Special Needs Care Considerations

boy playing with blocks
Understanding how to care for children with special needs and get help for yourself too.
special needs child traveling
Traveling with a child with special needs often brings special challenges to caregivers and parents. But, a little extra preparation...
playing with autistic child
With so much in the news about autism, it can be confusing to know where to turn for help and how to find the support services you need to care for a child with autism...
boy holding his head looking up
When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, the second reaction of many parents is to ask "now what?"  (The first may range from, "No way, not my kid!" to "Gee, all this time I thought...
There are many special needs organizations in this country that are dedicated to serving those children who require assistance for medical, mental or psychological disabilities. Many of these groups work...
Technology has been - and continues to be -- a boon to people with disabilities, especially children. Mobile devices like the iPad, enable children with developmental delays and other special needs to...
As parents, you want to make the holidays as jolly as possible for your kids. Keeping children with special needs merry, though, can be challenging. The hubbub of family celebrations and parties can overwhelm...
Heading into a toy store to purchase a toy for any child can feel overwhelming. Where do you start? What loud noise-making, 500-piece, "some assembly required" play thing will delight kids without driving...
Find helpful strategies for caring for a child with special needs in our Caregiver Guide.
It can be an unsettling when you think your child is developing differently. You might be noticing differences when you are at a playgroup, or when you naturally compare your little one's abilities...
I'm on a train going home the other day and a guy sits down in the seat opposite me. We end up talking and it turns out we have a mutual friend.  He asks where the kids go to school, and I tell him....
Does your family have a safety plan? And how do you keep it up to date for your babysitter, nanny, or au pair? This re-useable, just-in-case checklist for special needs caregivers will help your family keep track of emergency contacts, procedures, and health concerns when your loved ones are under some else's watchful eye.
Traveling with a child with special needs often brings special challenges to caregivers and parents. But, a little extra preparation...
One of the earliest lessons you learn when you parent a child with special needs is that you will hear "no" more often than a toddler. But being the grown up and the advocate for your child...
A neurological traffic jam. That is how A. Jean Ayres, PhD, an occupational therapist (OT) and neuroscientist describes Sensory Processing Disorders.  A more medically appropriate explanation would be...
In 2003, Phillip Mayer, Angela Mayer's nine-month-old son and the youngest of her four children, abruptly lost his wobbly ability to stand. A Queens, New York resident, Angela watched with growing...
About Autism
Did you know that April is National Autism Awareness Month? It's a great time to learn more about this disability and the families it affects. Autism is a developmental disorder that affects roughly...
With so much in the news about autism, it can be confusing to know where to turn for help and how to find the support services you need to care for a child with autism...
For many people over age 35, our first understanding of autism came from Hollywood when Dustin Hoffman played the role of Raymond Babbitt, an autistic savant living in a mental institution.  Now, with...
Does your child scream if he can't wear his favorite shoes? Does he enjoy fondling material of certain textures without regard for where or on whom that fabric may be located? Does he fear the toilet,...
Every child on the autism spectrum is unique, with varying degrees of impairments and manifestations of the disorder.  Parenting these children, too, brings a wide array of challenges, and also, special...
"She's on the spectrum." You may have heard that phrase, but do you know what it means?  The spectrum refers to Autism Spectrum Disorders, which are typically considered to be autism,...
About ADHD
When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, the second reaction of many parents is to ask "now what?"  (The first may range from, "No way, not my kid!" to "Gee, all this time I thought...
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is defined as a neurological condition characterized by distractibility, impulsivity and restlessness or hyperactivity.  Symptoms are often present with...
When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, parents often have lots of questions. Dr. Edward Hallowell, one of the country's top experts on ADHD, is here to help. Care.com interviewed him to get his take...
What is it like to have ADHD? First of all I resent the term Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. As far as I'm concerned most people have Attention Surplus Disorder. I mean, life being what...
Parents with children who have ADD or ADHD often weigh the benefits of medication with the possible side effects of the stimulant drugs.  Even though research has shown that the best outcomes for children...
About Other Types of Special Needs
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is an incurable brain disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. CP is caused by damage or abnormal development to the area of a child's brain that controls motor skills,...
Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder that causes developmental delays ranging from moderate to severe. The disorder is rarely inherited, but instead caused by abnormal "cell division during the...
Parents struggle with the decision to turn over some of their caregiving duties to a caregiver from outside the family...
It is always difficult to find the right person to care for your child, especially when children are small," says Michelle, mother of a 12-year-old with Down syndrome...
Just because your child has epilepsy doesn't mean he or she shouldn't participate in social and athletic activities...
"Imagine driving a car that isn't working well. When you step on the gas the car lurches forward or doesn't respond. The horn sounds blaring. The brakes sometimes slow, but not always. The...
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