Children with Special Needs

Director: Judy Grossman, DrPH, OTR

The Special Needs Project provides specialized family therapy services to families who have children with autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, sensory processing disorder and other developmental disabilities. The purpose is to promote family resilience as parents deal with the cumulative challenges they encounter raising a child with special needs. Some of the benefits of family therapy include:

  • Increased understanding of the child with special needs
  • More sensitive and effective parenting strategies
  • Increased marital satisfaction and co-parenting
  • Improved sibling relationships and attention to the needs of the typically developing child
  • Increased family support, coping, problem solving and communication skills
  • Appropriate family routines and activities
  • Opportunity to discuss family struggles and the emotional reactions to having a child with a disability
  • Increased confidence to navigate early intervention/special education and medical systems

Additional project activities include six-week Parent Discussion Groups and workshops for professionals working in early intervention and special education schools and agencies.

Learn more about the Resilient Families: Children with Special Needs Project in this Ackerman Podcast episode!

Project Director: Judy Grossman, DrPH, OTR212 879-4900, ext 121
Clinical Project Associates:
Judi Aronowitz, RN, LCSW
Sara Goldsmith, NCSP
Elissa Kirtzman, LCSW
Tracy Ross, LCSW

Discussion Group for Couples

Ackerman is offering a four-session discussion group for couples who have children with developmental disabilities such as autism, ADHD, learning disability or sensory processing disorder. The group is facilitated by experienced family therapists who understand the needs of these families.  The sessions include discussion and activities to address co-parenting challenges and to promote communication, coping, problem solving and relationship skills. The goal is for participants to nurture the co-parenting relationship and experience support from other parents who share similar challenges and dreams for their children.

Dates:  Wednesdays, September 20, 27; October 4, 11, 2017
Time: 9:30-11:00 a.m.
Cost:  $240 per couple  (there is a sliding scale option)
Location: Ackerman Institute for the Family, 936 Broadway, NY, NY, 10010
Registration:  For intake and information please contact:
Sara Goldsmith, NCSP, Group Facilitator:


For more information:
Brenda Nikelsberg , Administrator
212- 879-4900 x108,

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