This toolkit offers information to parents with disabilities around various aspects of parenting including tips for navigating the child welfare system, adoption and foster care, and child custody.
Preparation is essential for disclosing your disability. Effective disclosure requires that you discuss your needs and that you provide practical suggestions for reasonable job accommodations if they are needed. One way to become comfortable with discussing your disability is to find someone you trust and practice the disclosure discussion with that person. The two of you can put together a disclosure script. It should contain relevant disability information and weave in your strengths. Always keep it positive! Continue reading for additional tips about disclosing your disability status at…
Transitions are tough. As many schools make plans to shift from distance learning to in-person instruction, families, students, and educators face an adjustment period. That’s especially true for students with autism spectrum disorder because transitions can be particularly stressful and challenging for them. This article contains tips and resources to help children with autism return to the classroom.
This guide is intended to help both family members and healthcare professionals who are working together to improve care for children with special healthcare needs. Joining together in multi-disciplinary teams, family members and providers are increasingly working as equal partners to improve care. Collaborating as equals may be new for family members and providers. This guide includes information and guidance on how to get the most out of this potentially powerful partnership. (Author abstract)
While in middle school, your student with a disability has been working on many of the skills he or she will need to function in high school. Your student has met new people, changed classes every period, navigated the hallways, worked with multiple teachers, and used a locker. In high school, your child may encounter additional new situations, such as: choosing elective classes, meeting graduation requirements, developing self-advocacy skills, dating, becoming a legal adult, and planning for employment or continued education after graduation. Some families may be concerned about their child’…
Every parent has hopes and dreams for their child, even if those dreams aren’t always openly expressed. When parents have a child with a disability, goals might need to be modified. This doesn’t mean expecting less of your child, but it may mean expecting something different than what you had envisioned. It’s important to understand the critical influence of having “high expectations” for your child. You need to instill those expectations in your youth and advocate for those expectations throughout the public school elementary and secondary transition process. (Author Abstract)
Many youth with disabilities have difficulty understanding social situations or navigating interpersonal events such as speaking in front of a class or doing job interviews. They may benefit from building and practicing social skills. These skills allow a person to interact appropriately with other people and handle difficult situations. It is important that youth have the opportunity to identify and practice these skills because they can significantly impact employment, relationships, and how well they are connected in the community as adults. Families, educators, and youth themselves can…
It is important to identify, discuss, and include accommodations and modifications necessary to meet the specific needs of a student in an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Students who receive services under a 504 Plan also need the same kind of individual attention to their plans for accommodations and modifications. The following checklist might be a good starting point for you and your child to think about his or her individual needs to include in the IEP or 504 Plan. Check the ones you believe would be most helpful. (Author abstract)
When the world talks about rearing children, the tone is decidedly feminine. Despite the growing number of fathers in traditional or single parent families who participate in child-care, resources specifically focusing on fathers are often missing. It is especially true for fathers of children with disabilities. Three Twin Cities men recently acknowledged the lack of materials targeted toward fathers. They offered suggestions, based on their experiences, about how fathers can become more involved in the lives of their children with disabilities. (Author abstract)
Families with a child who has a disability have special concerns and often need a great deal of information: information about the disability of their child, about early intervention (for babies and toddlers), school services (for school-aged children), therapy, local policies, transportation, and much more. Fortunately, there’s help available, because every State has at least one Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) to offer families just this kind of information. Many States also have a Community Parent Resource Center (CPRC), which offers the same type of support and training to…