Special Needs…

A Word about Special Needs

“Special needs” is one of those terms that was designed to put a label on a diverse group of people who have one thing in common – challenges. Even though there are many different kinds of challenges, and even though some people have more than others, a challenge is a challenge; and people who have any of them all deal with the same problem–needing help to do some things that others can do naturally.

As an educator in the field of early childhood education and as a parent of a child with special needs, my mission is to provide guidance and support for parents of young children. While young children with special needs need special attention, and young children with regular needs need regular attention, young children with special needs need both special and regular attention. Wow, that’s a lot of attention! I am happy to help.

Interestingly enough, parenting for special needs has a lot in common with parenting for regular needs. No matter how you look at it, the job is 24/7 and not easy. The world of “special education” revolves around these principles–consistency, small steps, and all the creativity and ingenuity in the world. Oh yes, there is patience in there too. And, as many of you know, the world of “regular needs” is not much different. What really sets parenting in the world of “special needs” apart is intensity. The added time for intervention combined with the extra time for daily living are what makes the difference.

The benefit of this blog format is the opportunity to get down to specifics. It is my pleasure to do what I can to help you make life with your young child, special needs or not, run as smoothly for you as possible.
Whatever your child’s individual need or difficulty is, please feel free to ask questions or request advice. Often what seems like an enormous problem can be solved in a simple way.


  1. Nancy E Love

    In your article in the Arizona Republic of 1.4, you said mentioned “needs extra help”.

    I have a grandson who was born with Dandy Walker Syndrome/Variance. Friends ask me what that means. “Special Needs” is so meaningless. It appears that his challenges are what we used to describe as retarded. Apparently that is now politically incorrect. Needs extra help says nothing.

    Any suggestions?

    • sally

      Hi Nancy,
      I am so glad you reached out to me. I totally understand your frustration. I suppose the best answer in your case is to explain what that means: Many things will be harder for him to learn. Since everyone is different we will have to wait and see which areas he needs extra help with and which ones will be like everyone else, if not better. No one has challenges in all areas, and most people with difficulties in one or more areas have other ones that excel. The five areas are “cognitive, motor, social, language” and “self-esteem.” A well-rounded program in all areas is best with emphasis on the ones that “need extra help.”
      Dr. Sally

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