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A parent recently asked "I've found it difficult to help my son to answer HOW and WHY questions, Can you give some suggestions?"

We posed this question to a well respected Speech/Language Pathologist who specializes in the language development of preschool children.

“Wh” questions can be tricky for preschool children, even those without a developmental delay. Try to think of the “wh” questions on a continuum with “what” questions being the easiest, then “where” questions, “who” questions, and “when” questions. The “how” and “why” questions are higher level questions and are more appropriately answered in kindergarten and first grade. All of these questions are very important because when a child is learning to read, these questions deal with their comprehension of the story. Often it’s a question of their understanding what is being asked of them. For example, “who” would be a person and “when” would be a time. Modeling these questions for your child would be helpful such as, asking and then answering the same question. For example, “Where should we go?” “Oh let’s go to Publix.” “When should we go?” “Let’s go after school.” In this way the child will hear the proper use of questions with the appropriate answer. Over time he will integrate this into his repertoire.

Last week I spoke with a representative from Parent to Parent of Miami, an organization dedicated to helping families who have children with special needs. I learned that there are grants available to help cover the cost for therapies that insurance just does not cover. I know that many families pay a substantial amount of money out of pocket for needed therapies and would benefit from information in this area. Below is a link that may be helpful. I am not familiar with this website or program but I think it merits a closer look. If you fill out the application please let us know about the follow up and whether or not they were helpful. If you have information on this subject please share with the group.

This is a link for grants for therapy for children with special needs

Today I asked a parent if she would like to share any tips she has learned along the way on raising a child with special needs. She lost a daughter at the age of four due to a seizure disorder. After losing her daughter she had another child with a genetic disorder who is now 18 years old. The doctor said these cases where just like, “A shot in the dark.” It could happen to anyone. She shares these tips with you.

As parents we are constantly making decisions for our children. We start by looking for the best primary care doctor. Then, if we are lucky enough, we need to decide if both parents will work, or if we need to find a day-care program. When it is time for kindergarten we want them to be in the best possible school, involved in the best possible program. We continue to worry about what they are eating, if they are making friends, and how they are doing in school.

How do we make all these decisions? Well, we talk to other parents, to professionals; we even Google to find the needed information. These decisions are more difficult for parents of children with special needs. Who do they talk to when they need information? What are their rights? What rights do their children have in school, when participating in extracurricular activities in school, and in other activities of choice?

The purpose of this website is to provide families the opportunity to connect with others. As parents we all have knowledge and expertise to share based on the varied experiences we have encountered along the way. I encourage families to use the forum to ask questions, share information, thoughts, experiences, and ideas with each other. Please look at the photo gallery to see some of what we do in class. Take a moment and get to know our friends the letter people. They are real characters. I will also be posting a few of the vocabulary building activities that include our letter people friends so you can discuss them at home with your child.