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Judith Loseff Lavin
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I wanted to share this with you. It is written by Julie Gordon who is director of the MUMS National Parent-To-Parent Network newsletter. By the way, Mums is a wonderful resource for parents of children with special needs. To contact them, you an use e-mail at, the web: or call toll free: 877-336- 5333 or non-toll-free: 920-336-5333.


By Julie Gordon
Director of the MUMS National Parent-To-Parent Network newsletter

ADid you ever sit down after an exhausting day, look around, see a messy house, dishes piled high, laundry overflowing and wonder what did you do all day? Or worse yet, did your husband come home and ask you that same question? You never took a break sat down and watched TV or read a book, yet you seem to have accomplished nothing all day. Next time you have thought like this, read the following list and check the ones that apply to you. Perhaps you and your husband and children will be more understanding of the added work a child with special needs can be. Perhaps you will be amazed at all you really did accomplish all day!


*Schedule doctor appointments
*Schedule Home Health Care services
*Call physical therapist for physical therapy services
*Call physical therapist about getting new wheelchair
*Order new wheelchair
*Make appointments for wheelchair insert fitting
*Call insurance about coverage
*Call Medical Assistance about coverage
*Make appointment with orthopedic surgeon
*Call pharmacy for prescriptions
*Call diaper order
*Set up Respite Care
*Make transportation arrangements
*Make therapy appointments
*Call Social Services about reimbursement forms
*Call Social Security Office about income changes
*Call bill collectors about late payments on medical bills
*Call teacher about IEP changes
*Call Special Education Director about school problems
*Call school to set up IEP meeting
*Call advocate to come to IEP meeting
*Call teacher about observing child in classroom
*Call Parent Advocacy group to find out your school rights
*Call dentists in town to see who takes Medical Assistance
*Call hospital about mistake on billing
*Call insurance commissioner about insurance company
*Make an appointment to check blood levels
*Schedule another EEG
*Call around to see who pays for computers
*Set up orthodontics (braces) appointments
*Call school about doctor appointments
*Call bus company not to pick up child
*Call baby-sitter for other children for appointments
*Call in prescriptions for medication
*Call around looking for a van to buy
*Call everyone to see who can help with van expenses
*Set up Community Options Program Assessment
*Call Family Support Program
*Call and compare prices of van lifts
*Call everyone about help with lift costs
*Make an appointment for lift installation
*Call MUMS for HELP!!!!!!!!


*Search Internet for information
*Do range of motion
*Do speech therapy exercises
*Observe child at school
*Meet with advocate
*Attend IEP meting
*Train new Respite provider
*Write letter to Department of Public Instruction
*Write letter to legislator about lack of services
*Bring child to doctor appointments
*Bring child to have braces made
*Go for communication evaluation
*Write letter justifying computer
*Call therapists to write letter about computer
*Teach self & child to use computer
*Pick out wheelchair
*Look at vans and buy one
*Bring van for lift installation
*Pick up forms at Social Services
*Go to Social Security for SSI reevaluation
*Go to therapy
*Bring braces in for adjustment
*Go to therapeutic swim class
*Write list of child’s care needs
*Train Home Health Provider
*Pick up prescriptions
*Pack up child’s things for Respite
*Write letter to go with child to Respite
*Fill out Katie Becket MA waiver forms
*Fill out Family Support forms
*Fill out Respite Care forms
*Make communication board
*Teach child how to use communication board
*Write letter justifying lift
*Attend School Board meeting
*Attend support group meetings
*Take child in for blood levels
*Take child for EEG
*Have COP assessment in home
*Meet with Home Health Care nurse
*Pay numerous medical bills
*Write letter or e-mail to MUMS for help!!!!!!!!!

None of these things show at the end of a busy day. All of these things are important and take a lot of time. Some of them you do once in a while and some o a regular basis. Make your own list so you can see for yourself (and those who ask) how your time is spent. Add to this list those thing other parents must do such as: grocery shopping, cooking, volunteering at schools, bringing car in for repairs, cleaning, laundry, etc. If you are a mother working outside the home too---How do you do it???????

For more information visit

Judith Lavin, M.S.W., author of Special Kids Need Special Parents, and a former journalist with the Chicago Sun-Times, recognized the need for an easy-to-read resource for physically and emotionally exhausted parents like herself, as well as their families, teachers, doctors and others who work with them. Lavin speaks to numerous organizations and parent groups around the nation, giving them inspiration and hope.

Lavin’s work has been featured in numerous publications such as the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, Newsday, Washington Parent and Chicago Parent. In addition, she has appeared  on radio and TV news and talk shows around the U.S., including NBC-TV's Today show, PBS-TV's Small Talk for Parents and the CBS Radio Networks. You can visit Judy at