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Ten Great Traits of Parents of Children with Special Needs

By Joan Celebi, Special Needs Parent Coach It's been said that having a child with special needs brings out the best in us, and I heartily agree. I suspect you'll recognize yourself in the qualities listed here:

  • Camaraderie. Meet someone new + find out they have a child with special needs = instant friend.
  • Sense of Humor. It carries us through even the worst of days days.
  • Appreciation for what's truly important in life.
  • Determination. A "do whatever it takes," never give up attitude.
  • Vigilance. Often anticipating and heading off potential problems before they happen.
  • Empathy...for others facing challenges in life, whatever those challenges may be.
  • Intellectual Prowess...from reading all those research studies!
  • Resourcefulness. More often than not, we find a way or make a way.
  • Strength...mental, emotional, physical, and stamina, too.
  • Courage. We face challenges head on that we once could never have fathomed.

Joan Celebi is the founder of and author of Overwhelmed No More! Published with permission.

Parenting Classes

Statewide Responsive Parenting Calendar
Designed specifically for parents of children birth to 3 years old. Learn about your child's temperament, safety points to keep in mind and effective discipline for this age.

Sioux Falls, Sanford CHILD Services
Responsive Parenting classes are free and run continually on Wednesdays. The classes do require pre-registration. In some locations, child care is offered at no cost to parents who attend the classes. For questions or to register, please call (605) 328-7115 or email

Statewide Common Sense Parenting Calendar
Program was designed by Boys Town as a practical approach to help parents be more positive with their children and to use more effective discipline. Classes run for 6-7 consecutive weeks for 2 hours per week. Contact the coordinator for specific location and registration information. Common Sense Parenting Classes are appropriate for parents with children ages 3 to adolescence.

Parenting Training - Free and Online

Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers
Topics include: Communicating with Your Child, Creating Structure and Rules, Giving Directions, Using Discipline and Consequences, and Using Time-Out. Two types of videos are available, one features Real-Life Parenting Challenges that show how parents address every day challenges and find real world solutions. The other features experts offering "How-To" tips and ideas that are direct and to-the-point.

Strategies for Parenting Defiant Children - Webinar
Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., outlines positive parenting techniques that will help oppositional and defiant kids manage frustration and develop greater empathy and reasoning skills. In this audio and slide presentation Dr Greene discusses: tips for calming your defiant child, how to "reason" with your ODD child, strategies to help your kid manage frustration and problem solve.

Positive Discipline Part 1
This 25 minute video is appropriate for parents who want to learn an alternative to the reward and punishment system. The program is also appropriate for parents interested in different techniques that includes children with disorders of attachment, children on the autism spectrum, and children exposed to trauma. University of Montana Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development.

Positive Discipline Part 2
This program promotes a strong parent to child connection, as well as sets clear boundaries and limits. University of Montana Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development.

Ins and Outs of Adolescent Brain Development - Webinar
Why do teenagers act the way they do? The prefrontal cortex, which controls higher-order thinking abilities, is not fully developed until very late in adolescence. In this introduction to adolescent brain development, we will focus on the development (and under-development) of various parts of the brain, the ways this brain development affects behavior, and ways to support adolescents as they finish the crucial period of brain development. Presenter: Dr. Diane Bales, Associate Professor and Extension Human Development Specialist, University of Georgia.

Successful Co-Parenting After a Divorce - Online Training
Free online, interactive, multimedia platform with videos demonstrating skills and strategies, extensive resource site, and certificate of training. Applicable to parents, family members and professionals. Modules: Introduction to Divorce and Co-Parenting; Strategies and Skills for Co-Parenting; Self-Care, Transitions, and Safety.

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Information, guides and resources.

Raising your Grandchildren
There is much information on this website for grandparents raising grandchildren or other relatives parenting someone else's child.

Grandparents of Kids with Special Needs
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