The Special Needs Parent Handbook - SPECIAL EDITION - is an abridged version of the complete book, also available on Amazon.com.
Volunteers are distributing donated copies of a paperback version of this edition to libraries around the country to make sure that people unable to afford a copy will gain access to the book.
A deceptively thin, constructive caregiving resource ... A brief, compassionate guide to raising a disabled child." Kirkus Reviews
The Special Needs Parent Handbook provides practical advice for any parent of a child with special needs, for caregivers of children with mild learning disorders to those with severe cases of autism, cerebral palsy or other disabilities.
This title is being distributed to libraries across the country in support of Advocacy for All, an initiative to help families advocate for their special-needs children. The author, father of a 14-year-old with a rare genetic disorder causing autistic tendencies, clearly comes to his topic with firsthand experience and perspective to see the impact of his advice. Covering such subjects as finding babysitters, planning a financial future, working with school districts, and keeping the family together, Singer does an excellent job of being realistic about obstacles while providing hope for families faced with the complexities of raising special-needs children. Accept this donation with grace; it is timely, well written, practical, and focused. This slim gem should be on the shelf of every library. -- Julianne J. Smith
Of the multitude of special-needs parenting books available, most cover a specific area in depth—keeping the marriage together (Married with Special-Needs Children, 2007); navigating the health-care system (Parenting Children with Health Issues, 2007); advocating for inclusion (The Complete IEP Guide, 1998); tackling a specific diagnosis (Coloring outside Autism’s Lines, 2010); or offering advice on keeping life balanced (If You’ve Ever Wanted to Crawl in the Closet with an Oreo, 2000). Singer, whose daughter has a genetic disorder that “causes autistic tendencies,” touches on all of these areas in this short, personal volume that rose out of conversations on a Yahoo discussion group. Some of the advice is overly simplified (“You need to find the best doctors for your child”), but the short chapters on practical subjects (“Finding Babysitters,” “Your Health,” “Planning for the Future”) could serve as a useful introduction for a parent just starting down the path of raising a special-needs child. The proceeds of this book benefit Advocacy for All, an initiative founded by Singer. --Laura Tillotson
I am a parent of a child with special needs and found this book to be a great resource. Jon, you were able to give me insight into a world in which I have been living. After reading this book I feel more empowered and feel much more knowledgable. The biggest and the smallest topics were covered. Thank you for all of your hard work and research and putting all of this helpful information into one book for a parent like me! Regards, Daryl
Wow - wish this handbook had been available when my daughter was younger. Even though my daughter with Autism is 8 years old I still gained valuable information. It is written in such a friendly, easy to read format that just left me wanting more. I could so relate to the different experiences that Jon has had trying to include Rebecca in family activities and it gave me so many great ideas. It is also written in a very "real" way not only focusing on the joy and blessings of having a child with Special Needs but also the real struggle that it can be at times. It has motivated me to do 2 new things as well - make time for my husband and myself without guilt and make time to take care of myself. These things often take a back seat when raising a child with Special Needs (as well as 2 other "typical" children in my case). Thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful experience and advice for other families!
This book is an amazing reference for parents of children with special needs! It is easy to read, gives great advice, and is touching to see how far this family has gone to help Rebecca and other children with special needs! I am very lucky to say that my son and entire family have directly benefitted from the authors hard work and perseverance in starting REED Academy! My son started at REED in September and it has been a life changing experience! The positive attitute displayed in this book is inline with our own feelings. We have come across many wonderful people due to our son's autism and have learned a lot about ourselves and the kindness of others that have made "Holland" a wonderful place to be!
I recently read Jonathan Singer's book and it was a refreshing and uplifting piece that was not the typical financial guide for parents with a special needs child. Jon's personality, charm, sense of humor, deep care, heartfelt insights and strong desire to help others was apparent throughout. He addresses the most difficult issues with a special light-hearted flair - an Informal, easy to read how-to-book. This book will empower parents to make the practical decisions necessary to provide the optimal upbringing for their special needs child kid and at the same time develop a deep relationship with your spouse and make it inclusive and special for the other children. I am confident that you will appreciate and enjoy this particular read.
David Halper CLU/CHFC and partner of Halper Rawiszer Financial Group, a wealth management firm.
The Special Needs Parent Handbook is much more than a handbook, it is a lifeline. This book is incredibly helpful and moving, offering practical everyday advice while reminding the reader throughout that you're not alone in your struggle and challenges that you face in raising a child with special needs. The author's humor is an additional great reminder to try to keep your sense of humor to help you survive the difficulties that are encountered on a daily basis. This book offers tremendous guidance and support on day to day life at home, advocating and securing the best education for your special needs child, and more, and I will refer to it again and again.
Whether you have a special needs child or you know someone who does, this book provides invaluable information on how to make a special needs child's life more wonderful. This book will be especially helpful to parents who have a child diagnosed with autism. However this book is geared towards families struggling with the day-to-day realities of raising a special needs child.
At the start of the book, Jonathan Singer sympathizes with the reader. He is honest about the challenges and knows it isn't easy. One of his concerns is that parents also get time to themselves so they can be renewed and recharge. An important part of the book explains how he and his wife find time to relax. They do this by hiring a lot of babysitters. Jonathan Singer also provides questions you can ask to make sure your child will get the best care.
Part of the book explains how to get your child involved in community and family activities. This book also deals with difficulties you may find with your school system. There is also some information on how to select a good doctor.
One of the best ideas in the book is to buy your child a video iPod. This will keep them entertained for hours and allow you to go places you may have not been able to go before because your child became impatient and caused a fuss in public.
I have a special needs niece and now I understand a bit more about what her parents have had to go through. This book is a gentle guide for all parents looking for solutions.
Jon Singer is the author of The Special Needs Parent Handbook, The Great Babysitter Hiring Guide and his new book, entitled Driven, is coming soon - learn more at: www.DrivenStory.com.
Jon would do just about anything for his kids, and especially to make sure his daughter, Rebecca, who has a rare genetic disorder that causes autistic tendencies, gets what she needs to succeed. He'd practically go to the end of the earth if that's what it would take.
In fact, that's just what he did. In the summer of 2002, Jon and his wife, Michey formed an organization called The Drive For Rebecca (Drive4Rebecca.org) to increase awareness of autism and raise desperately needed funds for autism research and education. To raise money for the new organization, Jon and Michey, together with Rebecca; her brother, Sam; their cousin, Evan; and their babysitter, Rachel set out on a cross-country journey that changed their lives.
They drove from New Jersey to Los Angeles in a decorated motor home, staying in hotel rooms that were generously provided free of charge by a leading hotel chain. They organized events at Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats stores in seven cities, with sponsors such as Build-A-Bear Workshop, drawing media coverage from all the major networks. Along the journey they were greeted by friends, family members, Girl Scouts and made many new acquaintances.
They raised nearly $100,000, which they donated to autism research projects and to leading educational programs for kids with autism that use the science of Applied Behavioral Analysis. They ultimately joined forces with five other New Jersey families to start an incredible new school called REED Academy (REEDAcademy.org), where Rebecca could learn and grow to the best of her abilities, and donated funds to support the opening of another school.
Rebecca and twenty other students have been making amazing progress since REED Academy opened in 2003. Because of the miracles that happen every day at REED, several students have graduated and are attending their local elementary schools together with typically developing peers.
Rebecca and family embarked on the Advocacy4All Cross-Country Tour in 2011, stopping at Apple Stores along the way, to help families become stronger advocates. Through Drive4Rebecca, they are DRIVEN to continue to raise funds to help children with special needs while supporting education and research.
Jon is also EVP of Singer Nelson Charlmers where he is DRIVEN to help his clients.
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