Giving Siblings Their Due

By Dan Coulter Who do you love more, your child who has a condition such as Asperger Syndrome or autism -- or your child who doesn’t? Dumb question? It may not seem so dumb to a child who sees his or her parents devoting large amounts of time to a brother or sister with special needs. If you sometimes find that you’re so focused on helping one child that your other children feel neglected or resentful, you’re not alone. Let me share some suggestions I’ve gathered from families in this situation about improving understanding and cooperation. 1. Talk with siblings early and often about a special needs child’s condition. Share appropriate information and explain what you’re doing

Turning Students into Advocates

by Dan Coulter Do you get angry? I get angry. Oh, I’m pretty calm about most things. But when I hear about kids taking advantage of a child on the autism spectrum, my first thoughts involve swift and terrible punishment. Then I peel myself off the ceiling and think in more practical terms. I felt a surge of anger today when I heard about a mother I know who picked her autistic son up after school. He’s in special classes, but eats with everyone else in the school cafeteria. As he got into the car, her son remarked that he was really hungry. Why? Didn’t he get to eat lunch? No, he said. It turns out the friend who usually ate with him had a schedule change, so he had to eat by himsel

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