You Look for Information on Intellectual...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with intellectual disabilities.
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.
Pompe Disease
A definition of Pompe disease with a link to more information.
What Is Fine Motor?
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