Help Your Child to Cope with Sibling’s Special Needs

It is typical for a family that includes more than one child to see some sibling rivalry from time to time. What isn’t so typical is the amount of responsibility that kids who have a sibling that has special needs often feel is placed upon them. Here are a few tips to help your child cope with the special needs of his or her sibling. As the oldest kid, I spent time helping my younger siblings with homework, with tying their shoes, and with other day to day activities. This isn’t unheard of or unusual. The difference was that my … Continue reading

Toys Designed for Kids Who Have Special Needs

It can sometimes be difficult to find an appropriate gift for a child who has special needs. The recommended age that is listed on the box the toy comes in may, or may not, be useful information. Parents can consult toy companies that are special needs friendly, or catalogs of toys for the “differently abled.” Most parents have a pretty good idea of what kinds of toys their child would like to receive as a gift this year. Often, it is the other members of a child’s extended family that are unsure about what types of toys would be a … Continue reading

Starting School

I just found out that all my research to help my son’s with their epilepsy actually helped me too! Now I think I have mentioned previously how when my oldest son was diagnosed with epilepsy I started doing research on epilepsy, causes, how to help with schools etc. I have used this information many times over the last 8 years but it has usually been explaining to teachers the facts of epilepsy and why my kids do the quirky little thinks that they do until now. I have enrolled in college again full time seeing as I do not have … Continue reading

Divorce Rate Higher Among Couples With Special Needs Children

Marriage is hard. Even in the best of circumstances, with a couple who is head over heels in love with each other, there will be difficult times. I think we have all heard the much touted statistic that states that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. This percentage jumps to between 80% and 90% for couples who have a child with special needs. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in ten children who are between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. This is something that has been increasing … Continue reading

Special Needs Children and Your Marriage

The divorce rate is high in this country – over 50%. That’s huge. That’s more than half of the weddings you have been to and half of the happy couples you have celebrated with. Although statistics differ, the divorce rate is even higher for couples who have children with special needs. And I completely understand why. We head into marriage with big dreams, goals and ideas of how it will be. We picture this perfect life with these perfect kids. We may expect some bumps along the way, but when your child is sick, disabled, or challenged in anyway, it … Continue reading

After Diagnosis: Get Cooperation with Your New House Rules

The game changes big time when your child is dealt an official diagnosis. New rules are established for your home, for those who care for your child, and for your family and friends as a group and as individuals. No matter what these new guidelines are, there are bound to be family members or friends who fight them. Whether it’s due to denial that your child has a condition or just a flat out refusal to change, the situation can become more delicate than you had imagined and relationships can be put to the test. Hurt feelings and miscommunications abound. … Continue reading

Baby #2

Before Lily was born, my wife and I agreed that we both wanted two children. Many parents with this same progeny plan carefully time their second pregnancy around their desire to either have their children grow up together (i.e. get the child rearing over with and out of the way), or have their children grow up separately (i.e. parents can’t bear to think of chasing two toddlers around the house). For us, that particular decision was directly correlated to another, even bigger decision… whether or not to adopt. As you know, even the speediest adoption procedure can take years. On … Continue reading

Saying Goodbye to Your Doctor

Last week, my wife and I received a letter in the mail informing us that our daughter’s GI doctor was leaving the Children’s Hospital in our city and would be joining a new practice in the state of Ohio. We had been to see this doctor only a month prior, and he had given us no indication that such a move was imminent; so I am sure you can appreciate how taken aback we were when we received the news. Let me be clear, by no means do my wife and I begrudge this man’s decision in any way. We … Continue reading

Obtaining Guardianship for My Autistic Son

Now that my son Kyle is sixteen, his IEP meetings are rather routine. While I talk with his teacher and therapists, Kyle roves about the room, smiling, and making occasional comments. At his most recent meeting we discussed his progress—how he’s been improving his eye contact and social behaviors, how he loves to cook, and how he can balance a simple checkbook. We excitedly congratulated him on his first public speech—which he gave in his communications class in front of typical students. Before his speech day, we had written the text of the speech together, and he was able to … Continue reading

The Magic of Storytelling

Once upon a time, before Mario Party, Zelda, and World of Warcraft, before Nintendo DS Lights, Wii, Sony Playstations, and video I-pods, and even before television and radio, there lived storytellers. Now, storytellers were an interesting breed of human beings, who looked pretty much like everybody else, except for a certain mysterious sparkle in their eyes. People, especially children, would eagerly gather around to hear their tales of enchantment, misfortune, romance, adventure, and luck. The storyteller was animated. The storyteller was passionate. She made her voice dance with magic and her face glow with expression. She took every listener along … Continue reading