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Health Online

September 02, 2002|Benedict Carey

Center for the Improvement of Child Caring

www.ciccparenting.org

Background: This national nonprofit group provides education and support for parents of children with learning disabilities or other special needs. The Web site is an all-purpose resource, with advice, interactive tests and helpful phone numbers.

What works: Discovery Tool is a detailed self-questionnaire that can help parents decide if a child has a physical or mental handicap or would benefit from a visit to a professional. At a minimum, the test will give parents a good idea of how problems are diagnosed. Also, the site's glossary of terms cuts through child-development jargon, which can be eye-glazing. It's reassuring to know, for example, that a "failure to thrive" refers to children who are very small for their age. The definition pages will help consumers understand how child psychologists think, dividing the boy's or girl's world into cognitive function, sensory skills, social development, and so on. And, by punching in a ZIP Code, parents can locate nearby seminars and services.

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