New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense

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Children and Families

​Education, Therapies, Inclusion, and More


Are you a parent-family member or do you work with children who have disabilities? This page is for you! 

​To see all of our articles, please visit the Library page, and note that some articles are on multiple pages on our site.. As necessary, use the "find" function on your computer to search for a particular article (control and f on a PC; command and f on a Mac).

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You'll find helpful articles on these pages, too:

There are many ways we can make this world a better place.


People's real-life experiences can provide valuable of lessons. 

Regular Lives for Families with Children with Disabilities features yours truly, Kathie Snow, speaking about a variety of topics in 22 video clips, provided by the MN Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (with my thanks!).

​​​IEP Goals - These are Goals—Really?
A special ed professor and her students critique IEP goals - fascinating!

IEP Meetings - New & Improved
We don't have to dread IEP meetings; let's make them enjoyable and productive! 

Oh, imagine the changes we can create if we just add, "if" to our thinking about our children!

Inclusion: A Moral Imperative
Segregation vs. inclusion goes beyond the law; it's a moral and ethical issue.

Inclusion: The Natural State
Every child is born included; it's the natural state of being. Segregation is unnatural (and unnecessary).

Inclusion: What is Inclusion? What's Not?
Some describe "inclusion" one way; others a different way. Let's figure out what's what!

Inclusion, Mainstreaming, Integration: Is There a Difference?
Yes, there certainly is a difference; learn what works and what doesn't.

Inclusion or Segregation: Which Should Be Defended?
Parents don't need to defend inclusion; others need to defend why a student should be segregated (an indefensible position).

Inclusion: Ticket to Inclusive Schools
What steps can lead to creating schools that include all students in general ed classrooms?

Inclusive Education (or What's So Special About Special Education)
What has history taught us about inclusion and why haven't we learned the lessons?

Inclusive Education: A Testimonial
An insightful (and funny) personal perspective from a special ed teacher; her students changed her life.

Inclusive Education: A Primer
Learn the basics of inclusive classrooms and schools. It's really not rocket science!

Inclusive Education: A Principal's Perspective
This elementary school principal made inclusive education a reality for all students; he created a culture of caring. Other schools can do the same!

Life Beyond the Label
What might life be like for a child with a disability if we look beyond the label?

Look Before You Leap!
Before we jump into this-service-or-that, let's be thoughtful.

Lost Art of Manners

We need better manners when speaking about our children; our children are counting on us!

Making Memories

Every day, we're making memories for our children. How will they see their lives? Can we do better? 

Marketing 101

Every day, we do what we can to make ourselves look good. Can we do the same for our children?

Mixed Messages

"We don't want you to do such-and-such, but we're going to put you in a class where everyone does such-and-such." Does this make any sense?

No Child (or Adult) Needs an Aide
The teacher or classroom might need additional assistance, but another human doesn't need to be attached to the child!

No More Sacrificial Lambs
Parents should not sacrifice their children and their own sanity in the special ed process.

Parents: Privacy . . . Please!

Private, personal information about the lives of children with disabilities overflows on the internet. Have our children given us permission to share this info? 

Permission to Fail (and Succeed)

If we want our children to succeed, they first need permission to fail (and learn from the experience).

Power of Hope

Are professionals crushing or supporting hope? Parents need to protect their hopes and dreams!

Power of Imagination

Let's imagine what's possible for our children and turn dreams into reality.

Power of the Environment

We don't need to change children with disabilities, we need to change the environment, and we can!

Problem with "Problem"

Wow, we hear the word all the time, and it really creates problems for our children!

Problem-Solving: A Most Valuable Skill

The sooner our children learn to solve their own problems, the sooner they'll be on their way to a successful life.

Public Images vs. Personal Self-Esteem

What happens when groups promote themselves at the expense of the people they say they represent?

Relevant and Meaningful

Memorize those two words! Goals and activities in a child's life need to be relevant and meaningful to the child.

Safety First

Are we giving children with disabilities the tools they need to keep themselves safe?

Segregation: Consequences

The segregation of children with disabilities has consequences far beyond the classroom.

Segregation: Lessons

What lessons do children with disabilities learn from being segregated?

Segregation: Separate and Unequal
"Special" classrooms, recreation, and/or any other activities are, in fact, separate and unequal. We can do better.

Self-Advocacy: It's Never Too Early

See how children with disabilities are speaking up for themselves.

Separation: Why Choose It?
If we want our children to be included, why do we, as parents, separate ourselves?

Shhhh...Someone's Listening; Watch Your Language

Our children can hear what we're saying! Shhh!

Sibshops: A Sensible Solution?
What's the message of sibshops to our children with and without disabilities?

Special Ed Preschools: Help or Hindrance?
For too many, a special ed preschool is a stepping stone to segregation in K-12.

Start with Strengths

In my life, I focus on my strengths; I'll bet you do, too. Let's also use this strategy with our children.

Summer Vacation: Time for Fun & to Plan
Use the summertime to create positive possibilities for the next school year!

Tale of Two Students
One is included and on his way to a wonderful life; one is segregated and the future is dim.

Therapy: Evolution of Amy
Learn from a college student's experiences as she learns new ways of thinking.

Therapy: From "Doing" to "Being"
Professors share their wisdom on whether therapeutic practices should focus on a child's "doing" or a child "being."

Therapy: New and Improved Therapeutic Landscape
There's a bright spot on the horizon in therapeutic practices.

TMI and Organ Recitals

Too much information (TMI) and sharing of private info—let's think about what we're doing! 


There are many "treatments" given to children with disabilities, but what about how we actually treat them, day in and day out?

What We Owe Children
Our children are counting on us; let's not let them down!

When Less is More

Let's not assume a child with a disability automatically needs a "one-on-one;" sometimes less really can be more.

Whole Person

Our children are often dissected into "parts" via services and professionals; it's important for parents to see the "whole" child.​

"Wrong" is Just Not Right

How do you make yourself "right," if your parents talk about what's "wrong" with you?

You and I
This comparison of children with and without disabilities is eye-opening.

​​#1 Need (of children with disabilities)

It's a one word answer.

Ask and You Shall Receive

When my son learned to ask for help from anyone, it was a life-changing moment. It can't be the same for your child.

Assistive Technology (AT) Can . . . 

Yes, AT devices can pave a pathway for a chid's success.

Assistive Technology (AT): Remember the Bicycle

Your parents bought you a bicycle before you knew how to ride it; let's do the same for our children when it comes to AT devices.

Assume the Best

It's time we begin to assume the best—not the worst—about our children with disabilities.

Altered Parenting

What changes do parents make in parenting a child with a disability and what are the outcomes for the children in the family?

Annie in Disabilityland

Learn what if feels like to be a child in the midst of the IEP process.

Behavior: What's a "Behavior"?

Let's remember that behavior is communication!

Behavior: Joe Schiappaccasse Interview

It's powerful and enlightening. 


​What if we—adults—were measured the way we measure our children?

Benevolent Services, Dangerous Messages

Yes, we might see services as helpful, but they can also generate harmful, life-altering messages.

Best Hopes, Worst Fears

A helpful exercise that can clarify our thinking and generate great outcomes!

Beware the Retarding Environment

Why are so many children (and adults) with disabilities in environments that retard their development?

Beyond High School: College and More

Let's ensure the futures of students with disabilities lead to a successful adult life!

"Can" List

Let's focus on what our children CAN do, instead of what they cannot do.

Case Against "Special Needs"

This tired descriptor leads to pity, low expectations, and segregation. Our children deserve better.

Child with Autism - What Approach to Take?

Learn from the positive wisdom and experiences of one mother.

Comparison: The Thief of Joy

No more comparing our children against others—let's rejoice in their accomplishments!

Developmental Age vs. Chronological Age

This is a harmful practice that diminishes a child's opportunities for success. We can do better and be more accurate, too.

Diploma or Certificate?

Do you know what your child will receive when she finishes high school? Learn about options and alternatives. 

Disability Awareness vs. Similarity Awareness

Let's help classmates and others see how our children are more like them, than different.

Disability Hierarchy

What happens when we compare diagnoses, that "this one" is "better" or "worse" than "that one"? It's not good!

Disability Issue or Human Being Issue?

Let's look closely and separate what the issue really is; it can make all the difference in the world.

Disability is Natural!

Yes, disability is a natural part of life. When we change our attitudes, we can change the lives of our children.

Dream Big Dreams

A worksheet for parents (or for anyone who cares about children with disabilities).

Dream Without Limits!

Let's not allow the presence of a disability get in the way of dreaming big dreams for our children!

Early Diagnosis: Boon or Bane?

Do we really need to diagnosis children so early? What if the diagnosis is incorrect?

Early Intervention Services-Reflections on . . . 

A mother's thoughts and wishes on how services could have been different and better.

Educating Students with Disabilities: Is Our Nation Serious? 

Why is the education of students with disabilities tied to federal funds, when other civil rights are not?

Entitlement Mentality

Yes, children and their families have many entitlements, but do they generate the outcomes we want?

Environment, Environment, Environment

All of us are products of our environments. What happens when our children are in unnatural, aberrant environments of special programs?

Eugenics (21st Century)

"Cure and prevention," prenatal tests for Down syndrome, the "Combating Autism Act"—where are we going?

Eye Contact

Alert the Media: making "eye contact" is not as important as we think!

Fatherhood Without Fear

Dads are divine and children with disabilities need the precious gifts they can provide.

First, Do No Harm

We do a great deal to "help" children with disabilities. Are we actually causing harm at the same time?

Formal Assessments: Do Not Pass Go!

Informal assessments are a better way to go. Let's do things differently to get different outcomes.

"Girls Don't Play Drums"

That's what the band teacher told me when I was a child; are we saying similar things to our children today? 

Go Beyond Goals: Think Outcomes

We may have many goals in mind for our children, but are they getting us the outcomes we really want?

Grief: The Set-Up

Societal attitudes create the "set-up" for grief when a child is diagnosed with a disability. Let's end this nonsense!

Great Expectations

It's time for an attitude-adjustment; time to expect great things for children with disabilities!

Hearts and Minds

We work hard on our children's bodies and brains, but what's the impact on their precious hearts and minds?

Humor to the Rescue: What Do You Say When...

Nosy questions and uncomfortable situations can be handled better when we use humor.

I.D.E.A. - The Law vs. Reality

The law says one thing; the way it's implemented by schools is another. Why?

IEP - Curriculum Modifications

Special Ed law requires schools to provide curriculum modifications. Are they provided for your child?

IEP - Curriculum Modifications 101

An overview of what curriculum modifications look like.

IEP - Curriculum Modifications 102 - Computers: Opening Doors

Computers are a great tool to modify curriculum and enhance learning.

IEP - Curriculum Modifications 103 - History, Civics, Social Studies

Ideas on modifying curriculum in these specific subjects.

IEP - Curriculum Modifications 104 - I Love Math!

A student can learn—and love—math by doing it his way.

IEP - Curriculum Modifications 105 - Let's Read!

There are many ways to provide reading modifications.

IEP - Curriculum Modifications 106 - Writing: By Hand/Otherwise

Tools for handwriting and alternatives to handwriting.

IEP - Curriculum Modifications 107 - Ordinary Tools

Cards, dominoes, and many other ordinary objects can be great tools to help a child learn.

IEP - Dear Teachers and Team Members

If you're a member of and IEP Team, this letter is addressed to you!

IEP  - If it's Written, Is It Done?

Just because it's written in a plan or program, does that mean it really gets done?

IEP Goals:  Activity-Based Goals = Success

When we do a better job of writing IEP goals, we'll get better outcomes for our children.

IEP Goals: Meaningful and Relevant or Garbage?

Too many IEP goals are meaningless and irrelevant to the student. Whose goals are they, anyway?