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Children With Special Needs: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Is Osteogenesis Imperfecta?
A definition of OI, with links to more information.
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.
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.
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.
What Is an IEP?
Introduction to Individualized Education Plans for special needs children.
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's a Behavior Intervention Plan?
Learn more about Behavior Intervention Plans 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? Ask yourself these 10 questions for guidance.
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.
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.
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.
Help Your Child Learn Life Skills With Backward...
A definition of backward chaining, a technique for teaching life skills to children with special needs.
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.
Make Your Own Therapy Tools and Toys
Can't afford the fancy therapy items in sensory integration and speech therapy catalogs? Make or find your own using these 20 easy suggestions.
How to Give Yourself a Temper Tantrum
If you lose your grip from time to time with a grown-up tantrum that comes out of nowhere, check these steps to find out how you went from patient parent to screaming shambles. And if you'd like to stop doing that? Now you know what to avoid.
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.
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 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.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Definition of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, with links to more information.
What Is Occupational Therapy?
A definition of occupational 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.
225 Substitutes for the R-Word
A plentiful supply of replacements for offensive slurs against individuals with intellectual disabilities are just a thesaurus away.
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
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.
Help Your Child Recognize Emotions
Identifying emotions can be hard for children with special needs. Here are six fun ways to help your child learn facial expressions and recognize emotion.
What Is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
A definition of CAS, with a link 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.
What Is Asperger Syndrome?
A definition of AS, with links to more information.
What Is Speech Therapy?
A definition of speech 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
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.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A definition of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, with a link to more information.
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.
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.
Teacher Appreciation
Give a special-education teacher a special acknowledgment with these free printable mini-posters.
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 Cerebral Palsy?
A definition of CP, with a link to more information.
What Is Early Intervention?
A brief definition of the services offered for young children with special needs.
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.
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.
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.
What Is the R-word?
A definition of the R-word, with links to more information.
Special-Needs Sites of the Day for June 2015
Find daily sites of interest to parents of kids with special needs gathered for you in June 2015.
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.
Positive Experience Certificate
Give a special-education teacher a special acknowledgment with these free printable mini-posters.
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.
Reactive Attachment Disorder
A definition of RAD, with links to more information.
What Does Extended School Year (ESY) Mean?
Learn more about your child's right to an Extended School Year.
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.
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.
You Are an Inspiration
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs admires the way they motivate others. Page 28.
What Is Mosaic Down Syndrome?
A definition of Mosaic Down syndrome, with links to more information.
What is ADD?
A definition of ADD, with links to more information.
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.
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.
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.
Is Discipline Really What Your Child Needs?
Ask yourself these questions to make sure that discipline is what your child really needs.
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.
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.
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.
Ten Ways to Tame a Temper Tantrum
They may not be pretty, or conform to the way you thought you'd parent, but these techniques will get the job done and buy you some time.
What Is Palliative Care?
Definition of palliative care as it applies to severely ill or injured patients.
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.
Accommodations for Specific Disabilities
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Resources and Websites on Oppositional Defiant...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
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.
Very Special Teacher Certificate
Give a special-education teacher a special acknowledgment with these free printable mini-posters. Page 3.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Are Fetal Alcohol Effects?
Definition of Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), with links 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 Is Angelman Syndrome?
A definition of Angelman Syndrome, with a link 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.
You Are Patient
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs recognizes their struggle to keep it together. Page 27.
Turn Down the Emotional Volume
It's hard not to get angry or upset when your child is acting defiant, manic or aggressive. For many kids with special needs that influence their behavior, however, that outburst of anger can make things far, far worse. Turn down the emotional volume to bring your child back in tune.
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.
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.
DIY ESY - An Extended School Year Program You...
Can't get Extended School Year (ESY) written into your child's IEP? You can still keep the learning going at home. Here are some ideas for setting up your own ESY activities.
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.
10 People to Thank for a Good School Year
You may be thinking about teacher gifts, but while you're at it, remember all the other personnel who make the school day successful for your child.
Before You Look for Information on Angelman...
Start with these recommended resources for finding facts, strategies, and advice on parenting children with Angelman Syndrome.
Tourette Syndrome
A definition of TS, with a link to more information.
Learning Disabilities
A definition of LD, with a link to more information.
Intellectual Disabilities
A definition of intellectual disabilities, with a link to more information.
You Are a Fighter
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs acknowledges that they never give up. Page 25.
You Care
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs appreciates their constant concern. Page 26.
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.
Summer Camp Options for Children With Special...
Which is best for your child -- a special needs camp, a community camp, or a summer spent at home with you? Learn the pros and cons of each.
What Is Adapted Physical Education?
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What Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
A short definition of narcissistic personality disorder, with links to more information.
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.
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.
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.
Self-Mutilation: Releasing the Pain
Excerpt from the book. Children With Special Needs.
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.
What Is Prader-Willi Syndrome?
A definition of PWS, with links to more information.
Preparing the Teacher for Your Child With...
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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 Blessed
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs celebrates the good things in their lives. Page 9.
Who Attends an IEP Meeting?
Description of the Child Study Team.
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.
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.
What Is Dysfunction of Sensory Integration?
A definition of DSI, with links to more information.
Gluten-Free Candy
Where to find lists of candies that are safe for children on a gluten-free diet
What Is Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental...
Defines the acronym ARND, describing fetal alcohol impairment.
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.
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.
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.
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 attachment disorder.
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.
You Are Full of Surprises
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs gives them credit for inspiration. Page 24.
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.
What Is Echolalia?
Does your child repeat things? Learn more about echolalia, what it might mean, and how understanding it can help your child.
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.
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 Worry About Your Child
Think something's not right with your little one? Here's a guide to developmental milestones, charts and checkers to help you decide whether it's really time to worry.
What Is Aggressive Care?
Definition of aggressive care in the treatment of illness or injury.
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 Special Education?
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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.
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 Least Restrictive Environment?
Learn more about your child's right to education in the Least Restrictive Environment.
You Make a Difference
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs celebrates the ways they impact others. Page 4.
You Are Strong
One of a series of artful notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs praises their strength and ability.
Differentiating Instruction
Differentiating instruction helps teachers meet the needs of special-education and regular-education students in one classroom. Yes, it can be done.
Krabbe Disease
A definition of KD, with a link to more information.
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 Does Present Level of Performance Mean?
Learn more about the Present Level of Performance section of your child's Individualized Educational Plan (IEP).
What Is Dandy-Walker Syndrome?
A short definition of Dandy-Walker Syndrome, 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.
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.
You Are Not Lazy
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs knows how hard they work. Page 23.
Your IEP Questions Answered
Frequently asked questions about the Individualized Education Plan
Before You Send Your Child on a Sleepover
So your child's been invited to sleep over at a friend's house. Is your youngster ready? Are you? Ask these questions to make an informed decision.
Gifts for Children and Teens in Wheelchairs
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You Have Something to Say
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs applauds them for speaking up. Page 20.
You Are Resourceful
One of a series of inspirational notes of support and encouragement for parents of children with special needs lauds their cleverness and creativity. Page 10.
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.

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