Special Needs Parents

By Donna Wendelburg & Kathy Nurek.  Collaboration With Special Needs Parents Children will more easily reach their full potential if the adults around them are working as a team. Use the following suggestions to increase your team’s effectiveness and build good relations with special needs parents. Tell Parents What They Do Well. “I like the way you smile at your child” may be the only compliment you can think of, but it will go a long way to building an effective team of professionals and parents.  Parents need to know what they’re doing right; they often need reassurance and emotional support.  Having a child with a disability makes parenting a daunting task. Learn to Understand Normal Child Development, including Vision and Auditory Development.  Professionals need to understand normal child development or they can’t look for the causes that allow a child to fail. Emphasize a developmental approach rather than a remedial (repetition) approach.  For example, phonics will work – if…

Special Needs Therapy: Collaboration is the Key

by Patricia S. Lemer, M.Ed., NCC, Chairman of the Board, Epidemic Answers Many parents are willing to try innovative special needs therapy, and they also believe they are entitled to whatever therapy is necessary to make their child well.  They feel their children simply cannot wait a generation for the results of clinical trials and research to prove a new therapy’s efficacy. Several burning questions consume my thoughts: “How can we make innovative therapies more accepted and available?” “What can we do for kids who languish while awaiting all types of therapies and services?” “What about children whose families can’t afford private therapies?” “What are some reasonable solutions? Answers came from Dr. Edward Feinberg, a veteran administrator of Anne Arundel County, Maryland Public Schools.  Last month he spoke passionately about his system’s financial dilemma of delivering “promising therapies” to ” those who want them. Who Pays for Special Needs Therapy? Unfortunately, it is often finances, not children’s needs, that determine…