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Children With Special Needs: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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.
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.
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.
In Defense of Helicopter Parenting
Everybody loves to dump on helicopter parents, but some kids need more intensive parenting than others, and some helicopters have important jobs to do.
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 V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome?
A definition of V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome, with links to more information.
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 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.
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 Osteogenesis Imperfecta?
A definition of OI, with links to more information.
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.
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 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.
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.
Diabetic Christmas Cookie Recipes
Bake up some no- and low-sugar cookies to make the holidays brighter for kids and adults with diabetes.
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.
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.
Celebrity Parents of Children with Special Needs
Having a celebrity speak out about his or her child's special needs is often a good way to get attention for a particular disability. These celebrities have talked about their child's disability in the media, providing inspiration or advocacy or, in some cases, controversy.
How to 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 Dysfunction of Sensory Integration?
A definition of DSI, with links to more information.
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.
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.
Can Backward Chaining Help Your Child Learn...
Backward chaining is a technique for teaching life skills to children with special needs. Follow these examples of how to start doing it right now.
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.
Special-Needs Sites of the Day for November 2015
Find daily sites of interest to parents of kids with special needs gathered for you in November 2015. For November 27-29: your long-weekend listing of fun things to do.
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.
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.
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.
Accommodations for Specific Disabilities
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Gifts for Children and Teens in Wheelchairs
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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 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.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Definition of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with links to more information.
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
What is ADD?
A definition of ADD, 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.
225 Substitutes for the R-Word
A plentiful supply of replacements for offensive slurs against individuals with intellectual disabilities are just a thesaurus away.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
What Is Early Intervention?
A brief definition of the services offered for young children with special needs.
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.
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 Speech Therapy?
A definition of speech therapy, with a link to more information.
What Are Motor Skills?
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What Is Reactive Attachment Disorder?
A definition of RAD, with links to more information.
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.
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.
Gluten-Free Fruitcake
Being able to avoid fruitcake might seem like the rare good thing about a gluten-free diet, but these recipes let you leave out the wheat and opt for treats rich in dried fruit and low on dry cake.
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.
What Is Mosaic Down Syndrome?
A definition of Mosaic Down syndrome, with links to more information.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A definition of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, with a link to more information.
Nut-Free Fruitcake
Nutty as a fruitcake? Not these fruitcake recipes! Instead of adjusting recipes to accommodate your nut-allergic child, try one of these variations that leave the nuts out from the start.
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.
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.
What Are Fetal Alcohol Effects?
Definition of Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), with links 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.
Latkes Everybody Can Love
Latkes, the delectable potato pancakes fried in oil, are a favorite Hanukkah tradition, but traditional recipes contain ingredients that children with diabetes, Celiac disease, or allergies to wheat or eggs will need to avoid. These recipes from around the Web can cater to those restricted diets while keeping the crispy classic on the holiday table.
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 Occupational Therapy?
A definition of occupational therapy, with a link to more information.
Alphabet Soup Quiz: Special Education Edition
Test your special-education acronym acumen.: education edition alphabet soup special ed cheat sheet special education
Before You Sign Your Child's Individualized...
Don't approve your child's Individualized Education Plan before you check these items.
Intellectual Disabilities
A definition of intellectual disabilities, with a link to more information.
Thanksgiving Gear for Kids Who Don't Do Dress-Up
If your child isn't into fussy clothes, stiff dresses, and tight ties, add a little flair to a comfortable outfit to make a unique style statement.
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.
Special Needs and Special Occasions
Advice on how to make it through family get-togethers with children with special needs.
They Said WHAT About Your Child? Dealing With...
If you can't avoid those folks who can't say anything nice about your child or your parenting, you can manage their behavior (and yours) more effectively.
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.
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
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.
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.
What Is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
A definition of CAS, with a link to more information.
What Is Seizure Disorder?
A definition of SD, with links to more information.
What Is Echolalia?
Does your child repeat things? Learn more about echolalia, what it might mean, and how understanding it can help your child.
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 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.
Your IEP Questions Answered
Frequently asked questions about the Individualized Education Plan
What Is the R-word?
A definition of the R-word, with links to more information.
Who Attends an IEP Meeting?
Description of the Child Study Team.
Before You Go to the Mall With Your Child, You...
If you must take your child to the mall, these five tips will make the trip shorter, smoother, and less stressful.
What Is Dandy-Walker Syndrome?
A short definition of Dandy-Walker Syndrome, with a link to more information.
What Is Asperger Syndrome?
A definition of AS, with links to more information.
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.
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.
Resources and Websites on Oppositional Defiant...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
10 Sneaky Ways to Get Your Child's Attention
Need your child to focus on you? Try surprises, silliness and secrets instead of shouting.
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.
Preparing the School for Your Child with...
School can be a difficult place for children with Dandy-Walker Syndrome. Let the school know what your child needs to be safe and successful
Gifts for Children with Diabetes
Children with diabetes need a certain amount of gear to stay healthy, but that doesn't mean they can't have a little fun with it.
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.
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.
What Is Aggressive Care?
Definition of aggressive care in the treatment of illness or injury.
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.
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.
Positive Experience Certificate
Give a special-education teacher a special acknowledgment with these free printable mini-posters.
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.
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.
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.
Special-Needs Advocacy: Seven Ways to Get...
Until your child is old enough to advocate for disability rights, it's your responsibility to do what you can to make the world a friendlier place for people with special needs, now and as your child becomes an adult.
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.
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 to Say to Parents of Kids With Special...
Don't be one of those relatives who makes parents of kids with special needs dread going to family get-togethers. Be the one who makes it worthwhile.
What Is Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental...
Defines the acronym ARND, describing fetal alcohol impairment.
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.
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.
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.
How to Motivate Your Teen to Attend and Engage...
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What Are Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Definition of ASD, with links to resources for getting more information.
Special-Needs Christmas Carols
Have a little fun with these Christmas carols that reflect the stress of the season for parents who feel their family's differences at the holidays.
5 Ways to Keep Sensory Integration Therapy...
Occupational therapy with a Sensory Integration approach often has a strong element of parental involvement, with Mom and Dad asked to perform tasks like brushing and joint compression. There's more you can do, though, whether filling in for the therapist during school breaks or just augmenting the work being done. Here are five ways to start.
Gluten-Free Candy
Where to find lists of candies that are safe for children on a gluten-free diet
Resources and Websites on Reactive Attachment...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Reactive Attachment Disorder.
What Happens at an IEP Meeting?
What to expect when you attend an IEP meeting, at various stages of your child's education.
Teach Your Child Self-Care Skills
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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.
Before You Look for Information on Osteogenesis...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with osteogenesis imperfecta.
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.
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?
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.
All-Purpose Apology Templates for Special-Needs...
It's become a familiar cycle -- celebrity uses the R-word or makes disability a punchline, celebrity gets complaints from people with disabilities and their families, celebrity apologizes. To speed up the process, this apology template can get the stars back in the sky with a minimum of fuss and sincerity.
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.
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.
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.
Preparing the Teacher for Your Child With...
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Before You Look for Information on Angelman...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Angelman Syndrome.
Five Familiar Games for Sneaky Speech Therapy
Chances are the word games you're playing with your child are already ones that help strengthen speech and language skills. Here's how to tweak them for some impromptu speech therapy. Page 4.
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 Look for Information on Sensory...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Dysfunction of Sensory Integration.
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.
Before You Look for Information on Intellectual...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with intellectual disabilities.
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.
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.
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.
First Five Things to Do When Your Child Is...
Your first instinct is to defend and protect. A more thoughtful approach may help more in the long run.
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 Are Pervasive Developmental Disorders?
Definition of PDD, with links to more information.
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.
Differentiating Instruction
Differentiating instruction helps teachers meet the needs of special-education and regular-education students in one classroom. Yes, it can be done.
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.
Self-Mutilation: Releasing the Pain
Excerpt from the book. Children With Special Needs.
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 Leukemia?
A definition of childhood leukemia, with links to more information.
Kawasaki Disease
A definition of Kawasaki Disease, with links to more information.
What Does Present Level of Performance Mean?
Learn more about the Present Level of Performance section of your child's Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).

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