Believe in My Child with Special Needs!: Helping Children Achieve Their Potential in School

Author: Mary A. Falvey Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 160 pages, 5.5 x 8.3
ISBN: 9781557667021
Price: $22.95

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Every parent is filled with dreams, fears, hopes, and questions when preparing a child for school—and when that child has a disability, this exciting time can seem overwhelming. This upbeat, reassuring handbook is an invaluable resource to share with parents of a school-age child with a disability. It demystifies complicated issues, encourages parents to celebrate abilities and recognize possibilities, and tells parents everything they need to know to be successful advocates throughout their child's education.

Drawing on her own experiences as a parent of a child with a disability and as an educator, Mary Falvey helps parents

  • understand their child's legal rights
  • pursue an inclusive education for their child, from preschool to high school and beyond
  • collaborate respectfully with educators on their child's IEP
  • promote their child's access to the general curriculum and encourage educators to use appropriate modifications and assessment strategies
  • support their child as he or she develops friendships
  • develop transition plans to help their child achieve their goals after high school

Candid and positive, this easy-to-read guidebook will be a trusted companion for parents—and a helpful source of insight for professionals seeking the parent perspective.


Review by: Paul Wehman, Virginia Commonwealth University

"There is a distinct shortage of hands-on, practical books for parents, advocates, and general educators. . . . This is the first book that I am aware of that focuses directly on what parents and advocates need to know. I highly recommend this guidebook, which I expect will become a leading reference in the field."

Review: Preemie Magazine

"Believe in My Child with Special Needs! by Mary A. Falvey should be on the essential reading list of any parent of a child whose abilities fall anywhere outside what might be considered 'normal'."

Review: Parenting Special Needs

"When it comes to inclusion, Falvey is a true believer, convinced that children with disabilities can and must learn with [peers without disabilities]. She makes a compelling case, and it's gratifying to read a book that's so relentlessly upbeat about our children's abilities. If your district has made a true commitment to inclusion, this will be an invaluable resource. If not, it may just break your heart."

Review: Book News, Inc.

"In this up-beat handbook for parents of a school-age child with a disability, Falvey (special education, California State University) shows readers how to advocate for their child's education, drawing on her own experiences as an educator and as a parent of a child with a disability. She explains the child's legal rights, and gives practical advice on pursuing an inclusive education for the child, from preschool to high school and beyond. While written for parents, the book is also for professionals seeking the parent perspective."

Table of Contents


  1. Celebrating Abilities
  2. Federal Laws and Court Rulings
  3. Age-Related Services and Supports
  4. Friendship Development
  5. Assessment and Curriculum Modifications
  6. Problem Solving and Collaboration
  7. Transition to Adult Life


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