ScreamFree(tm) Parenting Author Offers Answers for Parents With Special Needs Children

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ScreamFree Parenting Program Creator is Providing Keynote Address for Families of Children Under Stress (FOCUS). FOCUS has determined that The ScreamFree Parenting Program is very valuable for children with special needs.

Parents with special needs children have a new way to manage their stress and become more effective and more available to their children. Such is the appeal of the ScreamFree Parenting Program, the revolutionary parenting approach that throws away many of the ineffective techniques and approaches of the past, and dramatically improves the relationship parents have with their children. The typical parenting techniques sometimes just don’t work for children with disabilities or medical needs” comments Lucy Cusick, Executive Director of FOCUS. “When the household includes a special needs child, the natural inclination is for parents to suppress their own needs and the needs of any siblings, which just compounds the challenges.,” continued Mrs. Cusick. Mrs. Cusick, parent of a special needs child herself, has been Executive Director of Focus for 10 years. “The goal of our organization is to provide emotional, informational, and physical support to our parents, through tools and programs such as this.”

“We’re excited to be a part of what FOCUS is doing for parents who are having challenges dealing with their special needs children” Said Hal Runkel, LMFT, who is founder and author of the ScreamFree Parenting audio, book and live seminar programs which have already helped thousands of parents be the best that they can be. “The principals apply in all parenting situations, but they can be especially effective when an illness, disability, or other challenge can require added attention or focus to one child in the family” added Runkel.

ScreamFree Parenting turns the focus of parenting back where it belongs, on the parents. “Parenting is about parents, not about children,” said Runkel. “So many books, programs and methodologies put undue focus and attention on the child and his or her role in the situation, and what technique or manipulation strategy the parents should employ to enforce a particular behavior on the child. This doesn’t work on any child let alone on a child who has other challenges with disability, illness or handicap”, said Runkel.

“ScreamFree Parenting reminds me that the one thing that I can absolutely control is my own response or reaction to a given situation, and it is up to me as the parent to be the one that is calm and under control,” said Robert Laarhoven, mother of 5 children, one of whom is wheelchair bound, due to complications from Spina Bifida. “How can we ask our kids to be responsible to carry all the emotional ‘eggs’ around the house? It’s up to me to remain calm, and connected with the kids. As the mature one, I can maintain stability in the home even when things get hot or out of hand.”

Hal Runkel, who created the ScreamFree Parenting Program and offers speeches, seminars, books, and audio programs to guide parents toward a ScreamFree home, will be the keynote speaker at the FOCUS annual educational conference in Atlanta, on January 29th, 2005. “We’re so honored to have Mr. Runkel address our group,” said Lucy Cusick, FOCUS Executive Director. “Our goal is to assist parents on the journey of raising their special needs children, and to do so with all the right tools and approaches to keep their sanity, and to give the children the best care possible. The ScreamFree Parenting Program does exactly that.”

ScreamFree Living, headquartered near Atlanta Georgia, transforms relationships daily in families, businesses, churches and other organizations through books, videos, recorded and live seminars, newsletters and other publications. For more information, visit the website at, or call 770-239-1733.

FOCUS offers emotional, informational, and physical support to families with children with disabilities or ongoing medical needs. FOCUS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, visit or call 770-234-9111.

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David Markert
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