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Children With Special Needs: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
50 Ways to Fill an Easter Egg
Avoiding sugar, preservatives, colors, or food allergens this Easter? Be a wise Easter bunny and fill plastic eggs with a variety of fun little gifts instead.
What is the 504 Plan in Your State?
Information on accommodations for students with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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 Are "Special Needs"?
One Term, Many Definitions: "Special Needs" is an umbrella underneath which a staggering array of diagnoses
101 Things to Do When There's Nothing to Do
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.
Sample 504 Plans
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.
Set Up an E-mail Account for Your Child That...
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.
Osteogenesis imperfecta
A definition of OI, with links to more information.
Write Your Own 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 does a 504 plan differ from an IEP?
Learn about the difference between accommodations offered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and services offered through an IEP under IDEA.
Choose the Right Special Education Placement...
Learn about the different types of special-education placements and why each might be right -- or wrong -- for your child.
V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome
A definition of V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome, with links to more information.
Alphabet Soup Unscrambled
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.
Behavior Intervention Plan
Learn more about Behavior Intervention Plans and how they can help improve your child's behavior in the classroom.
Functional Behavioral Assessment
Learn more about Functional Behavioral Assessments and how they can help improve your child's behavior in the classroom.
What Is a Paraprofessional?
Learn more about the aides who help children and teachers in special education classrooms.
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.
Sample IEPs
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.
What is an IEP?
Introduction to Individualized Education Plans.
Request a Work Schedule Change with a...
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Five Ways to Help Your Child Sit Still at School
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.
Education FAQ for 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.
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 Get 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.
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.
How do I get a 504 plan for my child?
Learn how to get the accommodations offered by a 504 plan, a provision of disability law, for your child with special needs.
Set Up a Free iTunes Account - No Credit Card,...
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.
Speech Therapy
A definition of speech therapy, with a link to more information.
Is "Million Dollar Baby" Dangerous?
A look at the controversy surrounding the film, which some have accused of promoting euthanasia and unfairly depicting life with disabilities.
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.
Backward Chaining
A definition of backward chaining, a technique for teaching life skills to children with special needs.
Five 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.
Special-Needs Swim Gear
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.
Is Hoarding a Problem for Your Child?
Hoarding has been much in the news, with reality programs showing adults trapped behind mountains of
Printable Coupons for Kids - Use as Gifts,...
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.
Easter Survival Guide
How to have a successful, meltdown-free Easter with a child with special needs.
How to Make Behavior Charts Work
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.
Dairy-Free Scalloped Potatoes
Scalloped potatoes are an Easter favorite, but if your child or other family member can't tolerate milk or cheese, your traditional recipe may not work. Try one of these dairy-free adaptations to keep the dish on your table.
How to Assemble a Teacher Information Packet
On this site, you'll find "Preparing the School" information for a wide range of special needs. Here's
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.
Gluten-Free Candy
Where to find lists of candies that are safe for children on a gluten-free diet
Making 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.
First Five Things to Do: Special Needs Trusts
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.
Use Tea Tree Oil to Foil 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.
Self-Mutilation: Releasing the Pain
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > by Kate Scowen; Copyright © 2006 Kate
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 Go to 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.
Set Up an iTunes Account for Your Child Using a...
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.
Sensory Integration Tools and Toys
A listing of sites that offer products to help children with sensory integration problems.
Fetal Alcohol Effects
Definition of Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), with links to more information.
Accommodations for Specific Disabilities
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Ten 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.
Who attends an IEP meeting?
Description of the Child Study Team.
What Is Mosaic Down Syndrome?
A definition of Mosaic Down syndrome, with links to more information.
Sample Letter to the Teacher
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504 FAQ
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.
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.
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.
Diagnosis Index - A
Looking for information on your child's diagnosis? Start with our alphabetical index to find definitions and resources.
Before You Pick a Pencil
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.
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.
Differentiating Instruction
Differentiating instruction helps teachers meet the needs of special-education and regular-education students in one classroom. Yes, it can be done.
Reactive Attachment Disorder
A definition of RAD, with links to more information.
How Teachers Can Help Monitor Behaviorial Issues
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.
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.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Definition of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with links to more information.
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.
Frequently asked questions about the Individualized Education Plan
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.
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.
Ten 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.
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.
Occupational Therapy
A definition of occupational therapy, with a link to more information.
Special-Education Pre-K to Kindergarten
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.
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 ADD?
A definition of ADD, with links to more information.
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.
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.
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.
How to Make a Paper-Bag Book Cover
Remember those old paper-bag book covers you used to make to cover your textbooks? If you're a little rusty on on the steps, this quick how-to will bring you up to speed.
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.
Before You Sign Your Child's Individualized...
Don't approve your child's Individualized Education Plan before you check these items.
Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder
Defines the acronym ARND, describing fetal alcohol impairment.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Definition of ASD, with links to resources for getting more information.
How to Write an Essay
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.
Breathing Techniques to Relax Your Child
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What Is Early Intervention?
A brief definition of the services offered for young children with special needs.
Twelve Questions to Ask About Your Child's...
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?
Where Can I Find Information About Tax Credits...
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.
Alphabet Soup Quiz: Special Education Edition
Test your special-education acronym acumen.: education edition alphabet soup special ed cheat sheet special education
Worshiping With a Child With Special Needs
Making it through a worship service with a child with special needs can be a spiritually trying experience, but setting appropriate expectations and incentives can give you a prayer of success.
Independent Educational Evaluation
Learn more about getting an independent evaluation for your child to help in determining special education services.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech
A definition of CAS, with a link to more information.
What happens at an IEP meeting?
What to expect when you attend an IEP meeting, at various stages of your child's education.
Borderline Personality Disorder
A definition of Borderline Personality Disorder, with a link to more information.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
A short definition of narcissistic personality disorder, with links to more information.
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 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
School can be a stressful and fearsome place for children, especially those with special needs. If your child is upset about school, here are some good ways to start a dialog and lessen the load.
Before You Look for Information on ODD
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
Before You Look for a Sports Program for Your...
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.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A definition of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, with a link to more information.
How to Report an IEP Violation
Your child is not getting services he is legally entitled to. What are you going to do about it? Here are four steps that, in most cases, will get you to a resolution of the problem.
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.
Special Education Acronyms
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.
Elementary School to Secondary School
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 third transition your child will make, from elementary school to secondary school. Page 4.
Teach Your Child Self-Care Skills
For some children with special needs, even the simplest things require carefully thought-out teaching. Dressing
Ten Ways to Tame a Temper Tantrum
All kids get temper tantrums. But when your child has special needs, those behavioral storms can be more confounding, more damaging, and more difficult to guard against. Here are ten ways to tame a challenging child's tantrum -- they may not be pretty, or conform to the way you thought you'd parent, but they'll get the job done and buy you some time.
Five Reasons to Get Your Teen on Facebook
Don't fear Facebook, friend it. The social-networking service can be a great way to supervise your child's social interaction and teach valuable social skills.
High School to Adulthood
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 final transition your child will make, from high school to graduation or aging out of the school system. Page 5.
How should I prepare for an IEP meeting?
Research and readiness are important to IEP meeting success.
Book Review: The Hidden Gifts of the Introverte...
Introverts may be mistakenly diagnosed with ADD, Asperger syndrome or anxiety disorder, but they also possess strengths and gifts for those patient enough to wait for them.
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.
Least Restrictive Environment
Learn more about your child's right to education in the Least Restrictive Environment.
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.
Teacher Appreciation
Give a special-education teacher a special acknowledgment with these free printable mini-posters.
Positive Experience Certificate
Give a special-education teacher a special acknowledgment with these free printable mini-posters.
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.
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.
What Is Echolalia?
Does your child repeat things? Learn more about echolalia, what it might mean, and how understanding it can help your child.
Fine Motor
: Fine motor refers to movements that require a high degree of control and precision. These may include
Support on the Run for Special-Needs Parents
Even if you don't have time to join an actual parent support group, there are opportunities all around you to bond with fellow special-needs parents.
Celebrating Passover with Diabetes
In addition to the normal dietary restrictions that come with Passover, your child with diabetes may have extra limits on what he or she can safely eat. These sites and downloads offer suggestions and recipes to help diabetics have a safe and meaningful Passover.
Extended School Year
Learn more about your child's right to an Extended School Year.
How to Write a Research Paper
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.
Adapted Physical Education
: Adapted Physical Education (APE) may be offered to students with gross motor delays or other disability-related
Parental Input on the IEP
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.
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.
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.
Five Ways to Boost Your Child's Self-Esteem
Children with special needs can be bad at feeling good about themselves. Here are five ways to boost your child's self-esteem, and make yourself a more effective parent.
How to Research a Disability on About Parenting...
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.
Meet Your IEP Team
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: 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.
Early Intervention to Special-Education Pre-K
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 first transition your child will make, at age three, from early-intervention services to pre-kindergarten. Page 2.
Five Bad Reasons to Avoid Early Intervention
Afraid of labels, therapy, your mother-in-law's disapproval? Those are bad reasons to deny your child the advantage that early intervention services for special needs can bring. Here are five reasons that may be stopping you, and why they're not worth the worry.
Special Needs and Special Occasions
Advice on how to make it through family get-togethers with children with special needs.
Attachment Therapy
An overview of the issues surrounding attachment therapy, and information on where to find a therapist.
Five Ways to Keep Speech Therapy Going Over...
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.
Ten 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.
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.
Before You Look for Information on Reactive...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Reactive Attachment Disorder.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
A definition of OCD, with a link to more information.
Book Review: Building Bridges through Sensory...
A review of the workbook that applies sensory integration theory to children with PDD.
Dysfunction of Sensory Integration
A definition of DSI, with links to more information.
Book Review: Stop Walking on Eggshells
Review of a book on Borderline Personality Disorder, and how family members can support a person with BPD without getting caught up in the drama.
After the Diagnosis
Information on the next steps to take after you receive a diagnosis for your child with special needs. Includes listing of fact sheets on the First Five Things to Do for specific disabilities. Page 2.
Book Review: Freaks, Geeks and Asperger...
A thirteen-year-old with Asperger Syndrome explains it all for you.
First Five 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 Tourette Syndrome.
Special-Needs Scholarships
An index of college scholarships for students with specific disabilities.

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