Tag Archives: Hearing Impairment

A Sibling’s Perspective – Revisiting SPC Episode 31

A Sibling’s Perspective.

The Holidays always mean family visits, and with that in mind, we thought our episode on a sibling’s perspective would be a good one to repost. This episode is from October of 2015, when we interviewed Aubrey Boerma, who grew up with an older brother who has Autism.

What’s it like growing up with a special needs sibling? Do you have feelings of being ignored by your parents? Do you worry about how your special needs sibling will be treated by society or your friends in particular? Are you frustrated over how often you have to explain why your special needs sibling “acts like that”? 

As hard as it is to be a parent of a special needs child, it can also be just as hard to be a sibling of one. From having to attend numerous medical or therapy appointments, to missing out on school events or social events, many siblings feel like their lives have to take second place to the lives of the special needs child. Even into adulthood, some people carry resentments and anger over their relationships with their special needs siblings. 

There Are Answers.

In this episode of Special Parents Confidential, we talk to Aubrey Boerma, who has a brother with special needs. She also works with sibling youth support groups, helping child siblings learn to cope with their special needs brothers or sisters. Aubrey talks about how not all sibling relationships have to be difficult. For many people, having a sibling with special needs can be an incredible experience. You learn to be a much more patient and tolerant person with great empathy for all kinds of situations. Many siblings of special needs children, including Aubrey, say that their brother or sister are the best thing that happened to them. She also has suggestions for parents on how to help siblings talk about their relationships and their feelings toward their special needs brother or sister.

Links To Websites Mentioned In This Podcast:

The Sibling Support Project  Founded in 1990, the Sibling Support Project is the first national program dedicated to the life-long and ever-changing concerns of millions of brothers and sisters of people with special health, developmental, and mental health concerns. 

Sibling Leadership Network – Providing siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support, and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and to promote the issues important to them and their entire families.

The Sibling Survival Guide – A “How To” guide to being an adult sibling of a special needs person. 

Growing Up With Ben – The Blog Post that Aubrey wrote about her life and relationship with her special needs brother.

Special Parents Confidential 46 Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder.

Virtually everyone has heard of sensory overload, and sensory issues. People who have problems with loud noises, large crowded areas, tastes, textures, strong smells, bright lights, the list goes on.

Not A Symptom of Something Else.

For decades sensory issues were simply considered a side-effect of whatever the more prevalent disorder was inhibiting the child, whether Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Dyslexia, Multiple Sclerosis, and other disorders. However medical research has proven that this is a separate disorder, called Sensory Processing Disorder.  And there is now a push to have it recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – known as DSM – which is the official medical reference for physicians.

SPD Parent Zone.

My guest for this episode has first hand knowledge of Sensory Processing Disorder. Kelly Jurecko is the President and Co-Founder of SPD Parent Zone, a non-profit organization that offers a website that is full of reliable and credible information on Sensory Processing Disorder. She also hosts a blog and a podcast on the site where she posts articles and interviews experts on SPD and keeps people updated on the latest information.

If your child is having any kind of sensory issues, SPD Parent Zone is a website you need to bookmark and search.

Links Mentioned In The Episode.

SPD Parent Zone

SPD Parent Zone Podcast on iTunes

SPD Foundation – The Star Institute For Sensory Processing Disorder

The Sensory Processing Disorder Resource Center

Support Special Parents Confidential.

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Thanks for listening.

Special Parents Confidential Episode 31 A Sibling’s Perspective

A Sibling’s Perspective.

What’s it like growing up with a special needs sibling? Do you have feelings of being ignored by your parents? Do you worry about how your special needs sibling will be treated by society or your friends in particular? Are you frustrated over how often you have to explain why your special needs sibling “acts like that”?

As hard as it is to be a parent of a special needs child, it can also be just as hard to be a sibling of one. From having to attend numerous medical or therapy appointments, to missing out on school events or social events, many siblings feel like their lives have to take second place to the lives of the special needs child. Even into adulthood, some people carry resentments and anger over their relationships with their special needs siblings. 

In this episode of Special Parents Confidential, we talk to Aubrey Boerma, who has a brother with special needs. She also works with sibling youth support groups, helping child siblings learn to cope with their special needs brothers or sisters. Aubrey talks about how not all sibling relationships have to be difficult. For many people, having a sibling with special needs can be an incredible experience. You learn to be a much more patient and tolerant person with great empathy for all kinds of situations. Many siblings of special needs children, including Aubrey, say that their brother or sister are the best thing that happened to them. She also has suggestions for parents on how to help siblings talk about their relationships and their feelings toward their special needs brother or sister.

Links To Websites Mentioned In This Podcast:

The Sibling Support Project  Founded in 1990, the Sibling Support Project is the first national program dedicated to the life-long and ever-changing concerns of millions of brothers and sisters of people with special health, developmental, and mental health concerns. 

Sibling Leadership Network – Providing siblings of individuals with disabilities the information, support, and tools to advocate with their brothers and sisters and to promote the issues important to them and their entire families.

The Sibling Survival Guide – A “How To” guide to being an adult sibling of a special needs person. 

Growing Up With Ben – The Blog Post that Aubrey wrote about her life and relationship with her special needs brother.

Special Parents Confidential Is Now On TuneIn

Special Parents Confidential Is Now On TuneIn. 

We are excited to announce that Special Parents Confidential is now available to access for free subscription on TuneIn.

TuneIn is a free media service featuring over 100,000 online radio stations and 4 million podcasts. Over  Fifty Million people have signed up to use TuneIn as their source for music streaming and online audio content. TuneIn has an app available for Android and Google Play listeners, which means you can use it to access Special Parents Confidential on all Android and Google Play devices.

Click on this text link: Special Parents Confidential on TuneIn, or use the TuneIn button located on the right of this post under “Follow Us”. You can also use the Sharing buttons below this entry.

We’re working to provide our listeners with the most accessibility to find and listen to episodes of Special Parents Confidential. Joining TuneIn is one more great avenue to find Special Parents Confidential, along with iTunes, Stitcher

Please share with your friends and family on all social media. Use the buttons below to share this post with any of the social media services listed below. And be sure to check us out on TuneIn.

Special Parents Confidential Episode 20 Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness.

Perhaps no other subject is a greater concern to a parent than the health of their children. Parents of special needs children have an even greater concern because our kids often have disabilities or disorders that require specialized health care options. Some disabilities or disorders like Downs Syndrome can be diagnosed immediately at birth, if not sooner. Others like Autism or Dyslexia may take a few years. However, the one thing all health care professionals can agree on is the earlier you get a diagnosis for your child, the sooner you can get the right treatments and therapies, and that’s better for your child.

But where do you find the experts on your child’s disabilities or disorders, especially if you’re a first time parent and don’t yet have a family doctor or pediatrician? Often, a child can have more than one special need challenge, which can make medical decisions even harder. 

One place that offers a wide variety of services from medical checkups and advice to doctor referrals to support groups and beyond is your local county or city Health Department. Most Health Departments have a person or a group of people who support parents of special needs children with counseling, advice, and education. They can help you with ongoing support, including finding early on or early intervention programs with your local school district to get your child into special education programs that are the right fit for their challenges.

In this episode of Special Parents Confidential, John talks to Chris Buczek, RN BSN, who is the Public Health Program supervisor for Children’s Special Health Care Services of the Kent County Health Department in Grand Rapids Michigan. She also supervises the Hearing and Vision Screening Program for the Health Department, and runs a support group for parents of special needs children. And, as you’ll find out, she has a personal reason for her involvement in Special Health Services.

During the interview Chris talks about a number of websites for resources. The following are the links to those sites:

MDCH Children’s Special Health Care Services   

MI Family Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

US DHHS HRSA Maternal and Child Health

CDC Parent Information Infants & Toddlers

CDC Important Milestones For Infants

NCMHI Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs

American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Futures Page

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Thanks for your support!

SPC One Year Anniversary

SPC Studio

SPC One Year Anniversary.

One year ago this week I posted the first two podcasts on the newly minted Special Parents Confidential website. Fifteen episodes in one year, about three more than I thought I would be able to get produced, which puts me ahead of my expectations. And that’s always a good thing.

What does it take to create a podcast? As far as equipment goes, not much really. A mixer, a microphone, a phone interface, headphones, speakers, a digital recording platform, and some wires to connect it all.

But Special Parents Confidential is far more than the equipment. It’s a lot of people who helped me get started nearly six months before this date last year. Those people and their contributions are listed on the About Us page and I’d like to encourage you to take a look at the links to their own websites because they are some amazing people who do incredible things.

Most importantly I’d like to thank the 15 people who agreed to take time out of their busy schedules to answer questions about what parents of special needs children need to know and what they do to help. Some very graciously took a long time, nearly missing important events or meetings, just to make sure they answered every question.

When I started these interviews my goal was to create an online support group for parents of special needs children who aren’t able to attend support group meetings. Thanks to these first 15 people I can say that the goal has been exceeded

Here’s the list of those fine people and their episode subjects once again. If you haven’t heard all these interviews yet, please take a listen!

1. Carol Lippert – Support Groups

2. Dan Blauw – Legal Issues

3. Cyndi Blair – Playdates

4. Dr. Oren Mason – ADD/ADHD

5. Kindy Segovia – Assistive Technology

6. Kathy Holkeboer – Special Education Advocacy

7. Stacy Burns – One Parent’s Journey

8. Chris Kenward – Social Issues In School

9. Julie Wiseman – Deafness and Hearing Impairment

10. Paula Lancaster – Special Education

11. Rev. Mathew Cockrum – Special Needs and Spiritual Needs

12. Elizabeth Welch-Lykens – School Funding and Special Education

13. Rabbi Tzvi Schectman – The Friendship Circle

14. Gabriella McCall Delgado – We Connect Now

15. Conny Raaymakers – Applied Behavior Analysis

It’s been an amazing journey. I’m looking forward to continuing with more episodes in 2014 and beyond.

To everyone who agreed to be interviewed, to everyone who helped out in making this podcast and website a reality, and most of all, to you for finding my site, taking a listen, and then recommending these episodes to people you know:

A huge   T H A N K   Y O U !!!!

Updates For June and July

Updates For June and July.

Time goes by quickly when the kids are home instead of being in school. But we wanted to post some updates about what we have coming up in the remaining days of June and in July. We have two podcast episodes recorded and we’ll get them posted in the next couple of weeks.

The next episode, SPC number 11, which we hope to have online very soon, features an interview with the Reverend Mathew Cockrum and we delve into ways in which we can help our special needs children get the best experiences in our places of worship, as well as how to work with ‘Sunday school’ or religious class staff so that our kids can have positive experiences. We also discuss ways to reconcile that sometimes certain religious beliefs can be in conflict with medical or scientific study, and that it is possible to accept both viewpoints, and many other great ideas.

SPC episode number 12, which will be ready after that, is all about education funding. We talk with Elizabeth Welch-Lykins who is an elected official in her local school board, a member of her school district’s legislative committee, and a lawyer. She has experienced the budget crisis in our schools first-hand through having to negotiate cuts in staff and services and she talks in detail about how school districts have had so much trouble and the real reasons why so many of our school districts are in trouble. She also details how budget cuts to public schools are definitely hurting special education programs and the dangers of not paying enough attention to who we vote for in elections.

We have more great interviews planned throughout the summer and into the next school year, so please keep checking back!  Better yet, sign up to get an email subscription to our podcasts so you’ll be notified every time we post something new. Just look over to the right column on our home page and enter your email address where it says “Get Podcast Notifications Via Email”. You’ll get automatic updates and we promise we will never give out your email address to anyone else.

Thanks for your support and don’t forget to help spread the word about us!