Help your child read the world around them!!
Monday, September 10th a Partners in Literacy Workshop will be offered at 10am and 6pm. This will be located at Harrison Lutheran Church 1001 Gipson Rd., Harrison, AR 72601
If you have any questions please contact LParent Trainer Debbie Martin firstname.lastname@example.org (870)741-9777
Image Courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net
“A boy stands quietly as his older sister screams and draws attention in the store. He stands motionless as his sister continues to have “one of her moments” while Mom tries to calm her, all the while people walk by staring and whispering under their breath. He stands a pillar of emotions churning in him; feeling embarrassment, guilt, anger, jealousy and possibly resentment”.
-10 year old sibling of 14 year old with autism
The balancing act of parenting more than one child is a hard task, not to be taken lightly, but when one child has a disability, that balancing act becomes harder.
Although the needs of the child with disability are never far from a parent’s mind, the needs of the child or children without the disability can be easily over looked by the parents. It is therefore important to make sure that the needs of children without disabilities are not in second place.
Here are two basic things a parent should do to help their child understand that they are as much in their parent’s mind as their brother/sister with the disability.
Maintain open lines of communication:
· This includes parents educating their child about their brother’s or sister’s disability; presenting information in a way that match their own developmental needs and ability. For example a 5 year old may need to understand that they are not the cause of their sibling’s disability and that the disability is not contagious.
· Share your challenges with each other. Allow a time where your child without a disability can express their feelings and empathize with the child. Share with them some of your own struggles and feelings. This will help the child know that any feeling of frustration or embarrassment can be normal and they will not feel guilty for their feelings. Remember communication is a two part activity: Speaking and Listening
"Allowing them to express their frustrations and negative feelings related to having a sibling with special needs is often difficult for parents because of their own angst and desire to meet all of the needs of all of their children, but it is crucial in helping 'typical' children feel understood and important." says Leslie Petruk, M.A., LPC, NCC, a therapist and mom to a child with special needs and two without.
· Set aside an uninterrupted regularly scheduled one-on-one time to spend with each child. Make sure that they feel that this is their “special time” with their parent.
· It is not always the activity that is important but the attention that the child receives. Examples may be going out on small parent/child dates to a movie or even just having “small talks” alone before bedtime.
"One of the best ways to help minimize emotional challenges for your typical child is to make sure they are not neglected and get the time and attention they need from you," - Leslie Petruk, M.A., LPC, NCC
“Special needs kids and well siblings” She Knows Parenting. Retrieved on August 7, 2012, from http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/2128/special-needs-kids-and-well-siblings
Burns, A (Apr 17, 2012) “Parenting a disabled child: When another child isn't disabled” She knows Parenting. Retrieved on August 8, 2012, from http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/956459/parenting-a-child-with-a-disability
Kutner, L. (2012). When A Sibling Is Disabled. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 9, 2012, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/when-a-sibling-is-disabled/
Rosen, M. (Nov 19, 2011) “Family: Finding the right balance with disabled children” The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved on August 9, 2012, from http://www.pe.com/local-news/columns/mitchell-rosen-headlines/20111120-family-finding-the-right-balance-with-disabled-children.ece
Lynn Donald Carver and Candia Nicholas of Arkansas Support Network/Community Parent Resource Center recently attended the 2012 IDEA Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. The conference was hosted by the Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the theme of the conference was, “Leading together to achieve success from cradle to career”. The list of attendees included: Parent Centers, Early Intervention Specialists, State Directors and Coordinators of Special Education, Advisory Panel members, and State Interagency Coordinating Council members.
As part of the conference, a reception on the hill for members of Congress was hosted by the Parent Centers’ staff. Parent Center staff use this as an opportunity to emphasize the work of the centers on behalf of students in special education and their families, and also as a time to voice support for, or concerns about, impending legislation that may impact our work.
This year, with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (otherwise known as No Child Left Behind), as well as proposed changes to both IDEA and the Rehab Act (which includes Section 504 protections), there are many reasons for all of us to be concerned about the education of our children, including those with disabilities.
We will keep you apprised of what’s happening with these proposals for change, and we hope that you’ll use the information to express your support or concern (or both) to our members of Congress as they deliberate on the changes. Each of the Senators and both of the staff representatives of Congressmen that we spoke with invited us to have input, and to encourage you to voice your opinions also. For your convenience we have listed contact information below.
Congressman Steve Womack’s Office at (202)225-4301 or by emailing him at Womack@mail.house.gov
Senator John Boozman’s Office at (202)224-4843 or by emailing Ian Prince/Legislative Assistant at
Senator Mark Pryor’s Office at (202)224-2353 or by emailing Sarah Holland/Legislative Assistant at
Staff of the Northwest Arkansas Community Parent Resource Center (including original content as well as curated links to various authors around the web.)