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Special Needs Children

WATCH: The Adventures of Sullivan the Therapy Dog

HooplaHa | Posted 11.25.2015 | Good News

Do you ever wonder what it is like in the day of a therapy dog? They help so many different people in so many ways. In a new short series from HooplaHa and Inclusion Films, Sullivan's Travels, we get a pawsitively adorable look.

Special Thanks From a Special Needs Mom

Bonnie Zampino | Posted 11.24.2015 | Parents
Bonnie Zampino

As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, I've been reading my friends' Facebook entries of all the things they are thankful for. And I've been reflec...

Teachers, Don't Make Me Be *That* Parent

Laurie Levy | Posted 11.24.2015 | Education
Laurie Levy

Most parents want to be understanding, supportive, and liked by their children's teachers. They don't want to be branded as complainers, pushy, or demanding. In short, they want to be nice. Unfortunately, being nice can end up hurting the person who matters most, their child.

12 Tips for Hosts Entertaining Holiday Guests with Sensory Processing Challenges

Jessica Miller-Merrell | Posted 11.24.2015 | Healthy Living
Jessica Miller-Merrell

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a condition where sensory signals don't get organized into appropriate responses. SPD affects the way a child processes messages sent to his or her brain from any of the five main senses -- sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.

I Am A Killer of Scorpions

Rebecca Smith Masterson | Posted 11.20.2015 | Divorce
Rebecca Smith Masterson

I've been unmarried for several months now, and this scorpion was the most legitimate post-divorce test I'd been faced with to date. This scorpion in my house was my post-divorce final exam.

When Elementary School Crushes A Child

Amy Aves Challenger | Posted 11.10.2015 | Education
Amy Aves Challenger

Elementary school has fallen and shattered over our ten-year-old's mind. It has suffocated his love for learning, piled over his kindness and trust, and eroded his childhood. Today, five years after he started kindergarten, my son, my husband and I crawl about, attempting to gather and paste the pieces of school together.

Becoming a 'Special Needs Mom'

Suzie Skougard | Posted 11.06.2015 | Parents
Suzie Skougard

When we got our prenatal diagnosis that our daughter, Carly, would be born with Down syndrome I was worried that I'd lose myself. I was worried I wouldn't be able to be around as much for my other kids. Now, I wish I could go back in time and tell myself not to fret.

Every Child Is Like a Flower

Sue Shanahan | Posted 11.04.2015 | Women
Sue Shanahan

Once when I was feeling less than pretty, it occurred to me, "Who told you that you aren't beautiful?" I began to wonder, what if our differences act...

Finding Peace, After Autism

Nicole Jankowski | Posted 11.04.2015 | Parents
Nicole Jankowski

We've come a long way together, my boy and I. I help him and try to make things better. But I also celebrate the little wins now, the tangible victories that come when you decide to love your child exactly as they are, without condition.

Lessons Learned as a Special Needs Mom

Kathy Radigan | Posted 10.27.2015 | Parents
Kathy Radigan

I would be lying if I said it has been easy. It hasn't been. But through it all there is Lizzy. Her spirit and smile can light up a room. She adores her family, fashion, music, jewelry, and animals. It is her drive and spirit that spur me on when I literally have nothing left in my "mom tank."

It's Not Just The Guns Killing Our Kids, It's The Loneliness

Amy Aves Challenger | Posted 10.26.2015 | Parents
Amy Aves Challenger

Let's notice the lonely children, parents, and young adults. Advocate for them. Prevent bullying. Let's surround kids with invitations to engage; education and mental health services to support; and integrated plans for serving their needs. Let's make it difficult to want the gun, let alone get the gun.

Target's New Halloween Ad Features A Child With Disabilities

The Huffington Post | Nadya Agrawal | Posted 10.23.2015 | Good News

Target mailed a new product catalog to customers this month, and some recipients were pleasantly surprised to find a girl with disabilities prominent...

What No One Told Me About Being a Stay-at-Home Mom

Shawna Wingert | Posted 10.22.2015 | Parents
Shawna Wingert

I am beginning to learn that being home with these children means embracing the chaos and the crazy. It means planning for the plan to always flex and change.

Disability Housing: A Diverse Population Needing Diverse Options

Micaela Connery | Posted 10.08.2015 | Impact
Micaela Connery

Looking Upwards is one of the largest disability service providers in the state of Rhode Island. They provide services and supports to over seven hundred individuals with disabilities with a variety of abilities, diagnoses, and needs.

How My Son With Autism Forced Me out of My Comfort Zone in a Good Way

Jennifer Lovy | Posted 10.04.2015 | Parents
Jennifer Lovy

I'm a relatively quiet person, but after my son Evan was diagnosed with autism I became an advocate in ways I could never have imagined.

A Lesson for All

Leonard Slatkin | Posted 10.02.2015 | Arts
Leonard Slatkin

Usually, the first rehearsal for a new season is a straightforward affair. We make announcements, introduce new musicians and staff and get our collective chops together. Such was not the case in Detroit on a sunny Thursday morning.

10 Years Strong

Areva Martin | Posted 09.30.2015 | Impact
Areva Martin

As Special Needs Network celebrates our 10-year anniversary and the decade that we have spent serving South LA's special needs families, I'm reminded of the power of patience.

7 Things You Should Never Tell the Parent of a Child With Autism

Alicia Gonzalez | Posted 09.30.2015 | Parents
Alicia Gonzalez

When someone becomes ill, loses a loved one or a child, is suffering personal crisis, or has a child with a condition that is assumed to lower a child's "quality of life," many of us tend to say the wrong thing. I've done it. We all do. So, here are seven things you should never tell the parent of a child with Autism. Let's talk about it!

Why I Call Myself An 'Autism Mom'

Shawna Wingert | Posted 09.30.2015 | Parents
Shawna Wingert

Being a momma of a child with autism has its own challenges, its own rewards, its own misunderstandings, its own joy, and its own grief. And talking about it, writing about it, being honest about it, and owning it -- that matters.

I Feel Guilty

Shanell Mouland | Posted 09.28.2015 | Parents
Shanell Mouland

Sure, with autism, our daughter could ultimately run a fortune 500 company, or invent space shoes, or be the first female MLB closer but we have to prepare for a future where her awesome little self lives with us because we can offer her what she needs.

My Son Has the Kind of Autism No One Talks About

Bonnie Zampino | Posted 09.28.2015 | Parents
Bonnie Zampino

Autism isn't all about the six-year-old who can play Piano Man better than Billy Joel. Autism can be hard. Autism can be sad. Autism can be messy. Autism can be violent. Autism can be isolating.

What Being a 'Special Needs' Mom Has Taught Me About Just Plain Being a Mom

Shawna Wingert | Posted 09.22.2015 | Parents
Shawna Wingert

When your child wants to snuggle just a little longer, snuggle. When you worry about spoiling your child because you snuggle them so much, please know there will come a time when snuggling with you is the last thing they will ever want to do. Snuggle now. Snuggle long. You will miss it.

The Smith School: Making a Difference

Joe Peyronnin | Posted 09.17.2015 | New York
Joe Peyronnin

The Smith School describes itself as a "Small School with a Big Heart." This month it is celebrating its 25th year of making a difference for special students in New York City.

Horses, Autism, and Healing

Tim Hayes | Posted 09.16.2015 | Books
Tim Hayes

Horses don't see a child with autism. They see a child. Autistic children know this, and it feels good to them. In order for anyone, autistic or otherwise, to grow, heal, and have positive relationships with others, they must first have a positive relationship with themselves.

How I've Learned To Love The Distance Between Me And My Son

Quiet Revolution | Priscilla Gilman | Posted 09.29.2015 | Healthy Living

Priscilla Gilman, a teacher of romantic poetry who embraced Wordsworth’s vision of childhood’s spontaneous wonder, eagerly anticipated the birth o...