Special Needs Children
Do you have a Special Needs child in your family? If you are a parent
with a Special Needs child, you know that they often require greater care and attention
then other children may need. But don't forget to make their siblings feel loved
and special too. If you are the sibling of a Special Needs child, you may feel
at times that you are neglected. Speak with your parents about your feelings;
they may not know how you feel unless you reach out to them.
This web page has some resources for parents and siblings of
Special Needs children. Please read our article further down on this page
- "Raising Special Needs Children: Siblings Have Special Needs
Too". It was written by a woman who has two children, one of which has special
needs. Learn from her experiences with raising them both. Realize that
Every Child has Special Needs!
After you have read our article, follow the Related Links to related
articles and further information on Special Needs children. For even more
information about Special Needs children, please buy a few of the Books we
recommend below. Talk to your children and help them to understand that
each one is special in their own way!
Tools for Parents of Children
with Disabilities and Special Needs
A 19 part article that gives bulleted lists of things to consider in
regards to many topics related to Special Needs Children.
Raising a Special Needs Child
Another article on raising a special needs child, from LifeToolsForWomen.com.
Special Needs Spark Sibling Rivalry
An article about siblings of children with special needs. See more
articles on this
related page .
Parenting Special Needs Forum
A forum to talk about special needs children. From specialchildren.about.com.
Moms of Special Needs Children
"In this forum, you will talk with other parents of children with disabilities
who are dealing with the same issues that you face every day."
of children with special needs face unique emotional and practical challenges that
are seldom addressed by the medical community. In Special Kids Need Special Parents,
Judith Loseff Lavin-herself the parent of a child with special needs-draws on interviews
with health care professionals, nationally recognized authorities, and other parents
to give readers the answers, advice, and comfort they crave.
* Coping with chronic pain, sleep problems, and frequent hospitalizations
* Dealing with feelings of grief and anger
* Choosing a therapist
* Finding suitable, reliable childcare
* How to cope with teasing
* The impact a child with special needs can have on a marriage, siblings, and grandparents
* Finding cosmetic, prosthetic, and orthotic help
* and more
in the Syndrome Mix is a concise, scientifically up-to-date, all-in-one guide
to the whole range of often co-existing neuro-behavioral disorders in children - from
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder, and
bipolar disorder to autistic spectrum disorders, nonverbal learning disabilities,
sensory integration problems, and executive dysfunction. Dr. Kutscher provides
accessible information on causes, symptoms, interactions with other conditions, and
treatments. He presents effective behavioral strategies for responding to
children who display traits of these disorders - whether at home, at school, or in
other settings - along with case vignettes and practical tips.
NLD Superstars is essential reading for all those who come into contact with
children with nonverbal learning disorders (NLD). Instead of insisting
upon the one-size-fits-all model of intervention, the author focuses on the individual
nature of NLD children and offers practical, adaptable advice that
will help them find their place both in the family and in wider social groups. The author
shares her experiences of life as the parent of a child with NLD with humanity
and humor. She looks not only at day-to-day practicalities such as making meal times
easier for all the family and reaching compromises on inappropriate clothing choices
but also at the long-term plan for independence. The book will help parents and careers
to support children with NLD to reach their emotional and cognitive potential while
taking into account the views and experiences of other family members.
by an experienced school psychologist, this unique resource gives classroom
teachers and specialists at all levels the key information and practical stategies
they need to recognize and respond effectively to 30 of the most common problems encountered
in today's classroom, including:
ACADEMIC PROBLEMS: Auditory Processing Problem · The ESL Student
· The Gifted Student · Handwriting Problem · Math Anxiety · Mild Mental Retardation
· Reading Disability · Speech and Language Problems · Spelling Problem · The unmotivated
BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS: The Aggressive Student · Attention Deficit Disorder
· Autism · The Disorganized Student · The Disruptive Student · Low Seld-Esteem · The
Perfectionist Student · The School Phobic Student · The Shy Student · Stuttering
PHYSICAL PROBLEMS: AIDS and HIV · Asthma · Cerebral Palsy · Cystic
Fibrosis · Diabetes · Epilepsy · Hearing Impairment · Spina Bifida · Tourette Syndrome
· Visual Impairment
our exclusive Feature Article:
Raising Special Needs Children: Siblings Have Special Needs Too
L. Devon 6/28/06
Parents who raise special needs children usually take the time to become well informed
on the requirements for their special needs child. If you are raising a special needs
child, then you know how time consuming this loving endeavor can be for your family.
Perhaps you attend seminars, have numerous doctor appointments, see a counselor or
family therapist, read books on the subject, attend support groups, and all sorts
of other things in order to be informed about your special needs child's issues and
treatments. While all of this is crucial to the success of rearing a special needs
child, a parent cannot forget that the special needs child's siblings have special
I am the parent of a special needs child. My son is a loving 12 year old young man
who was born with a breathing disorder, has a hearing impairment, and has also been
diagnosed with severe ADHD. My daughter, who is now 18 years old, did not have these
difficulties and struggles. However, I've come to learn that all children have their
own special needs, even if the child does not have an illness or disability. It is
easy to become consumed with all the necessities required for the special needs child
in the family and neglect the needs of the other child or children in the family who
function with less assistance. These children still need your love and attention,
but because they have a special needs sibling, these siblings also have certain special
needs that should be addressed.
It is very common for a sibling of a special needs child to feel as though the family
focuses their attention only on the special needs sibling, and they may feel neglected
or 'ordinary' because they do not require the same type of attention. Now that my
daughter is older, we have talked about how she felt when my son was born and needed
special care. She told me that the one thing she loved about me as her mom was how
I made sure to let her know that she too was a unique and special individual.
While many siblings may take a very active role in helping to care for the special
needs brother or sister and even assist parents with day-to-day tasks, it is not surprising
to find a sibling acting out in order to gain more of the parents' attention when
they feel neglected because their special needs brother or sister receives so much
of their parents' time.
When a sibling of a special needs child suddenly has a change in habits or behavior,
parents should pay special attention to what may be causing this change. Seeking attention
can often result in negative behavior that can easily be redirected by just spending
a little one-on-one time with the child. It is important for parents of special needs
children to schedule some private or alone time to spend with the other siblings in
the family, without the special needs child. Not only will this provide the parent
with a break from the responsibilities of daily chores, but it will also help to build
a bond with the children. This can be as simple as making the time for a routine of
a special bedtime story just for them or even scheduling a weekly outing they can
look forward to during the week, even for just an hour.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it is important for all family members to know
what is happening and how these special needs affect their lives. While younger children
may not be able to fully understand what is happening, it is still important to keep
them informed with age appropriate information. Information and knowledge is empowering,
and keeping the other siblings in the loop will help them feel more grown-up and let
them know you trust them. This way, the sibling will feel that they are an active
part of the family and are included in the decisions that are made because of their
special needs sibling that may affect them.
It is also very important that you schedule time to take care of yourself too. Utilize
respite care, babysitting services, or a family member to care for your special needs
child, or leave them alone for a short time if it is safe to do so. Take the time
to soak in a hot tub, read a book and relax, or take a long walk. If you can afford
to, schedule some time at the spa or a gym, enroll in a class or some special activity
that is just for you, to give yourself a break. You will find yourself more refreshed
and energized, and in general, you will be able to provide even better care for your
Raising a special needs child is never an easy chore, and it is even more difficult
when there are other children to raise too. But it can be a labor of love and very
rewarding, as long as you take the time to take care of your needs. When parents take
the time to ensure that each child knows that their needs will be met, then the family
can work together to support each other when a special needs child adds additional
responsibilities to the family unit. When parents make the effort to include all their
children in the decisions and tasks for the family, as well as making time to spend
with each child one- on-one, then all the children in the family will know that they,
in their own way, are also special.
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There is a new Young Adult book series that lovers of the Twilight Saga will probably
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