Parenting Special Needs Children

Parenting special needs children can be quite the challenge, but children will more easily reach their full potential if the adults around them are working as a team. Collaboration with Professionals A child’s neurodevelopmental disorder or disability brings parents into contact – and sometimes into conflict – with doctors, teachers, and therapists. Here are suggestions for developing partnerships with professionals for parenting special needs children. Develop Positive Communication Skills It’s easy for the relationship to become adversarial, but that’s counter-productive. You make it easier for professionals to give you what you need if you communicate with them positively. Be Assertive But Not Aggressive Say what you believe firmly, but not with anger or implied threats. Your goal is to get them to listen – not to make them defensive. Listen It’s easy to spout a list of grievances, but if you don’t listen to the professionals, you can’t expect them to listen to you. Your goal is open communication. Act…

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…