Tag Archives: special needs children


Not the whole weekend, but some of it. If you are not a parent of special needs child, read and be grateful, then share and care.


Go to Love that Max to join or read what others share.


As always, remember what matters,  and that is sharing and caring. The more we understand another person’s struggles, the more easily we know how to help and how to stay on the path that leads to world peace.

Enjoy your free time. Find me-time, friend and family time, quiet time. Indulge in some healthy pleasures, appreciate beauty and as always practice kindness by sharing and caring.



The first:  Although built upon evidenced based practices, there is no guarantee my advice is the right advice for you and your family. Experiment, try my tips; if they are not useful to you try another parent adviser. You are the expert on you and your child; the rest of us experts on many different things.

The second: I have dysgraphia, a learning disability that peppers my writing with mis-spelling and punctuation errors. All my books are professionally edited. Not so my blog posts. Although I use all the grammar and spelling checks, mistakes slip by. If they bother you, seek another source of support for life’s less savory moments.   Life is too short to let problems you can avoid annoy or stress you.


“Laugh and Play” is an emotional fitness exercise. Laughing and playing with another  builds yours and theirs emotional health.

Play with your children, your grandchildren, and your inner child.

Play with your children, your grandchildren, and your inner child. Thanks to Pinterest and Facebook  Friend Katherine Joanna Lockett.

parent thoughts about play

A quick quote: Bob hope said this about play: “If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s golf.”

Here is a video posted by  Ellen Seidman who writes the  Love That Max blog of a ritual play date with Max and his sister.   

Max has cerebral palsy and Ellen  blogs about the ups and downs of dealing with a special need child.  Reading her blog has helped me  love Max and to be more sensitive to the families struggling with problems others know little about. Shaing personal stories fights  stigma. Thank you Ellen.


Tip one:  Have play date rituals.  The video shows one. We had a joke night when we were foster parents, You could not be excused from the table until you told a joke.

Tip two: Play spontaneously.  Impromptu dancing is a good way to do so. So is suddenly skipping when out walking or playing quick games of “Catch Me if You Can” or “Hide and Seek.”

Tip three: Play whether your children are around or not.  Punky our dog substitutes for a playmate when the grands are not here.

Don’t have a dog. Dance through the house singing a favorite song.  Mine is Neil Diamond’s Song Sung Blue.  Bounce a ball. Play solitaire.  That was my mother’s favorite.  I do word puzzles and I cheat by looking at the answers when stuck.  Otherwise, it would be work, not play.


Life is a struggle and playing, particularly if accompanied by laughter and giggling is essential to building emotional endurance.

My book Twelve Easy Exercises To Tame Mad, Bad, and Sad Feelings  discusses healthy play and laughter in greater detail.   Added value:  The book costs less than a Starbucks’ fancy latte, adds no calories and can be sipped over and over again. 

As noted earlier the Parents Are People Newsletter will soon be published.   A quick read, the newsletter will add a new post,  contain some news, a poster coach, a  joke, or  a quote for thinking about what matters. Sign up on the sidebar. 

As usual for all you do to support me, thank you.



The first: My advice is just that. Although based on what are called evidenced based practices, the is no guarantee it is the right advice for you and your family. Experiment, try my exercises, if they are not useful to you try another parent adviser.

The second: I have dysgraphia, a learning disability that peppers my writing with mis-spelling and punctuation errors. All my books are professionally edited. Not so my blog post. Although I use all the grammar and spelling checks, mistakes slip by. If they bother you, seek another source of support for life’s less savory moments.   Life is too short to let problems you can avoid annoy or stress you.


Both parents and teachers need to work together to provide each child with the best education possible.

Made me laugh and weep. Much more is needed.
IMAGE BY Emergepeoria blogspot

A Resource for NY parents and teachers

I know and have worked personally with Gary Shulman and can endorse his abilities whole heartedly. He is offering two sets of workshops through  schools in NYCity

For Parents: Needs, Wants, Wishes and Dreams: Programs and Services that Bring Relief to Parents of Children with Special Needs and DisabilitiesLife can be stressful when your child is “labeled” as having a special need or disability. This interactive workshop will look at all the various support services out there to bring you some needed relief. There are many programs, services, systems and strategies that will help you maximize the strengths, skills and talents of your child while helping with the special needs. Intervention programs, social skills groups, parents support groups, benefits and entitlements, laws that protect your rights, respite services, special developmental clinics, sources of sensory stimulation and much more will be explored. The goal of this workshop is to provide you with: information, motivation and inspiration. You are not alone! Let’s share our needs, wants wishes and dreams together. “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” There are strong umbrellas out there to protect you from the storms and help you dance!For Staff: Needs, Wants Wishes and Dreams: Programs and Services that Support Parents of Children with Disabilities in Your Program

Parents of children with disabilities and special needs are often devastated by the “labeling” of their child. They turn to professionals for support, information and counseling. This workshop looks at a family in an holistic way. If there are stressors at home, it is difficult for a child to function appropriately at school. This interactive workshop will give you an overview of the programs, services and systems that can empower parents of children with special needs and disabilities. We will share our already existing knowledge base and expand from there to learn about the many “treasures” of NYC that help to maximize a child’s abilities and strengths while providing the necessary therapeutic intervention to deal with the diagnosed special need. Put yourself in the shoes of a parent whose child has been diagnosed as having a disability and with that mind-set let’s brainstorm together ways that we can provide them with support, hope and encouragement. This workshop will give you the tools to do that, and much more. You will be given information, motivation and inspiration to be the best possible support for your parents and their children.

For more information about how to arrange a workshop through  your school contact :Gary Shulman, MS. Ed. gary.shulman@hotmail.com,  646-596-5642


Working together with professionals is at often wearisome and at times only adds hurt to the pain of loving and caring for challenged child.  The more professionals and parents can partner constructively, the more help the child will receive.

Here is my thank you or welcome to the my blog gift – a quick introduction to The Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises. Learning them will help you stay calmer so your can keep up a caring attitude.

For more details about staying strong as a parent buy one of my E-books.

If you buy any of my books, please review it either where you bought it or on this through the comments on this blog.

DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA. If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are. Thanks for your understanding and reading my work.

As always thank you for following me. If you know someone else who will benefit from my thoughts, forward this to them. Liking, commenting, and sharing are other ways you can help me stay strong and spread some ideas others might find helpful.

As I tell myself a thousand times a day, stay strong, give lots of love, be grateful, live now, have lots of luck.



The mother of Max, a boy with cerebral palsy, asked in her blog, ‘LOVE THAT MAX: A blog about kids with special needs who kick butt’, “What should replace the term mental retardation?”.

Her questions started me thinking about all the names I have heard attached to those whose gray matter doesn’t meet most people’s standards of normal.  Feeble-minded, moron, idiot, imbecile, mentally retarded, and most recently, developmentally delayed.  I objected when the term developmentally delayed started to be used, as it seemed to offer  an unrealistic hope that given time enough, the child would reach a normal level.  Some did, but many didn’t.

Each of these labels has eventually garnered negativity.  My solution has been to settle on a generic word “challenged.”  I just started a Challenged Children and Adults Board on my Pinterest site.  Go there and you will see  pins  from Max’s blog, one of a legless boy Cody, one of a Down’s Syndrome boy who was voted prom king, and a blog about fat kids.  You can also go to the How We Grow and Change board to read some blogs posted by adults challenged with various illesses.

The picture and story about Cody was published about five years ago.  I went looking for an update on his web page, but it is no longer active.  I hope he is alive and thriving.  Maybe when he entered his teen years, he didn’t want to be a poster boy.  The teen years can be particularly difficult for a challenged child.  It may also be that his parents had to focus on other things.  I was impressed that they were upbeat with his childhood and inspired many.

I also worry about such stories.  Partly because the hope is false for many challenged children.  I worry also because as children grow and do not outgrow their challenges,  life gets harder and  the stigma more painful.  I think the stories written by the kids challenged with obesity make that very clear.  I urge you to read some of them.


If you have a challenged child, do everything you can to let your child live as normal a life as possible.  Max’s mom is doing that, Cody’s parents did.

Expect life to get harder when the changing thoughts of adolescence cut through some of the denial that is childhood.  Children tend to think what is is normal.  Most adolescents realize that is not true and obsess about being normal or not normal and all that means.  For adolescents who don’t meet their society’s norm, realizing how different they are can be a traumatic shock.

Prepare a challenged child by teaching self soothing skills, positive self talk that is grounded in reality.  “I do the best I can,” is better than “I’m doing great.”

Connect challenged children with others similarly challenged and particularly with adults who have lived well despite their challenges. The web has become a great place for doing so.

It would help if all of us realize and accept these facts:

  1. No one is normal all the time.
  2. No one is normal in all ways.
  3. Normal varies from place to place and across the ages.
  4. The more one does not meet their culture’s ideas about normal, the more they will suffer personally and as a group.
  5. Stigma can be as much a problem as not being normal in one way or another.

If your child is not challenged be very grateful.  You have been lucky or blessed and so has your child.  Be grateful. Model kindness to those not so lucky or blessed.  Make it clear that challenged children have enough burden without being made fun of or otherwise stigmatized.

Finally, challenge others who stigmatize difference and the challenges some face.

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