This topical guide on parenting a child with special needs will introduce you to important books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse.

Books

Contact us via online form or by phone (1-877-275-3227) to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian).


A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Special Needs: Stories That Celebrate the Differences in Our Extraordinary Kids
Colleen Sell (Ed.)
Adams Media, 2009
This touching and heartfelt book is a collection of 50 stories of parents who have gone from struggling with their child’s diagnosis to embracing their child’s differences and small achievements.
WS 105.5 .F2 C974 2009 251226706

Optimistic Parenting: Hope and Help for You and Your Challenging Child
Vincent Mark Durand
Paul H. Brookes, 2011
Optimistic Parenting is a guidebook for parents and caregivers to help reduce children’s challenging behaviors, with a variety of practical tools and strategies on effective behavior management
WS 350.6 .D948 2011 698451463

Supportive Parenting: Becoming an Advocate for your Child with Special Needs
Jan Starr Campito
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007
Developmental psychologist and educator Campito draws on her own experiences as a parent to personalize the experience of becoming an advocate for one’s child. She explains how parents can work with communities of care to meet their child’s needs.
WS 107.5 R5 C196 2007 84151385

Videos

Contact us to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian). Some videos may be viewed online.


A Place of Our Own. Early Childhood Solutions: Special Needs
97-minute DVD
PBS Home Video, 2008
This video provides parents and child care providers with information to help young children develop social, emotional, and cognitive skills in preparation for entering kindergarten.
LB 1132 .P53 2008 301989756

New I.D.E.A. for Special Education: Understanding the System and the New Law: A Guide for Parents, a Tool for Educators
50-minute DVD
Edvantage Media, 2005
This video explains to parents all about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (I.D.E.A.), the law governing special education. It covers the referral and evaluation processes as well as the creation of an individualized education program (IEP)
LB 4031 .N532dvd 2005 62119744

Organizations

We are still adding to this resource guide. Please check back later for additional resources.

Articles

The journal titles linked below will take you to the publisher's homepage. You can ask your local public librarian how to obtain these articles or contact us for more information.


Pediatrics, 128 (4), 795–802
Parent-Provider-Community Partnerships: Optimizing Outcomes for Children with Disabilities
Nancy A. Murphy and Paul S. Carbone. (2011)
The authors of this article explore the challenges of developing effective community-based systems of care for children with disabilities and make suggestions that pediatricians and policy-makers develop better partnerships with the families and other health care providers to best help the children.

Social Science and Medicine, 64 (1), 150–163
“We’re Tired, Not Sad”: Benefits and Burdens of Mothering a Child with a Disability
Sara Eleanor Green. (2006)
This study chooses to look at how mothers and caregivers of children with special needs really feel about their socially perceived burdens and the benefits of their caregiving role.

Web Resources

The web resources listed below provide quick and easy access to evidence-based online information.


Answering Questions About Your Child’s Special Needs
This blog post, written by Dr. Susan Fowler, discusses how to talk about a child who has special needs with other parents or children.

Early Childhood Intervention: The Power of Family
A brief video with a variety of early childhood and early intervention experts from around the world discussing the importance of family in the early intervention process.

Assistive Technology at Home: Easy Adaptations for Daily Living (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also in Spanish.

How I Communicate (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also in Spanish.

How I Understand (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also in Spanish.

Who Is on Your Early Intervention Team? (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also in Spanish.

Answering Questions About Your Child’s Special Needs (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also in Spanish.

Fuss Management: Comforting Your Child (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also in Spanish.

Family Network on Disabilities Tip Sheets
This page offers tip sheets for families in multiple languages (English, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole) related to IEPs, decision making, legislation, parental involvement and transition. Most resources are Florida-specific, but applicable to all families of children with special needs.

Games for All Young Children
Games help make movement fun. Play and laughter can help develop friendship while encouraging physical fitness. Consider each child’s abilities, and encourage all children to play by adapting games for children with special needs. Also in Spanish.

How to Communicate Effectively with Early Childhood Professionals
This brief article provides suggestions on how parents can effectively help their child’s care team to better understand their child’s unique needs and priorities.

One Place for Special Needs
This website, started by the mother of two special needs children, is an information network that allows the disability community to share resources and make connections in their neighborhoods.

Parenting Special Needs Magazine
Parenting Special Needs is an online magazine that provides both information and inspiration to parents of children with special needs of all ages and stages of life

Understanding and Accepting Differences: Why Can’t Maria Walk?
All children can benefit when those with special needs are included in classrooms and activities. Teachers and parents can use these suggestions to foster understanding between children who have disabilities and those who do not. Also in Spanish and Polish.

Where Can Parents Find Help for Young Children with Special Needs?
Parents often have questions about sources of information and support. This FAQ addresses many of the questions that parents have asked the Illinois Early Learning project staff over the past few years and suggests resources that parents of young children may find useful. Also in Spanish.