Category: Developmental Differences

Healthy Habits for Kids with Special Needs

As New Year’s resolutions abound and gym memberships surge, here are some reminders of why healthy habits are a lifestyle – not limited to a time of year.

All children require a nutritious diet to meet goals for growth and good health. When you have a child with special needs good nutrition can aid the child’s overall health.

Shriners Hospital for Children Chicago treats children with orthopedic, spinal, and craniofacial conditions, with a strong focus on family-centered care. Comm...

Posted on February 05, 2014 at 8:00 AM by Pam Patt

NPN's 3rd Annual Developmental Differences Resource Fair is Feb. 9!

NPN proudly presents our 3rd Annual Developmental Differences Resource Fair!  This event was created to help parents of children (ages infant through 8th grade) with a range of developmental differences - developmental delays (i.e., speech, motor skills), sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD/ADHD, PDD-NOS, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, Down Syndrome, physical disabilities, and more. 

Where: Gordon Tech High School, 3633 N. California Ave., Chicago

When: Sunday, ...

Posted on February 01, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

Nurturing a Collaborative Relationship with Your Child's Teacher

Parent-teacher conference season has arrived. This is the time of year when many of us get to hear how wonderfully well our children are performing, but it is also the time when some of us will hear that the teacher has “some concerns.” Then there is a long pause as a pit develops in our stomachs. How can this possibly turn out well?

As a former teacher and current parent of a child with special needs (autism), I’ve sat on both sides of this table. From my seat on the teacher’s si...

Posted on December 05, 2013 at 8:00 AM by Barbara Cohen

Use Your Child’s IEP as a Bullying Prevention Tool

Although bullying is not new, recent attention to the problem has made adults more aware of the heartbreaking ways kids can intentionally hurt other kids.  Any child can be a victim of bullying; however, children with special needs often bear the brunt of a bully’s wrath because their differences make them easy targets.  Fortunately, parents of kids with special needs have their own tool for fighting back: their Individual Education Plan (IEP).   An IEP is a document that outlines the extr...

Posted on July 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Libby Galin

Sorting out Attention Deficit Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder

While ADHD and Sensory Modulation Disorder (SMD) share many overlapping symptoms, there are some symptoms that are more pronounced in each disorder.  A recent article published in the Research in Developmental Disabilities Journal* compared the behavior and physiology of children with ADHD, SMD, and dual diagnoses.  They found that all these groups had greater levels of sensory, attention, activity, impulsivity, and emotional challenges than typical peers, but some symptoms were more eleva...

Posted on May 13, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Brandon Combs

Sensory Integration and Mental Health

Could your child’s behavioral issues actually be problems with sensory integration?

Most people don’t ever think about the work our brains do to organize and interpret all of the sensory information going in—sight, sound, touch, body awareness, movement, gravity.  Most children develop this ability in the course of ordinary childhood activities.  But others encounter “traffic jams” in their brains which lead to sensory integration issues.  


Children who experience difficultie...

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Allison Levine

Parents, Heal Thyself

I have seen remarkable progress in increasing overall functioning, in children with developmental differences ( anxiety, ADHD, sensory integration disorder, autism spectrum disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, etc.) by targeting and enhancing emotional regulation skills in their parents.  In other words, by assisting parents in learning how to decrease their reactivity to their children's ineffective behaviors, these behaviors are no longer reinforced and instead parents emphasize atte...

Posted on February 06, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Debra Kissen

Making Choices for Twins with Developmental Differences

When I first found out in 2002 that I would be having twins, I felt overjoyed and grateful like I had never felt before.  I dreamed of how it would be having them in matching twin outfits, taking perfect walks in the park, traveling to visit relatives and everything working in tandem just as planned.  I did not know that they would nap at different times, feed at different times and do almost everything at different times.   The one thing they both seemed to do together all day at the same...

Posted on February 01, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Lesa Bricker-Reich

Fresh from the Forum: Developmental Differences Support

Are you the parent of a child with a developmental difference or delay? Or maybe your child is still very young, yet you're scratching your head wondering if his/her behavior is "normal" and trying to seek out advice?

NPN's discussion forums are chock-full of posts on topics ranging from speech delays to sensory processing disorder. Particularly when it comes to diagnosing, treating, and nurturing kids with developmental differrences - such as speech/motor delays, autism, SPD, ADH...

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

Nurturing a Child on the Autism Spectrum - Our Family's Story

So, on a cold day back in February of 2012, my wife urged me to come along with her to this big Developmental Differences Resource Fair she had read about  somewhere in the city. We live in Berwyn, so that pretty much meant that I would have to actually have to change from my comfy clothes on my day off and bundle up in order to brave the harsh Chicago environments (including traffic) to drive out to this fair. Uggghhh….I thought. As, we drove out there we talked about getting an opportuni...

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Bryan Martinez