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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.
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.
The 'No Pants' Potty-Training Method
Step-by-step description of a potty training method suited to children with special needs, who may have trouble focusing on the task or sensing their need to go.
Long Wait with a Fidgety Kid? 101 Things You...
No matter how organized the parent, there will always be times when kids need distraction and there are no books or games or toys at hand. Here are 101 informal time-wasters to amuse your child when you've nothing more than your wits about you.
What Is Osteogenesis Imperfecta?
A definition of OI, with links to more information.
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.
Write Your Own School Behavior Plan
Blank forms and sample behavior management plans can help you be an active participant in devising a plan for your child -- or proposing one yourself.
What Is V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome?
A definition of V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome, with links to more information.
What 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.
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.
What Is an IEP?
Introduction to Individualized Education Plans for special needs children.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
Special-Needs Book Publishers
Looking for a good book on parenting a child with special needs? Seek out offerings from publishers whose books have been reviewed in the Harried Parent's Book Club.
Emergency Last-Minute Halloween Costumes
Your child decides at the last minute that he wants to go trick-or-treating after all, or chooses bedtime to inform you that there's a pageant tomorrow and she's in it. You have no time and no special supplies to make a costume, but a costume is quickly called for. Here's how to throw together something, using items you have around the house, that will do in a pinch.
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.
Keep a Big 'Bag of Tricks'
Amuse. Bribe. Comfort. Distract. Keep items at your fingertips that can do one of more of these things for your kids at all times.
Accommodations for Specific Disabilities
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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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A definition of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, with a link to more information.
What Are Fetal Alcohol Effects?
Definition of Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), with links to more information.
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.
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.
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.
Before You Look for Information on Autism...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with autism.
Who Attends an IEP Meeting?
Description of the Child Study Team.
What Is a Papoose Board?
Definition of a device used to immobilize children for medical procedures.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
A definition of occupational therapy, with a link to more information.
Gluten-Free Candy
Where to find lists of candies that are safe for children on a gluten-free diet
Halloween Costumes for Kids With Sensory...
Kids with sensory processing problems may balk at scratchy costumes, itchy makeup and pinchy headgear. Start with what's comfortable and go from there.
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 Is Speech Therapy?
A definition of speech therapy, with a link to more information.
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.
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.
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.
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 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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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.
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.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Definition of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with links to more information.
What Are Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Definition of ASD, with links to resources for getting more information.
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.
What Is Mosaic Down Syndrome?
A definition of Mosaic Down syndrome, with links to more information.
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.
Ten Good Things About Not Toilet Training Your...
So your child isn't toilet training on time? Don't sweat it. Potty use is good, but there are good things about staying in diapers, too. Here are ten to cheer you.
What Happens at an IEP Meeting?
What to expect when you attend an IEP meeting, at various stages of your child's education.
What Is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
A definition of CAS, with a link to more information.
Preparing the School for Your Child with...
The best way to make sure that teachers have all the information and resources they need to work with your child is to provide those things yourself. Here are suggestions, tips and fact sheets on a variety of special needs you can copy, rewrite, print out, and send in to give your child and his or her teacher the best chance at success.
What Is Early Intervention?
A brief definition of the services offered for young children with special needs.
What Is Asperger Syndrome?
A definition of AS, with links to more information.
Halloween and Special Needs
Children with special needs may need some extra magic to make their Halloween a treat. Find foods and finery designed to make the day less scary.
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.
Resources and Websites on Oppositional Defiant...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
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 Parents Want from Doctors and Hospitals
Cases of parents battling hospitals for the continued care of their children have been turning up in the media lately. But parents have been feeling disrespected and misunderstood by the medical profession for a lot longer than that. Here are eight things medical professionals could do to improve relationships with parents, and care for their children.
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.
Self-Mutilation: Releasing the Pain
Excerpt from the book. Children With Special Needs.
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.
Reactive Attachment Disorder
A definition of RAD, with links to more information.
Differentiating Instruction
Differentiating instruction helps teachers meet the needs of special-education and regular-education students in one classroom. Yes, it can be done.
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.
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.
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.
Your IEP Questions Answered
Frequently asked questions about the Individualized Education Plan
Alphabet Soup Quiz: Special Education Edition
Test your special-education acronym acumen.: education edition alphabet soup special ed cheat sheet special education
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.
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.
Breathing Techniques to Relax Your Child
An excerpt from. Children With Special Needs.
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.
How to Relieve School Anxiety
School can be a stressful and fearsome place for kids, especially those with special needs. Here are some good ways to start a dialog and lessen the load.
How to Teach Your Child to Paraphrase, Not...
Kids with learning disabilities may plagiarize without malicious intent, but that's not going to keep them from suffering the consequences. It will take some extra work, but you can help your child paraphrase instead of copying.
Sensory Integration Tools and Toys
A listing of sites that offer products to help children with sensory integration problems.
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?
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.
What Is Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental...
Defines the acronym ARND, describing fetal alcohol impairment.
What Is Dysfunction of Sensory Integration?
A definition of DSI, with links to more information.
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.
Seizure Disorder
A definition of SD, 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.
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.
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.
Sports Programs for Children and Adults With...
Every child has the right to enjoy the fun of playing sports, the joy of teamwork, the achievement of hitting a ball or making a goal or crossing the finish line. Many programs have been developed to get children and adults with disabilities in the game. Find one that's right for your child.
What Is 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 Acute Myelogenous Leukemia?
A definition of AML, with links to more information.
First 5 Things to Do: Sensory Processing Disorder
A handful of easy, quick suggestions to help you get a fast start on helping your child diagnosed with sensory integration problems.
What is ADD?
A definition of ADD, 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.
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.
What Is Echolalia?
Does your child repeat things? Learn more about echolalia, what it might mean, and how understanding it can help your child.
Independent Educational Evaluation
Learn more about getting an independent evaluation for your child to help in determining special education services.
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.
Games for Fun and Learning
Playing games with your child not only provides you with nice together-time, but can also reinforce educational concepts.
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.
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.
What Is the Americans With Disabilities Act?
Learn about the law that requires organizations accepting public funds to make their buildings and their programs accessible to people with disabilities.
Special-Needs Sites of the Day for October 2014
Find daily destinations of interest to parents of kids with special needs. Featured for 10/28: Rare Daily, an online newsmagazine about rare diseases.
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 Potty Train Your Child
Helping parents of children with special needs determine whether their child is really ready to use the toilet.
How Should I Prepare for an IEP Meeting?
Research and readiness are important to IEP meeting success.
Parental Input Statement: Have Your Say on Your...
Your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) has a spot for you to add any information you would like to share or comments you would like to make. Don't miss the opportunity to have your say.
What Is a Special Needs Trust?
Definition of a Special Needs Trust, with a link to more information.
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.
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 social skills.
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.
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.
Before You Send Your Child to School Wearing a...
Some parents have resorted to sending a recording device to school with their child to capture verbal abuse from teachers and aides. If you're not ready to go to those lengths, there are other options for learning what's happening at school and doing something about it.
Special-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: 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.
How to Write an Essay: Example 4 - Your Rough...
This final example of the steps involved in writing a five-paragraph essay shows what a completed rough draft might look like.
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 Palliative Care?
Definition of palliative care as it applies to severely ill or injured patients.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
A definition of Borderline Personality Disorder, with a link 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.
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.
Halloween "Trick or Treat" Sign
Print out this image to make a sign that says "Trick or Treat!" for your child and includes an explanation
Tourette Syndrome
A definition of TS, with a link to more information.
Before You Sign Your Child's Individualized...
Don't approve your child's Individualized Education Plan before you check these items.
What Should I Bring to an IEP Meeting?
In addition to nerves of steel, bringing these items to a meeting can improve your chances of success.
Spina Bifida
A definition of spina bifida, with a link 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.
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.
Teach Your Child Self-Care Skills
For some children with special needs, even the simplest things require carefully thought-out teaching. Dressing
What Is Prader-Willi Syndrome?
A definition of PWS, with links to more information.
What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
A definition of CF, with links to more information.
Diabetic Christmas Cookie Recipes
Bake up some no- and low-sugar cookies to make the holidays brighter for kids and adults with diabetes.
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.
How to Get a Diagnosis
Helpful resources: Before You Worry About Your Child Behavior Analysis Basics Keep a Care Notebook Book
What Is Aggressive Care?
Definition of aggressive care in the treatment of illness or injury.
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