Adopting Kids with Special Needs
Where to Start:
- Check out the following Creating a Family radio shows:
- Videos on Adopting a Special Needs child:
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General Information on Adopting Children with Special Needs:
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- The University of Chicago Adoption Center has series of in-depth videos detailing the adoption process for children with specific special needs, including HIV, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and others.
- Frontline has released a report about the sharp rise in psychiatric diagnoses and medication among children called The Medicated Child. The report and a parent's guide can be found here.
- Rainbow Kids has a great database that allows you to search for children available world wide for adoption (including the US) by handicapping condition. They list about 50 handicaps and provide information, support groups, and pictures (when allowed by the birth country).
- Rainbow Kids has done it again. They have a list of all the agencies that have special needs adoption programs in China. They identify which agencies have access to the shared list and which agencies also have a agency specific (or dedicated) list. If these terms mean nothing to you, then check out the following Creating a Family video on Adopting a Child with Special Needs from China.
- Adopting Older Children by Ellen Singer. Good online essays.
- No Hands But Ours Focused primarily on adopting kids with special needs from China. Great site with stories from families that have adopted, information, and listings of children currently available for adoption.
- Love Without Boundaries and Rainbow Kids teamed up to create a Special Needs Manual on CD to help prospective adoptive parents understand specific special needs. There are photos and explanations of 75 conditions. It can be purchased from Love Without Boundaries.
- First Signs is a fabulous first-stop website if you have concerns that your child is not developing normally. First Signs is dedicated to educating parents and professionals about the early warning signs of autism and related developmental and behavioral disorders, as well as learning disabilities. This site covers early warning signs, screenings, and treatment. As a bonus they also have a nifty page on understanding your insurance coverage. Great site!
- Reece's Rainbow's mission is to find homes for orphans with Down's syndrome. They are not an agency, rather they specialize in identifying children with Down's syndrome throughout the world in need of adoption. They also have a terrific support network for post adoption.
- Positively Orphaned is dedicated to assisting people who are interested in helping HIV positive orphans find families.
- Children Awaiting Parents is a national non-profit that recruits foster and adoptive parents for special needs children.
- Check out this great list of links to the Top 100 Special Needs Resources on the web.
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Sensory Processing Disorders:
- On the April 22, 2009 Creating a Family show, our guest was Carol Kranowitz, author of The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, and its sequel, The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder. This is a great starting place.
- The June 25, 2008 Creating a Family show was and interview with Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, author of Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic.
- Angie Voss, runs UnderstandingSPD.com, a website that has information about Sensory Processing Disorder. It includes books, videos, and printable handouts to give to teachers, doctors, and other caregivers.
- There are a number SPD pages and groups on Facebook, including the SPD Blogger's Network and Raising a Sensory Smart Child.
- The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, and its sequel, The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Kranowitz The Out-of-Sync Child has become the “bible” for parents with a child with SPD, with good reason. It truly is the best first place stop to learn more. Carol’s positive and practical approach will reassure parents and spur them into action.
- Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. I’ve said it before and I'll say it again, this book is simply the best. It does not use the term sensory processing disorder but every single word will apply. It may very well become your lifeline.
- Building Bridges Through Sensory Integration: Therapy for Children with Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders by Paula Aquilla, Shirley Sutton, and Ellen Yack—This spiral-bound book provides a good overview of the sensory diet concept of helping kids with sensory processing issues. Full of practical suggestions.
- A list of parent support groups.
- Just Take a Bite by Lori Ernsperger and Tania Stegen-Hanson is a great book for parents of kids with eating issues, including oral defensiveness, food aversions, and extreme pickiness.
- Integrated Listening Systems was mentioned by Carol Kranowitz on the April 22 Creating a Family show as a good resource for auditory processing therapy.
- www.floortime.org- Based on Stanley Greenspan’s idea of spending quality time with your child to learn her strengths and to increase bonding. Although this concept was pioneered to work autistic children it is also for a kiddo with SPD.
- www.spdnetwork.org You are not alone. This is the place to find others. They put on a great conference every year.
- Developmental Delay Resources provides resources integrating conventional and holistic approaches for kids with all types of developmental delays, including SPD.
- Books for kids with SPD- I think it is crucial to help children understand SPD. Your child already intuitively knows he or she is different and usually finds it empowering to get more information. These books would also be very helpful for siblings of a child with SPD.
- The Goodenoughs Get in Sync: A Story for Kids about the Tough Day When Filibuster Grabbed Darwin's Rabbit's Foot and the Whole Family Ended Up in the Doghouse--An Introduction to Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Kranowitz and T. J. Wylie (8-12) This is an easy chapter book for either your child to read by herself or you to read to her. It is the story of a family of five plus a dog that each deal with a different sensory processing challenge. Each family member is challenged by this very tough day and needs to use some important coping skills.
- Arnie and His School Tools: Simple Sensory Solutions That Build Successby Jennifer Veenendall (8-12- although might be considered babyish for many 12 year olds unless new to the whole idea of SPD) This illustrated book, written from the SPD child’s viewpoint, follows a little boy who had difficulty in school until he was equipped with the tools to accommodate his sensory needs.
- Meghan's World: The Story of One Girl's Triumph over Sensory Processing Disorder by Diane M. Renna and Regina Stark (4-8) This true story of a child with SPD follows Meghan up to her first school show where she succeeds. I like the fact that this book covers some common therapies used for SPD since your child will likely relate. Meghan deals with a variety of SPD issues, including Sensory Modulation, Sound Sensitivity, Social Insecurity, Hypo/Hyper-Responsiveness, Tactile Defensiveness, Visual Perception, Sensory Processing, and Allergies/Food Intolerance.
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Image Credit: ShowHope
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