The impact of special needs on the family dynamic

Allison Kawa, PsyD Child Psychologist, shares advice for parents of a special needs child on the impact that it can have on a family and shares advice to help
Parenting Kids WIth Special Needs | The Effects On The Family Dynamic
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The impact of special needs on the family dynamic

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What a lot of people don't realize is that having a special needs child is a whole family impact. Many, many marriages fall apart because parents become so hyper-focused on meeting their child's needs, they forget they are a married couple. They forget to go out and have dates. They forget to go out and do things together, just as two people, rather than as two parents. Similarly, a non-affect child can get lost in the shuffles, especially if a lot of the financial resources and time are going into the child who has a disability. It's important for parents to remember to spend one-on-one time with all of their children, and to make sure that the non-affected siblings are getting all of the attention and help that they need as well.

Allison Kawa, PsyD Child Psychologist, shares advice for parents of a special needs child on the impact that it can have on a family and shares advice to help

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Allison Kawa, PsyD

Child Psychologist

Alison Kawa is a licensed child psychologist specializing in the evaluation of children and adolescents.  Her pre- and post-doctoral training emphasized child and adolescent testing.  She was a fellow in the UCLA Autism Evaluation Clinic where she acquired extensive training in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders and a range of other developmental disorders.  During this time, she also obtained certification from the University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center (UMACC) on the gold standard instruments (i.e., ADI-R and ADOS) used in autism evaluations.  Following her fellowship, she became Senior Assessor at UCLA where she worked for four years.

Alison completed the PsychoEducational Diagnostic Services Program (PEDS) Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Assessment at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center at Vista Del Mar.  In this setting, she conducted comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations for children and adolescents with a diverse range of issues including ADHD, Learning Disabilities, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders.  She also completed the Child Therapy in a School Setting program offered by Phillips Graduate Institute, where she gained training and experience in play therapy, social skills groups, and therapeutic interventions appropriate for adolescents. 

While completing her graduate training in psychology, she held a staff position at Working With Autism, Inc., where she worked individually with children with autism, provided case management and supervision, and developed and implemented a staff-training curriculum.  It was through this position that she acquired a love for teaching and training. In addition to her private practice, she teaches pre- and post-doctoral fellows at the Reiss Davis Child Study Center at Vista Del Mar, where she also works as a supervisor and consultant.

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