Professionals - Children with Special Needs

Selected tools and resources for nurses, doctors, childcare providers, therapists and other professionals who support children with special health care needs.

Duncan Seminar Keynote: What Can Juggling Teach Us About Mental Health and Developmental Disorders? (link)
Keynote presentation by Dr. Bryan King on epidemiology of mental health disorders in intellectual and developmental disabilities. The talk examines aspects of co-occurring mental health needs in the setting of developmental disorders and behavioral challenges.

Duncan Seminar: Helping Children With Developmental Disabilities and Restrictive Eating: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Improving Mealtimes (link)
Presentation by an interdisciplinary team in the Seattle Children’s Autism Center. Danielle Dolezal, PhD, BCBA-D, Cara Pierson, ARNP, Caryn Deskines, MS, CCC-SLP, and Barb York, MS, RD, CD present a multidisciplinary approach to functional feeding problems and feeding disorders associated with medical and developmental problems.

Optimizing Neuropsychiatric Health for People with Developmental Disabilities (link)
Presentation by Dr. Dan Doherty and Dr. Nina de Lacy.

The Bio-Behavioral Model to Assess and Treat Disruptive Behavior (link)
Presentation by Dr. Eric Boelter, James Mancini, MS, CCC-SLP, and Dr. Aditi Sharma on the interdisciplinary team model to assess and treat disruptive behavior. The roles of medical, psychiatry, Speech Language Pathology, OT, PT specialists are emphasized. Applied Behavior Analysis in assessment and treatment is reviewed.

For more information: Linkages – Mental and Behavioral Resources.

For professionals who work with parents and caregivers interested in becoming a family advocate or advisor. Includes a facilitator guide, training materials and handouts.

Talking with Parents for Childcare Professionals

Children with special needs include “… all children who have, or are at increased risk for, chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions and who also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.” (Maternal Child Health Bureau)


Talking with Parents offers child care and early learning providers tips on communicating with parents who have a child with special needs in child care. We hope these materials will be shared among providers, educators and students to help better serve children with special needs and their parents.

Focus on a Child-Centered Partnership

Child care providers are a child’s family away from home. Providers might be second only to the family in knowing a child well. Parents and providers together focus their efforts on how best to help children grow and mature into happy, healthy youth and adults. The child is the center of the partnership’s attention. Seeing important adults in their life working in harmony puts children at ease and can enhance a child’s self esteem.

Skills that can help you build the parent-provider partnership include:

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News, care guidelines, patient education, topic specific resources, and research reports for families and professionals who work with children and youth with special health needs and disabilities.
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