Special Needs

Find support for parents of children with special needs. Learn how to advocate for your child, raise funds for needed equipment and find helpful organizations.

Filter by: Advocacy, Assistive Technology, Autism, Schools for the Blind, Support, Visual Impairment

boy kissing his hand

Communication, Visual Impairment

Teaching Your Visually Impaired Child Sign Language

Jennie writes about how she taught her son, Max, to sign. Max is totally blind and does have a few verbal words, but using signs to augment his early communication...

stacking blocks

Education, Special Needs, Visual Impairment

Thoughts from a Preschool Teacher About Teaching a Blind Student

Heidi interviews her son's mainstream preschool teacher and asks her how she prepared to introduce a blind student to her classroom.

blind child listening

Communication, Visual Impairment

Helping your blind child develop effective listening skills

Learning to listen carefully and distinguish between different sounds is an important skill for any child, but espeically for children with visual impairments. Lesley Potgieter explains how to assess your...

woman on her smart phone

Support

To my best friends and support network that I have never met

As the mother of a special needs child I need friends and support. Where is the best place for me to find a support network? Surprise! That's what social media...

Ivan playing on his iPad

iPad Apps and Accessibility, Special Needs

5 Ways to Get a Free iPad for Your Special Needs Child!

Just because iPads are cheaper than other pieces of assistive equipment doesn't necessarily make them affordable! Here are five tips on how to get grants and funding for a free...

How to Host a Sensory Play Party for Visually Impaired Kids

Sensory Activities, Visual Impairment

How to Host a Sensory Play Party for Visually Impaired Kids

If your child has a sensory impairment like blindness should you still search out sensory play activities? Absolutely! Learn how to make sensory play accessible and host a sensory play...

Ivan and his switch

Assistive Technology, Communication

Switch Play: Using a switch for communication and play!

For children who are non-verbal or have low motor coordination, switches can be a great way to augment their play. If you're just getting started with a switch you may...

Transitioning your blind child to preschool

Education, Visual Impairment

Transitioning Your Blind Child to Preschool

Megan writes about her daughter, Ava, transitioning from Early Intervention to preschool. Ava attended the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children and has isolated bilateral anophthalmia.

girl rubbing her eyes

Eye Conditions and Syndromes, Visual Impairment

My child has LCA and presses her eyes. Is this normal? What can we do about it?

If your blind child is pressing or poking their eyes you may be looking for information on why they are doing this and what you can do to help them...

Ivan smiling as a baby

Special Needs, Support

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me When My Child was First Diagnosed with a Disability

If you could go back in time to when your child was first diagnosed with a disability, what would you tell yourself? What advice would you give?

Ivan crying

Autism, Behavior

6 Strategies for Addressing Self-Injurious Behaviors

Self injurious behaviors are, unfortunately, not unusual for kids with special needs. These behaviors could be anything from biting, hitting or even banging their head on the walls or furniture....

three women in a meeting

Advocacy

5 Tips to Becoming a Legislative Advocate for Your Special Needs Child

Penny discusses how to become more active in advocating for your child through the legislative system. When you have a child with a disability you need to be heard -...

Lucas being independent

Advocacy, Visual Impairment

This Blind Boy Can! How to Teach Your Child Independence and Start a Movement

Sarah writes about the journey her family has traveled as they've taught their blind son Lucas to be as independent as possible. And now she wants to start a movement!...

bake sale

Special Needs

Beyond Bake Sales: How to Raise Money So You Can Attend a Family Conference

Conferences for families of children with disabilities are the perfect places to meet people and learn about your child's condition, but they can be so expensive! Here are ideas that...

talking easter eggs

Holiday Crafts and Ideas, Visual Impairment

Talking Easter Eggs: Making Easter Accessible for Kids who are Blind

Talking or beeping easter eggs make Easter much more fun and inclusive for children who are blind or visually impaired. We'll show you a couple of places where you can...

Aly with Lightaide

Assistive Technology, Eye Conditions and Syndromes, iPad Apps and Accessibility

The “Big 3 Tool Kit” for Children with CVI: PLUS the 20 Best CVI-Friendly iPad Apps!

Children with CVI often prefer clear, crisp images with little background clutter. They respond well to high contrast, bright colors (especially yellow or red), movement and LIGHTS!

cookies

Feeding and Eating, Visual Impairment

What can your blind child learn while baking in the kitchen?

The kitchen is the perfect place to teach your visually impaired child important life lessons. Think about all the things you learn just while making cookies!

A little girl wearing glasses.

Autism, Behavior, Visual Impairment

Is My Blind Child Autistic? One Parent’s Experience

Mary discusses trying to determine if her daughter's behaviors were related to her visual impairment or a symptom of autism.

kids playing

Behavior, Visual Impairment

Plays Well with Others: Helping Your Blind Child Develop Social Skills

Sometimes children with vision impairments can find it difficult to be around other children. If your child has this problem, then you know how hard it can be when your...

Ivan talking

Communication, Visual Impairment

You Can Say That Again! Echolalia in Visually Impaired Children

Learn why children who are visually impaired repeat back what they hear, and how parents can help minimize repetition in a constructive way.

protestors walking down a street

Advocacy

An open letter to protestors from a special needs mom

I support your right to have your voice heard, but I have one request: Please keep your protest on the sidewalk.

multi-colored neon glow sticks

Light Play, Toys, Visual Impairment

Top 10 Light Toys for Kids Who Are Visually Impaired

It may seem like $10 won't get you much these days, but here you'll find the best inexpensive light toys for kids who are visually impaired!

baby's hand

Parenting, Visual Impairment

My baby is blind… What do I do?

When your baby is diagnosed with a visual impairment you may at first feel lost. What do you do? Where do you begin?

girl with low vision writing with a crayon

Education, Visual Impairment

Diagnostic Evaluations help guide educational plans for blind students

Perkins School offers diagnostic evaluations for blind and visually impaired children ages 3-22.