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Help for parents of children with special needs

It is never easy finding the right combination of help for a child with special needs, but when you live abroad, it can be next to impossible. In some countries special needs are ignored, or treatments are years behind current practice. This can lead to extraordinary difficulties for expats who may be forced to uproot their lives in order to get their children the help they need.

Susan Stephens has a grandson with special needs and has worked diligently with her daughter to find the most effective ways to help him thrive. Throughout the years she has established connections with parents and special needs experts worldwide and has been “working towards providing resources, encouragement and support to families around the world raising children with special needs.”

In January, she will premier Family Network TV, a WebTV and online Radio network that will connect experts, parents, special needs children and their siblings around the world. The network will provide a place for parents to share information and provide to support while raising their special needs children.

“It’s my hope that Family Network TV will become a gathering place for not only parents but the kids as well, typical and special need, to meet others in their same situation,” she said. “I wish there had been a place my daughter could have gone to list the symptoms that my grandson was experiencing that other parents would have recognized and maybe it wouldn’t have taken so long to get a diagnosis, so a big goal for me is information sharing between parents no matter what country they live in.”

All programming will be viewable to anyone that has internet access and fans will have the ability to choose the language of the written text. Additionally, there will be a life chat on the Network Radio show which will enable people to ask the guests or hosts questions.

She has considered time zone differences and said that even those who cannot listen to the live show can “log on and listen to the broadcast anytime and post questions.  For the webTV shows there will be a discussion board for each episode and the host or the guest will answer any questions. Additionally, members of the site will be able to video chat or instant chat with each other at any time. Viewers can choose to meet and view a show together and chat about it.  Also, families that live far apart could use our site to video chat for free if they wanted to.”

Susan provided the following details regarding some of the show line ups:

“Dare to be Rare hosted by Meagan Cross from Australia will focus on Angelman Syndrome and will also feature other rare diagnoses and the undiagnosed. Megan created an international foundation to fund research to Cure Angelman Syndrome. Within this show her 4-year-old typical daughter (“Walk About with Eva”) will act as our tour guide showing us the rain forest and the Great Barrier Reef, to name a few spots.

The Imperfection Connection is hosted by Patty Konjoian and Gina Gallagher, authors of Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid: A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Children.

Siblinghood is hosted by four teenagers:

Nick Lombardi who five years ago designed the button “I’m not Misbehaving, I have Autism, Please be Understanding.” He has sold them for $3 and has donated over $45,000 to Autism Speaks;

Amit Heiz who has a brother with Tourette Syndrome;

Alex who has an older sister with Down Syndrome; and

Meagan Badock who has a five-year-old sister with a very rare chromosome deletion.

Filming will be in New York and will showcase places of interest there and talk about all the emotions that these typical siblings go through.

Perspective will share the points of view from all ages and situations within the special needs community. Topics include verything from parents raising children with disabilities, to teens dealing with social issues, to young adults making that transition to college or the work place, to owning their own business, to adults and senior adults living with a special need.

A Matter of LAW hosted by Sheryl Frishman and Jaill Faber who are special needs attorneys from New York who are also mothers of children with special needs. They will cover things that you should know, documents you should have in place, and how to set up a trust for your child if you live in the US or are American.

Network Radio

“Family Network Radio hosted by Tara Ecklund will feature families and medical professionals as guests allowing listeners to ask questions live on the air. Tara will also feature the host of our upcoming shows on Family Network TV.

BUTTERFLYWHEEL Effect hosted by Monica Foster, motivator, advocate and consultant, will feature guests from around the world encouraging a “Life Without Limits”.

Lauren Henry, Founder of “With a Brush of Love, Inc.” will feature guests on her show as she shares her research about the effects of color on emotion and interviews psychologists who specialize in the field of study.”

Note: Susan is the founder and president of Family Network TV, which is an independent project. They will have banner ad sponsors and commercials within the episodes to support the project. And in an attempt to introduce new products, they will have programs that highlight new products. “This is an effort to expose new products to the community, allowing families that are interested to contact them directly.”

Premiere week of the TV shows is planned for mid-January, 2011.

You can learn more on the website or you can join the discussions on Facebook.

Posted in: Behavior, Home at last

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