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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 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.
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 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.
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 You Should Know About Paraprofessionals
Learn more about the aides who help children and teachers in special education classrooms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Accommodations for Specific Disabilities
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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.
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.
Alphabet Soup Quiz: Special Education Edition
Test your special-education acronym acumen.: education edition alphabet soup special ed cheat sheet special education
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 a Functional Behavioral Assessment?
Learn more about Functional Behavioral Assessments and how they can help improve your child's behavior in the classroom.
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.
Preparing the School for Your Child with...
School can be a difficult place for children with sensory integration problems. Let the school know what your child needs to be safe and successful.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
225 Substitutes for the R-Word
A plentiful supply of replacements for offensive slurs against individuals with intellectual disabilities are just a thesaurus away.
Meet the Finalists in the "Arthur/All Kids Can...
The Arthur/All Kids Can Character Search challenged children 6-12 to create a friend for Arthur, one with a disability but also strengths and personality. The winner, Connor Gordon, created Lydia Fox, who uses a wheelchair and loves basketball. Meet Connor and the nine other finalists.
What Is Dysfunction of Sensory Integration?
A definition of DSI, with links to more information.
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.
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.
Preparing the School for Your Child with Fetal...
School can be a difficult place for children with fetal alcohol exposure -- academically, socially, and behaviorally. Let the school know what your child needs to be successful 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.
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.
Help Your Child Learn Life Skills With Backward...
A definition of backward chaining, a technique for teaching life skills to children with special needs.
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
Preparing the Teacher for Your Child With...
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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 Is Speech Therapy?
A definition of speech therapy, with a link to more information.
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.
Special-Needs Sites of the Day for August 2015
Find daily sites of interest to parents of kids with special needs gathered for you in August 2015. For August 26: Chili's fundraiser for St. Jude.
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.
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.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A definition of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, with a link to more information.
What Is Early Intervention?
A brief definition of the services offered for young children with special needs.
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.
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.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Definition of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with links to more information.
What Is the R-word?
A definition of the R-word, with links to more information.
What is ADD?
A definition of ADD, with links to more information.
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.
What Is Reactive Attachment Disorder?
A definition of RAD, with links to more information.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
A definition of occupational 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.
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.
Before You Look for Information on Osteogenesis...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with osteogenesis imperfecta.
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.
Before You Sign Your Child's Individualized...
Don't approve your child's Individualized Education Plan before you check these items.
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.
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.
Intellectual Disabilities
A definition of intellectual disabilities, with a link 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.
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.
What Is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
A definition of CAS, with a link to more information.
Your IEP Questions Answered
Frequently asked questions about the Individualized Education Plan
Differentiating Instruction
Differentiating instruction helps teachers meet the needs of special-education and regular-education students in one classroom. Yes, it can be done.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Who Attends an IEP Meeting?
Description of the Child Study Team.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sensory Integration Tools and Toys
A listing of sites that offer products to help children with sensory integration problems.
What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
A short definition of narcissistic personality disorder, with links to more information.
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.
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 Does 'Free Appropriate Public Education'...
Learn more about your child's right to a Free Appropriate Public Education.
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.
How to Keep a Contact Log
Setting up a system for keeping track of the conversations will make you a more organized and effective advocate for your child.
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.
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.
Early-Intervention Services in Illinois
Illinois's Early Intervention Program helps children birth to age 3 with developmental disabilities. Learn more about the services available and how you can quickly get started.
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.
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.
What Is Adapted Physical Education?
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Independent Educational Evaluation
Learn more about getting an independent evaluation for your child to help in determining special education services.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Body Odor Basics for Teens With Special Needs
Most teens worry about smelling bad in front of their peers, but some adolescents with special needs may lack the sensory sensitivity or emotional maturity to notice or care if body odor's a problem. Here are five ways parents can help.
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.
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.
Before You Pick a Dentist for Your Child With...
There's more to picking a dentist for a child with special needs than finding the top tooth expert. You'll also want to think about things like how far you'll drive, how your child will be restrained, and how well you'll be listened to. Learn more about the five factors you should consider before choosing your child's dentist.
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.
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.
Before You Look for Information on Angelman...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Angelman Syndrome.
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.
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.
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.
What Is Special Education?
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What Are Fetal Alcohol Effects?
Definition of Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), with links 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.
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.
What Is Mosaic Down Syndrome?
A definition of Mosaic Down syndrome, with links 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.
Think You Don't Have Time to Volunteer at...
Think you can't volunteer at your child's school because you work, or have younger children at home, or have no transportation? There are lots of excuses, but also lots of ways to work around them. See if any of these volunteer opportunities will fit in your schedule.
Flying with a Child with Special Needs?
Before you take your child with special needs on a plane trip, consult these airline web pages for more information on their rules and services for passengers with disabilities.
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.
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.
Book Review: A Parent's Guide to Developmental...
Review of a book that helps parents decide whether their children's developmental differences merit concern and evaluation.
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.
Teach Your Child Self-Care Skills
For some children with special needs, even the simplest things require carefully thought-out teaching. Dressing
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.
Krabbe Disease
A definition of KD, with a link to more information.
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 Is Seizure Disorder?
A definition of SD, with links to more information.
Learning Disabilities
A definition of LD, with a link to more information.
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.
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.
Gifts for Children and Teens in Wheelchairs
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Ten Reading Goals to Motivate Reluctant Readers
Set a goal to motivate your child to read more, and make sure it's suitable to your child's particular ability and eagerness to read.
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.
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.
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.
10 Sneaky Ways to Get Your Child's Attention
Need your child to focus on you? Try surprises, silliness and secrets instead of shouting.
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.
What Is Aggressive Care?
Definition of aggressive care in the treatment of illness or injury.
What Does Present Level of Performance Mean?
Learn more about the Present Level of Performance section of your child's Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).
What Is Dandy-Walker Syndrome?
A short definition of Dandy-Walker Syndrome, with a link to more information.
Get an Extra Set of Textbooks for Home Use
Having an extra set of textbooks at home can improve your child's homework, studying, progress and posture. Here are eight reasons why your school should give them to you.

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