Raising happy and healthy children is both rewarding and demanding in the best of circumstances, but when one child has special needs, new challenges arise, t only for the parents, but for the siblings as well. Flavors for Everyone provides an insider's view--by a neuropsychologist who is also the mother of a special needs son--into the complex problems that these families face when raising children with different abilities and personalities, and offers practical solutions for families to implement. Each chapter includes summary points that can be used as a quick reference for times when life turns stressful or unpredictable. Parents are encouraged to recognize their own strengths--and each child's unique characteristics--to foster personal development in all family members. Through acceptance and shared experiences, siblings learn to appreciate each other as they grow up together and mature into confident and caring adults. Key issues addressed include: - Explaining special needs to children of any age - Dealing with the unique challenges and obstacles siblings face - Handling sibling rivalry and overcoming resentments - Building self esteem through scheduled one-on-one time with each child - Validating feelings and encouraging self-expression - Fostering compassion and inclusion among siblings - Sharing and teaching responsibility - Creating a strong support network - Keeping communication open and strong - Finding ways to enjoy time together as a family inside and outside the home
Barbara Lauer-Listhaus, Psy. D. received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Yeshiva University Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and post-doctoral training in Adolescent and Adult Neuropsychology at the International Center for the Disabled in New York City. She was instrumental in developing an inclusive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Currently, she is an Adjunct Professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Masters Program at Kean University and has a private practice in New Jersey where she counsels children, adolescents and adults with a wide range of mental health issues. Dr. Lauer-Listhaus serves as a consultant and board member for several special needs organizations and speaks nationally on topics relating to marital and sibling issues in special needs families. She is the mother of four adult children and has two grandchildren.