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All for one: MetLife's MetDESK is distributing a new book to teach children about special needs.

MetLife has teamed up with an award-winning author to teach young children a valuable lesson.

MetDESK, MetLife's Division of Estate Planning for Special Kids, recently entered into an alliance with children's book publisher Watering Can Press to distribute The Special Needs Acceptance Book through more than 300 MetDESK specialists across the United States.

The book is a valuable resource for families caring for children with special needs. Its author, Ellen Sabin, is founder of the New York-based publishing company and author of other books such as The Giving Book and The Healing Book. Sabin said the interactive book uses "engaging narrative, activities and journal exercises to help children ages 6 to 13 learn more about individuals with special needs, develop understanding for people different from themselves, and embrace the power they have to be kind, compassionate and helpful through their actions."

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that more than one in 10 Americans between the ages of 16 and 64 suffers from some form of physical, mental or emotional impairment, according to a MetLife report. Special needs can range from physical challenges, such as Down Syndrome, to those less evident, such as developmental delays.


After releasing one of her latest books, The Autism Acceptance Book, many parents and teachers approached Sabin about writing a book that focuses on a variety of disabilities, she said. The Special Needs Acceptance Book addresses disabilities and conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities such as dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, blindness and deafness.

The book is branded with MetDESK's logo and contains information about its services to assist parents of children with special needs, said Sabin. MetDESK specialists help families with children and dependents with special needs address critical issues, including how to protect future government eligibility and ways in which a special needs trust can provide for lifetime care and quality of life. They also can offer families insurance and other financial products to help support a family's plans.

"This isn't a cookie-cutter approach," said Brian Finn, assistant vice president of MetDESK. "Every family can be so different--their goals, dreams, aspirations and thoughts for the future for their children can vary greatly. People should have a better sense of the way disabilities impact individuals. A child may be sifting next to a classmate in school every day and not even realize he or she has a disability and needs understanding and, more importantly, needs a friend."

"Parents regularly see their children struggle to try to fit in," added Sabin. "It's difficult for those with disabilities to create friendships in school because they may act or look differently. I wanted to create a book that teachers could use to educate their classes about the differences amongst people and realize they have more in common than they realize."

Feedback from the book has been overwhelmingly positive, Finn said. "Hopefully this will begin a dialogue. And once that discussion has begun, amazing things can happen. This can change not only the way kids think but also parents' view about people who are different from themselves."

Finn, a father of three children with special needs, said nearly 60% of MetDESK specialists are either parents of children with special needs or have relatives with special

needs. "That gives them a unique perspective when they meet with families because many have walked in their shoes and can speak from a very personal level"

REACHING OUT: The Special Needs Acceptance Book is an interactive, educational and character-building book that shows children the challenges people with special needs face.
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Title Annotation:The Last Word; Division of Estate Planning for Special Kids
Comment:All for one: MetLife's MetDESK is distributing a new book to teach children about special needs.(The Last Word)(Division of Estate Planning for Special Kids)
Author:Chordas, Lori
Publication:Best's Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2008
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