Category: Developmental Differences

NPN's 2nd Annual Developmental Differences Fair is Feb. 10!

NPN proudly presents our 2nd Annual Developmental Differences Resource Fair! This event was created to help parents of children (from birth 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, Feb...

Posted on January 03, 2013 at 6:00 AM by Melanie Schlachter

The School Called Again - Facing Behavioral Exclusion

Another hurdle for parents of children diagnosed or at-risk for a special need in school is that our children miss far more school days than children without a disability.

This quote is from a Chicago Tribune article, A Challenge Unmet, by Jackson and Marx (Nov. 13, 2012). It appeared as part of a Tribune series on truancy in the Chicago Public Schools. The article cites: "informal exclusion from school is a nationwide problem for children with disabilities.” 

I can report that I wa...

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Helping your late talker to communicate |

Many parents ask me why their child is a late talker. Speech-language delays are common because oral communication is a complex process. There are many neurological processes that must occur to say just one word! A child has to get his parent's attention, know the word, find the right word in her brain, send the word from his brain to his mouth and coordinate movements of her mouth to form the word.  Sometimes, the reasons for these difficulties are obvious. Other times, it is unclear why...

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Anna Rooney

Caring for your Child with ADHD

When a child is impulsive, hyperactive, and seems out of control, how do you remain calm and offer your best caregiving?  This is the challenge that parents face on a regular basis when they have a child diagnosed with ADHD.  Children who are agitated, dysregulated, or escalated are challenging for even the “best” parents. Often traditional reward/punishment approaches are not a good fit for these children and place more challenges on the parent-child relationship.  Children with ADHD are ...

Posted on October 01, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Allison Levine

Parenting Your Anxious Child

No one says it is easy to be a parent and it is all the more challenging to raise an anxious child.  I write these words from two vantage points.  I am a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of children with anxiety disorders and I am the parent of a highly anxious little girl.  

As with all individuals who struggle with anxiety, my daughter Alexandra is uncomfortable with the unknown.  Therefore, introducing her to any new activity is always a challenge.  For example...

Posted on August 02, 2012 at 7:19 AM by Debra Kissen

When a Child is Diagnosed with a Mild Disability: 5 Steps for Parent

The first time I ever spoke to parents about parenting a child diagnosed with a mild disability, I was in my internship year working towards my master’s degree in family counseling.

I created an educational support group for parents and had about eight women and one man signed-up to attend.  Before our first group session, I watched as each parent came into the large conference room. It was obvious from the minute the father stepped into the room that he was very uncomfortable. I could...

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 6:10 AM by Melanie Arons

The ABCs of IEPs

All parents want what’s best for their child.  If your child is having difficulty learning in school, getting help can be complicated, confusing, and frustrating.  The legal standards for special education and the process for meeting those standards is complex.  Trying to decipher the acronyms in the special education world is overwhelming.  IEP?  504?  IDEA?  RTI?  Tackling this task while caring for your child with special needs and managing all of your other responsibilities is nearly impo...

Posted on April 09, 2012 at 5:52 AM by Allison Levine

Developmental Differences - Must-Have Chicago Resources

The idea for the NPN Developmental Differences Resource Fair began over a simple cup of coffee.  After participating in the October 2011 NPN school fair, our LEEP Forward team couldn’t help but realize a significant gap in resources available to Chicago parents who were perhaps most in need: those caring for children with developmental differences. While Chicago does, in fact, have a beautiful pool of resources that are available, it became clear that locating proper resources was far more...

Posted on March 05, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Lorell Marin, Erika Larson

Overcoming Obstacles & Reaching Dreams with 'Handicapable' Parents

Hello! My name is Melissa, and I am the proud mother of a beautiful eleven-month old boy named Aidan. I am also a forty year old woman who has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for most of my life. I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis at seven years old and have had to overcome many obstacles to get where I am today.  Not long after my diagnosis, I became bedridden for more than a year and, therefore, was unable to attend school. My parents decided to take me to Mayo Clinic and...

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 1:00 PM by Melissa Arriola

Setting your child up for success!

Does your child have difficulty attending in class? Are you told your child does not stay with the group for circle time or a group activity? Does your child have difficulty attending to a task? Does your child engage with other kids? Many times we meet children or receive referrals from different programs because a child is having a difficult time attending or following the “rules”. Once we implement a few strategies some of these children are then able to take in information and learn al...

Posted on February 02, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Lorell Marin, Erika Larson