Monthly Archives: May 2013

Special Parents Confidential 09 Deafness and Hearing Impairment

Deafness and Hearing Impairment.

Everyone at some point in their lives experiences some form of hearing loss, either from their environment or due to advanced age. However many children are born every year with deafness or hearing impairments.

Although many therapies and technologies exist to help correct hearing impairments, the same questions and issues still come up for parents of hearing impaired children as for all parents of special needs children: communication, comprehension, help in school, social acceptance, and so on. And what organizations exist that can help parents get the information that’s best suited for their children and their particular needs?

Our guest on this episode of Special Parents Confidential, Julie Wiseman, has been through a lot of these issues. Her daughter, Kendall, was diagnosed at birth with deafness. Juli shares Kendall’s story and her own struggles with finding help, getting the right information, and many other issues that she and Kendall have faced.

Links Mentioned In This Episode: 

PASE – Parent Advisors for Special Education (Kent Intermediate School District, Kent County, MI)

Hearing Loss Association of America – The Nation’s Voice For People With Hearing Loss.

Hearing Loss Association of America – Grand Rapids Chapter

Listen Up  – Specializing in information for the deaf and hard of hearing, and especially geared to the needs of hearing impaired children and their families. Note: this website hasn’t been updated since 2010, but still has some valuable information.

Hands & Voices – Resource website for everyone.

Guide By Your Side – This is the link to the Hands & Voices national site for finding Guide By Your Side in your state.

Guide By Your Side Michigan – State of Michigan Chapter.

Gallaudet University 

John Tracy Clinic – Los Angeles, CA. Free help for parents of deaf and hearing impaired children no matter where they live.

Signing Time

Alexander Graham Bell Association

Cochlear Implant Manufacturers (and their associations):

Advanced Bionics

Cochlear America


Special Parents Confidential 08 Social Issues In School

Social Issues In School

When we talk about issues that can cause anxiety for parents of special needs kids,  dealing with social situations in school and elsewhere is probably right at the top of the list.  Will our children be accepted or will they be teased? Will  our kids be able to handle the day to day interactions in the class room, in the cafeteria, or on the playground? What about bullying? And what are we supposed to do when our kids experience problems with these situations?

For many schools the person who can help guide our kids through their day in school is the social worker. They’re also the person who parents can talk to for help with making sure their special needs child can fit into the various social situations and can offer advice that parents can use to reinforce the school’s expectations at home.

Our guest on this episode of Special Parents Confidential is Chris Kenward, an elementary school social worker who has many years of experience dealing with both special needs students and general education students.  Many experts agree, the vast majority of social problems begin early in elementary school so the sooner a child with special needs can get help in dealing with social issues, the better their progress will be throughout their life. The information Chris shares here is going to be vital for every parent of a special needs child, as well as for teachers, special education experts, care givers, and anyone who has a relationship with a special needs kid.

Links Mentioned In The Podcast: 

Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid  The website from the authors of the book.

Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid link to the book’s listing for sale on Amazon

Driven Story – Jon Singer – This is the website of the author of the book, “The Special Needs Parent Handbook”, which you can find on this page.

Views From Our Shoes – The website of the Sibling Support Project, where you can see stories from the book and order a copy.

Upcoming Episodes For May

Upcoming Episodes For May:

We have some great guests scheduled for interviews in the next couple of weeks! Among them an elementary school social worker who will talk about acceptance, dealing with peers, preventing bullying, and helping our special needs children navigate the social structures of school.

We’re also going to talk with a Professor of Special Education – the teacher who teaches the teachers. We’ll discuss the ins and outs of special education from the perspective of the teachers and how parents can work effectively with their child’s teachers to make sure our kids are getting the best help available.

May is Better Hearing Month so we’re also going to talk with the mother of a deaf child who has cochlear implants, and is a board member of the Hearing Loss Association of America (Grand Rapids chapter). She’ll talk about the cochlear implant process, the modes of hearing, advocating for hearing loss children in school, support programs available for parents with hearing impaired children, and how to help parents find the right choices for treating hearing loss.

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