Special Needs

Find out how to identify early signs of special needs, get tips for navigating through the diagnosis process, and get the lowdown on early intervention options. And, discover the challenges and triumphs of bringing up a child with special needs.

How One Mom Started an Autism School--and How You Can, Too

Tricia Hasbrook founded Victory Academy to give her son AJ, who has autism, a better, more integrated learning experience. Here, she offers tips for others who want to start their own school for students on the spectrum.

'Sesame Street' Masterfully Tackles the Subject of Autism in First Episode With New Character Julia

Julia is different, and wonderful, and so much more in her first appearance on Sesame Street.

Why the Key to Treating ADHD Goes Beyond Medication

Most kids who've been diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder aren't getting the right mix of medication and behavioral management that can make all the difference.

Early Signs of Autism

This video from the Kennedy Krieger Institute, in Baltimore, features three children who show early signs of autism spectrum disorder playing with toys and interacting and communicating with others. It compares the footage on each of these children to that of typical children in the same situations. aIt helps parents to articulate to their pediatrician any behaviors that concern them,ay says Rebecca Landa, Ph.D., director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders.

Overcoming Clubfoot: One Mom's Story

Yael Eckstein details her family's experience with clubfoot, from an in-utero diagnosis to post-birth treatment, and how the journey has helped her to stop worrying about the 'what ifs' in life, embrace every moment as a blessing, and see every experience as an opportunity for growth.

We May Be Able to Diagnose Autism Before Age 1

Researchers say a new test may be able to predict an autism diagnosis before a child's first birthday.

How to Raise a Child With Down Syndrome: Advice and Resources

If your child is diagnosed with Down syndrome, what are your next steps? A mother of a child with Down syndrome shares her recommendations.

Mom's Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy May Affect Autism Risk

Taking vitamin D supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy may prevent autism traits in newborns, according to a new study conducted on mice.

The Best Toys for Kids With Down Syndrome

We've found some of the most engaging playthings for children with Down syndrome.

Special Dolls for Special Kids

Nearly 3 million school-age kids in the U.S. have a disability and might appreciate playing with a doll that has one too. These toys make that possible--some even at no cost to you.xcvbxcvbv

Children with Autism: The Parents Perspective

Parents talk about the struggles and triumphs of raising children with Autism. Families work every day to overcome challenges such as communication problems, sensory issues, temper tantrums, and societys pressure on Autism children. Video courtesy of interactingwithautism.com

This Mom Just Raised $36,000 to Buy an Accessible Van for Her 2 Kids with Special Needs

After raising money for just four months, Barbara Fischer has scored enough funds to purchase a new accessible van for her two adopted kids, both of whom have severe disabilities.

Want to Know What It's Like to Have Autism? Watch This Video

This powerful video shows what it's like for a child with autism to navigate a crowded mall.

Life With ALD: Parenting Two Boys Who Have a Life-Threatening Disease

Suzanne Flynn, a mother from New York, is raising two boys with Adrenoleukodystrophy. Here's her story about the discovery and management of a disease that--without early identification and vigilant monitoring--could be fatal.

Could You Have ADHD Too?

One in four parents of kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder also have ADHD.

Is ABA Therapy the Best Choice for Kids with Autism?

The mom of an autistic son wrestles with the debate about ABA therapy for kids on the spectrum, and asks an autistic adult for input.

No! Parents of Kids with Severe Disabilities Should Not Be Able to Stop Their Growth

The mom of a special needs child shares why she is vehemently against stunting the growth of children with disabilities to make them easier to care for.

U.S. Parents Rate Their Kids' Autism Symptoms More Severely Than Other Countries

Culture may play a role in the degree to which certain ASD behaviors are perceived as problematic, says a new study that includes multiple countries.

Sensory-Friendly Events for Autism Awareness Month

Many businesses have exciting sensory-friendly events planned for April, during Autism Acceptance/Awareness Month.

Tips for Teaching Kids with Autism to Swim and How to Find Lessons Near You

Autistic kids can benefit tremendously from swimming lessons. Here, some practical tips on how to teach them to swim.

What Is Autism?

One challenge in helping kids with the disorder is defining it, but there are three common symptoms. Watch this video from the Child Mind Institute.

15 Things Not to Say to the Parent of a Child with Special Needs

From the dreaded phrases to avoid to the right questions to ask, here's the best way to support a parent whose child has special needs.

The Faces of Special Needs

These eight children, photographed for Parents magazine's April 2014 issue, represent just some of the conditions that so many families live with.

A 2-Minute TSA Pat-Down of a Child with Special Needs Should Not Happen

Outraged by a lengthy, unnecssary TSA patdown of a child with special needs, one mom investigates ways she can make travel easier with her own disabled child.

Chuck E. Cheese Offers Sensory Sensitive Sundays for Kids with Autism and Other Special Needs

Chuck E. Cheese is now offering a sensory-friendly play experience one Sunday a month in select locations.