Family-Centered Treatment: Working with Parents and Children with Special Needs

This course will explore the bi-directional impact of a child’s disability on parent and family well-being. Parents often begin family therapy feeling anxious, depleted and inadequate as they attempt to sustain healthy family relationships and family routines.  The Children with Special Needs Project Faculty will use discussion, videotapes, observation of live sessions and case consultation to illustrate the structure, process and therapeutic goals of family work. This course is appropriate for clinicians who work with children with autism, ADHD, learning disabilities and other developmental disabilities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the dynamics and impact of the child’s disability on family life and family relationships
  • Develop clinical skills working with families who have children with developmental, learning and behavioral issues
  • Appreciate the emotional journey of parents and their attempts to help their child thrive
  • Describe techniques to help parents become more reflective and regulated in their interactions with their child and to become more responsive to their child’s needs


Judy Grossman, DrPH, OTR is the Director of Ackerman’s Special Needs Project, Associate Director of the Center for the Developing Child and Family and adjunct faculty at NYU. She has lectured nationally and internationally about parenting, family resilience, mental health consultation and early intervention/special education policy and programs.

Project Faculty: Judi Aronowitz, LCSW; Sara Goldsmith, NCSP; Elissa Kirtzman, LCSW; Tracy Ross, LCSW

Date / Time:

6 Wednesdays: May 8, 15, 22, 29, June 5 and 12

9:00 am–11:00 am

Continuing Education:

12 CE Contact Hours

Register Online:

Alumni of the Ackerman Externship Program and all current Ackerman trainees are eligible for discounted workshop tuition. Please contact the Training Department to register.

Contact Ackerman Training


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