child with special needs

Bridging the Healthcare Gap

As a parent and a doctor, I have plenty of experience with our fragmented and confusing healthcare system. I have seen firsthand the challenges faced by patients who navigate it. From the first sign of illness to the last medical bill, our healthcare system throws far too many obstacles at patients and the families who care for them--and no one faces greater obstacles than families with special needs. 

The IEP Process Explained by an Attorney

Christopher Knauf is the founder of Knauf Associates in Santa Monica, CA. His law firm specializes in disability rights and education-related legal disputes. He has also served as an independent hearing officer for Section 504 special education disputes. Mr. Knauf was kind enough to speak with and answer some questions about the overall IEP process.

Holiday Relationship Repair for Families

When holiday season rolls around, we all want to be able to sit around the dinner table and experience something reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting. Unfortunately, the holidays tend to bring out the worst in some families. Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-author of the bestselling Emotional Intelligence 2.0, shares some insight on how to repair relationships between family members by focusing on the manner in which conflict is handled.

Cerebral Palsy -- An Adoption Story

“I hope to adopt someday."

The sentiment was real, yet my idea of adoption was romanticized and I lacked a real understanding of adoption.  I pictured bringing a shy, malnourished, lonely child to my home who would transform into a healthy and happy little person because of the love of our family.

The Journey of the Parent with a Special Needs Child

I think it’s time we acknowledge the internal emotional experience of a parent of a child with special needs.  This is a journey, and there are times when you will feel traumatized or in disbelief with your experience, and times when you wish it would ‘all go away.’  As professionals, we spend a great deal of time providing information about ‘how to’ or ‘how to not’ and instead, I’d like to focus on validating your feelings and thoughts.

Flying with Special Needs Children

There is no reason to avoid airports and traveling because you have a child with special needs.  Yes, special measures and extra planning need to be done, but with the right organization and a good attitude, flying with your special needs child can be manageable.

Let Them Know -- Informing Security Guards and Flight Attendants

Activities that Help with Development

Activities that Help with Therapy and Development

Firing the Butler and the Maid . . .

. . . A strategy for helping your child with special needs learn to problem solve.

Moms and Dads of children with special needs tend to take on the role of butler and maid far too long for the well-being of their son or daughter. As a consultant I have seen how the pain and guilt of having a child with developmental challenges affects the expectations parents have for their son or daughter with Autism, Asperger, Pervasive Developmental Disability or Attention Deficit Disorder. 

Protecting Assets for Child with a Disability

Estate planning and lifetime planning for parents with a child with a disability present special challenges. The goals of the parents are to utilize their assets in such away to enrich their child’s life while, at the same time, preserving the child's public benefits.

Estate Planning Options

Parents of a child with a disability have four options with respect to estate planning:

Dealing with Staring and Special Needs

No doubt about it, when people stare at our children (or us), they make us squirm. Let's face it, people rarely stare at us because they're mesmerized by our great beauty. More likely, they are sizing up our glaring imperfections. For kids with special needs, those imperfections may be hard to hide.

During an especially intense episode of staring, most of us (if we are really honest) have found ourselves thinking, "If only our looks back could kill ...!"