Helping Kids Befriend Peers with Special Needs

In this episode of POP Parenting with Jenni and Jody we are wrapping a series on special needs with a very special show. We’re talking to an author who has a child with Down Syndrome about how to coach our kids to interact with and befriend peers with special needs. 

This show is part of a series on Special Needs. Be sure to check out the other episodes in the series.

Episode #1 — What is Early Intervention and Is It Right for My Child? with Jenni and Jody

Episode #2 — Advocating for Kids with Special Needs with Jenni and Jody

Episode #3 —Helping Special Needs Kids Understand Complex Social Situations with authors Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky

Episode #4 —Helping Kids Befriend Peers with Special Needs with author Gillian Marchenko

This Week’s Show Topic



In this episode, we’re talking to author Gillian Marchenko, a writer and national speaker who lives in Chicago with her husband Sergei and four daughters. Her work has appeared in numerous publications.  Gillian is the author of two books, Still Life, A Memoir of Living Fully with Depression and Sun Shine Down, a Memoir about Down syndrome.

Throughout this episode, Gillian shares with us a simple guide for helping children learn to connect with and even befriend peers with special needs.

Caught in the Act

Today’s Caught in the Act is a little different. Our guest is a dad, but we are not talking to him about unique thing he did with his own kids. Instead, we want to share with you something really amazing that he has done for many kids — including one of Jenni’s!

Del Couch is the founder of the Couch Music Education Foundation.  He has Degree in production of Berklee College of Music that he pursued in his 50’s. Del has played in US Air Force band and he currently teaches classes at Manatee School of the Art in Bradenton, Florida.

Brother, Brother Music

brother brother

Hey, if you dig the sound of POP Parenting, we encourage you to check out Brother Brother! They are a super fun two-man Indie Americana band comprised of brothers Bradley and Brett Anderson. They have a new album coming out soon, and we have had the chance to hear some of it — it’s awesome! So go visit them, like them on Facebook and check out their music.

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody are Christian, homeschooling moms with ten kids between them (ages 1 to 30), including one on the autism spectrum, plus one baby grandchild. Together they host a weekly syndicated parenting radio show, write a weekly newspaper column, freelance for a variety of publications, teach parenting and homeschooling workshops and seminars, speak at conventions and conferences and coach individual families. They are passionate about encouraging and equipping families to Parent On Purpose (POP) with the end result in mind.

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