1. Parenting

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.
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.
What Is Osteogenesis Imperfecta?
A definition of OI, with links to more information.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Accommodations for Specific Disabilities
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > by Linda Wilmshurt, Ph.D. ABPP and Alan
What Is Occupational Therapy?
A definition of occupational therapy, with a link to 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 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.
Help Your Child Learn Life Skills With Backward...
A definition of backward chaining, a technique for teaching life skills to children with special needs.
225 Substitutes for the R-Word
A plentiful supply of replacements for offensive slurs against individuals with intellectual disabilities are just a thesaurus away.
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.
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.
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.
What Is Asperger Syndrome?
A definition of AS, with links to more information.
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.
What Are Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Definition of ASD, with links to resources for getting 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.
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
Alphabet Soup Quiz: Special Education Edition
Test your special-education acronym acumen.: education edition alphabet soup special ed cheat sheet special education
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.
What Is Angelman Syndrome?
A definition of Angelman Syndrome, with a link to more information.
What Is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
A definition of CAS, with a link to more information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Is the R-word?
A definition of the R-word, 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.
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.
What Is Early Intervention?
A brief definition of the services offered for young children with special needs.
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.
Who Attends an IEP Meeting?
Description of the Child Study Team.
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.
What Is Speech Therapy?
A definition of speech therapy, with a link to more information.
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.
What Are Fetal Alcohol Effects?
Definition of Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), with links 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.
What Is Palliative Care?
Definition of palliative care as it applies to severely ill or injured patients.
Special-Needs Sites of the Day for April 2015
Find daily destinations of interest to parents of kids with special needs. Featured for April 20: a high-schooler's petition to graduate with her peers.
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.
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.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A definition of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, with a link to more information.
Before You Look for Information on Angelman...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Angelman Syndrome.
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.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Definition of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with links to more information.
Preparing the Teacher for Your Child With...
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >On this site,
What Is Mosaic Down Syndrome?
A definition of Mosaic Down syndrome, with links to more information.
Intellectual Disabilities
A definition of intellectual disabilities, with a link to more information.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
A definition of CP, with a link to more information.
Meet Your IEP Team: A Parent's Guide to the...
That gang of serious-looking people around the IEP planning table can be intimidating to a parent. Here's your quick guide to who they all are, and how you can be a team player, too.
How to 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.
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.
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.
Your Advocacy Style Quiz - Find Out What Kind...
What kind of IEP advocate are you? Find out your personal advocacy style by taking this fun quiz.
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.
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.
What You Need to Know About Field Day
Field Day can be a real obstacle course for kids with special needs, and not in a fun way. Make sure the folks in charge are planning a day that's positive and appropriate for every student.
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.
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.
Book Review: Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome
A thirteen-year-old with Asperger Syndrome explains it all for you.
Krabbe Disease
A definition of KD, with a link to more information.
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 Happens at an IEP Meeting?
What to expect when you attend an IEP meeting, at various stages of your child's education.
Before You Sign Your Child's Individualized...
Don't approve your child's Individualized Education Plan before you check these items.
Reactive Attachment Disorder
A definition of RAD, with links to more information.
Special-Needs TV
A big part of raising awareness and acceptance for people with disabilities is making their stories part of popular culture. Check my list of TV series that have regularly featured characters or performers with special needs, and add a review of these or other shows I've missed.
What Does Extended School Year (ESY) Mean?
Learn more about your child's right to an Extended School Year.
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.
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.
Your IEP Questions Answered
Frequently asked questions about the Individualized Education Plan
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.
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.
Teach Your Child Self-Care Skills
For some children with special needs, even the simplest things require carefully thought-out teaching. Dressing
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.
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.
Differentiating Instruction
Differentiating instruction helps teachers meet the needs of special-education and regular-education students in one classroom. Yes, it can be done.
What Is Dysfunction of Sensory Integration?
A definition of DSI, with links to more information.
Special-Needs Scholarships
An index of college scholarships for students with specific disabilities.
What Is Special Education?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Question: What
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.
Seizure Disorder
A definition of SD, with links to more information.
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.
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.
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.
Resources and Websites on Oppositional Defiant...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
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.
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.
What Is Prader-Willi Syndrome?
A definition of PWS, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Gluten-Free Candy
Where to find lists of candies that are safe for children on a gluten-free diet
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.
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.
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.
What Is Dandy-Walker Syndrome?
A short definition of Dandy-Walker Syndrome, with a link to more information.
Sensory Integration Tools and Toys
A listing of sites that offer products to help children with sensory integration problems.
Positive Experience Certificate
Give a special-education teacher a special acknowledgment with these free printable mini-posters.
Special-Needs Sites of the Day for March 2015
Find daily destinations of interest to parents of kids with special needs, plus new and featured articles and links to special-needs news.
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.
Self-Mutilation: Releasing the Pain
Excerpt from the book. Children With Special Needs.
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 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 Adapted Physical Education?
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Definition: Adapted
Independent Educational Evaluation
Learn more about getting an independent evaluation for your child to help in determining special education services.
Learning Disabilities
A definition of LD, with a link to more information.
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.
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.
Book Review: The Anxiety Cure for Kids
An easy method for helping children visualize and battle anxious thoughts, whether they have an actual anxiety disorder or milder anxiety problems.
How Should I Prepare for an IEP Meeting?
Research and readiness are important to IEP meeting success.
Before You Look for Information on Osteogenesis...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with osteogenesis imperfecta.
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.
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.
Write a Letter Praising a Teacher for an...
Were you happy with your child's teacher this year? Don't just thank the teacher -- send a letter to the teacher's boss singing those praises.
Why do escalators freak your kid out?
If your child is afraid of riding the escalator, consider whether a phobia could be making the moving stairway seem terrifying. Lisa Fritshcer, About.com guide to Phobias, explains how escalator fear becomes overwhelming. Page 4.
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.
Teacher Appreciation
Give a special-education teacher a special acknowledgment with these free printable mini-posters.
What Is Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental...
Defines the acronym ARND, describing fetal alcohol impairment.
Resources and Websites on Reactive Attachment...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Reactive Attachment Disorder.
Could Your Child Go to College?
Thanks to programs and accommodations at a growing number of U.S. colleges and universities, college is becoming a more realistic next step after high school for students with a range of special needs.
What Is Echolalia?
Does your child repeat things? Learn more about echolalia, what it might mean, and how understanding it can help your child.
What Does Present Level of Performance Mean?
Learn more about the Present Level of Performance section of your child's Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).
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.
5 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.
5 Ways to Make Your Church More Inclusive
Amy Fenton Lee, who blogs at The Inclusive Church, offers five ways that parents can start leading their churches toward inclusion.
Before You Look for Information on Intellectual...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with intellectual disabilities.
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.
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.

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.