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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Are "Special Needs"?
An explanation of the term. Children With Special Needs.
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 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.
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 an IEP?
Introduction to Individualized Education Plans for special needs children.
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.
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.
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 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.
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's a Behavior Intervention Plan?
Learn more about Behavior Intervention Plans and how they can help improve your child's behavior in the classroom.
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 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.
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
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 Is a Functional Behavioral Assessment?
Learn more about Functional Behavioral Assessments and how they can help improve your child's behavior in the classroom.
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?
Preparing the Teacher for Your Child With...
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Before You Look for Information on Autism...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with autism.
Ten Reasons to Go to Back-to-School Night
If Back-to-School Night, that evening early in the school year when you're invited to walk through your child's schedule and meet the teachers, doesn't draw you in, you're not alone -- fewer and fewer parents are making attending a priority. But that's just one of the reasons why you should make sure to be there. Read about that and nine more.
Make Choosing Chores a Game
When your child has a list of things to do and no inclination to do them, make picking the next activity into a game.
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.
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.
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.
Accommodations for Specific Disabilities
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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.
Free Downloadable Christmas Cards
The Special-Needs Christmas Carols from About.com Parenting Special Needs are now available on Christmas cards to download, print, fold, and send.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Write a Paragraph
Writing gets a lot easier when you have an organized plan and just need to fill in the blanks. Use an outline to assemble a strong five-sentence paragraph.
What Is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
A definition of CAS, with a link to more information.
What Is Speech Therapy?
A definition of speech therapy, with a link to more information.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
A definition of Borderline Personality Disorder, 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.
Help Your Child Learn Life Skills With Backward...
A definition of backward chaining, a technique for teaching life skills to children with special needs.
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.
Self-Mutilation: Releasing the Pain
Excerpt from the book. Children With Special Needs.
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.
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.
Bye Bye Blog
The blog is going away, but I'll still be writing about current special-needs topics and issues -- just on the Today's News page instead of in posts.
Opening Locks and Lockers
When your child moves up to middle school or high school, opening a lock or locker may become a necessary skill. Here's how to make that combination-working easier, or avoid the need for it in the first place.
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?
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.
Swim Gear for Children With Special Needs
Children with special needs may face special challenges when it comes to water play -- from keeping ear tubes dry to finding extra-large swim diapers.
What Are Fetal Alcohol Effects?
Definition of Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), with links to more information.
Who Attends an IEP Meeting?
Description of the Child Study Team.
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.
What Is Mosaic Down Syndrome?
A definition of Mosaic Down syndrome, with links to more information.
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 Is a Papoose Board?
Definition of a device used to immobilize children for medical procedures.
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.
Breathing Techniques to Relax Your Child
An excerpt from. Children With Special Needs.
What Is Early Intervention?
A brief definition of the services offered for young children with special needs.
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.
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.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A definition of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, 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.
5 Things You Can Change Right Now
Parents of children with special needs often feel powerless to change anything. But in fact, there's something that's easily in your power to change: yourself.
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.
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.
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.
You Are Loving
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs basks in their affection. Page 14.
Harried Parent's Book Club
No time to read long book reviews? We'll distill the most important information on those medical and parenting books you've been hearing about and let you know if they're worth your precious free time.
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.
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.
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.
What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
A definition of OCD, with a link to more information.
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.
What Is Asperger Syndrome?
A definition of AS, with links 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.
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.
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.
Reactive Attachment Disorder
A definition of RAD, with links to more information.
What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
A short definition of narcissistic personality disorder, with links to more information.
How to Be a Music Monitor
Making sure your kids aren't hearing lyrics that might disturb them (or you) got easier with Parental Advisory Stickers, but harder with online downloads. Here's how to really find out what your child is listening to.
What Is Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental...
Defines the acronym ARND, describing fetal alcohol impairment.
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 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.
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.
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.
Resources and Websites on Oppositional Defiant...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Definition of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with links to more information.
What Is Angelman Syndrome?
A definition of Angelman Syndrome, with a link 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.
Share Your Take on Special-Needs Topics of...
Every weekday, add your opinion to a poll on a topic of special-needs-parenting interest.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
A definition of occupational therapy, with a link to more information.
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.
Warning Labels
Does your child need to avoid certain foods, shrink from certain sensory experiences, or otherwise require people to know what not to do to him or her? Print out one of these warning labels, tape or pin it on your child's shirt, and put everyone on alert.
Guided Relaxation for Children with Special Needs
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Pick a 3-Ring Binder
Your child's school binder may be a wonder of organizational technology or a wreck held together by duct tape and cardboard fibers, but whatever's getting stuffed in that backpack each morning, make sure it suits your child's special needs.
First 5 Things to Do After Your Child Is...
A handful of easy, quick suggestions to help you get a fast start on helping your child diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
What Happens at an IEP Meeting?
What to expect when you attend an IEP meeting, at various stages of your child's education.
Sensory Integration Tools and Toys
A listing of sites that offer products to help children with sensory integration problems.
Preparing the School for Your Child With Celiac...
School can be a difficult place for children with celiac disease -- physically, socially and emotionally. Let the school know what your child needs to be safe with these tips and printouts.
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.
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 Are Autism Spectrum Disorders?
Definition of ASD, with links to resources for getting more information.
Alphabet Soup Quiz: Special Education Edition
Test your special-education acronym acumen.: education edition alphabet soup special ed cheat sheet special education
Gluten-Free Candy
Where to find lists of candies that are safe for children on a gluten-free diet
Before You Sign Your Child's Individualized...
Don't approve your child's Individualized Education Plan before you check these items.
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.
Your IEP Questions Answered
Frequently asked questions about the Individualized Education Plan
Five Positive Playground Strategies for...
Going to the playground should be a fun experience with your child. Youngsters with special needs often love the equipment they find there, but stumble over the socialization that's often expected in playground outings. If your playground visits have become more fearsome than fun, follow these five quick tips for a happier time out.
How to Set Get-able Goals for Your Child
Whether setting goals for your child with special needs, your family, or yourself, thinking small and short-term can help you find big, long-lasting success.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
A definition of SJS, with links to more information.
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.
How to Research Your Child's Disability
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.
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.
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.
Before You Look for Information on FASD
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine and Autism
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) investigated the possibility that the MMR vaccine causes autism and issued a report that has been widely reported as proving that no connections exist. But in fact, the committee called for more research on the subject. Read this FAQ from the IOM for more on its findings.
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.
20 Things I Learned from Reading Children's...
Reading kid lit with my reluctant readers has given me lots of examples of bad moms and dads. Do better than those clueless parents with these 20 tips.
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.
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.
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.
What Is the R-word?
A definition of the R-word, with links to more information.
225 Substitutes for the R-Word
A plentiful supply of replacements for offensive slurs against individuals with intellectual disabilities are just a thesaurus away.
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.
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.
Today in Special-Needs News
In the special-needs news for August 25, paper-bag book covers, defending Down syndrome, disabilities on TV, gluten-free snacks, and more.
Disablism and Parenting Children with...
If we dream of the person we would like our children with special needs to be, are we wasting the person they are?
The Grey Area Between Intent and Effect
Words do matter, and it's important to make sure that everyone understands the meaning of what you're saying -- including you.
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-Needs TV
A big part of raising awareness and acceptance for people with disabilities is making their stories part of popular culture. Check my list of TV series that have regularly featured characters or performers with special needs, and add a review of these or other shows I've missed.
How to Motivate Your Teen to Attend and Engage...
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What Is Dysfunction of Sensory Integration?
A definition of DSI, with links to more information.
Gifts for Children and Teens in Wheelchairs
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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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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