Activities for Special Needs Children - Autism Activities

Hug Grabs Gold he has Been Longing for at Rio 2016
“I still can’t believe it, I can’t say how happy I am. I’m really, really, really happy,”Swiss ‘Silver Bullet’ Marcel Hugfinally grabbed the Paralympic gold medal he has been waiting for, winning the 800m T54 at Rio 2016 on...
Rio Paralympics 2016: Closing ceremony tribute for Bahman Golbarnezhad
Bahman Golbarnezhad died following a crash in the men's C4-5 road race on Saturday.  Story and photo courtesy of REUTERS The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games were brought to a close inside a packed Maracana Stadium on Sunday evening.Singers,...
Rio 2016: Queen Hails 'Magnificent' Paralympians on Homecoming
The Queen has praised the performance of Britain's Paralympics team at Rio 2016 as "magnificent" as the athletes returned to the UK on a special flight. Parades to celebrate the country's Olympic and Paralympic success have been confirmed for...
US Paralympics announce full delegation for Rio 2016
Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long poses for a portrait at the 2016 Team USA Media Summit in Beverly Hills, California© • Getty Images US Paralympics has announced its full team competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, held 7-18...
Message of Peace Unveiled at Rio Landmark
The giant flag was divided into seven pieces to be transported up to the Christ statue © • Rio 2016/Alex Ferro. By Rio 2016  Giant mosaic made up of 500 flags designed by local schoolchildren goes on show ahead of official...
Team USA Comes Home with 115 Medals, 40 Golds!
(L-R) Amanda McGrory, Tatyana McFadden and Chelsea McClammer swept the podium twice during Team USA's 115-medal haul at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Photo courtesy of Getty Images Team USA wrapped up the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, having completed...
Rachael Morrison Smashes Her Own World Record For Paralympic Discus Gold
Photo Courtesy of Joe Kusumoto Two new Paralympic champions were crowned at Olympic Stadium Wednesday as Team USA added five medals to its tally, including two gold, and smashed a world record. Rachael Morrison (Farmington Hills, Michigan)...
‘Speechless’ Series Focuses on Special Needs
When the ABC sitcom Speechless premiers September 21, 2016, viewers will see a different kind of sitcom family. Minnie Driver plays Maya, the mother of three kids, one of which is a special needs child confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak....
Special Olympic Southern California Summer Games 2016
     Photo credits: Freddie B. Photography™ (Copyright 2016) I woke up on the morning of June 11 in Long Beach to an overcast & foggy morning, with the forecasted promise of light rain throughout the morning. ...
Hello from SpecialNeeds.com! We came across this unique opportunity for the Community and wanted to share...
Improve Memory Skills Easily
So many of our kids struggle with learning because they have poor memory skills, either auditory or visual memory skills. Their comprehension suffers. Their factual knowledge base suffers. One of the keys to improving skills is to improve your...
Auditory Processing Activities
We all take in information through the senses: taste, smell, hearing (auditory), seeing (visual), and doing (tactile/kinesthetic). Within the auditory, visual, and tactile/kinesthetic areas, there are 9 sub-categories each. So what do you do when...
Spring Break Activities
Spring Break Family Activities  One of the best parts of spring break was the break away from 'all things school.' Little did I know then that I was learning just the same. Trips to the Art Institute, the Museum of Science and Industry, or...
Special Olympics Southern California Global Messenger Runs the LA 2016 Marathon
     Photo Credits: Freddie B. Photography™      When Luke Farnell, the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) Manager of Law Enforcement Torch Run & Special Events, mentioned to me during a phone...
Help for Parents of Learning Challenged Children
Have you ever asked yourself these questions?Why it is that some children love learning and mine is continuing to struggle?Why is it that my child struggles with reading?Why is it that my child struggles with writing?Why is it that my child...
Reduce Holiday Stress for Learning Challenged Kids: Replay is Here
Holiday time can be stressful for our learning challenged kids. Did you know...there are specific things you can do to lessen the stress over the holidays and then ease into the new school year?Learn the 7 holiday activities that reduce stress and...
An Inspirational Day at the Special Olympics Southern California 2015 Fall Games
     This is it - what over 1100 athletes having what I call, “special gifts” have been waiting for, and training for all year: The Special Olympics Southern California Fall Games.  The Fall Games were held at three different...
Holiday Activities for Dyslexia and ADHD Kids + Ease Into the New Year with Success: FREE Webinar
Holiday time can be stressful for our learning challenged kids. Did you know...there are specific things you can do to lessen the stress over the holidays and then ease into the new school year? Register for the FREE Webinar. Join the PEN...
Parent Teacher Conference Tips
This is the season of parent teacher conferences. Conference time typically comes around once in the fall and once in the spring. (That doesn’t mean that is the ONLY time you can have a parent teacher conference.) Those are just the set times. So...
Special Olympics Riverside Softball Team Takes the Gold at the Inland Empire Regional Fall Games
      Ever since I had the honor of spending nine days of my life from sunup to sundown covering the Special Olympic World Games LA 2015 this last July as a media photographer for Specialneeds.com, I yearned to continue my...
Great Movie: ‘A Child is Waiting’ on Blu-ray
This just in from Francine Brokaw...The movie 'A Child is Waiting' is now on Blu-ray. It is a great watch!    Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland star in this extremely dramatic 1963 movie about mental illness. A Child is Waiting is...
Learning Disabilities Awareness Month: Does Your Child Forget to Take Things to School?
Children and adults with learning disabilities are typically as smart or smarter than their peers. What makes them different is they may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information if left to figure...
Go To Pro: Executive Function Problems? What Does Homework Have to do with That?
Executive function is the ability plan, organize, strategize, and pay attention to and remember details. Quite a mouthful! So if you have problems with executive function, you typically have problems with: Completing assignmentsKeeping track of...
Go to Pro - Back to School - 5 Steps to School Success
The kids are back to school or will be back very soon. Are their ways you can help them have school success? Can this year be different than last year? The answer is yes! You can enhance your child's school performance, whether your child has a...
Go to Pro Answering Your Questions: What is the difference between a 504 Plan and an IEP and what can I do to help my child?
504 Plans vs the  IEP Simply stated, a 504 Plan is a plan that ‘levels the playing field’ so to speak for your child. It is the plan of accommodations that is tailored specifically to your child's needs that reduces or eliminates...
Dain Blanton: A True Hero & Olympian
Our venue is a unified game with the former Olympians and athletes at the Alamitos Park, Long Beach. The day was perfect for a game and everyone was excited to be playing alonside Olympians from yesterday. SpecialNeeds.com was delighted to be...
Go to Pro: Help for Dyslexia, ADHD, Autism - Video Lessons
School Can Be Easier Than You ThinkFor those of us that have children that struggle, school is often a time of stress. Will this school year be just like last year or will this year be the year that reading, spelling, writing, and math actually get...
An Aspie Photographer at the Special Olympic World Games 2015
When Specialneeds.com correspondent Robin Flutterby Borakove; someone I recently met at a photoshoot, asked me in early 2015 if I wanted to join her to cover the Special Olympic World Games as a media photographer for Specialneeds.com, I did not...
Can a Production Company Have a “Real Hero” as a Senior VP?
FiveCurrents, the Executive Producer for the 2015 Special Olympic World Games does! Senior Vice President Mark Poncher works long hard hours to ensure his company is successful. Unlike many other productions that FiveCurrents organizes, the Special...
Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s Legacy Lives On
It’s a bittersweet time for us at SpecialNeeds.com during the closing ceremonies of the Special Olympics World Games LA2015. Endless hours of work went into making this, the largest sporting event of its kind, the colossal success that it was. We...
Top 5 Ways to Make Back to School Time Easy + Best Special Needs Programs
Back to school time is right around the corner. Some children will be heading back to school as early as August 12th; others won’t start back until after Labor Day. With this in mind, this is the perfect time to start thinking about the transition...
Tim Shriver Speaks With Moo Sung Kim, South Korea’s Chairman of the Supreme Council at Special Olympics
Photo Credit: Freddie B. Photography™ Last but not least, DAY 7 Special Olympics,   History is made when Kim Moo Sung, newly elected chairman of the supreme council of the Saenuri Party, attends the Los Angeles Convention Center to meet...
Awards Ceremony 200-Meter Kayaking Competition LA2015
Photo Credit: Freddie B. Photography™  Long Beach Marina was active with coaches, athletes, spectators and press, all awaiting announcements of today’s winners of the Special Olympics 200 meter kayaking competition. Germany, Greece, Costa Rica...
Steven Dodd of the Great Britain Team Continues to Win, Win, Win!
Photo Credit: Freddie B. Photography™  SpecialNeeds.com has been excited to be part of the past several days attending many of the competitions and events surrounding the largest sporting event of its kind. We had the honor of following one...
Costa Rica Takes the Win For Women’s Basketball
Photo Credit: Freddie B. Photography™ The USC Campus, home of the Trojans basketball teams, is on a break, and it’s a good thing because they have some pretty fierce competition on their courts.   SpecialNeeds.com arrived just in the...
Rafer Johnson Continues to Nurture Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s Dream!
Photo Credit: Freddie B. Photography™ SpecialNeeds.com was able to attend several of the locations where the games were being held, ranging from USC, Los Angeles Equestrian Center, and Alamitos Beach in Long Beach. I will take you on a brief...
Next Stop for SpecialNeeds.com: Kayaking In Long Beach, CA
Day 3 Of Special Olympic World Games Light ocean breeze and plenty of sunshine welcomed us as we arrived on the scene to see the athletes waiting for the kayaking time trials to begin. There were teams from Costa Rica, Greece, Great Britain,...
What do Nancy O’Dell, Michelle Kwan, and Johnny Bananas have in common?
The Special Olympics World Games LA2015 of course! As do so many other folks from all over the world. No other event can you go to that is really a depiction of “It’s 
A Small World!”   When I was a little girl I thought that one day I would...
Go to Pro Answering Your Questions: I'm an Adult...Can You Help Me Improve my Spelling?
Can I Learn to Spell? I have been researching ways to help myself become a better speller (grammar is also on the list).  I am currently 35 years old, however had a very bumpy ride as a child.  When I was in elementary school I was...
The World Unites for Special Olympics World Games LA2015
Day 1 -- The Games have now officially begun and we were out at the UCLA campus, home of the Special Olympics for decades. UCLA was filled with people supporting one another and no one was happier than the athletes themselves.   March 29,...
The First Lady Michelle Obama: “Let the LA 2015 Special Olympic World  Games Begin!”
 There wasn't a dry eye in the house when a young special needs entrepreneur Tim Harris, a special needs adult, introduced the First Lady, Michelle Obama, to the stage at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. He told us all that it is not...
LA2015 Is Here! Southern California is Celebrating Special Needs Athletes From Around the Globe
What a grand sight​ to see as a marching band begins the procession of athletes from Mongolia, San Marino, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Tajikistan, all who are participating in this years Special Olympics World Games LA2015. The...
Steven Glick: Still Going Strong with the Special Olympics After 23 Years
Steve Glick, athlete and coach of Special Olympics with friend and co-athlete, Dave Samson. Photo Credit: Freddie B. Photography™ Meeting people and making friends is something I have always enjoyed, but as a woman with Asperger’s Syndrome it...
Special Olympics 47th Birthday!
What a red-letter day for the Special Olympics, which celebrated 47 years this July! Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy, was disappointed at the fact that intellectually challenged people were often “ignored and neglected...
Law Enforcement Final Leg Torch Run
Calabasas and Thousand Oaks , Host Towns, Participate in celebrating the “Flame Of Hope" SpecialNeeds.com supports the Special Olympics World Games Los Angels 2015 by donating articles, video, and photos of athletes, volunteers, coaches, and...
Special Olympics is Inspiring Careers for Life!
Ever since I started interviewing the “Real Heroes” of the Special Olympics, it seems like I run into people involved in the games everywhere I go! I’ve always been fascinated by people’s stories and standing in line gives me the opportunity to...
Go to Pro Answering Your Questions: Is it too late to improve my kids learning skills before school starts up again?
It's already the middle of July...is it too late to improve my kids learning skills before school starts up again?  I know exactly what you are saying, you are afraid that too much time has past for you to really make a difference this summer....
Go to Pro: Family Activities Improve Learning Skills
Family activities are one of the best ways to improve learning skills. Going on field trips - and then doing the twist after field trip activity builds not only a good family bonding time but also improves memory skills, comprehension skills,...
Go to Pro: Family Activities Improve Learning Skills
Family activities are one of the best ways to improve learning skills. Going on field trips - and then doing the twist after field trip activity builds not only a good family bonding time but also improves memory skills, comprehension skills,...
Go to Pro: Family Activities Improve Learning Skills
Family activities are one of the best ways to improve learning skills. Going on field trips - and then doing the twist after field trip activity builds not only a good family bonding time but also improves memory skills, comprehension skills,...
Calabasas Hosting Great Britain Athletes for the Special Olympic World Games
Photo Credit: Freddie B. Photography™ The Special Olympic World Games LA 2015 depend so much on the volunteers who take on dozens of jobs and responsibilities to help make it a success. This week, I was honored to interview Mayor Lucy Martin of...
Special Needs Adults and their Aging Parents
Photo Credit: Freddie B. Photography™The number of special needs adults that end up in the system is growing because they are outliving their elderly parents, who are their primary caregivers.  Special needs adults remain a prime concern...
Steven Dodd, the British Godfather
We are fast approaching the final countdown to the July 25th, opening ceremonies for the Special Olympic World Games Los Angeles 2015. Today I had the honor of interviewing one of the athletes soon to be participating, Steven Dodd, from Great...
Go to Pro Answering Your Questions: Do All Autistic Learners Require Special Needs Assistance?
Please can you tell me if all autistic learners require special needs  To begin with, let me give you a few common charasteristics of those in the autism spectrum. Then I'll answer your question.Autism Spectrum Symptoms or "Red Flags" As...
Thousand Oaks Host Town Supports Special Olympics World Games LA2015
SpecialNeeds.com has been a proud supporter of the Special Olympics World Games LA2015. In taking on this job I have met some truly amazing people, whom I call real heroes of our modern times. I interviewed two such men today at the City Hall of...
Go to Pro Answering Your Questions: Where do I find a list of good books my kids can read this summer?
A Parent’s Question…Where do I find a list of good books my kids can read this summer? What a wonderful question! As a parent I’m sure you know that all books are not created equal, so you do want to know which books will be the really good ones....
Once Upon a Sign: The Magic Mirror
“Once Upon a Sign” has a series of DVDs all performed in American Sign Language. They can be played with or without subtitles, and even though they are designed for the deaf, they are fun shows for kids who are not deaf.   “Once Upon a Sign...
Go to Pro Answering Your Questions: Placement for Language Based Learning Disabled (LBLD) Student
A Parent’s Question…Briefly, is it reasonable for a public school to group a student with LBLD’s in a separate class with other students with primarily emotional and behavioral disabilities?  My 6th grade son is being brought to a self-...
First Lady Michelle Obama to Attend Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies
We at SpecialNeeds.com are honored to share the announcement: First Lady, Michelle Obama will participate in the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015! As Honorary Co-Chair of the world games, Mrs. Obama will be attending the opening...
Chief Bill Dance of CHP is also a "Chief of Volunteerism"
Photo Credit: Freddie B. Photography™ Bill Dance is an Assistant Chief CHP assigned to the Southern Division, responsible for traffic law enforcement and all freeways, state facilities including dignitary escorts and other duties. He is also...
Go to Pro Answering Your Questions: 504 Plans and Transportation
A Parent’s Question…I wanted to know if my child under the section 504 can my child can get school bus transportation to school and home. I need to know as soon as possible. Photo License Some...
Through Rejection I learned Acceptance
The Webster’s dictionary definition of the word reject is: 1 to refuse to accept, recognize, believe, etc. 2 To refuse to grant: deny, as a petition. 3 To refuse (a person) recognition, acceptance, etc. 4. To expel; react against physiologically. 5...
Go to Pro Answering Your Questions: How Do You Know if Your Child Has ADHD?
A Parent’s Question… How do you know if your child has ADHD, or if they’re struggling due to an environmental situation, or when they’ll need professional help? There are 5 Hallmark ADHD Symptoms. Short attention...
A Great Day at the Special Olympics in Long Beach
 The Most Extraordinary Experience I’ve Ever Witnessed! by Robin Flutterby BorakoveSpecialNeeds.com, Special Olympics World Games Correspondent When I was invited to cover the Southern California Special Olympics, taking place in Long...
Go To Pro Answering Your Questions: Repeating a Grade Pros and Cons?
A Parent’s Question…My son’s school wants to him to repeat a grade next year. What do I do? Sometimes having a bonus year is a GOOD thing. And, I always refer to it as a BONUS Year! However, so much growth can happen over the summer, don’t make...
Westwood Village Improvement Association Supports Special Olympics
As they are nearing the end of an amazing week of fundraising for the Special Olympic World Games LA 2015, I met with one of the organizers of the campaign, Megan Furey, Marketing and Communications Manager. She told me that not only are they...
Jayson Warsuma, Global Messenger, has a 1000-Kilowatt Smile!
I asked Jayson if we would meet me for an interview and he thoughtfully invited me to one of his favorite locations, The Beverly Center. I was pleased as he offered me a bottle of water! Jayson was as excited as I was to do the interview, judging...
Einstein was called "The Dopey One"
Kabalarian Philosophy recognizes the power of a name. The value of names has long been immortalized in prose, poetry, and religious ceremony. Everyone recognizes himself or herself by name.  The question is: how does a name influence a person'...
SUMMER OF SPONGEBOB
Paramount Home Entertainment has launched their #SummerofSpongeBob with printable and other fun items being released daily for a month. These activities will keep your kids busy while they are not in school. With new crafts and...
Danny Harris, former Olympian says "Check your ego at the door ..."
... it is not always going to end with the five rings!" On my journey to finding the True Heroes of our time, I was fortunate enough to hear about one particular coach who is highly regarded by the parents of his special needs athletes. While...
2015 Special Olympics World Games partners with Herbalife
Many gathered about as Herbalife announced their support for the Special Olympics World Games. What a great day to see a face-off between LA Galaxy players Omar Gonzalez and Jaime Penedo! The wonderful folks from FleishmanHillard provided us with...
Father's Day Family Activities
Wishing a Happy Father's Day to you with a Father's Day gift or two! Father's Day brings back such good memories to me. On Father's Day we'd typically have a family BBQ with our family and my dad's best friend's family. It was always such fun...
Anita DeFrantz, President of LA84, Has a “SHERO”
When Anita was a child she was not given the opportunity to play sports. She grew up with 3 brothers and was the only girl on her block. She substituted sports with music, finding a place in the choir, which gave her the “team” experience, but was...
100 Days until we meet our Real Heroes
What a treat for this correspondent to be part of today’s press conference. April 16th 2015 marks “100 Days” until the Special Olympics World Games kicks off this July. As everyone gathered to hear from former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, President...
Fun and Therapeutic Water Play in Your Own Backyard or Neighborhood Pool
Who wants to jump into a cool pool on a hot summer day? Your child does!Since play is the main way a child learns, giving your child aquatic tasks designed with play in mind can be both fun and therapeutic!  Aquatic therapy has been around...
 Blessing in Disguise by Robin Flutterby Borakove
Seeing the world through my eyes is amazing for several reasons, but it’s also been one of my biggest challenges. For most people, all sound information projects up to a certain part of our brain, the auditory cortex.For me, all information turned...
Life With Asperger’s Syndrome by Robin Flutterby Borakove
Hello, I’m Robin Flutterby Borakove, high functioning adult with special needs, now a correspondent for SpecialNeeds.com, covering the Special Olympics World Games and other amazing events. I invite you to follow my blog and learn about my quest for...
Heroes Are Real! Dain Blanton
In my first formal interview with one of my personal favorite Olympians, Dain Blanton, 2000 Gold Medalist Beach Volleyball, he tells us who his heroes are, why he is a mentor, and his thoughts on being a role model and motivational speaker....
Occupational Therapy Month
With the rise of autism and the promotions to increase autism awareness, April is a pretty full month.  However, autism shares April with occupational therapy, and the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA) lovingly calls April...
Spring Break Family Activities
Family Activities Bring a Good Time Spring has finally arrived…and that means it’s time for some adventures! I recall one of the big adventures for me as a 12 year old girl was going to the "Loop," Downtown Chicago. My girlfriend and I, along...
Heroes Are Real
Click here to read part 1  What does it mean to have a hero to admire? Mendez High School students surely know, as they gather to support their talented peers participating in the Special Olympic World Games SOWG 2015.   Signs and...
Improve Reading Comprehension
Reading Fluency and Reading Comprehension I’ve mentioned in prior posts the importance of reading fluency but there is more to reading than just fluency. In addition to fluency you need to be able to use what you read. You need to comprehend...
Heroes in the Special Olympics
Heroes Are Real and I’m always on the lookout for them. We all need someone to believe in, someone great who inspires us to continue on when life becomes challenging. In the weeks leading up to the Special Olympic World Games we will introduce...
Super Moms and Super Dads: Find Your Fortress of Solitude
As parents, we spend time every day taking care of the people we love. In fact, sometimes it seems we go from dawn to dusk (and beyond) existing to meet the needs of others. We’re familiar with the concept of Super Mom or Super Dad -- the self-...
2015 Special Olympics World Games Announce Host Town Delegations
Today residents and leaders from more than 100 communities in Southern California learned if they would be saying Bonjour!, ¡Hola!, ! مرحباً , 您好!, Привет! or Hello! beginning July 21 when they host 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches in the days...
SpecialNeeds.com Appoints International “Go-To" Pro
Due to few advances in the Nation's Report Card, SpecialNeeds.com has announced Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCET as their International “Go-To" Pro. SpecialNeeds.com realizes that the nation’s report card needs to improve.  After an extensive search...
Autism Spectrum: Improving Expressive Communication and Comprehension Skills
All students need to learn to express themselves in one form or another whether you have dyslexia, a learning disability, or in the autism spectrum. When language is difficult, it can be frustrating trying to get a verbal response. One tried and...
Our Special Lives - Down Syndrome
CaféMom introduces the YouTube series Our Special Lives. Each episode features a different family with a special needs child and we're able to take a look into their lives, their challenges and their joys.   Meet Jamie, Scott and their two-...
Dyslexia Test
Dyslexia Symptoms and Dyslexia Test A Parent's Question...   How early can you evaluate visual processing disorders like dyslexia and learning disabilities? My oldest has it, and now my kindergartener is showing some of the same traits....
Yoga for People with Disabilities
Imagine a calm room with zen music streaming from the speakers, and an instructor directs the people in the room to place their hands on the floor and their buttocks in the air.  You might recognize the pose as the downward dog, but it might...
Two Valentine's Day Activities Improve Learning Skills Too
 Valentine's Day is upon us. That means lots of Valentine's Day Activities. One of my favorite things to do with my students as well as my own kids is to do a participation activity that helps improve auditory processing skills while having fun...
April Showers
The children’s verse “April Showers bring May flowers” sets the theme for this month’s fun ideas.  For many families spring does bring unpredictable weather with some warm days and some cold days, rain and sometimes snow.  When it is too...
Learning to Read Isn’t Rocket Science
Learning to Read and Rapid Naming: the Connection Learning to read isn’t ‘rocket science’ but there is a lot going on when you read. Two of the processes happening at any given moment involved with reading difficulties are...
Processing Speed, Rapid Naming, and Reading Problems
Processing Speed  Processing Speed is critical to how quickly we learn. It is one measure of cognitive proficiency. Processing speed envelops one’s ability to automatically take in information and process it quickly and fluently with easy,...
Learning Disability? Dyslexia? Learning Difficulty?
Message from Bonnie Terry, M. Ed., BCETAs my first post as the Go To Pro for SpecialNeeds.com I want to give you a little bit of background into what a learning problem is. Many of you have struggling students or even struggle yourself with certain...
Sixth Annual “Mardi Gras for Autism”
To support autism charities and special education, Bourbon Street Bar and Grill’s sixth annual FREE family carnival benefit, ‘Mardi Gras for Autism’ will be held outside Bourbon Street Bar & Grill in the adjacent Fullerton Train Depot parking...
Ten Tips for Playdate Inclusion Among Kids of All Abilities
Playdates are beneficial for ALL children to practice critical social skills on which future relationships will be built.  The benefits of playdates include: increasing confidence; improving social decision making; and practicing skills in...
Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games 2015
Team Behind Opening Ceremonies of the Sochi 2014 and London 2012 Olympic Games to Produce the Ceremonies of Special Olympics World Games FiveCurrents named executive producer for the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event in 2015 ...
12 Activities to Promote Holiday Learning and Fun
Remember, when kids learn in a relaxed environment like playing a game, they retain what they learn at much higher rates, so get your educational fun games today! Here are a few tips:Write down 3 positive comments about each family member and...
World Games
With 7,000 athletes from over 177 countries competing, the 2015 World Games will be one for the ages!LA2015 will feature 25 sports at venues throughout Los Angeles. Learn more about the World Games below.Every two years, Special Olympics athletes...
The World is Coming, Are YOU?
GET INVOLVED AND SUPPORT AN ATHLETE7,000 Athletes | 177 Countries | 25 SportsLos Angeles is a city full of movie stars and all-stars. But in 2015, thousands of Special Olympics athletes will be the true stars. Arriving from all corners of the world...
What I Want for Christmas Are Parents That Don’t Fight
Dear Developmental Doc:I’m not sure if it’s weird for you to get a letter from a kid instead of a grown-up, but my Mom always reads your column, so I figured maybe you could help. I’m 14 years old and I’m fine. I mean, I have an older brother and a...
Dolphin Tale 2 Combo Pack
Three years ago the world was introduced to Winter, a sweet dolphin that was injured and had to have her tail removed. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of many people, a prosthetic tail was created, allowing Winter to move more like she should....
Robin Borakove, “Angels Among Us"
For over 40 years, living with the challenges of being different and not knowing why, Robin Borakove was properly diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and her new life began. Benefitting from successful treatment, Robin is devoting herself to...
Reading, Improving Writing, and Study Skills
Reading, Improving Writing, and Study Skills As a parent you often find that your child need a boost with learning reading, writing, or study skills. I know I did! My kids, I have two sons and a daughter, and they are like everyone else’s kids,...
Struggling with Learning Reading, Writing, or Study Skills?
New Reading and Writing Program Contest One of the great things about fall is that the air is cool and sometimes, just sometimes, you even need to light a fire in the fireplace and then curl up on the sofa with a good book. At least that is how...
Going Gluten, Casein and Chemical Free
A Life Transformed by Going Gluten Free, Casein Free and Chemical Free My son threw things, screamed, had uncontrollable meltdowns, had severe sensory challenges, very poor social skills and never changed his diet from pretty much eating peanut...
“Ask the Developmental Doc” A Thanksgiving Dilemma
Around this time of the year most of us are planning the menu for a grand Thanksgiving meal for family and friends. The problem is if anyone in your family or friendship circle is impacted by autism spectrum disorder then often sensory aversion to...
Win this $797 Awaken the Scholar Within Program!
Enter our contest to win! As a dyslexia and ADHD expert I know kids often struggle with learning. And, I know that parents try their best to help their children. After all, I believe we as parents have two missions in life. The first is to be our...
Palm Springs: Host of the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015
Southern California opens it's doors to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games! More than 100 communities from San Luis Obispo to San Diego will have the honor of participating in the "Host Town" program. Over 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will...
New Technology For Leg Bag Users: How the Freedom Flow™ II is Changing Lives
Asking for help with personal care can be uncomfortable at times. For some people it’s a daily occurrence. People using a catheter have to deal with the extra chore of emptying their leg bags, which can be problematic if they have limited mobility....
Rib-it-Ball
The Rib-it-Ball is a patented product originally created for a little boy born without eyes.  The challenge from the boy’s mother was to create a ball that is light weight, makes sound but does not require batteries, is easy to grasp and throw...
Play is Therapy and Therapy is Play
Play is a cornerstone of development for all children. Consider the cognitive engagement when children are working on a puzzle, or the motor skills and coordination involved in playing catch with a ball, or the socialization skills required in...
A Good Teether Can Be a Sanity Saver!
A good teether can be a sanity saver, just ask any mommy with a fussy baby! The new Nawgum teether will be your new BFF in baby oral support. Designed with safety and comfort in mind, Nawgum helps soothe each stage of tooth development, from gums to...
Survivor host Jeff Probst Speaks Out for Organ Donation
The Taylor’s Gift Foundation is all about giving the gift of life.   The Beginning with Taylor Todd and Tara Storch started the Taylor’s Gift Foundation in 2010 when their thirteen year-old daughter, Taylor, passed away from injuries...
The Best Way to Take Care of Your Kids, is To Take Care of Yourself
Parenting any child is no easy task, but when you have a child with a developmental and/or physical disability, life often revolves around the needs and services that your child has. And too often, your own needs are left on the side unaccounted for...
Substance Abuse - Safeguarding Your Special Needs Teenager
The case earlier this year in Temecula CA, of a special needs teen being entrapped and arrested for supplying illegal drugs to an undercover police officer has highlighted that as parents of a special needs child, the need to safeguard them in the...
Finding Employment and Settling into a New Job: A Time of Transition for Young Adults with Special Needs
For many adults, the work they do is an important part of the way they see themselves and their place within society. As well as providing a means for them to gain money, which gives them more independence to do as they wish with the rest of their...
Substance Abuse - Safeguarding Your Special Needs Teenager
The case earlier this year in Temecula CA, of a special needs teen being entrapped and arrested for supplying illegal drugs to an undercover police officer has highlighted that as parents of a special needs child, the need to safeguard them in...
Who is Watching Your Child?
In 1992 I entered the world of expert witness. As an expert witness I complete organizational autopsies. I work with attorneys all over the country. They call to ask if I will provide my opinion about the propriety of an interaction between an...
To Blame or not to Blame
There is a stigma attached to the relationship between schools and parents. It is believed that there is often a disconnect between what the parents want for their child and what the school/studio is willing to give. Many people enter into this...
Easing the Transition Back to School for Special Needs Children
Due to their unpredictable nature, transitions in general, can be very difficult for our children with special needs. The new school year creates a whole host of transitions that made me want to devote this month’s column to tips for helping your...
The Rise of Inclusion Education in the United States
The United States education landscape has evolved substantially over the past 50 years. Issues of civil rights -- some of which the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education addressed -- and the government's role in education ushered...
 Know the Signs. Fight for Victory!
Know the signs, fight for victory!  This is the new tagline for The Marfan Foundation.  My daughter, Hadley, and I had the opportunity to attend the annual Marfan conference in Hollywood at the beginning of this month.   My...
Win a $25 IHOP Gift Card!
The holidays are coming early to SpecialNeeds..com. We're giving away a $25 Gift Card to iHop.TO ENTER:Simply "like" our facebook page and leave us a comment on why you would like to win, and you will be automatically entered.OREmail us at editor@...
Christmas is here early!
SpecialNeeds.com and LAFamily.com are teaming up to offer our loyal readers a very special treat - A $500 Gift Basket! The basket will contain toys, educational products and lots of goodies for the whole family! How do you enter to win? Simple.TO...
Healthy Recipes - Smooth Smoothie
Looking for a healthy snack for your child? We have the perfect thing that will hit the spot! Smooth SmoothiesMakes four 1/2-cup servingsIngredients    1 cup of R.W Knudsen organic apple juice    1 cup blueberries...
Suggestions for Children with Anger Issues
We at BIORAY® have recently received inquiries from parents asking for suggestions that may help with quick-temper and short-sightedness that their children often exhibit. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, being short tempered or stuck in anger...
Environmental Toxins And Breast Milk: What You Need To Know
Many families who live a holistic lifestyle know breastfeeding is the healthiest way to give their growing infants the nutrients they need. Countless studies show that breast milk -- the most organic source for a baby’s nourishment -- is the best...
Becoming Friends with Poop
Autism has now become a household name, that wasn’t the case not too long ago.  It seems we all have someone near and dear to us with an affected child. I have both a sister-in-law and close friend who have boys with severe Autism.  At the...
Special Needs App of the Day - iLearnNEarn
“We wanted to use technology to create fun educational tools that are simple for educators and parents to customize, that would reinforce the lessons being taught in the classrooms and that would effectively engage children.” -- Nish Parikh, CEO...
Special Needs App of the Day - Pufferfish Apps
 Pufferfish Apps Two years ago, Megan Holstein (then 15 years old) set out to help her mom and her brother. Megan’s youngest brother has autism and is non-verbal. Megan’s mom sometimes expressed disappointment that she could not find an app...
Special Needs App of the Day - RocketKeys
“Once we identified the need for a better keyboard, our goal was to create the most accessible, most flexible talking keyboard available.” -- Alex Levy, co-creator of RocketKeys    Rocket Keys RocketKeys is an app that turns your...
Minimize Chlorine in Yourself and Your Child
With summer here, swimming pools expose us to large concentrations of chlorine. Use NDF® or NDF Plus® to minimize chlorine in yourself and your child. Swim safe at the beach or in your pool!
A report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC...
Getting Out of Our Own Way -- Making Independence possible for my child with special needs
I have had the pleasure to know mothers and fathers of special needs children who have created their own schools or their own curriculums so their children could learn life skills and social skills, two of the key building blocks for independence,...
5 Reasons You Should Consider Banking Your Newborn's Cord Blood
Medical practitioners and medical research scientists are fully aware of the benefits that can be gained from collecting umbilical cord blood after the birth of your baby. Cord blood can be used for stem cell transplants which will help your body...
Princess Merida Giveaway!
In honor of the coronation of Disney's newest princess, Merida, Family Magazine Group is sponsoring a giveaway. The winners will receive a special gift package from Disney, which includes:A Merida WigMerida fashion dollDisney Princess...
Book Review: School Strategies for ADHD Kids
School Strategies for ADHD Kids is an easy read filled with tips and strategies on how to help your ADHD kid succeed in school. Written by Board Certified Educational Therapist Bonnie Terry, these strategies are perfect for teachers, parents, and...
How to Talk with Kids About Tragic Events in the News
When a frightening and tragic event such as a the Boston marathon bombing, school shooting, terrorist attack, or a natural disaster occurs, children may understandably have lots of questions and concerns. In some cases, they may experience some...
Living with Marfan Syndrome
 “Where is Godzilla?” my neighbor asked with a chuckle in her voice.   A relaxing afternoon at the park took an immediate turn when I realized my adult neighbor was referring to my young daughter, Hadley.  I was literally...
Routine - Change Can Be Good
Everyone looks forward to vacation, right? Well, when it’s an actual vacation from the daily grind, maybe!   Parents of special needs children often become anxious about time off from school. The break in routine can lead to an escalation of...
App of the Day: Reading Comprehension Camp
 This article is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.“The questions in Reading Comprehension Camp give young students ample opportunity to practice inference and to learn to...
Gailynn Gluth Speaks About Autism Speaks’ Inaugural Autism Investment Conference
Gailynn Gluth, founder and CEO of Wynsum Arts, wrote this blog post for Autism Speaks chronicling her presentation and involvement with Autism Speaks First Autism Investment Conference.   On February 22, I spoke at Autism Speaks’...
App of the Day: Simplex Spelling
This article is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps. “People who read well aren’t automatically great at spelling but people who spell well are invariably great readers. With...
Congratulations to all the Family Choice Awards winners
The "Family Choice Awards" recognize the best in children's and parenting resources. Now in it's 17th year, the "Family Choice Award" is one of the most coveted, family friendly consumer award programs in the nation. These awards serve as our...
Does Bipolar make you Procrastinate?
No it’s not a sexual perversion!  I love malapropisms. A favourite is the Judge who becomes exasperated with a gum chewing defendant and tells the Bailiff to have him stop masticating. The Bailiff leans over and says ‘Oi you, take your hands...
Teaching- “What we have learned and how has it changed us”
Whenever we encounter a new student or client, in many cases a label is attached. Often we are told the child is "difficult" or "challenging". Over time, we have learned that those words do not pertain to the individual. Those are words that others...
Special Needs App of the Day - Categories Learning Center
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps “Categorization is a major building block for language development.” -- Mary Huston, speech-language pathologist and creator...
12 Best Special Needs Apps of 2012-Special Education
Dear Developmental Doc: I have a 14 year -old son who has high functioning autism. He loves anything to do with the computer but has a tendency to use technology as a way to hide from social and emotional experiences. I was reading about recent...
Special Needs App of the Day - QuickCues
This article is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.“With our user group, there is a need for direct instruction and we want to teach them everything we can so they don’t have to...
The External Brain: Understanding Brain Injuries
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Acquired brain injury is not the kind of thing anyone wants or plans on so unless you know someone who has it, you wouldn't know...but maybe you should. There are two known types of brain injury.  ...
Special Needs App of the Day - AutisMate
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps“I knew my brother understood the world around him even though he had not mastered the language skills to communicate with the...
Special Needs App of the Day - MyAutismTeam
This article is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps. “We have created a community of people who understand the issues unique to parenting a child with autism and are willing...
Bipolar Pride and Prejudice
Did you know that last month history marked the 200th anniversary of the publishing of Jane Austen’s best known work? As most will know it’s about love and how irrationally held views and emotions can easily scupper relationships. So is it much...
Designing a Future for a Child with Special Needs
Making decisions for others is never easy. In fact, it’s probably one of the hardest things one can do for someone, especially if that person is their child. When a family is coping with mental illness and intense special needs and a parent is...
Pitfall #7:  Holding On
This is an excerpt from Caroline McGraw's book for caregivers, Your Creed of Care: How to Dig for Treasure in People (Without Getting Buried Alive). To receive your complimentary copy of the book via email, visit Caroline's blog for caregivers, A...
Functional Based Curriculum is NOT the end of the Road
I cannot tell you how many times I have witnessed the look of loss in the eyes of parents when school district personnel say, “Your student would be better served in a functional based program”.  At that moment the walls are go up and the hopes...
Your Plastic Brain Gurus, Part One:  Build a Better Brain
For centuries, scientists believed that when you reached adulthood, your brain was finished developing, and the only way it could change was to worsen by aging, disease, or accidents. This meant you were stuck with your brain’s limitations for the...
Ask the Developmental Doc: :Teen Age Love: To Interfere or Not?
Dear Developmental Doc: My son is 17 years old and has Asperger’s Disorder. He attends a regular high school program and there is a girl in his homeroom class who he has sporadically tutored in math over the semester. She appreciates my son’s...
Ying / Yang - Balance Your Child With The Outside World
Extracurricular programs are a great way to integrate children with special needs into new settings, form friendships and have some fun. Children can gain a sense of pride and accomplishment by participating and succeeding in activities. Many...
Special Needs In Our Homes: A National Discussion That Must Continue
Our family’s story became a national discussion when, after years of unsuccessful advocating for support for our mentally and organically disabled daughter, we made a decision to send her to live with another family in another state where she would...
Acacia Academy: Nurturing Young minds for Over 35 Years
"Nurturing Minds, Enriching Lives and Building Self Esteem in Chicagoland for over 35 years"   Acacia Academy is an NCA accredited school in LaGrange Highlands, Illinois, that offers customized programs for a variety of students, such as...
Barack Obama Charter School - Guiding Students Toward Success
Barack Obama Charter School, in Los Angeles, CA is part of the Ingenium Schools’ charter school campuses. How are they different from any other school? Ingenium Schools use the RISC (Re-inventing Schools Coalition) philosophy and model, a model that...
Funding for iPads and Mobile Devices
This article is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps. Funding for iPads and Mobile Devices We’ve said many times here on this blog that iPads, iPods, and other iOS devices are...
Made it Ma! - Top of the World?
Do over bearing Mothers create mental problems? I abhor speaking ill of the dead, and of that ghastly modern trend to state you were abused by someone now dead as a way of explaining your criminal behaviour. But… I had a very overbearing Mother...
ABK - Applied Behavioral Karate
Applied Behavioral Karate is not a technical term, but it is real and it does work. Recently, Michele Zube, MAT, ABA Therapist, joined our staff of therapists and she has helped improve our special needs program by adding another approach: applied...
Special Needs App of the Day - ConversationBuilderTeen
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps. “Conversation changes as children grow up, and the changes are subtle. I wanted to create an app that helps teens...
Special Needs App of the Day - TouchChat
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.“The iPad opens the door for parents to take on a more active role. We are in a new era of AAC; this is very powerful for...
The Guilt of Extra Curriculars
Last week, my daughter had her first knitting class and she LOVED it!   Until now, my kids have only attended classes or groups if they are offered by groups that can manage my son’s needs. My daughter has bugged me for years about joining...
The 14th Special Olympics World Summer Games
The 14th Special Olympics World Summer Games is coming to Los Angeles! Over 7000 Special Olympic from 170 nations will compete in the 2015 games taking place in Los Angeles, CA. More than half a million people will attend!   This will be the...
I Am Adam Lanza’s Therapist: The Children, The Moms
... continued from hereThe Children The root cause of RAD is abandonment trauma or failure to attach. Physical abuse and sexual abuse are much easier to treat than a core, learned belief that one is worthless or bad. Most of the children have been...
Ask the Developmental Doc: My Child is Still Perseverating Over Hurricane Sandy
Dear Developmental Doc, I have a son with high functioning autism. He is 9 years old and very smart. But he also has a processing delay and tends to obsess over old news items. Lately, he excessively worries about Hurricane Sandy. Although this is...
Ask the Developmental Doc: How to Travel with a Special Needs Child during the Holidays
Dear Developmental Doc, My husband talked me into flying across the country for the Holidays to visit his family with our 28 month old daughter who has just been diagnosed with autism. Under the best of circumstances, she is a handful and doesn’t...
Insights to iPad Integration for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Since its launch, the iPad has received significant coverage across the media and various social media platforms. Although this coverage has been exponentially positive, the media has often ignored some of the many unanswered inquiries relating to...
Temple Grandin on Thinking and Learning
Dr. Temple Grandin talks about different ways of thinking and learning - visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinker. Her visual thinking helps her see things that neurotypical people cannot see. "When I was a young kid I didn't know my...
Special Needs App of the Day: Minimal Pair Pack
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps. Minimal Pair Pack We recently profiled two communication apps by Therapy Box: Predictable and Scene & Heard. The...
Special Needs App of the Day: Scene & Heard
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps. London-based Therapy Box is a speech and communications services company that offers several apps, including augmentative...
App of the Day: Every App Has A Story: Predictable
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.Therapy Box - Predictable Several years ago, Rebecca Bright was looking for an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)...
5 Ways to Work with Your Child’s Teachers
Attending a school conference can be stressful for any parent, but if your child has dyslexia, the anxiety can be higher, especially when meeting with a new teacher or counselor. The following tips should help the meeting go smoothly and help you...
3 Holiday Gifts for You From Bonnie Terry Learning
Educational Fun Games Gift Value $150.00…The whole month of December we are having special offers on our educational fun games. This week there is an additional bonus included with The Sentence Zone Game. We are including 3 Bonus Videos valued at $...
Holiday Relationship Repair for Families
When holiday season rolls around, we all want to be able to sit around the dinner table and experience something reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting. Unfortunately, the holidays tend to bring out the worst in some families. Dr. Travis...
App of the Day: Ansel & Clair Apps
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps. “Our goal is to create educational apps that are immersive and engaging, where children learn without even realizing it...
Support Groups Where I Actually Felt Supported
For the first time in the 5 or so years I’ve been attending Autism-specific Support Groups, I attended one recently where I actually felt supported and understood when I left…and what’s even more amazing is that both my man AND my ex-hubby were...
Wanted:  A Place of My Own
Living Innovations pioneers a new residential model:  Shared LivingFor most of us, growing up means leaving the family home and living on our own, getting a job, making new friends and finding our place in the world. For people with...
Advocate for your Child in School
Although it’s not spring time and you have some time yet before your Annual Review, that doesn’t mean that you still aren’t coming in contact with your Case Manager or teacher.  Unfortunately, there is the idea that needing to have contact with...
We Bipolarians Are The Normal Ones
It’s the rest of the world who are out of sync!  Watching Obama -- Romney thrash it out to the finish line made me think how we with Bipolar are maybe more in sync with life than those who might think we are abnormal. As we know, Bipolar has...
App of the Day: Child Silence Timer and Clockwork Puzzle
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.  Two years ago, Naoya Sangu gave his sons an iPod Touch. “I was surprised to see how much they enjoyed playing with it...
“Ask the Developmental Doc” A Thanksgiving Dilemma
Dear Developmental Doc: I am a big ‘foodie’ and am starting to get excited about planning the menu for a grand Thanksgiving meal for my friends and family. My problem is that my nephew is autistic and is beyond picky about what he puts into his...
 Smart and Healthy Fall Lunches For Kids
Once kids are in school again, they can be challenged with learning, social pressers and a heavy homework load.  Most parents don't know that stress, anxiety and inability to focus in school are very common for many children.  As...
International Family Film Festival
The International Family Film Festival will be held at the Raleigh Studios, Hollywood, CA March 27 - 31, 2013.You are invited to submit your film features,  shorts, student shorts, IFF Youth Fest! (ages 8-18) as well as feature and short-...
 An Inspiring Story: Leo Beuerman, A Legacy
Leo Beuerman is an inspirational story about a man who refused to succumb to self-pity and instead became a symbol for overcoming adversity.Leo was 36 inches tall, deaf and unable to walk. When he was born, the doctors had little hope that he...
Special Needs Podcasts
Click below to listen to Bonnie Terry's interview with Dr. James Payne, talking about Leo Beuerman and the inspirational story of one man who overcame numerous obstacles despite his limitations.You can listen to Bonnie Terry's Show Learning Made...
App of the Day: KinderSmarts
   This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.   “We think through every aspect of the teaching process to translate the one-on-one teaching...
Our Special Lives - Annabel
CaféMom introduces the YouTube series Our Special Lives. Each episode features a different family with a special needs child and we're able to take a look into their lives, their challenges and their joys. In this week’s episode you will meet...
How Allergies Can Complicate Your Child’s Dyslexia
Allergies cause physical problems, and they can be a significant piece of learning problems and emotional issues. At least 40% of the children I see have allergies as well as dyslexia or other learning and behavior problems.   Having...
Creating a Legal Plan for Your Child’s Future
There is no “one size fits all” approach that parents of a child diagnosed within the “autism spectrum” should take as the child approaches their 18th birthday. The abilities and the needs of each child are unique and should be evaluated to create...
Homeschooling Your Speech Disordered Child
Parents of children with speech disorders are faced with a choice: private speech therapy or speech therapy through the public school system? Each choice has its own benefits and drawbacks, but some parents prefer to consider a third, less...
Special Needs App of the Day - Seizure Tracker
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.    “In the epilepsy world, quality of data drives quality of life.” -Robert Moss, creator of Seizure Tracker...
An Unusual Way to Ensure Your Babies’ Health
Most expecting parents are facing many important decisions before the baby is born. Basic decisions include the name of the baby, formula feeding or breastfeeding, and many more. One important issue that needs to be considered by many expecting...
Win: VeggieTales: The League of Incredible Vegetables DVD
Enter to win a DVD copy of VeggieTales: The League of Incredible Vegetables DVD. There will be 5 winners! Here’s what you need to do to enter:  Send an email to editor@specialneeds.com with the subject line: VeggieTales DVD. On the...
SPECIALNEEDS.COM SWEEPSTAKES: OFFICIAL RULES NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. MANY WILL ENTER. FEW WILL WIN.   Sweepstakes is open to all residents of the 50...
Enter to Win a Holiday Gift Basket!
Enter to win SpecialNeeds.com’s Holiday Gift Basket!   This holiday season, you can enter to win a $500 personalized gift basket filled with goodies for you and your family. Here’s what you need to do to enter:   Send an email to...
Book Review: I Am A Child Just Like You
“I Am A Child Just Like You” by Travis Breeding is a beautiful book that seeks to teach children acceptance and understanding for those who are “different”, and to look past those differences and find the things that they have in common. The book is...
Our Special Lives - A Child With Blindness
CaféMom introduces the YouTube series Our Special Lives. Each episode features a different family with a special needs child and we're able to take a look into their lives, their challenges and their joys.   In the second episode we get to...
4th Annual Autism Conference: Re-Thinking Autism
The 4th Annual Autism Conference for Professionals and Families:Rethinking Autism: Neurobiology-Technology-Policy-CommunityGuest speakers:Pat Levitt, Ph.D. Provost Professor of Neuroscience, Pediatrics, Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pharmacy. Director...
10 Characteristics of the Gifted Child
Have you ever wondered if your child is gifted?  While there are several ways to assess a child's giftedness, a quick look at some typical characteristics of the gifted child may be helpful in determining if you have a gifted learner. ...
Speech Therapy Apps -  Mobile Education Store
 This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.    In July, Wynsum Arts spoke with Kyle Tomson, founder of Mobile Education Store, and we profiled his...
Communicating Who I Am With Autism
Happiness is something that everyone searches for in life. But when you reach the point in your life in which you can truly feel and believe you've found it, it's a very sweet moment. After being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in October of 2007...
How Are Highly and Profoundly Gifted Students Different?
If you suspect your child is gifted, you many notice a lot of signs. IQ isn’t the only thing that distinguishes a profoundly gifted child from other students. Though their intelligence is clearly the most prevalent feature, ironically, it may not be...
Why Organization is Such a Critical Part of a Child's Development
Most children are naturally somewhat scattered and chaotic. As you may have seen, good organizational skills aren't often something they're born with. Toys strewn about, art project left half-finished and habitually losing objects are things that...
I&RS vs. 504 Accommodation Plan vs. IEP
You’ve heard about the I&RS Plan and the 504 Accommodation Plan as well as the IEP, but what are these documents? How are they different? When are they relevant to your child? And most importantly, how do you get one if you need one? Let’s...
App of the Day: Every App Has A Story: iHomework
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.  “iHomework manages all of the information a student needs to get through each day or the whole semester.” - Paul...
Our Special Lives - Autism
CaféMom introduces the YouTube series Our Special Lives. Each episode features a different family with a special need child and we are able to take a look into their lives, their challenges and their joys.   In the first episode we are...
A Lifesaving Medical ID That Travels Anywhere You Go
Let’s say you’re the kind of person who is always prepared. You carry a flashlight in your car, bandages in your purse, jumper cables in the trunk. But imagine, for a moment, the worst-case scenario: you’re in the middle of a medical emergency, the...
How Do I Get My Child’s Teacher On Board with His ADHD Diagnosis?
Dear Developmental Doc: I am feeling so frustrated I don’t know what to do.  The new school semester has just begun and I have a son who is 8 years old and severely impacted by ADHD. Although his teacher is certified in special education,...
How Play Helps Your Child’s Brain, Part 2
In the previous blog, we discussed the vital role play has in helping quiet the reptilian brain so your child with dyslexia can learn. Now we’ll take a look at the emotional brain and the thinking brain.   The Limbic System or Emotional...
Fun and Quick Food Idea for Gluten and Dairy Intolerant Kids
Being gluten and dairy intolerant is not only tough on your child, its tough on you as well. Fun "kid foods" can be a challenge to make, and finding foods that your child will love and the rest of your family can enjoy takes extra time and efford....
Hands-On Math Hundreds Chart
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.    “The purpose of Hands-On Math Hundreds Chart is to encourage discovery and active learning.”  - Fred Ventura...
Winner of $500 Holiday Gift Basket
Congratulations to Andrew Barling. He was randomly chosen as the winner of the drawing for the $500 gift basket, courtesy of specialneeds.com, for attending the webinar How to Improve Learning Skills: Reading, Writing, Spelling, & Math. For more...
How Play Helps Your Child’s Brain, Part 1
When children play, their brains come alive, and their brain function improves. Play is their work, and they learn so much while they interact with their peers. Notice I said, “interact with their peers.” The play I’m talking about isn’t sitting on...
Welcome to the Land Special Needs
Imagine this - you and your child step off a cruise ship and are greeted by a group of people in colourful clothes, holding signs, flowers and balloons.  Some are playing musical instruments.  They shout and sing joyously, “Welcome to the...
What My Degree Taught Me about Autism
In pursuit of a degree you learn many things, some useful, some not so useful. While in pursuit of my degree I learned a great deal about Autism. Autism is a complex developmental disability that is often misunderstood. There are so many...
Building Baby's Confidence Through Sign Language
When children at an early age experience disappointment in communicating over and over again it significantly affects their confidence. We learn through patterns and repetition. When a child can’t effectively engage in either, it becomes frustrating...
Special Needs App of the Day - Pictello
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.  “We looked at existing story apps but nothing created a way to ‘page through’ a story, repeating a message...
Special Needs App of the Day: TransEz
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.   “I didn’t realize how valuable flashcards are until I started using my own app on a regular basis.” - Mavis...
The Elephant In The Pool
My husband and I and our four kids went to the pool on Saturday.  I love going to the pool with the kids. They use Lance and me as jungle gyms. It helps me to confront my hatred of being touched.  You know, because I'm ALL about...
Can Schools Hold back America's Brightest?
A Call to Action - The Templeton National Report on Acceleration  The Templeton National Report on Acceleration has a shocking name and an even more shocking message; entitled A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest,...
7 Strategies Every Parent Can Use to Meet the Needs of their Gifted Child
Having a gifted child can be frustrating and gratifying in equal measures. Gifted children are often a joy to their parents -- bringing home stellar report cards, talking precociously and enthusiastically about a variety of subjects, and receiving...
10 Tips for Parents of Gifted Students
Has your child been identified as a gifted student? If so, chances are, you sometimes feel desperate for advice on how to navigate this journey with your son or daughter. While your friends may look on with awe at your child’s achievements and think...
Easing the Transition Back to School for Special Needs Children
Due to their unpredictable nature, transitions in general, can be very difficult for our children with special needs. The new school year creates a whole host of transitions that made me want to devote this month’s column to tips for helping your...
New Transitional Living Program for Young Adults with Special Needs
Parents of teens and young adults with special needs are always concerned about their transition into adulthood. They constantly ask themselves, “What happens next?”   Live. Advance. LA. provides that much needed support that facilitates a...
Unblock the Momentum of Learning
How can the process of learning have momentum? Some days a student "gets it" then the next day the same concept is lost. The human brain forgets, stumbles, supposedly demonstrates achievement, but then disappoints.  Momentum and learning seem...
My Asperger Mind - On Friendship
I understand and embrace that I have Asperger’s and my mind works differently. All I really want are a few good friends and to feel like I'm a part of someone's life. Just to feel special I guess. I've been thinking a lot about what happens to...
Exciting Sale for Disney Learning Apps
Disney Publishing is kicking off the school year with an exciting app sale - all Disney Learning apps will be only $1.99 on the App Store (orig. $4.99) from August 29th - September 12th!  The apps include:   Pooh’s...
Special Needs App of the Day - FindMe (Autism)
 This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.    “When children look at objects instead of looking at people or listening to voices, they may not learn...
Special Needs App of the Day - Put It Away
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.  “Put It Away is a free app that teaches children how to clean up a room -- and it is easily customized for kids who...
Special Needs App of the Day: EASe Listening Therapy
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.  “We spoon-feed audio information under the door of a child’s sensory defense mechanism.” -- Bill Mueller, audio...
Special Needs App of the Day: i See-quence … My Schedules at School
 This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.  “Our apps are designed to help children understand social situations. We use real photos, text and audio, and...
 Anger, Self-Destructive Tendencies, Depression, and Learning Disorders
When anger is not expressed, it may turn inward and morph into self-destruction or depression. Children’s frustration and anger need an external outlet, and they may internalize these emotions when teachers, parents, and other adults belittle or...
Dear Teachers, Dear Parents: How to bridge the communication gap
I am a parent of two children with special needs, and a special education teacher. I have been working in the field of special needs for 15 years, and currently teach teachers about special education.  One of the keystones of special education...
How Your Child’s Triune Brain Develops
Over 30 years ago, the former Chief of the Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior at the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington, DC, Paul D. MacLean, first proposed the Triune Brain Theory, which shows us how your child’s brain...
5 Things You Can Do at Home to Help Your Child’s Learning Challenges
How many times have you asked yourself what more you could do at home for your child’s learning challenge, whether it’s dyslexia, ADHD, or autism?   What many parents don’t realize is that they’re in the driver’s seat. As a parent, you’re...
Dear Parents, Dear Teachers: How to bridge the communication gap
 I am a parent of two children with special needs, and a special education teacher.  I have been working in the field of special needs for 15 years, and currently teach teachers about special education.  One of the keystones of...
Prenatal Testing - the Abortion Pact
A recent article in the press described one couple’s “abortion pact.”  That is, if any pregnancy had a chance of a fetal anomaly they would abort.  The couple felt that because of their age - she was 37 and he was in his 40s - they had an...
Abortion and Down Syndrome
They say that a large percentage of women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome have an abortion. But I will not point my finger at the women who have given their babies back to God without ever holding them in their arms. Why?...
A Parents Cheat Sheet to the August Jitters
A new school year is approaching and for many students with special needs, the anxiety may be growing. As a parent, you begin to notice this pattern each summer and you may not know exactly how to soothe your child other than to say, “You’re going...
How to Stand Up to Bullying at School
I have a thirteen year old son with Asperger’s Disorder. Even though he is very smart academically, he is very naïve and comes across socially as very immature for his age. He is starting middle school next month at a new site where he will be fully...
Where to Purchase GFCF Foods and Some Favorite Brands
If you live in a large city, especially in the land of fruits and nuts, where there are Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Sprouts and health food stores all within five miles from your home, finding GFCF foods is not a problem. If you live in a tiny town,...
Gluten Free/Casein Free (GFCF) Diet Cheat Sheet
  More and more families are turning to the GFCF diet to help with Autism Spectrum Disorders and a whole host of other diseases and disorders.   When people begin this diet, it can be very overwhelming. Hopefully this “cheat sheet” will...
Health Scare Fatigue!
Did you know that farting can cause cancer of the bowel? Or that using lipstick might send you dog Bipolar? If for a second you believed these stories you need help! We are bombarded daily by some new scientific research saying too much or too...
Autism is Nothing to be Ashamed Of
A few years ago when I was married, we invited a number of other families over for a “get to know you” type of BBQ as we all met at a 10-week course, in the beginning of our journey of learning about Autism.  As we went from family to family,...
Special Needs and Birthday Parties
Birthday Party.  No two words strike fear in the deepest recesses of a parent’s heart like ‘birthday party.’  Birthday party.  Those words conjure up images of colourful balloons, silly hats, cheerful decorations and the feelings of...
"Normal" is a Myth
The students I have worked with over the last 20 years have taught me that no two people perceive the same. Our five senses relay information to be processed, but if we could see that information as scrolling text across each person's forehead, we...
Finding Summer Activities for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Summer is in full swing, and you might be considering chucking your homebound kids out the door.  When your child is on the autism spectrum, though, it’s not quite as simple as that.  If you have a big backyard, you can feel more confident...
Educational Therapist Bonnie Terry Shows How to Beat Brain DrainHomemade Obstacle Course Can Improve 22 Brain FunctionsAmerica's leading learning expert Bonnie Terry is on the FOX morning news talking about summer activities for kids. She gives you...
Financial Gifts for Children with Special Needs
It is a grandparent’s right to spoil the grandchildren. But if your grandchildren have special needs, giving them large financial gifts may have unintended consequences.  Many grandparents of children with special needs are worried about...
Play Development - Why is it important?
Play begins to develop not long after birth. Initially play involves cause-effect understanding. So, an infant may kick a bell during floor-time play and subsequently hear the sound. Repeated action results in the child learning that the kicking...
Prenatal Testing, or Frankly my Dear, I don’t give a D@mn: Baby #3 and DMD?
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is an x-linked recessive disease. Mothers are the carriers. That means it can be found in boys that are related by female relatives " brothers, uncles, cousins. But because it is recessive not all boys that are...
The Apraxia Path
I just finished reading “The Autism Revolution” by Dr. Martha Herbert. As I neared the end of this book, I read a few simple words that struck a chord with me. The author said, “One of the most frustrating things about battling autism is having to...
Summer Eye Healthcare
With summer firmly in place, there is something we must not forget. And no, it’s not sunscreen! It’s your eye health! We recently had a chance to talk to Dr. Elise Brisco, Co-founder of the Rehabilitative Vision Clinic at the Cedars Sinai Medical...
What Does Prader-Willi Syndrome Mean?
From Wikipedia: Prader-Willi syndrome (ˈpraːdər ˈvɪli; abbreviated PWS) is a rare genetic disorder in which seven genes (or some subset thereof) on chromosome 15 (q 11-13) are deleted or unexpressed (chromosome 15q partial deletion) on the paternal...
Special Needs App of the Day: Catch the Monkey
Cute and addictive are two characteristics that make a good app; add some strategy, visual coordination, and fine motor skills, and you have a quality app for the special needs community and beyond. In Catch the Monkey, some very adorable little...
Special Needs App of the Day: Montessori Letter Sounds
Don’t let the summer brain drain bog you down -- get your kids ready for school with fun apps like Montessori Letter Sounds. Montessori Letter Sounds includes each letter of the alphabet paired with an auditory cue of the sound it makes. ...
Special Needs App of the Day: Trash Chaos
Sustainability and taking care of the planet is a hot topic, and what really needs to happen is educating young children about recycling versus waste.  Trash Chaos is a free app that engages children in a game while also using teachable moments...
Anxiety and Autism
Anxiety is one of the biggest challenges facing individuals on the autism spectrum.   Parents and therapists and other professionals all want and need to know how to effectively manage feelings of anxiety in individuals with autism. ...
Activities for Kids: Rhythm and Movement
What some people don’t necessarily know about movement activities is that they not only aid fine and gross motor development, but also stimulate attention, cooperation, sensory processing, visual skills, speech and language development, and impulse...
Special Needs App of the Day: Marble Math Junior
Parents, don’t be embarrassed if you find yourself engrossed in your child’s iPad games.  Especially if it’s Marble Math Junior from Artgig Apps -- these things just happen. Marble Math Junior is part pinball machine, part math basics...
Smoking Bans Improve the Health of Mothers and Babies
 A recent study published in the Journal of Women's Health found that a citywide ban on public smoking in one Colorado town reduced the number of pregnant women who smoke and the number of babies born with health problems caused by smoking....
What is Recreation Therapy?
Recreation therapists plan and direct leisure activities for individuals with disabilities or illness.  These leisure activities can be a myriad of things, including arts, music, sports, movement, dance, games, wellness, and exercise. While it...
Special Needs App of the Day: My Health, My Choice, My Responsibility
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps. “The Westchester Institute for Human Developmentasked us to make their curriculum come alive.”-- Larry King, developer at...
Financial Planning: What You Need to Know from the Experts
Merrill Edge, which started in 2010, has announced some new programs that will help parents and caregivers of individuals with special needs.  Specially trained financial advisors have the tools to help families with special needs that do not...
Cerebral Palsy -- An Adoption Story
“I hope to adopt someday." The sentiment was real, yet my idea of adoption was romanticized and I lacked a real understanding of adoption.  I pictured bringing a shy, malnourished, lonely child to my home who would transform into a healthy and...
Special Needs App of the Day: X is for X-Ray
Kids are so often interested in the way things work, and X is for X-Ray shows you what’s inside an object by giving you X-ray vision.  It reads like an ABC storybook, but the information and intrigue is suitable for many ages.  The pages...
Little Miss Adorable, Occupational Therapy, Speech, Language and MORE Swear Words
A while ago I posted about my daughter, Little Miss Adorable’s newest words and our struggles in Speech and Language Therapy. (Little Miss Adorable, Speech, Language and Swear Words and Toddler Speech, Language and Self Defense) Little Miss...
Clues and Symptoms of Dyslexia
In the previous blog, we discussed what dyslexia is -- difficulty with words -- and what it isn’t, which is permanent. So how can you tell if your child may have it? According to Scientific Learning Corp, here are clues you may notice at home and at...
Support Group Needs -- from a Parent's Perspective
Because I’m an extrovert to the core, I’m naturally a “joiner”. I’m part of Parents’ Council for both of my kids’ schools, Autism-related support groups, special needs-related support groups, moms groups, etc. As a result, my schedule can...
Special Needs App of the Day: MyVoice Communication Aid
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.        “We realized there is a real need for simple, socially acceptable, affordable...
Author Rebecca Woods an Inspiration to All Moms
It seems like so rarely do we see autism in fiction, and when it’s done as well as Living Through Charlie, one has to wonder at how much truth really lies behind the story.  While it might have started out more like a memoir, author Rebecca...
Book Review: Clever Carter
Being proactive about autism awareness is really the key for educating the public.  When Sara Park’s son was diagnosed with autism, at first she didn’t tell many people, until something clicked and she knew she could help educate others....
Special Needs App of the Day: Smart Speller English
Smart Speller English from EduKidsApps is not just a spelling app, but it also includes a compelling story to motivate kids to spell.  Sunny is sad because he lost his rainbow, but kids can help him find it by spelling words to acquire the...
Special Needs App of the Day: Over in the Ocean
Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef is a counting and sing-along book come to life.  As an interactive app for the iPad, children can poke and jiggle ocean animals and watch them swim and dart around the screen.  Through the touch and...
Is it ADHD or Not?
ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions.  Symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, irritability, or difficulty completing tasks are hallmarks of ADHD, but they might also be signs of other conditions. Children with autism are...
Loneliness Increases Risk of Death
According to a study published June 18, 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, older adults who are lonely are 45 percent more likely to die than their peers who are social.  Additionally, a separate study shows that adults with heart...
Memory and Learning
What is memory? Are there different kinds of memory?  How are memories formed?  What types of information are difficult -- or easy -- for students to learn and remember, and why?  How does emotion affect learning, thinking and memory...
Special Needs App of the Day: i See-quence Going to Fireworks
Going to Fireworks is a part of the i See-quence series from iGet It, LLC, who creates social stories and customizable book apps for teaching about a particular occasion.  This app focuses on watching fireworks, which for many children with...
What is ADD or ADHD?
Do you suspect ADHD? Do you really know what Attention Deficit Disorder is? Bonnie Terry, America's Leading Learning Specialist is on FOX Morning News talking about ADD and ADHD. ADD stands for attention deficit disorder. ADHD stands for...
Stop Bullies App is Education and Prevention Mechanism
Every so often, there comes an app that completely revolutionizes the way we view mobile technology.  The iAlertEM Stop Bullies app from Appddiction Studio is that incredible app for 2012 and beyond.  iAlertEM is an app that allows...
Special Needs App of the Day: Cozmo's Day Off
I love books -- the ones you can actually hold in your hand and feel the paper pages as you turn them.  So when book apps for mobile devices come along, they have to have that extra something special.  With over 100 audio and animation...
Shen-Focus: BioRay's Detox Tonic
The response at Autism One this year was huge! Tami, Andrea, and I had fun seeing friends and talking with all the great parents and educators at the conference. There was so much great information that staying focused and calm was necessary to...
Tell-Tale Signs of Adult ADHD
With high profile celebrities like NBC’s ‘The Voice’ judge Adam Levine, TV news broadcasters like Phoenix-based Kaley O'Kelley, and others like “The ADHD CEO” Greg Selkoe now publicly “owning” their ADHD diagnosis, it begs many questions: How does...
Comedy Improv Event for Young Adults
Advance LA is holding a comedy event for young adults ages 18 and up -- experienced improv teachers will focus on improv and public speaking skills such as: ProjectionEnunciationStage Composition & DirectionImprovisationExercise facial...
What is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)?
Spinal Muscular Atrophy, often referred to as SMA, is a genetic disorder characterized my muscular atrophy (degeneration) and weakness.  It is a neuromuscular genetic disorder that is the leading cause of genetic-related deaths in infants...
Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy
Do you know your rights when it comes to medical malpractice and cerebral palsy?  Cerebral palsy a serious injury that occurs before, during, or just after birth; causes include lack of oxygen to the brain, head trauma, infection, or premature...
"Clever Carter": A Story About Autism
Carter, my son, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder when he was 3.5 years old. As devastating as it was, we weren’t completely blindsided by his diagnosis. The waitlist for his assessment was almost an entire year.  We received a call...
Special Needs App of the Day: Cretaceous Dinosaurs
If you’re a teacher doing a segment on dinosaurs, or if your child is fascinated by the creatures, then Ansel and Clair’s Cretaceous Dinosaurs app for iPad is a must-have.  As part of a dinosaur trilogy, the apps explore the worlds of the...
Special Needs App of the Day: The Going to Bed Book
Sandra Boynton is one of the most stellar children’s book authors in existence, and Loud Crow Interactive has brought the classic pop-up story The Going to Bed Book to your mobile device. The app captures the original charm and joy of book, and it...
Wilderness River -- Special Needs Parenting Style
I look at Special Needs Parenting like canoeing down a fast river -- full of rocks and raging rapids -- without a map! We don't know what is coming ahead, and honestly, we don’t know where we are going either. We zoom past rocks and through rough...
Autism Treatments for Very Young Children
The future of autism research and treatment is focused on early childhood.  As most parents and scientists know, early intervention is key for better treatment and better results.  However, many children are not being diagnosed with autism...
More States Updating Autism Insurance Reform
Nearly 75 percent of states in the U.S. are reforming insurance benefits for children with autism.  These reforms will include ABA, or Applied Behavior Analysis, as an approved treatment for autism. With one in 88 children being diagnosed with...
Activities for Kids: Chemistry
If you want to give something to your kids, give them science.  Science teaches us about the way things work, and many science activities are hands-on and exciting.  Get your children away from the TV set this summer with these chemistry...
Are You Looking at Me?
Quoting Robert De Niro’s famous line from Taxi Driver is an apt one when one has Bipolar. The context suggests menace and persecution, both of which I can identify with.  And conveniently with the Bi in Bipolar, this aspect has typically two...
Special Needs App of the Day: Language Builder
Mobile Education Store is a Member of Moms with Apps, featured on Teachers with Apps, and is often on lists for top mobile education apps.  Language Builder is one app in the series that works on improving sentence structure and formation as...
What Exactly IS Dyslexia?
The word dyslexia was coined in 1895 but didn’t come into common usage until the 1960s. The word comes from the Greek roots dys, meaning “abnormal” or “difficult,” and lexis, meaning “word” or “speech.” At its most basic level, dyslexia literally...
Special Needs App of the Day: Frog Dissection
Use the real tools without the real smell or mess with the Frog Dissection app.  Punflay is the creator of several exciting educational apps, and Frog Dissection is no different.  As a “greener” alternative to traditional frog dissection,...
Book Review: Managing Anxiety in People with Autism
Anxiety is an often overlooked or misunderstood problem, especially when it comes to children.  It’s true most individuals with anxiety are 18 years old or over, but anxiety does affect children, and it can be a major problem for individuals...
Special Needs App of the Day: NASA
Kids can become science lovers through exploration and technology.  Children are already using iPhones and iPads for “fun” apps, so why not include something with educational value as well?  NASA puts out a free app that includes thousands...
Oxytocin Hormone Shows Promise for Treating Autism
Oxytocin, known as the “mother-infant bond hormone,” has shown in studies to be effective in treating the social deficits associated with autism.  Oxytocin is a hormone secreted at birth and after, and it helps with the mother-child bond....
Proper Digestion, Proper Development
I am a digestion junkie.  Most of my research and education focuses on how to improve digestive function and correct the many ways that our digestive processes can go awry.  For children with special needs, we must focus on creating the...
Special Needs Parenting: Planning for Retirement
An estimated 58 percent of Americans die without a will.  Life expectancy for individuals with special needs has increased significantly; for example, adults with Down syndrome now live to about 60, an increase from age 25 in 1983.  With...
Stick a Label On It: Acronym Soup and the Quest for Truth in the Land of Special Needs
Sometimes, labels only belong on apples.The land of Special Needs is filled with labels. Reactive Attachment Disorder, Down Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Fragile X Syndrome, Learning Disability. Everything seems to be a...
Special Needs App of the Day: Alien Buddies
We love cute and quirky apps, and let’s face it, our tastes aren’t that much different from your kid’s.  Alien Buddies is a learning app that includes several games in one bundle.  Learn to match colors, numbers, letters, and shapes, as...
NYC Department of Education Planning Changes to Special Ed
New York City is behind only Washington, D.C. for the worst record in the United States regarding integrating special needs students in mainstream classrooms.  The city plans to align NYC with other school districts by including more special ed...
New iOS 6 Helps Special Needs
Children with autism and other special needs are using the iPad and other Apple devices for therapeutic or educational apps, and Apple knows it.  On June 11, 2012, Apple announced the release of the new iOS 6, which includes some features...
Finding Your Self-Esteem From Within
I grew up as a child actor and model, from ages two to eighteen.  I never did anything fame-worthy, but I did pose for Vogue Bambini and Rolling Stone Magazine, with Fleetwood Mac.  I also got to repeatedly stuff my face with cookies in a...
Can You Prevent Autism with Folic Acid?
Hungry during pregnancy?  Try a bowl of cereal.  A new research study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that women who consumed at least 600 micrograms of folic acid daily had a 38 percent lower risk of having a...
Is There a New Drug for Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disorder caused by damage to a child’s brain before, during, or shortly after birth.  Symptoms vary in severity and include stiff muscles, involuntary movements, or cognitive deficits.  Some children are able...
Special Needs App of the Day: Social Skills Stories
Social skills stories describe an event, skill, or concept with included social cues or common responses.  For children with autism, these social stories can help them understand social events and appropriate ways to respond.  Social...
Fifty Shades of Embarrassment
Compromise. Commitment. Patience. My 20 years of marriage have taught me many things. One of the most important was how to read. Sure, I knew how to read before I got married. For example, I was a voracious reader of the tabloids in the lines at the...
Asperger’s Team Camp: Personal Growth for Young Adults
Meg Fields has over 20 years of clinical experience as a psychiatric nurse, and she has a PsyD in psychology.  And she’s taking that experience several steps forward with the Asperger’s Team Camp, a summer experience designed for young adults...
Breastfeeding Promotes a Healthy Gut in Babies
It's important to have a healthy gut to keep the body functioning properly. When a person experiences problems with digestion, they may want to consider an organic detox to get their health back on track. A new study from Texas A&M University...
Special Needs App of the Day: Speech4Good
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.   “I wanted to take a couple of the more effective tools used in speech therapy and make them more accessible and...
The Journey of the Parent with a Special Needs Child
I think it’s time we acknowledge the internal emotional experience of a parent of a child with special needs.  This is a journey, and there are times when you will feel traumatized or in disbelief with your experience, and times when you wish...
IASO (Immature Adrenaline Systems Over-reactivity), AKA Aggressive Behavior
Aggressive or violent behavior can be a very difficult and discouraging issue to manage, especially for special needs parents and caregivers. Violent behaviors hinder progress in IEPs, in learning plans, and in becoming mature in personal...
Special Needs App of the Day: iLuv Drawing Dinosaurs
Let’s face it, dinosaurs are awesome.  So wouldn’t it be great if we could learn how to draw them?  iLuv Drawing Dinosaurs is an app that teaches just that. iLuv Drawing Dinosaurs teaches how to draw a T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Velociraptor,...
Helping the Siblings of Children on the Spectrum
I often wonder how my son appears through my daughter’s eyes.  She adores him; this is clear.  But what does she make of the sudden outbursts, the seemingly unprovoked anger, and the daily challenges that a family with a child on the...
June Bugs
Summer is upon us now in June and kids often enjoy observing the many bugs that are now awake. Fireflies glow in the night, dragon flies flit around the pond and ants crawl on the ground. Kids can be fascinated by the wide variety of insects around...
What is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy.  This service is getting more attention and more and more people are becoming familiar with.  But, do you really know what it means?  It is obvious by the term itself, that music is involved, and there is some...
Special Needs App of the Day: Rhyme-N-Time
Rhyming is an important skill for early literacy because it teaches children about the language and increases phonemic awareness, or the smallest units of sounds that build up words.  Rhyming also teaches patterns and structures of both written...
Special Needs App of the Day: Pirate Puzzles
Ahoy, mateys!  There’s an app for all ye pirate lovers out there.  Pirate Puzzles features a series of puzzles increasing in difficulty that also includes an animated surprise once the puzzle is complete. Best suited for “buccaneers age 3...
Book Review: Gifts
Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives is a collection of stories edited by Kathryn Lynard Soper that portrays the lives of mothers caring for their children with Down syndrome.  Valerie Morris, follower...
Chewing and Autism
Chewing is a common behavior in special needs children, especially those with autism or ADHD.  Children with sensory issues often feel compelled to chew on paper, clothes, or other objects.  Sensory processing disorder is a condition...
Special Needs App of the Day: Stack the States
Who knew all it took to get kids to learn the 50 states in the US was cute faces and animation? Within the game play of the app, you answer questions about the states, which might include some trivia or recognizing the state’s shape.  And yes...
Mindfulness Awareness-Avoidance
The other day there was a knock at my door. When I answered it was an elderly lady inquiring about my husband's business.  She described what she needed and when she'd be home, stating that her husband had cancer and they were often not home...
Show Me the Money and Failure to Thrive
Obama’s healthcare debate filled the radio airwaves the weeks before daughter was born.  I would drive to doctor’s appointments, hoping that Mr. Obama’s reforms would go through and amazed at history in the making.  I could not fathom...
Battle to Autism Diagnosis
Recently, within a few days, two of my friends confided in me that they are starting to think one of their kids (two different families) may be on the Autism Spectrum, and then they asked how I knew my son had Autism. I’ll admit that my ex-husband (...
Special Needs App of the Day: ReacTickles
ReactTickles Magic is interactive software designed for children on the autism spectrum.  This app uses touch, gesture, and audio input to facilitate interactive communication.  And what’s even better?  It’s free. ReacTickles’...
Special Needs App of the Day: Expedition with Plurals
When the home screen of Expedition with Plurals flashes its name in the Star Wars font and is surrounded by colorful planets in space, you know it’s going to be a great app for kids.  Combine the great graphics with plural word practice, and...
What is Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome, also called Trisomy 21, is a genetic condition in which an individual has 47 chromosomes instead of 46.  In most cases, an extra copy of chromosome 21 is the cause of Down syndrome.  This extra copy of the chromosome affects...
Ask the Developmental Doc: Medicating Children Impacted by ADHD
Dear Developmental Doc: My son has just been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder -- hyperactive type. His psychologist wants me to have him be seen by a psychiatrist so that in addition to play therapy he will be given medication to treat his...
Special Needs App of the Day: TapSpeak
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.“I wanted to create apps that would help children develop the cognitive processes necessary for communication. I also wanted to...
Product of the Week: BioRay Natural Detox Solutions
For common maladies or behavioral issues, BioRay provides natural remedies for improving or eliminating symptoms.  More and more parents are moving towards natural solutions as opposed to medications, and BioRay gives you some options to try....
Not Dirt and Germs with the Amazing Mat
When people open their home to friends and family, they also open it to less desirable things like dirt and germs. The Amazing Mat lets you welcome guests in and keep dirt and germs out. Regular outdoor mats are breeding grounds for bacteria and...
Tossing Your Child's Room: Part One
Pretty much all children hide things from their parents.  I think that’s a given, and children with Reactive Attachment Disorder are certainly not excluded from that group.  Their need to control the situation as if their life depends on...
Transitioning for Young Adults with Special Needs
Transitioning to independence during young adulthood is a pivotal and challenging time for everyone. For young adults with special needs, these periods can particularly difficult. People with special needs, such as autism spectrum disorders or...
Study Says S p a c i n g Letters Apart Helps Dyslexia
Researchers from the University of Padua in Italy studied Italian and French children with dyslexia and found that extra space in between letters helped them read.  These children showed an increase of reading speed by 20 percent and doubled...
Three Candles by Will Corcoran
In a heartening story about two boys who experience life-changing events at the age of three, a devoted father and debut author provides inspirational and enlightening guidance for parents and professionals caring for terminally ill children, as...
A Message from BioRay's Founder
Hello Everyone! I sometimes get asked about additional ways we use our formulas in clinic and for ourselves here at BioRay. In response to those inquiries, I'm going to send handy tips once a month to suggest ways to increase the usefulness of what...
Musical Emotions: Insights Into Autism
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”-Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862) All of us have had the experience...
Military Wife and Mother: A New Home
Being a wife and mother will always be a big challenge, but more when you're a military wife. When I met my husband, I always knew his aspirations to enter the military and serve his country.  For it was always his dream, and have someone to...
Special Needs App of the Day: Sosh
Sosh is an approach developed by Dr. Mark Bowers based on years of clinical experience helping children, adolescents, and young adults sort out social situations.  The app provides exercises, strategies, and practical information to assist...
Activities for Kids: Activities for Nonverbal Children
Communication is key for all relationships, and the lack of speech can hinder the way children interact with their peers and caregivers.  Being nonverbal is often associated with autism, although this condition can occur in children with other...
Show Your Stuff!
Last weekend, we held our annual in-house children’s tournament. The event was a huge success and our special needs division was the most remarkable of the day. This division was comprised of children with a variety of special needs and they...
How To Make Sure Your Child Eats Well: Part Two
Eating used to be a family affair, a time when everyone came together to talk, share, and enjoy each other’s company. We’re nourished by each other’s presence when we sit around the table. Nowadays, many of us catch meals on the run and don’t spend...
Special Needs App of the Day: First Words Feelings
First Words Feelings by Learning Touch is more than a spelling app -- it combines spelling practice with emotions.  Each screen includes the word of a feeling and a picture that is animated when a user completes a word. The spelling portion of...
Special Needs App of the Day: Pinch Peeps
Need to work on some fine motor skills?  Try Pinch Peeps, an app designed for iPhone and iPad.  Pinch Peeps, by Everplay Interactive, is a game in which the player must drag two alike “peeps” together by tapping and pinching the screen....
Book Review: Living Through Charlie
While it reads and is labeled as a novel, parents of special needs kids will know that Living Through Charlie is a true story, and that people really did live through it. “I pull a plastic container off the bottom shelf and in it is Charlie’s...
What is GMO?
Of growing concern is the prevalence of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in our food.  The question is GMO safe for us to eat? GMOs are organisms that have been created through gene splicing and biotechnology, also called genetically...
Special Needs App of the Day: KidgitZ
KidgitZ is a math game app acclaimed by Teachers With Apps, whose critics (young students and learners) said the app is an “awesome” game.  Aimed at elementary-aged studets, KidgitZ works on improving addition skills and speed. Time to push...
Can a Standard Classroom Meet the Needs of the Gifted?
It is widely known that gifted students have special needs, yet few schools provide daily programs designed to meet these needs. While many schools have what they refer to as a “gifted program,” this program usually only consists of a weekly, pull-...
How to Protect Your Family from the Sun
With the weather getting warmer and kids taking breaks from school, families are sure to spend more time out of doors and in the sun.  We all know we should put on sunscreen, but which kind is the best and how often should we put it on? ...
Special Needs App of the Day: Trope
Trope is the next app in line from ambient music pioneer Brian Eno and software designer Peter Chilvers.  Bloom is a generative music app that allows you to create music simply by tapping the screen, and Trope follows along in the same vein,...
Push Girls’ Tiphany Adams an Inspiration for All
After a drunk driver hit her and her friends, Tiphany Adams was pronounced dead at the scene until the paramedics heard a faint sound from her, and even the hospital said she had a 5 percent chance of survival.  Now the gorgeous blonde stars in...
Help for Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that typically begins in late adolescence and early adulthood.  Symptoms of schizophrenia include “negative” and “positive” symptoms.  Negative symptoms refer to a lack of an emotion or characteristic, and...
Special Needs App of the Day: Mathomatix Geometry
Geometry from Punflay’s Mathomatix series introduces your child to basic geometrical shapes.  Cute characters such as monkeys and panda bears teach children about the shapes, which make the app very appealing to kids. Through a series of games...
Product of the Week: KiD'n Together
Bridging blues, folk, Calypso, island, and barbershop styles of music, brothers Alex and Ben Meisel of KiD’n Together bring a love of music, education, and fun to your doorstep. Not all kids music is created equal, and since almost all kids love...
Pilot Study Suggests Antioxidant Supplement Helps Autism Symptoms
Researchers from Stanford School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital studied 31 children with autism and found a specific antioxidant supplement helped reduce some symptoms of autism. The antioxidant, called N-Acetylcysteine, or NAC...
Exercise Helps Improve ADHD Symptoms
Many people have known for a long time that exercise has many positive benefits; it makes us more fit, evens temperament, and can even make us feel happy.  These effects on the brain also suggest that increased activity and exercise can help...
Help for an Arts Foundation for Autism
This guest piece is written by a man passionate about his vision. David Berkowitz lives in Las Vegas, is an honorably discharged veteran and spent the last 20 years in sales and marketing. David lives with Asperger Syndrome and is raising three kids...
Bank of America’s Merrill Edge Launches Program to Help Families with Special Needs Children
May 29, 2012 -- Bank of America announced today that Merrill Edge will launch a new program that offers parents and caregivers in mass affluent families the advice and guidance to help prepare them financially to take care of a loved one with...
Special Needs App of the Day: iModeling
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.In 2009, the Telstra Foundation provided a grant to Autism SA to create a social development group for children with autism who range...
Book Review: Just Like You
I’ve read a lot of books in my lifetime -- no really, more than you can imagine -- and not one compares to Darlene Wierski-Devoe’s book Just Like You, which is the most accurate and enlightening children’s story about social anxiety. Just Like You...
IEP Goals for Children with Autism
The IEP is an important tool for educating children with autism.  IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan, and the “individualized” is a key term.  One goal that is ideal for one child is not the best for another child.  However...
Special Needs App of the Day: iLearn with Boing Iceland Adventures
Who doesn’t love to learn alongside cute animals?  iLearn with Boing takes children on a journey with Boing and his bear, seal, and penguin friends as they teach essential literacy skills. iLearn with Boing is designed to get your child ready...
Histamine Invasions
Spring is here! Flowers are blooming, grass is green and Mother Nature offers her rays of warm sun as a relief for the winter’s chill. For some of us, flowers and grass can give rise to pollen sensitivity. Pollen present, high levels of histamine...
Sensory Processing Disorder: Not a Stand-Alone Condition
Occupational therapists often provide sensory integration therapy, which helps children who are sensitive to touch and sound.  This therapy helps children adapt to external stimuli; while doctors do agree that occupational therapy helps with...
When the Chips are Down, Say "Thank You"
Cayden was referred to “The Queen Alexandra Hospital for Children’s Health (QA)” before he hit his 3 month mark.  Already, my little man was exhibiting difficulties meeting milestones; he was not responding to faces, auditory or visual stimuli...
How to Make Sure Your Child Eats Well: Part One
We all know how important nutrition is to a child’s health, but it’s doubly important for children with learning difficulties. Children can’t learn when they’re malnourished or if they’re eating too much junk food. Most people tell me they are...
Special Needs App of the Day: Touch and Write
The Touch and Write app from FizzBrain apps was developed by real teachers to help children on the autism spectrum expand their creativity and strengthen social skills.  The iPad app allows users to practice writing numbers, letters, names, and...
What is Respite Care?
Caring for a special needs child or adult becomes a part of daily life for many parents and caregivers.  It’s a demanding and difficult job, and many parents don’t get the breaks they need to stay healthy.  It is critical for parents and...
Push Girls: Pushing Beyond Limits
Push Girls is a new docu-series presented by Sundance Channel, premiering June 4th at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.  The series follows four courageous and outgoing women who, by accident or illness, are paralyzed from the neck or waist down. Tiphany is...
Activities for Kids: Exercises for Children in Wheelchairs
Physical activity is important for all children, including those children with special needs.  Even in a classroom with children who do not use wheelchairs, those who do have wheelchairs can still participate in modified activities. Warm-Ups:...
Special Needs App of the Day: The Berestain Bears and the Big Spelling Bee
The Berenstain Bears are classic friends from children’s literature, and now you can bring these characters to your iPhone and iPad.  This story book app tells the story of Sister Bear and Papa Bear practice, practice, practicing for the school...
What is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is a treatment for speech and language disorders.  A speech disorder involves a problem producing words and sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding words and putting together sentences and ideas...
Special Needs App of the Day: Piano Dust Buster
Time to dust of that old piano with the Piano Dust Buster iPad app from JoyTunes.  The app is a great introduction to music and playing tunes on the piano, and you can use your own piano or keyboard or the life-size, 3D keyboard on the iPad...
Diabetes on the Rise in Teenagers
According to a study by the CDC published in Pediatrics journal, diabetes is significantly on the rise for teenagers.  Nearly one quarter of American children and adolescents has type 2 diabetes or is developing the disease. Additionally, the...
Special Needs App of the Day: Simplex Spelling Phonics 2
For those of you who loved Simplex Spelling Phonics 1, get ready for the next level up.  Simplex Spelling Phonics 2 covers the most frequently used words in the English language, but excludes those already covered in Phonics 1. The goal of...
Five Ways to Help Students with Special Needs
Learning disabilities impact the way children are able to process and understand information; they are neurological disorders that might manifest themselves as difficulty listening, thinking, writing, speaking, spelling, or doing mathematical...
Activities for Special Needs Children: Social and Emotional Skills
Social skills needed for peer relationships are not always taught, and children with special needs do not always pick up these skills on their own.  Understanding emotions is important for an individual and for learning how to interact in peer...
Vista Del Mar Holds First Sensory-Friendly Festival for Kids with Special Needs
Hundreds spend a fun-filled day at Festival of Families event.   (WEST LOS ANGELES, Calif., May 23, 2012) -- Hundreds were on hand this past Saturday for Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services -- one of the Southland's leading...
New York City Officials Approve Special Needs Classroom Inclusion Plan
Despite parent protests, New York City education officials approved a plan to move special needs students into mainstream classrooms.  Mayor Bloomberg’s Panel for Education Policy voted for this inclusion plan, and many critics are saying that...
I Need Her
It is 2:00 am when the cell phone vibrates under my pillow reminding me to get up. In a swift motion I swing my legs around and glide out of bed, barely moving the covers. My husband sleeps soundly and so does my one-week-old baby, Nichole, who...
Special Needs App of the Day: Bugs and Buttons
Who says that fun apps and educational apps have to be mutually exclusive?  Bugs and Buttons by Little Bit Studio is an app for iPad and iPhone that includes a collection of 18 games with an educational purpose.  The look of the Bugs and...
Diet for ADHD
ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions in children.  While the cause of ADHD is not known, many people believe it to be due to chemical imbalances in the brain, or genetic or...
Product of the Week: Baby Signing Time
Your baby can communicate with you before he can talk; babies often point, wave, or blow kisses well before they say their first words.  It’s the way young children communicate, so why not help them use gestures to explain their needs and wants...
Challenges in Math Education
It is a sad fact that students in the United States are falling behind in the study of mathematics. "Everybody Counts: A Report to the Nation on the Future of Mathematics Education" from The National Research Council found that only half of the...
Home is Where the Heart Is: Take 5 (or More)
Everyone’s in the midst of planning summer vacations, signing up for camps and stocking up on popsicles and sunscreen.  May I make a recommendation?  Take a break, maybe even a big break, from therapy at some point this summer.  Odd...
How Can You Prevent Allergy Symptoms?
What are the common causes of allergies? Fifty million Americans suffer from allergies. Itchy, watery eyes affect their ability to enjoy life, work and sleep. Allergies can be triggered by virtually anything around us. Some of the most common causes...
Is Myelin Content Related to Autism?
Research in recent years has shown that autism might be linked to white matter in the brain.  White matter is responsible for neuropathways and connections between regions of the brain, and it is also related to myelin, or the protective cover...
Nature Neuroscience Study Shows Unique Scientific Support for Potential New Myelin Repair Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
Funded by the Myelin Repair Foundation, Study Conducted by Case Western Reserve University Scientists Find Improvement with Mesenchymal Stem Cell Signals in Animal Models of Multiple SclerosisSARATOGA, Calif. -- May 20, 2012  -- The Myelin...
Special Needs App of the Day: Jungle Time and Jungle Coins
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.Jungle EducationAndrew Short worked with Microsoft’s Excel software development team for six years. “I learned how ...
Avoidance Parenting -- Are You Out Enough?
I am a multi-faceted Mommy. If my job were likened to a circus act, I would most certainly be a juggler… who juggles angry rattle snakes… while riding a motorcycle… on a trapeze. Yes -- that would be me up there. You can be my audience. I’ll try not...
Special Needs App of the Day: Multiple Meanings Library
Multiple Meanings Library is another valuable app from Virtual Speech Center, who provides software solutions for schools, speech pathologists, and parents.  For students with receptive or expressive language disorders, word-finding problems,...
Activities for Special Needs Children: Expression Through Dance
For children with special needs such as sensory processing disorder, autism, or other socio-emotional or physical difficulties, enjoyable activities might be few and far between.  Children with these needs might have a list of symptoms,...
New Lullaby Device Helps Premature Babies
Jayne Standley, a researcher and professor at Florida State University, has been researching and pioneering new techniques for treating premature babies for several years.  FSU announced a new device that uses lullabies to help premature babies...
App of the Day: KinderApp
Many parents might remember using flashcards and repetition to learn vocabulary.  Now in the age of mobile technology, we have more lively and exciting ways to learn our first words. KinderApp is a way for toddlers and children to learn...
Throwing Parents a Life Preserver
In San Jose California in March 2012, a mother of a child with autism shot her son and then herself I wrote this piece that evening WHERE Were We? (A professional’s introspection on that awful day) I shot my son with autism and then I shot...
Symptoms and Signs of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy refers to a group of chronic conditions affecting muscles and body movements.  It is caused by brain damage during fetal development and pregnancy, and it can also occur during or shortly after birth.  Children with cerebral...
How to Prepare for an IEP Meeting
It’s the time that parents refer to as “IEP season,” and many parents face it with a mixture of hope and apprehension.  The IEP is an individualized document designed to outline goals and treatment plans for children with special needs. ...
What is Treatment for Autism?
The autism spectrum is just that -- a diverse spectrum with many different variables -- a fact that makes treatment for autism wide ranging.  Most commonly, treatment for autism involves both behavioral and medicinal interventions. ...
App of the Day: Jigsaw Box
We’ve all seen shelves covered in puzzle boxes -- now you can get over 100 puzzles all in one app, Jigsaw Box, for the portable and slim iPad.  And since you can choose from 12 pieces to over 200 pieces, the app is fun for the whole family and...
Book Review: Let's Hear It For Almigal
Let’s Hear It For Almigal is the story of a confident little girl -- she feels like the luckiest girl in the world most of the time, except when she can’t hear everything she wants to hear. Almigal introduces her friends; “each one is different,”...
CHADD: Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
CHADD is a non-profit organization that serves children and adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.  With 16,000 members and over 200 chapters across the United States, CHADD is the largest organization that serves the children...
App of the Day: Let's Name Things
Let’s Name Things is a free educational app from Super Duper Publications, a company that provides many learning apps for kids with special needs. Meant to be used by an educator or caregiver, Let’s Name Things features 52 picture cards with...
Activities for Kids: Vocabulary Games
Vocabulary is the pronunciation and meaning of words, and it involves both oral and reading skills.  Learning vocabulary is one of a child’s early literacy skills, and vocabulary games can give kids the tools to communicate and read.  Try...
Therapy and Treatment for Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy (CP) is not a progressive disorder, meaning it does not worsen over time, but going to therapy and treatment sessions will help improve your child’s quality of life.  Some symptoms can even improve with continued therapy for...
How is the iPad Changing Lives of People with Special Needs?
As our App of the Day reviews continues to grow, we are constantly hearing parents of children with special needs say, “my kid LOVES his iPad.”  And yes, the word “LOVES” is in CAPS, italicized, or surrounded by exclamation points.  Many...
Do I Really Need a Will?
There are many good reasons to create a Last Will and Testament (Will) prior to death. First, it allows you to specify who will inherit your estate. In the absence of a Will (or a trust or other arrangement to pass your assets at death), a state law...
What is Hyperactivity?
Hyperactivity is the state of excess activity and might be manifested by fidgeting, jumping, nervousness, or inability to sit still.  Hyperactivity is a common symptom of ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. To define what is...
Special Needs in Education
Everyone learns at his own pace, but some children require a little extra push or have special needs in education.  Special ed, the common lingo for special education, refers to alternative education programs that teach children with academic,...
Special Needs App of the Day: Math Evolve
This review is courtesy of Wynsum Arts' Every App Has a Story, the stories behind Wynsum Arts' distinguished apps.Adam Coccari grew up playing video games. Little did he know that years of playing -- and even dreaming up his own game concepts...
A Special Needs Planning Timeline: 9 Steps to a Sound Family Plan
Planning for the future well-being of your children is a daunting task for any parent.  Add the complexity of adequately providing for the future care of a son or daughter with special needs and the process becomes exponentially more...
Music Therapy for Children with ADHD
According to the American Music Therapy Association, “Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed...
Product of the Week: Pediatric Limb Immobilizers
Starting with a mother’s need to protect her son, The Medi-Kid Company has grown to make the widest variety of arm, leg, and wrist immobilizers on the market Parents do not want to physically immobilize their children, but sometimes it’s necessary...
Special Needs App of the Day: Sounding Board
Mobile apps are turning our phones and tablets into sophisticated communication devices.  Sounding Board is a free app that allows you to create custom boards for communication. Sounding Board is simple in design and performs functions of...
The Help Group Summer Camp Programs
The Help Group has four specialized day camp programs, which service kids ages 3- 21 with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs.  Our unique programs assist with social development in a structured, creative and exciting way. ...
Easy Children's Songs to Learn on Guitar
Anyone who has taken a guitar lesson or picked up the instrument knows it’s not necessarily an easy one to play.  Many people have dreams of being a rock star, and with two chords, you can be a rock star for children. Two chords?  Yes,...
Activities for Kids: Chase Games
Most of us have played the classic game of tag at some point in our lives, and we continue to pass on this activity to our kids.  Make this classic chase game more fun with a few variations. Balloon Tag Activities for kids that involve...
SSI Benefits for Children with Disabilities
The Social Security Administration, or SSA, offers some benefits for children with disabilities.  SSI, or Social Security Income, is typically paid to adults who are 65 and older and who meet low income and limited resources requirements;...
Special Needs App of the Day: Look2Learn
Many parents of nonverbal children are familiar with the term AAC, or augmentive and alternative communication.  AAC devices can cost hundreds of dollars, which is why many parents are turning to iPad apps as a reasonable alternative. ...
Teenage Mutant Bipolar Heroes
If it wasn’t bad enough being a teenager, it’s a real bummer if you are developing symptoms of Bipolar. As parents, if we’re honest, we want a bit of rebellion in our children. It’s healthy for them to be reprobates -- within reason of course -- and...
How To Tell Your Child You Have MS
Full disclosure:  I don’t have kids.  But this is such an important topic that I decided to read up on it and summarize the highlights.  And, I consulted with a good friend in South Carolina, Dr. Dale Dingledine, a psychotherapist,...
A Picky Eater or Problem Feeder?
Feeding disorders occur in anywhere from 6 to 40 percent of typically developing children; the percentage of those children with special needs rises to 18 to 80 percent.  Children with feeding disorders are often viewed as picky eaters, but...
When is it Attention Deficit Disorder?
Attention deficit disorder, commonly called ADD amongst the general public, is a disorder characterized by distractibility, impulsivity, and hyperactivity.  Attention deficit disorder is the same as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or...
Activities of Daily Living for Special Needs Children
Many parents for special needs children know the term “activities of daily living,” also referred to as ADL.  These activities are the basic tasks of everyday life, and they include tasks such as eating, bathing, clothing, and toileting. ...
Special Needs App of the Day: Bloom
If you’re looking for a music app that extends beyond the realm of what is typical of iPad and iPhone apps, look no further.  Bloom is a “music box for the 21st century.” Developed by ambient music pioneer Brian Eno and software designer Peter...
How to Modify Aggressive Behavior in Children with Autism
Bright Minds InstituteA frequent question from both parents and teachers is how do you discipline children that behave badly -- and by that I mean become physically aggressive or start having tantrums and throwing things around physically.The first...
Alternative Therapies: Inherent Risks and Effectiveness #1: Hyperbaric Oxygen
Bright Minds InstituteAs the diagnosis of Autistic Syndrome (ASD) grows, there are many therapies utilized in this field that had not been scientifically assesse d and may potentially have negative effects on the patient.One of these is ...
Neurofeedback: Myth and Reality
Bright Minds InstituteINTRODUCTION:The purpose of this paper is to present an objective view, governed by rigor and clarity, of so-called Neurofeedback, EEG Biofeedback, and/or Neurotherapy.This method of treatment has been used extensively to try...
Adopting the Special Needs Child
On an unusually cold day in Hong Kong, China my husband and I walked into an orphanage to meet a four year old child who would soon become our son.  Hours later we walked out of the orphanage not only with a new family member in our presence,...
College of Adaptive Arts: Enabling Adults with Special Needs
While there are staggering reports that adults with special needs are not participating in daily recreational activities, the College of Adaptive Arts is changing the lives of many of these individuals. The College of Adaptive Arts offers arts and...
Sensory Boards for Special Needs
Sensory processing disorders cause children to have a distorted sense of their surroundings, which often interrupts their learning and exploration of their world.  Sensory integration is our brain’s ability to interpret and respond to sensory...
Special Needs App of the Day: QuickChoice
For those individuals with a language delay or limited verbal skills, verbal expression of basic needs is a difficult task.  QuickChoice gives them a way to express themselves and make choices. Use the existing photo library from QuickChoice...
Testing for ADHD
While there is no single tool for testing for ADHD, psychologists and physicians do use a standard set of guidelines for testing for ADHD.  These healthcare professionals will use subjective and objective information from parents, caregivers,...
Healing Tyler: Awareness for Nephrotic Syndrome
Bravery, down to earth nature, and love of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) -- well, that’s a start for describing Tyler Ransom, but it’s not all-inclusive. Tyler has Nephrotic Syndrome, a kidney disease in which valuable protein in the blood leaks into...
Special Needs App of the Day: Fun with Directions
Developed by a speech and language pathologist, Fun with Directions is an iPad app designed to practice listening and following directions.  In addition to teaching directions, Fun with Directions enhances learning of colors, spatial...
Book Review: Starabella, Welcome to a Bright New World
Now that we’ve seen Starabella at home (Mystery Girl of Music) and in the community (New Adventures and Mixed Emotions), it’s time to travel with her to school in book three of the Starabella series, Welcome to a Bright New World. Starabella is a...
Special Needs App of the Day: urTalker Lite
urTalker Lite is a communication device that gives a voice to non-verbal individuals or those who struggle with speaking.  The app comes with 7 categories and over 150 images, and it also includes the ability for customization, so you can...
Equine Therapy: Connecting Through Emotions
Being an Equine Specialist for the Papillion Center for FASD has changed my life in the best way.  I got certified through EAGALA in 2010.  However, it wasn't until 2011 that we got a horse.  In one trip we actually ended up...
What is ADD and ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also commonly called ADHD, is a condition that affects children and adults and is characterized by hyperactive, overactive, or impulsive behavior.  Individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity...
Special Needs App of the Day: My First Classical Music App
Naxos is one of the most well known and respected names in classical music, and their app My First Classical Music App is a demonstration of their high quality and perseverance to get classical music into the hands of children. Music appreciation...
The Importance of Valuable Social Interaction
In neuroscientist John T. Caccioppo’s book “Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection”, brain scans, blood pressure, and immune functions are studied to show how social interaction is powerful enough to change DNA...
Auditory Processing Disorder in Children
Almost every school activity, including listening to teachers, interacting with classmates, singing along in music class, following instructions in physical education, etc, depends on the ability for students to process sounds and have a strong...
Music Appreciation for Every Need
The American Youth Symphony performed their first of three concerts in the Elfman Project, a series that features the work of beloved film composer Danny Elfman.  The audience was a varied group of AYS members, the player’s families, UCLA alum...
Resources to Reduce Stress in Parents
One of the biggest challenges that parents of children on the autism spectrum must cope with is their own stress. How you manage your stress can be a huge factor in both the quality of your own life and in the life of your child. If you are overrun...
May Flowers
To continue the theme from last month, “April showers bring May Flowers” I would like to present three flower themed ideas for your family to enjoy. Spring weather doesn’t always cooperate so kids can spend a rainy afternoon making flowers for a...
Product of the Week: Social Skills, Emotional Growth and Drama Therapy
Lee R. Chasen’s book Social Skills, Emotional Growth and Drama Therapy is the resource for the clinically proven approach to enhance social and emotional growth for children on the autism spectrum.  Chasen gives a thorough introduction to...
Announcing: Shannon Rose and Triumph Over Adversity
From his voice, you wouldn’t know Shannon Rose has a life-threatening disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.  And after speaking with him, you’d know that he doesn’t let this diagnosis get in his way. Rose says, “Since the age of birth, I’ve...
Governor Cuomo: Protecting the Disabled
News reports of abuse against individuals with disabilities have been exploding across the news.  Stories of children being left on the bus, subjected to electroshock therapy, and even parents sending kids to school with a wire because of...
Special Needs App of the Day: Smart Oral Motor
Despite its slightly un-catchy name, Smart Oral Motor does what it says -- it helps develop the skills needed for functions like eating and speaking.  There are many muscles in your jaw, mouth, and lips that are needed for these functions, and...
Where Does the Choice Come From?
I was helping Ben today with his shopping list, which he mostly manages himself, but today he asked me when I arrived at his house; ‘Have you worked out what we are cooking today yet?’  A pretty complex sentence for him! As I recovered I...
Ten Asperger's Traits of Women
1) We are deep philosophical thinkers and writers; gifted in the sense of our level of thinking. Perhaps poets, professors, authors, or avid readers of nonfictional genre. I don’t believe you can have Aspergers without being highly-intelligent...
What Triggers Asthma?
May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and as asthma affects 25 million Americans, 7 million of them children, it is important to know what triggers asthma. Asthma is a respiratory disease that can be anywhere from mild to life threatening....
Special Needs App of the Day: Cimo Spelling
An ideal app for young readers, Cimo Spelling helps teach sight words with the help of an adorable penguin pal, Cimo.  The app teaches a variety of high frequency and sight words from the Dolch Sight Words list. Cimo Spelling features the word...
Travel Tips for Special Needs
Traveling with children can be difficult; traveling with a special needs child can be a nightmare!  However, if you are prepared ahead of time, it can (almost) be a breeze.   Two weeks before the travel date, I create a columned...
The Future of Diagnosis with DSM-5
The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the text for diagnosis the array of mental illnesses.  The manual covers everything from an overview to lists of specific symptoms individuals must meet in order to be given a diagnosis...
Video Game Play Might Help Cerebral Palsy
Need a little exercise?  Try the Nintendo Wii.  A group of researchers discovered that video games, such as some provided by the Nintendo Wii, help individuals with cerebral palsy by giving them moderate physical activity, which helps...
Special Needs App of the Day: Tap Times Tables
Tap Times Tables is the next level up from Math Plus Minus, developed by PKCLsoft.  Originally designed to be a way to learn and memorize times tables through repetition, Tap Times Tables is a fun and interactive game with scores and rewards....
How to Get Calcium without Milk
With the surge of gluten-free and casein-free (dairy-free) diets, many parents might have difficulty ensuring their children are still getting adequate nutrition.  Many of us know milk products are perhaps the easiest and most well known way to...
MS Heroes: Dr. Jean Martin Charcot
Everyone has heroes. I know I do. Some of mine are MS heroes. I plan, from time to time, to share my MS heroes with you, tell a bit about who they are and how they are important in the MS world.  My first MS Hero is Dr. Jean Martin Charcot (...
KiD'n TOGETHER: Making Music and Building Community
KiD’n TOGETHER Alex & Ben, The Meisel Brothers Making Music and Building Community that is Special-Needs-Connected The music of KiD’n TOGETHER started through our family’s love of Alex’s son Matthew who was born with Down Syndrome...
Ask the Developmental Doc: Psychotropic Medication
Dear Developmental Doc, We have a 10-year-old son who is on Resperidal and Zoloft who is having really severe behaviors in school and at home when ANY type of demand is put on him. He hits, scratches, spits, kicks, etc.  Any suggestions for us...
Special Needs App of the Day: The Rooster Who Lost His Voice
The Rooster Who Lost His Voice is a tale of a rooster and his family in friends, but it is more than a simple storybook app; it is an app full of lively animations and is more like a trip to the theater than just a narrated story.  Developed...
Is Organizing and Sorting Normal for Children?
Many parents are often overly conscious of their child’s behavior -- when one thing seems odd, some parents jump to conclusions like “my child must have autism.”  Many children might seem “obsessed” with behaviors such as organizing and...
Osteopenia and Celiac Disease
Osteopenia is a precursor to osteoporosis, and it typically occurs in adults over the age of 55.  So why are many children showing signs of bone loss?  One cause might be celiac disease. Osteopenia falls in between healthy bone and...
Special Needs App of the Day: Auditory Workout
Auditory Workout is a way to get pumped up about improving auditory attention and memory.  Developed by a speech and language pathologist, Auditory Workout is a great app for children ages 4 to 10 with auditory processing disorders, receptive...
The Future of Special Needs Care
While the special needs population continues to grow, government funding is decreasing.  In late March 2012, the CDC announced that 1 in 88 children have autism, and a research study estimated the annual cost of autism in the United States is $...
Special Needs App of the Day: My Friend Isabelle
Storybooks brought into the realm of digital media are ways of sharing stories anytime and anywhere.  My Friend Isabelle is the story of two friends, Charlie and Isabelle -- even though they are the same age, they are different. Written by...
Aren't We All Special? Don't We All Have Needs?
As an adult looking back I realize I have always had special needs people in my life.  More so I have often felt special needs myself from time to time.  This is now what my life revolves around.  Special needs is in my life...
Book Review:  Starabella, New Adventures and Mixed Emotions
Starabella is a captivating story about a young girl with learning differences who expresses herself through music.  In the second book in this series, Starabella ventures out into the community and finds herself riveted by the circus but later...
RADs and Cutting
January 21, 2011.  It was a day that started off like any other day, except about noonish I found out that my daughter had skipped school.  I rushed home and called around but nobody had seen her.  Then, about 4 p.m. or so the...
Special Needs App of the Day: ThumbJam
Humans by nature are musical beings -- most people you meet will admit they love music.  As a music therapist, I encourage all parents I know to get their kids a drum and a keyboard, no matter their age or level of ability.  And now I have...
Eye Implants Restore Vision
Scientists in the UK have successfully restored sight for two British men who were completely blind.  These two men had retinis pigmentosa, which is a genetic condition that results in blindness. UK doctors implanted a wireless device in the...
Study: No Daily Activities for Adults with Disabilities
A study published January 2012 by the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) says many adults with disabilities do not have regular daily activities.  This lack of educational-vocational activity leads to...
Is Karate in Your Child's IEP?
We spoke about afterschool enrichment programs last month and now I’d like to discuss curriculum based programs that may be included in a child’s IEP. As previously discussed; enrichment programs are a great way to introduce your child to the...
Special Needs App of the Day: Bill the Fish
While nothing can really replace old-fashioned paper books, interactive story apps like Bill the Fish certainly give them a run for their money.  Bill the Fish is a story that celebrates individuality and teaches children that it’s okay to be...
Product of the Week: Jack Hunter
Many of us have experienced the interactive book; it’s not just a story, but an interactive game thrown into the mix gives it that extra spark.  In Martin King’s book Jack Hunter: Secret of the King, you will find clues to a secret code-breaker...
The Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF) is changing the world of medical research, starting with developing a myelin repair therapeutic for multiple sclerosis faster than the status quo.This brief video by Scott Johnson, president and founder of the MRF...
Preventing Autism from Epilepsy
Much research suggests that around 40 percent of all children with autism also have epilepsy.  This finding proposes that the two are linked, and a study published from the Boston Children’s Hospital suggests that a drug that has already...
On Being a Military Wife and Mother
My name is Xiomara Montes, I am 35 years old, born on the island of Puerto Rico. I have 5 years of marriage, and my husband served in the U.S. Armed Forces. We have 3 beautiful children, two girls and one boy. Our first daughter is 10 years, a very...
"I Wish I Didn't Have Asperger's" Response
Many blogs and special needs supporters are writing responses to “I Wish I Didn’t Have Asperger’s.”  These supporters do not know who this person is, but someone typed “I wish I didn’t have Asperger’s” into Google, and now floods of parents,...
Applied Floortime
The genius of Dr. Stanley Greenspan, author of the Developmental, Individual Differences, and Relationship model (DIR), laid in his ability to understand the development of the natural human mind and applying this progression to a model with...
Special Needs App of the Day: Lily's Picturebook
May is Healthy Vision Month, and you can celebrate with Lily’s Picturebook, a distinctive app that features white-on-black and black-on-white images designed for the visually impaired. Lily’s Picturebook also includes over 50 different word signs...
Bullying Leading Cause of Depression
Having a special need does not necessarily cause depression amongst individuals -- rather, it is the frequent bullying or being left out that causes emotional turmoil. While much research points to the fact that bullying increases risk for academic...
Robotic-Assited Therapy for Cerebral Palsy
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto is planning the first ever clinical trial of robot-assisted therapy for children with cerebral palsy. The two-and-a-half year study is slated to start in June, and it will investigate the...
What Happens When We Laugh?
Laughter is more than just a sound -- it’s a whole body experience.  15 facial muscles contract, our breathing becomes irregular as we half-close our larynx, and even our tear ducts can become activated.  Our muscles throughout our bodies...
Special Needs App of the Day: Roxie’s A-MAZE-ing Vacation Adventure
If you’re looking for an interactive journey through different lands where you’re faced with obstacles and challenges, then Roxie’s A-MAZE-ing Vacation Adventure is the app for you. Ride in cars, boats, planes, and hot-air balloons as you navigate...
Study Finds Dyslexia Starts Before Reading
The National Institute of Health reports that up to 15 percent of the U.S. population might have dyslexia.  As one of the most common learning disabilities, dyslexia has been the subject of much research. A study published April 2012 in the...
Fighting the "Anxiety Monster"
What is Anxiety? “It’s the extreme fear of being scrutinized and judged by others in social or performance situations: Social anxiety disorder can wreak havoc on the lives of those who suffer from it. This disorder is not simply shyness...
W is for Wellness
W is for Wellness Of all the words associated with autism spectrum disorders the word "wellness" tends to be a loaded  term. Honestly I don't truly understand why but it is. There are accepted medical practices which add to a person's wellness...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Abilipad
Communication is hard for most people, and it can be even more of a challenge for individuals with special needs.  Abilipad gives children and adults a means of communication through sophisticated notepads, keyboards, and text-to-speech...
Living with Trisomy 13
Raising a special needs child is by far not an easy task.  Your daily life changes in ways that no parent can ever imagine possible.  Now add into that the fact that your child has a genetic syndrome that doctors and medical professionals...
Special Needs App of the Day: Felt Board
Many of us have seen felt boards in school classrooms, and creating images with felt shapes is an exciting tactile experience for kids -- the Felt Board app brings that creativity and stimulation in a compact mobile application.  Felt Board is...
Book Review: Starabella, Mystery Girl of Music
Starabella is the heroine of a series of three audio and picture books about a girl with learning differences whose eyes shine like stars when she is happy.  Book one is entitled Starabella: Mystery Girl of Music, and it centers around...
L.A. to Pay $2.1 Million in Legal Fees
The Los Angeles City Council agreed to pay $2.1 million in legal fees to a disability group for neglecting to include evacuation procedures for individuals with disabilities. The nonprofit organization Communities Actively Living Independent and...
How to Stay Healthy on a Gluten-Free Diet
While the movement to label boxes of food as “gluten-free” has certainly made a gluten-free diet much easier, eating right on any diet can be a challenge.  Gluten-free diets can be just as healthy or unhealthy as any other diet, so it’s...
$9 Million Granted for Learning Disability Research
If you wanted more research about the causes and treatment of learning disabilities, you’re going to get it.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded $9 million over 5 years to the University of Houston’s Texas Center for Learning...
Special Needs App of the Day: SLP Minimal Pairs
Mobile technology is not just for kids -- many professionals are finding apps are great ways to stimulate their clients and provide meaningful experiences in therapy sessions.  SLP Minimal Pairs is an app for speech-language pathologists to...
Dora's Story
Hi everyone. How are you all today? As for me, good. Just chillin in my bedroom on Skype.For those of you who don't know me yet, hi my name is Dora. I am age 20, I am totally blind, I use a screen reader on both my Iphone 4 and my Windows XP Desktop...
Special Needs of Gifted Children
If you’re the parent of a gifted child, then you probably feel very proud of your child and his academic accomplishments -- and rightfully so! Gifted children have so much to offer, and a great deal of potential. Teachers often regard them favorably...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Tapikeo HD
When looking at many apps each day, the ones that stand out quite often are the ones that are the most versatile and will have applications for many scenarios.  Tapikeo HD is an iPad app that allows you to create audio-enabled picture books,...
Gluten and Dairy Free Macaroni and Cheese
From the Editor:  Going gluten free doesn't mean you have to sacrifice Macaroni and Cheese -- check out this incredible recipe from Gluten Free Mom Jamie Eppenauer.Gluten and Dairy Free Macaroni and Cheese 3 cups gluten free macaroni (we use...
Cookies for Kids' Cancer
“Let’s make the letter C mean cookies,” it says on Cookies for Kids’ Cancer website.  Cookies for Kids’ Cancer in a non-profit organization founded by parents of a child who fought pediatric cancer.  Gretchen and Larry Witt had their...
Food Dye Allergies and Behavior
There are many ingredients in our food that we oftentimes don’t know about -- and they can cause dramatic side effects.  Food dyes are regularly added to food products, and while they might make food look good, they might cause negative...
A Pill for Autism?
An experimental drug has implications for improving two signature symptoms of autism -- repetitive behavior and awkward social interactions. The drug, called GRN-529, was successfully tested with laboratory mice; these mice were bred with the...
Do you know what an infant seizure looks like? Until a year ago, just like many of you, I would have answered no. My daughter, Lola Anabelle Howell, was born on January 4th, 2011 at 4:42 a.m. in a Costa Rican hospital.  The doctors and...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Chore Pad
We’ve heard mothers exasperated at their children’s claims of “oh, I can’t do my chores -- my autism hurts.”  With Chore Pad, you can easily keep track of daily chores, so there’s no excuse for not completing routine activities or household...
Starabella and the Power of Music
“Welcome to a bright new world -- where all children play and get along and are accepted for exactly who they are,” says Tara Fialco, a composer and lyricist for the books in the Starabella audio and picture book series, written by Sharon Fialco....
Summertime for Boys, A Special Reading Adventure
My husband is a pediatric neurosurgeon and a passionate fisherman. He passed that love for fishing to our son, taking him at the age of five in a jon boat out onto a lake to bait his first hook and catch his first fish.  Naturally, the fish was...
Legislature to Limit Patient Costs for Therapy
Legislation is pending in Pennsylvania, Missouri, and New York for limiting the amount insurers can charge patients for physical, speech, and occupational therapy.  South Dakota and Kentucky lawmakers have already passed laws regarding these...
How I Turned Asperger's Quirks into Career Success
I’ve written for 200 newspapers, Time magazine, and Business Week. I have published a bestselling book on career advice but I have never written for a special needs audience. I don’t think I really thought of myself as special needs until the last...
RicStar's Summer Camp: Looking Beyond Disability
“Music therapy is a remarkably therapeutic tool that is used in a wide range of disabilities to help enhance social, physical, emotional, and behavioral skills in those individuals,” says Judy Winter, co-founder of the Eric “RicStar” Winter Music...
Helping Hands: Building an Autism Network
Parents of every stripe have the primary mission of making sure their children grow up with the tools they will need to be successful, useful, and prosperous as adults.  We do whatever we can to make sure they have opportunities to learn, grow...
Bullying from Teachers -- Father Reveals Audio Evidence
Watch the following YouTube video from Stuart Chaifetz, father of a boy with autism, and you will be shocked, horrified, and even get angry.  And you should. On Februrary 17, 2012, Chaifetz sent his son, Akian, to school wearing a wire. ...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Simplex Spelling
Simplex Spelling is a top educational app for learning reading, spelling, and phonics, and after just the introductory lesson, it’s easy to see why. A very pleasant voice narrates the user through the Simplex Spelling app, and it is a high quality...
Low-Income Students More Likely Placed in Special Ed
According to a study commissioned by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, children from low-income families are almost twice as likely to be placed in special education than other students. African American and...
Understanding Reactive Attachment Disorder
Understanding Reactive Attachment Disorder -- An Overview of One of the More Misunderstood Conditions Affecting Child Welfare A few years ago, I spent a good bit of my time crisscrossing the country lecturing on the topic of Reactive Attachment...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Math Plus Minus
Math is not everyone’s favorite subject, but kids need basic math skills for school and everyday life.  Making math fun with apps like Math Plus Minus is a great way to stimulate, encourage, and improve math skills.  Designed for young...
What is Angelman Syndrome?
Angelman Syndrome is a neuro-genetic disorder that is often misdiagnosed as autism or cerebral palsy.  Symptoms include developmental delay, seizures, lack of speech, and motor disorders.  Named after Dr. Harry Angelman, who first noted...
Signs and Symptoms of Celiac Disease
Gluten-free diets are hot topics, even for children with special needs.  Gluten intolerance is becoming more common, and it is important to know the signs and symptoms of celiac disease, which is one of the leading causes of gluten-related...
Can Occupational Therapy Help Your Child?
Most people are unaware of what occupational therapists do and are surprised to learn that many of them work with children. It helps to think about the “occupations” of a child’s life: play, school, and self-help skills. If a child is struggling in...
Special Mothers
If you are a mother, you are connected to your children in an extraordinary way -- feeling their pain, shedding tears together, and celebrating in their triumphs, no matter how large or small. You persevere, even when exhausted. You smile, even when...
Best iPad Apps for Special Needs
Mobile technology is changing the way people view therapy for special needs.  In return, companies like Wynsum Arts and app developers are changing the way mobile technology works for special needs.  Many lists of the best iPad Apps for...
Special Needs App of the Day: Sight Words Pro
Reading fluency is just an app away with Learning Touch Sight Words Pro.  The app features over 300 words most commonly used in the English language, and it focuses on core vocabulary all children will need. Use Sight Words Pro to develop:...
Shock Therapy: Treatment or Torture?
Most people have heard about shock therapy treatments, a popular method of treating individuals with emotional and behavioral disorders in the 40s and 50s.  What many people don’t know is this treatment is still used. Researchers are unsure...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Choco Gets a Check Up
For some kids, going to the doctor involves nail biting, nerves, and even tantrums.  Transitions and new experiences are difficult for many children, and using stories through technology can help prepare children for occasions like trips to the...
Book Review: 22 Things
22 Things a Woman with Asperger’s Syndrome Wants Her Partner to Know Most adults would agree that dating and relationships are hard.  Communication, control issues, mood swings, and emotions all converge together in one pot, and sometimes it...
Special Needs App of the Day: Nxt App 4 Kids
Nxt App 4 Kids is an engaging and interactive math game that encourages learning of basic math skills.  The app includes 5 stages of varying levels, so it is appropriate for a variety of learners and age levels. The Nxt App 4 Kids app asks a...
Special Needs App of the Day: Which Does Not Belong?
Enhance your child’s cognitive skills with the Which Does Not Belong? app.  The app is simple in design and asks one question -- “which of these items does not belong with the others?”  Five pictures show up on the screen, and the user...
What is Gluten-Free and Casein-Free?
Gluten-free and casein-free diets (also referred to as GFCF) continue to grow in popularity as an alternative remedy for treating special needs like autism or ADHD.  While some parents say their child’s symptoms disappear while on these diets,...
The 7000 Habits of Highly Imperfect Parents
Imperfect parenting as seen through the eyes a CHImP. If you've read many books on special needs parenting and blogs, you’ve probably noticed that many of the authors have lots of impressive initials after their name. I, however, don’t. In fact,...
Special Needs App of the Day: Autism DX/Treatment
With the increase of cases of autism and autism awareness comes a wealth of information, and parents are often bombarded with both good information and misinformation.  Licensed psychologist Dr. Gary Brown put together an applet called Autism...
ADD/HD and US Healthcare: Fabulous or Just Funded?
As a country, we like to tout that we have the best medical care in the world, that we are cutting edge, innovative, and of the highest of quality.  We are simply fabulous.  And we are, depending on the stick we are measuring with. ...
Disciplining Children with Autism
Autism presents its own set of challenges when it comes to parenting and disciplining at home and in school.  Children with autism tend to have difficulty communicating, and they typically either retreat into themselves or become frustrated and...
Asperger's Syndrome: Cure or Acceptance
In light of autism awareness month, I have been pondering exactly what autism awareness means. As a neurotypical living within a family sprinkled with aspergians, I have learned most likely more from my family than them from me. Mostly, to step out...
Wynsum Arts: Making Technology Work for Special Needs
Trying to sort through the hundreds of thousands of products for special needs is a hassle.  With the rise of mobile technology also comes another slew of apps and other products that may or may not have applications for special needs. ...
Songwriting for Children with Autism
I hadn’t written a single song in my life when I decided to become a music therapist, nor did I have plans to do so.  But plans change, especially when I started working with children who were diagnosed with autism. I learned very quickly...
Not Acceptable "R-word" PSA Wins Award
How many times have we heard children (and even adults) say, “That’s retarded”?  The answer is probably too many to count.  While racial slurs and other derogatory terms have fallen out of popular use, the words “retard” and “retarded” are...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Jellybean Tunes
Learn how to read and compose music with Jellybean Tunes!  With a catchy name and colorful design, Jellybean Tunes is bound to excite and stimulate your child. Creativity is essential for child development, and some children need an extra push...
Connecting Music Therapy and Autism
Music therapy and autism are buzzwords that are being heard often in the news recently.  But many people still ask what is music therapy?  What is autism?  And what is the connection between the two?  I am a board-certified music...
Hazardous Parenting
Hazardous Parenting: How to Regain and Maintain Your Life While Raising a Child with Dis-Regulated Behaviours and Behavior Disorders Hazardous Parenting is a term I use to describe and define the parenting experience of raising children who have...
Early Intervention at Home
Many parents have heard the phrase “early intervention,” but what does it really mean?  Early intervention is key to helping prevent or lessen the symptoms of developmental disabilities, such as autism.  Early intervention can help...
Special Needs App of the Day:  i See-quence Daily Schedules
While the app entitled “i See-quence…My Daily Schedule, Recall My Day and Learn Calendar Concepts” might be a mouthful, it capabilities live up to expectations and fulfill a multitude of goals. The app is a part of the “i See-quence” series, which...
What is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is a chronic disease in which the protein product of a defective gene produces thick and sticky mucus, which clogs the lungs and prevents the pancreas from helping the body break down food. Symptoms of cystic fibrosis include:...
The "Othering" of Autism
When going to the cinema, I love the previews almost as much as actually getting to see the movie.  But on this weekend’s movie trip, the pre-movie advertising proved to be infuriating. Before a trailer for the documentary “Bully” was an...
What is Pervasive Development Disorder?
Pervasive development disorder, often called a developmental disorder or PDD, is another term for autism spectrum disorders.  PDD includes autism, Asperger’s disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, and PDD-NOS, or pervasive...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Faces iMake
Ready for hours of iPad fun?  Now you have it with Faces iMake. Right-brain thinking, originality, having fun, exploring, playing, opening your mind, learning, creating, discovering, trying new things, and engaging in an open-ended activity...
Teaching Special Needs Kids to Swim
Teaching kids with special needs to swim is not only a good idea, it’s essential.  Swimming lessons help kids with special needs in a number of key areas, including greater muscle strength and physical endurance, increased flexibility, more...
What is Adult ADHD?
ADHD and ADD are terms most often associated with children, but ADHD in adults is commonly misunderstood and unmentioned in many reports.  Many children with attention deficit hyperactive disorder will carry these characteristics into their...
Schools for At-Risk Children
The right school is the key to your child’s educational success.  However, if your child has learning disabilities or personality disorders, finding the right school for him can be a challenge.  Many of these children are considered “at-...
Appropriate Measures of Physical Restraint
On April 24, 2012, a mother of a special needs child reported her son was restrained in a choke hold by a school supervisor on the bus.  Even when she was there to pick up her son, the supervisor would not release her son until the police...
What is a Special Needs Trust Fund?
Many families of children with special needs make the common mistake of not setting up a trust fund.  The families think that there is no need to since they are still healthy and young, or they think it may be a waste since they do not have a...
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects as many as 500,000 children and adults each year.  What is cerebral palsy?  Cerebral palsy is the term used to describe the many disorders caused by abnormal development or damage to the brain...
What is a Living Revocable Trust?
No one likes to think about the circumstances that can take their life, especially when they have young children at home.  Sadly, situations can occur, and if the proper procedures are not taken while you were still alive, it can cause a lot of...
Special Needs App of the Day:  ChoiceWorks
For individuals with special needs, sometimes completing activities of daily living (ADLs) can be a challenge.  ChoiceWorks is an excellent learning tool for teaching children about daily routines and completing them. Based on the ChoiceWorks...
Book Review:  Next Stop
“First, it’s important to know that a story about autism isn’t a story about a single child.  It is a story about an entire family,” writes Glen Finland in her memoir Next Stop.  It’s a love story, and not just about romantic love, but the...
Reasons Not to Hire a Special Needs Attorney
In the fight for your child’s special education, there may be issues along the way.  While special education was designed to meet children’s unique learning needs, there are many times when a certain teacher or the school board cause more harm...
Types of Learning Disabilities
Overview of Common Types of Learning Disabilities If your child has trouble with schoolwork and learning, it can be both frustrating for you and your child.  Your child may feel unintelligent, and you may feel that your child is not trying his...
Siblings of Special Needs Children
As special needs children most often get more than their “share” of their parent’s attention, siblings of special needs kids also have their own special needs.  Licensed marriage and family therapist Rachel Bernstein gives parents some tips for...
What is OCD?
Most people will check to make sure they’ve turned off the stove after cooking or turned off the lights when leaving the house.  While the impulse to check things is a typical human condition, people with OCD feel the need to check things...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Learning Heroes Animal Sounds
Apps for special needs don’t have to be complicated, and apps can serve multiple needs or just one.  The Learning Heroes Animal Sounds app is simple in design and function, but it creates a fun atmosphere for learning animal sounds. Learning...
Types of Special Needs Trust Funds
The whole purpose of a special needs trust fund, which can also be referred to as a supplemental needs trust, is to provide financial support for a disabled person without disqualifying them from receiving government assistance.  Trust funds...
Setting Up a Special Needs Trust Fund
Life is unpredictable, especially if you are a parent of a child with special needs.  The one thing that should not be unpredictable is what would happen to your child if anything were to happen to you.  Making the proper plans now by...
Appointing a Trustee for Your Trust Fund
Appointing a Trustee for Your Special Needs Trust Fund Setting up a trust fund for your child with special needs is the best thing you can do to ensure that his or her future is secure in the unlikely event of something happening to you or your...
June Cleaver I am Not
There are many, many times I feel I am a substandard mom, and I hold June Cleaver personally responsible. Well, her, Carol Brady, Marion Cunningham, Cliff & Clair Huxtable, Elyse and Steven Keaton and maybe even Marge Simpson. After all, these...
Your Marriage and Family as a Team
Marriage by itself can be a hard thing to maintain -- when you add a special needs child to the family, the stress placed on the system and the marriage can cause friction.  Follow some tips from licensed marriage and family therapist Rachel...
How a Special Needs Attorney Can Help You
When it comes to hiring a special needs attorney, there are many things to consider.  A special education attorney can be a lifesaver when it comes to complex cases or special education cases that require a lot of time and energy.  The...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Phonics Genius
Alligator Apps is an educational app designer dedicated to helping your child succeed.  Their apps teach children to learn how to read, write, and speak, and they introduce math and problem solving techniques.  Their Phonics Genius app is...
Interactive Metronome Therapy
“The Interactive Metronome (IM) is a research-based training program that helps children and adults overcome attention, memory, and coordination limitations,” according to the official Interactive Metronome website.  It is a therapy that...
What is ADHD?
What Is ADHD? With the number of learning disorders and physical disabilities treated each year, one that often gets misdiagnosed or misunderstood is ADHD.  What is ADHD?  ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  ...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Let’s face it -- most of us learned about counting from a very cute and very hungry green insect.  Night & Day Studios brings our lovable friend to life in the app Counting with the Very Hungry Caterpillar. The app builds a basic math...
Asperger's Syndrome: Getting the Diagnosis
Do you suspect your child might have Asperger’s syndrome?  Has your pediatrician recommended testing?  You’re probably stressed out and worried, wondering what comes next.  It’s not going to be easy, but with a positive mindset and an...
Emma Ate a Slice of Pizza
Emma ate a slice of pizza last night. That sentence required some space.  It needed to be written by itself with nothing else.  For most of you, this may seem like an excuse-me-while-I-yawn moment.  But for us, it was a DID-YOU-SEE-...
Recipe: Coconut Milk Yogurt from Lexie's Kitchen
Raise your hand if commercial non-dairy yogurt like So Delicious® and Amande have been a godsend. It sure has for this dairy-free, soy-free family!When we travel, we hit the nearest Whole Foods or Natural Grocers to stock the...
Advancements in Autism Science
Autism is not just one thing.  Some researchers have even compared it to conditions like cancer -- there are many possible causes, and the autism science community is hoping to pin down its etiology and hopefully find a cure or the best...
The Risk of Autism
The CDC recently released their latest findings which state that autism is now found in 1 out of 88 children in the United States.  This can be further divided into boys (1 in 54) and girls (1 in 252).The risks increases if you already have a...
Autism Diagnosis in Minutes
Researcher Dennis Wall at Harvard Medical School says he can diagnose autism in a matter of minutes.  Any parents who have gone through a diagnosis of autism for their child know that it is a lengthy and complicated process.  With the...
No More Us Against Them
No More Us against Them; Time for Us and Them…one professional’s perspective Fear, budget cuts, distrust, lack of knowledge, unrealistic expectations and no idea of priorities seem to form the foundation of many special educational planning...
Angry and Frustrated with Your ADHD Spouse?
If you are angry, frustrated, or just plain feeling hopeless about your relationship with your ADHD partner, you would not be alone.  Many couples get married not realizing that one or both of them has ADHD.  The undiagnosed symptoms...
Special Glasses
How often do you enter a place of business, such as a hospital, school, or fortune 500 company and you immediately come face to face with its mission statement?  Do you read that statement?  Do you know the purpose behind such a statement...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Piece Me Birds
Bird and puzzle lovers unite for the Piece Me Birds app from Fashion Buddha.  Piece Me Birds is one in a series of Piece Me Puzzle educational apps and features the art of Amy Ruppel. Using a simple design, Piece Me Birds is easy to navigate...
Getting Acquainted with Special Education
Special education is a program designed to meet and protect children with unique needs.  Special education can serve many children of many different types of disabilities, from physical disabilities to mental disabilities or learning...
After the Diagnosis:  Who to Tell and What to Say
Parents respond in different ways to a child’s special needs diagnosis.  Some parents are devastated by the news.  Many are relieved to have their suspicions confirmed.  Some need time to think before taking action, while others want...
ARISk Assessment for Autism
The average age for autism diagnosis is 4 years, but what if we could diagnose it sooner?  IntegraGen, Inc. has announced the ARISk assessment test, which looks at gender-specific genetic markers to assess the risk of autism in children. ...
Special Needs App of the Day:  HaloTalk
Communication apps are enabling children to learn how to communicate anywhere and at any time.  HaloTalk by AdastraSoft is simple yet powerful augmentive learning software. The app includes over 50 pairs of commonly used responses, and each...
A Discussion of Neurofeedback
“The brain is centrally involved in everything,” says Sue Othmer, clinical director of the EEG Institute in Woodland Hills, California.  She and her husband became interested in the area when their son was diagnosed with epilepsy.  They...
Obesity Linked to Autism
In a study released April 9, 2012 by Pediatrics, researchers looked at the possible link between metabolic conditions and autism.  While there were more cases of autism amongst mothers with metabolic conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and...
Protecting a Special Marriage
In the world of special needs, there is a great amount of statistics flying around, and one of the most shocking numbers is that an estimated 80-90 percent of marriages involving special needs children end in divorce.  Rachel Bernstein, a...
Why Do You Need a Special Needs Attorney?
As a parent, there are going to be many times when you have to fight for your child’s education.  This fight is even more prevalent if you are a parent of a special needs child or a child with a learning disability.  Many times you will be...
Achievement and Learning Centers
Achievement and Learning Centers for Students with Learning Disabilities As parents to children with special needs or learning disabilities, it may feel like there is never enough you can do for your child and his education.  This feeling may...
Working with Special Needs Children
Many people spend their lives searching for a career that be not only financially lucrative, but also emotionally fulfilling.  For those who want to make a difference in the lives of others, and earn a special place in someone's heart along...
What to Look for in a Special Needs Attorney
If you have a child with special needs, you may find yourself in certain circumstances that require you to go to court and to use a special needs attorney.  No matter what the case is, the right attorney is essential to find.  The wrong...
Questions to Ask Your Attorney Before Hiring Them
How to Select a Special Needs Attorney: Questions to Ask Your Attorney Before Hiring Them As a parent of a special needs child, you don’t plan on needing a special needs attorney, yet sometimes certain circumstances just come up.  While you...
How Do You Get Autism?
Autism can seem like a mysterious disease that can affect any family.  It causes one to question, “How do you get autism?” as well as make parents wonder if they did something wrong to cause their child to be autistic.  However, just as...
What is Special Education and is it Right for Your Child?
When it comes to your child and their education, it is natural to only want the best.  However, if your child has special needs or a learning disability, a regular classroom setting may not be best for them.  In fact, your child may be...
Best Treatments for Adult ADD
Natural Treatments are the Best Treatments for Adult ADD The stress of being an adult is hard enough with the constant responsibilities and challenges.  Add Adult ADD to the picture and life is even more complex.  Work, relationships, and...
Disaster Preparedness Tips for Special Needs
Stormy weather or natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tornadoes, often scare any child, but these events can be magnified for children with special needs.  Most parents understand these disasters, but are you prepared?  Check out...
Book Review:  Speaking of Apraxia
Many parents appreciate books and resources from people who “have been there.”  Finally, there is a book dedicated to the diagnosis of apraxia just for parents, written by R.N. and B.S.N. Leslie A. Lindsay, who also happens to be a parent of a...
The First Step of an I.E.P.
When enrolling your child with special needs or a learning disability into school, you may have heard the phrase I.E.P. tossed around a few times.  If this is your first child that needs to enter special education, the I.E.P. process can be a...
Successful Transitions: Focusing on Medical Tasks
We have been blogging for several weeks about how to increase the odds of raising children with special medical needs who are responsible, confident, and independent in all areas of life including around self-care issues. Now let's look briefly at...
Aligning the Mis-aligned
Aligning The Mis-aligned…Understanding your Parenting Style and Aligning yourself as Parents Every person enters into the ever so bumpy journey of parenthood with an idea of what it will be like based on childhood experiences and presently held...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Sound Sorting
Build phonemic awareness with Sound Sorting from  Lakeshore Learning Materials!Phonemic awareness is a pre-reading skill, and the term refers to a child's understanding that words are built from sounds that can be arranged in different...
New Possibilities for Children on the Autism Spectrum
I’ll never forget the first time a child on the Autism Spectrum showed up in my office, over twenty years ago. Chase was three years old. He did not speak, did not respond to language. He did not even respond to his name. Nothing seemed to grab his...
Brain Plasticity Brings New Hope to Children on the Autism Spectrum
If you are a parent to a child on the Autism Spectrum, you most likely have seen your child improve, at least somewhat, through therapy and through your own efforts to help your child. At the same time you know the depth of the mystery of your child...
Gene Studies Attempt to Solve Autism Mystery
The mystery surrounding autism’s causes frequently leads to research, including gene studies.  New gene studies investigating hundreds of families of children with autism have pointed out that mutations might be responsible for some cases of...
Preparing for the First IEP Meeting
Enrolling your child into special education is the best thing you can do for your child if they have severe learning disabilities or special needs.  However, getting started with the program can be intimidating since there are so many steps and...
What Information is Included in an IEP?
Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) are established for special needs children or children with learning disabilities to ensure that they have an equal chance at learning and education.  The whole IEP process can be an intimidating and time-...
Your Part in IEP Meetings
As you may have already discovered, getting a child enrolled in an Individual Education Plan, (IEP), and special education can be a momentous task.  However, once your child gets evaluated and approved into special education, things will get...
Ask the Development Doc:  Play Dates for Autism
The Importance of Neuro-Typical Play Dates for Children with Autism Dear Developmental Doc: Do you have any ideas for helping my autistic child make friends? I recently started to volunteer in my daughter’s kindergarten classroom (she’s in a full...
Q&A with Dr. Kevin Ross Emery
SpecialNeeds.com is pleased to have this Q&A session with Dr. Kevin Ross Emery, a Certified Catalyst and author of books about ADD/HD.  Read further for Dr. Emery's discussion of his practice and revolutionary ideas about ADD/HD.Q:  ...
College and Jobs for People with Autism
The stigma surrounding autism suggests that individuals with autism are dumb or incapable of learning and work, but this picture is not very accurate. According to a study published March 2012 in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, people with...
Do Environmental Chemicals Cause Autism?
With the CDC’s 2012 announcement that an estimated 1 in 88 children have autism, many researchers and parents are looking for answers.  Recent substantial evidence points to environmental chemicals as a possible cause of autism.  In 2010,...
Is it ADHD or Could it Be FASD?
Last year I spent one fall morning filling out forms so that my 9-year-old son could see yet another specialist, get yet another evaluation, have yet another appointment with someone we were hoping could help us figure him out. At the time, his...
Special Needs App of the Day:  i.AM Search
Discover the best apps for autism with Wynsum Arts i.AM Search.  This app makes it easy to discover which apps for autism are right for your child.  As children with special needs are not “one size fits all,” it can be difficult to find...
What is Dyspraxia
Out of several learning disabilities, dyspraxia is not one commonly heard by many people.  Dyspraxia affects about two percent of children, the majority of which are males.  Like many other disabilities, dyspraxia can vary in its degree of...
The Magic Number 8
When it comes to RAD, 8 seems to be our “magic number.”  My daughter was 8 years old when she was diagnosed.  It took 8 years before I could honestly say she seems to be healing.  We’ve gone through 8 therapists.  But most taxing...
Quick Fixes and Long Term Damage
ADD/HD has been one of the top, steadily increasing diagnoses for children.  The statistics are both amazing and alarming that suddenly you can't go anywhere that some child or adult doesn’t either know someone or is someone who has been...
What is Dysgraphia?
Types of Learning Disabilities: What is Dysgraphia? With the several types of learning disabilities known, it is not uncommon for your child to have one.  Having a learning disability does not mean your child is unintelligent.  Many times...
Turning the Wheel
The meeting of the Literary Society was just about to get underway when the young man sitting next to me stood up and socked me in the face.  The impact knocked my glasses across my nose and stung my cheek.  He finished pulling off his...
Special Needs App of the Day: The Lost Gorilla
Bring the traditional idea of storytime into the technological age.  The Lost Gorilla -- Mom, It’s Me! App is a digital photo story that allows your child to put himself into the story.  Made by My Digital Photo Story, this story is one of...
What is Dyscalculia?
Types of Learning Disabilities: What is Dyscalculia? When it comes to the different types of learning disabilities, everyone seems to know the common ones, such as dyslexia or the learning challenges that come with attention disorders, such as ADD...
Testing for Dyslexia
Testing for dyslexia is a good idea if your child is having problems with schoolwork or reading and writing comprehension.  You may want to test your child for dyslexia if the child’s teacher recommends it as well.  There are many signs...
Successful Transitions: Harnessing the Power of Example
One of the easiest ways to help children learn responsibility, make good choices about their bodies, and pave the way to a successful transition/transfer is using the power of example.  Kids learn far more from the examples we set...
Sports Programs for Special Needs
Many parents of special needs children lament their children being left out of sports programs and other games at school.  While many schools are supportive of the mainstreaming and inclusion method for education, special needs children are...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Montessori Counting Boards
Fully immerse your child in a dynamic and interactive counting learning experience with Montessori Counting Boards by Grasshopper apps. Many people might think learning to count is a simple task.  For some special needs children, however,...
Special Needs App of the Day:  iLiveMath
Don’t just learn math -- live it.  The iLiveMath app series from iHomeEducator blends math with themes from around the world.  The series includes the themes: Animals of AfricaWinter SportsOceansSpeedTrainsFord CarsFarm FreshEntomology...
Can Brain Imaging Detect Autism?
Many researchers, scientists, doctors, therapists, parents, and caregivers agree that early intervention is the key to improving autism symptoms and helping children with autism reach a high-functioning state.  But can we detect autism early...
Improvements in Autism Symptoms
Why is it that some children with autism “get better,” while others continue to struggle with their symptoms?  Early intervention and therapy involving learning proper social and communication skills are essential to reducing the prevalence of...
ADD/HD:  Can't Fix, Not Broken
When we stop seeing ADD/HD individuals as broken, we can stop trying to fix them, especially quick fix them.  When we can embrace working with their own natural rhythms, harmonies, and their uniqueness, then we can truly take advantage of a...
School-Based Martial Arts Programs Revisited
School Based Programs Revisited My last article spoke briefly about afterschool enrichment programs as well as curriculum based programs during the school day. I’d like to discuss more about afterschool enrichment programs this month and next month...
Suitable Housing Options for Your Special Needs
Suitable housing is one of the most important factors for independent living for persons with special needs.  It can also be one of the most expensive, both in terms of capital investment and annual costs.  Use a business approach to...
A Study of Cognitive Skills and the Brain
IWithin the last decade there has been an increasing awareness of the relationship between learning and cognitive skills.  The term “cognitive skill” refers to any mental skill that is used in the process of acquiring knowledge, including...
Special Needs App of the Day: Barefoot World Atlas
Barefoot World Atlas brings the world to your fingertips -- literally.  Explore regions and countries of the world with this interactive 3D globe for the iPad.  Enlighten your child and his curiosity and creativity through this app, which...
Test at Home for Dyslexia
Self-Tests for Parents to Do at Home to Test for Dyslexia When it is comes to testing for dyslexia, there is not one true test that can be done.  Because of this problem, many children have dyslexia, yet go untreated for it, while other...
What is Dyslexia?
How to Figure Out if Child Has Dyslexia Dyslexia is a common learning disorder that affects many children and adults.  The proper recognition of dyslexia can help children and adults manage their learning disability and even help them succeed...
Best Educational Formats for ADD/HD Children
An article in USA Today reported that home schooling has been on a steady rise for the last five years and that the reasons for home schooling have shifted.  There are now 1.5 million children being home schooled, which is up 74% since they...
Appealing Denials of Insurance Coverage
Appealing Denials of Insurance Coverage for Medical Treatment Your child’s health insurance carrier has denied coverage for a certain medical procedure or treatment.  What’s your next step? Most insurance companies have an appeals process...
Improving ADD with a Better Diet
Millions of children and adults are diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, or LD, all of which fall under the category of ADD.  With this diagnosis also comes the prescription of medication, some commonly known to the public, such as Ritalin.  There is...
When is it ADD/HD?
Just because someone said your child has ADD/HD does not make it so.  There are many things that can cause a child to be irritated, hyper, act out, have meltdowns and be inattentive.  In the email and posts that I get, often the sender...
BrightStar Reader for Dyslexia
If you or your child has difficulty reading due to a learning disability such as dyslexia, you understand how important it is to get treatment quickly; the faster you can improve skills, the faster you can catch up in the classroom or at work....
Autism Products to Save Your Child's Life
As a parent or caregiver of a child with autism, there are many resources and autism products that you can utilize.  None of the autism products available are going to cure your son or daughter, but they will make your job as the caretaker much...
Improving Therapy with Autism Products
Does your child with autism thrive in his or her personal therapy sessions?  The right therapy and therapist can work wonders with any child with special needs.  Encourage your child’s therapy even more with these cool toys and products...
Flying with Special Needs Children
There is no reason to avoid airports and traveling because you have a child with special needs.  Yes, special measures and extra planning need to be done, but with the right organization and a good attitude, flying with your special needs child...
Blue for Autism Awareness Month
Tell green to stand aside for a month -- April belongs to Autism Awareness. In March of 2012, the CDC announced that the number of cases of autism in the United States rose to 1 in 88.  Autism is five times more likely to affect boys than...
Autism Coverage Bills
With the rise of autism awareness comes further state legislature for autism medical coverage.  Both Florida and Michigan have passed autism coverage bills for review.  These bills are intended to help families in need pay for necessary...
Rescue Less: Empowering Kids
RESCUE LESS……empowering kiddos with special needs How deep the pain and guilt must be when a parent cannot say no to their son or daughter with special needs.  How overwhelmed they must feel each day to allow their son or daughter to dictate...
5 Unexpected Ways to Jump Start Your Child
5 Unexpected Ways to Jump Start Your Child's Processing Skills Sensory Integration, providing sensory processing activities and exercises that incorporate a lot of vestibular stimulation can jump-start your child's processing skills. Activities...
Sensory Integration: Building Blocks
The majority of learning disabilities stem from underlying sensory processing disorder. When the child's sensory processing issues are addressed through sensory integration intervention, the road blocks to the way the child processes starts to come...
Special Needs App of the Day: PianoBall
Fun with learning just got colorful.  PianoBall by 4baam is an exciting and stimulating music and color tool for children. The app features a keyboard with bright hues, and four balls that rotate.  The instrument ball allows your children...
Sensory Friendly Films for Autism
Most children love going to the cinema, but while movie-going is a pleasant experience for many families, it can be difficult for families with children with autism.  The bright screen in a very dark room and the loud sounds from surrounding...
Transitions: Hope Through Encouragement
Successful Transitions: Building Hope and Resilience with Encouragement In our last couple of blogs in our transition series, we have talked about how to respond to children with medical issues when they make mistakes or poor choices. This...
Dealing with Behavioral Issues in School
Special needs children can thrive in a regular school setting, yet many times, their behavioral issues can become a problem with the teacher, staff, or other students.  While it may be hard to hear about your child’s behavior problems, there...
CDC Announces 1 in 88 Have Autism
The CDC announced March 29, 2012 that an estimated 1 in 88 children have an autism spectrum disorder. For over a decade, the CDC and the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network have been tracking cases of autism spectrum...
Best Toys for Autistic Children
The Best Toys for Autistic Children As a parent of a child with autism, it may be discouraging at times when your child seems disinterested in several types of toys and games.  Because autistic children process things differently and at a...
Gross Motor Skill Activities
Gross Motor Skill Activities for Special Needs Children Most special needs children tend to have problems with their balance, body strength, and coordination.  These problems are affected by gross motor skills, or skills that use the larger...
Special Needs App of the Day:  DTT Shapes
DTT Shapes is an app developed by Dr. Gary Brown, a licensed psychologist -- this app is not a toy or a typical children’s game, but rather it provides therapy based on scientific research.  DTT stands for Discrete Trial Training, and it...
For Teens in Transition, an Opportunity
For Teens in Transition, an Opportunity to AchieveAfter spending a year at a college with coursework tailored to students with special needs, Mark lacked direction.  The university environment had supported him academically, but he needed...
Stress-Free Road Trips
Planning Stress-Free Road Trips with Children with Special Needs Everyone loves vacations and going to new places, but the journey to get there can be a hard and long one.  This idea is especially true when traveling with a special needs child...
Tactile and Sensory Activities
Tactile and Sensory Activities for Special Needs Children Many special needs children see the world with their fingertips.  They learn best through “doing” and “feeling” activities.  Also, some special needs children have challenges with...
Does My Child Have a Reading Disability?
Reading is an important first step on a child’s path to success in life.  A child that is an excellent reader is a confident child, has a high level of self-esteem, and is able to easily make the transition from learning to read to reading to...
Language Skill Activities for Special Needs
Language Skill Activities for Special Needs Children When developing activities for special needs children, an important skill to work on is language development and improvement.  Daily activities that help improve language skills are...
What is Asperger's?
Discovering the Truth About Asperger’s -- What Is Asperger’s? Among many special needs children and disorders, one that is commonly misunderstood is Asperger’s Disorder.  In fact, many children with Asperger’s can go many years, even into...
Natural Remedies for ADD
Improving ADD in a Different Approach with Natural Remedies for ADD The most common approach doctors take towards treating children with ADD is to give the parents a prescription for their child.  Medications, such as Ritalin, come with risks...
First Book: Books for Children in Need
First Book has a simple yet powerful mission: providing access to new books for children in need, throughout the U.S. and Canada. Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 90 million books and educational resources to programs...
What Happens Next?
Preparing Your Child for the Future Dr. William Lybarger, a special needs expert who provides expert witness and executive coaching, wrote about “growing towards separation.”  When special needs parents spend so much of their time caring for...
Jesse Saperstein:  A Role Model for Change
When asked why he would jump out of a plane, Jesse Saperstein does not hesitate to reply, “Because I’m insane.”  All humor aside, he adds, “I thought it would be an exciting an creative way to stop bullying.”  Indeed -- is there anything...
Book Review:  Carly's Voice
Parents of children with autism, especially those children who are non-verbal, understand the daily struggle of communication and lack of understanding.  In the book Carly’s Voice, father Arthur Fleischmann details his personal story, with the...
Activities that Help with Development
Activities that Help with Therapy and Development If you have a child with special needs, you are most likely very familiar with the therapeutic activities your child participates in when they are with a therapist.  While one-on-one work with...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Starfall ABCs
Starfall is an online educational resource, and now their ABC section is available as an app for the iPhone and iPad. When you tap on a letter, a screen shows the upper- and lower-case letter while a voice announces the letter.  Each screen...
10 Things 14-Year-Olds Can Do to Transition
Ten Things That 14 Year Olds Can Do To Start Preparing For a Successful Transition to Adulthood1. Get a Jump start on Your Career Path -- Explore!It’s never too early to start considering your career path, so why not start now? Having a career goal...
Professional Organization for Special Needs
Organization can be challenging for families living with a special needs child.  As the parent of a daughter with autism, I know about the overwhelming day-to-day effort that comes with raising a child with particular necessities.  ...
Sensory Integration Through Swings
Sensory integration refers to the means of processing incoming stimuli from our bodies and our environment.  Our senses work together to give us an idea of ourselves and our place within an environment.  For most people, sensory...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Multiplying Acorns HD
Multiplying Acorns by Operatio is a math-learning game for children.  By using detailed graphics and lively music, this app creates a fun interface for learning multiplication. The app allows you to choose two numbers to multiply together, and...
What is Autism?
For a parent of a child with autism, it can be a confusing time when it comes to getting the proper diagnosis.  However, as many parents that have children with autism will tell you, learning about their child’s diagnosis did not rob them from...
A Parent's Love Grows Toward Separation
How weird! How can love as strong as parental (or grandparent) love grow toward separation? Two weeks ago my wife and I spent a portion of Spring Break with our grandson. He is in his first real job out of college. We are particularly close to him...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Tap to Talk
Tap to Talk is a new application by Assistyx that “turns handheld devices like smart phones and tablets into AAC (Augmentive and Alternative Communication) devices.”  For those individuals unfamiliar with those terms, this app assists nonverbal...
Autism Book Giveaways and Resources
To celebrate Autism Awareness Month, Brookes Publishing Company is holding several giveaways of their professional books.  Each week in April, Brookes will select two winners for a series of Paula Kluth titles or a selection from multiple...
Get a Life: Take Charge of Your Future
I see it in their faces…parents of teens with disabilities trying to imagine what kind of future their son or daughter is heading towards. Often it is a look of fear and one of exhaustion.  Just when other parents are excitedly getting their...
Special Ed Schools in California
Finding the Right Special Ed School in California California parents of special needs children will be happy to know that there are several special ed schools available. These schools range from private academies to non-public schools, which are...
Reactive Attachment Disorder
Ahh…Reactive Attachment Disorder.  It didn’t mean much to me when the therapist made that diagnosis of my then 8-year-old daughter.  After all, I already knew her problems stemmed from the neglect she had suffered as a baby.  From...
Special Needs App of the Day:  ArtikPix
ArtikPix is an exciting new app that helps students practice words and articulations.  Ideal for students with speech and sound delays, the app is a fun way for children to practice speech. This intelligent app, developed by Eric Sailers, a...
Transition: When Kids Make Mistakes
One of the big challenges that we face as parents of children with special medical needs is dealing with the extra stress and frustration that comes with the territory. When our kids make mistakes, especially around their medical care, it’s so easy...
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
It is not uncommon for parents to welcome home their adorable, newborn baby and finding out a year later that their child has cerebral palsy.  New parents are not to blame.  Cerebral palsy is very difficult to diagnose until the infant is...
Special Needs App of the Day:  All About Me Storybook
All About Me Storybook is one of the latest apps developed by I Get It, LLC, who creates educational applications for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.  The storybook is a part of their Identification Series, which helps support individuals to...
Emotional Communication on the Spectrum
The autism spectrum has recently been undergoing something of a revolution in thinking thanks mainly to a number of free-sharing individuals on the spectrum, most notably Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg, who have spent the last few years sharing their...
Summer Camps for Troubled Teens
Summer is just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about summer camps for your special needs child.  There are many exciting opportunities for summer camps, and many are incredibly specialized -- many camps offer summer programs...
Advantages of Special Needs Camps
Parents are often bombarded with advertisements for summer camps, and it’s true there are numerous camps to choose from.  The decision to send your child to a special needs summer camp might not be easy, especially when you must weigh the...
Transitions: Raising Wise Children
Successful Transitions: How Do You Raise Wise Children? All parents want to raise wise kids. But where does wisdom really come from? Intelligence is not the same as wisdom. Our children may have good information about their medical conditions....
What is a Pressure Vest?
For parents of children with autism or ADHD, each day can present new struggles for calming their children during a tantrum or meltdown.  While they are not used much even today, weighted or pressure vests are tools, in addition to weighted...
Kids with ADHD: Hard to Parent
Kids with ADHD Are Harder to Parent: Here’s How to Do It BetterSome people say that ADHD is the result of bad parenting.  There are even some research studies that come to this same conclusion. Here’s the part that’s true: parents of kids with...
Special Needs Daycare
As a parent who needs to work, daycares are a great resource to ensure your child gets the proper care and love while you go to work. Even if you are a stay-at-home parent, daycare is a good choice for many children because it can teach them...
Lexercise for Dyslexia
Technology is revolutionizing the way therapy and treatment modalities can be provided.  Webcams and the Internet are making it possible for therapists to help individuals with special needs all around the world, and Lexercise is one...
Special Needs App of the Day:  Story Builder
Designed by Mobile Education Tools, Story Builder is one of the highest-ranked reading apps for iPad. The app is designed to achieve the following goals: Improve paragraph formationImprove integration of ideasImprove higher level abstractions by...
Adopting a Child with Special Needs
Whether single or married, raising biological children or other adopted children, potential adoptive families are guided by their desire to make a difference in a child’s life, which is a wonderful starting point. Successfully parenting a child with...
A Family Picture
Picture this with me: A dad.  A mom.  Two daughters -- one who is thirteen years old and one who is ten years old.  A nice little family that remembers the baby days with fondness but is content for them to be just that; memories....
How to Choose a Special Needs Summer Camp
It might seem as though spring has just begun, but camps are already advertising and enrolling for their summer programs.  Doing some research early will ensure your child a spot in the summer camp of your choice.  Consider the following...
What is a Special Needs School?
Paving a successful educational road for your child can be challenging and difficult. Depending on where your child is at on his or her educational journey, you may have heard or researched a lot about individual education plans (IEP) and special...
Fine Motor Skill Activities for Special Needs
Fine Motor Skill Activities for Special Needs Children Many children with special needs have challenges with their fine motor skills. Therefore, it is important to incorporate fine motor skills activities for special needs children in their daily...
Special Needs App of the Day:  iTouchiLearn Words
The app “iTouchiLearn Words” from Staytooned teaches children about words through interactive word association games.  Staytooned’s motto is “Edutaining Apps for Kids,” and this app is truly an entertaining and educational experience. Using...
Signs of Spring
For many kids the signs of spring are simple; warmer weather, flowers in bloom, an occasional rainbow and the appearance of bugs. However spring doesn’t arrive at the same time everywhere. So if there is still snow on the ground at your house or the...
Swimming:  A Life-saving Skill
Most parents are aware that swimming is a lifesaving skill that must be taught at an early age.  Sadly, drowning remains the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children between one and fourteen years of age, and...
Special Needs App of the Day:  iComm
iComm, short for “I Communicate,” is a picture and voice communication aid for children -- it works well for pre-speech toddlers and children with disabilities who have trouble communicating.  Using pictures and words, the program allows...
Weighted Blankets for Special Needs
Weighted blankets are affordable tools that nearly any child with special needs should have.  Sensory Goods is a company that designs these blankets to help individuals with developmental disorders, including those with autism and sensory...
Different, Not Less
I saw this quote the other day and thought about how it applies to my daughter Kayla, who has Down syndrome, and people who have disabilities. The quote is "Different, not less." Yes my daughter is different in that she has an extra chromosome. (...
On Being Rare
We just celebrated Rare Disease Day on February 29th, which in itself is rare! Having a child with a rare diagnosis is a hard, wonderful, terrifying, liberating, and exhausting thing.  There are 6,000-8,000 rare diseases that have been...
School-Based Programs
Today I’d like to bring your attention to martial arts programs that may be available to your child during their day before they even get home! For many years schools have offered enrichment programs for children after school. Many of these...
Professional Vs. Personal
In my previous life (before I was a special needs mom), I was a social worker. My resume is almost as eclectic as I am and I worked with a large variety of people. Foster care, adoption, child protective services, group homes, palliative, Native...
What is Equine Therapy?
Many parents are given discouraging news about their children with disabilities -- this prognosis gives little hope to parents of these children, which is an unfair and negative situation.  There are therapies many parents have never heard of,...
Support for Special Needs Parents
The view of special needs children and their parents is not always a pleasant one.  The stigma of parents with special needs children often leads to those parents fearing for their reputations, which can result in extreme behavior.  ...
Disciplining Children with Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a condition that affects the brain areas that regulate impulse control, emotions, speech, thought, planning, and memory.  Children with bipolar disorder are extremely influenced by their impulses and surroundings. ...
Great Expectations
Great Expectations of Special Education Professionals  Call me naïve or whatever you will, but I am the kind of person who likes to believe people will do the right thing -- especially people who work in the special education field.  But...
Book Review: Kids Beyond Limits
Parents of special needs children know about everyday struggles, and oftentimes feelings of hopelessness cannot be avoided.  Anat Baniel’s new book Kids Beyond Limits offers a method supported by brain research with a healthy side dose of...
Cases of Autism on the Rise
It seems that with the rise of awareness of autism, the rate of diagnosis of the disorder is ever increasing.  In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control reported that nearly 1 in 150 children have autism; in 2009, the numbers rose to 1 in 110....
Why I Filed a Child Abuse Report
Original article posted on Redwood City PatchWhy I Filed a Child Abuse Report Against a Special Ed AideBy Dorie Johnson, as told to Redwood City Patch Editor Stacie Chan(Editor’s Note: Dorie Johnson was a former employee of the Redwood City...
Budget Cuts Hurt Special Needs Programs
In the current economic climate, it is easy to assume that schools are sacrificing everything but the kitchen sink, and the lives of special needs students are no exception. According to CBC news, a Winnipeg School Division cut $900,000 from the...
Pushing the Limits
As a pediatric nurse practitioner, I remember frequently telling my parents that they know their children better than I ever will.  Now, as a mother of a little girl with Down syndrome, I know that to be true.  I will always know my...
Successful Transitions:  Start Early
Successful Transitions: Start Early, Little by LittleTransition should be a step-by-step process starting as early as possible, preferably when our children are toddlers. You've all seen the milestone charts we get from our pediatricians at...
Is Restraining Children in School Unethical?
When we drop off our kids at school, we assume they are in a safe environment.  While nearly every institution has a code regarding seclusions and restraints, most parents don’t stop to think such tactics will be used on their children. Civil...
Is Lying Against a Doctor's Moral Code?
According to Arizona state officials, no it’s not.  The new legislature, which states that doctors who fail to clearly articulate an unborn child’s risk of birth defects are protected against malpractice suits, is meant to prevent women from...
Weighing Up the Options
The Road to HomeschoolingI could feel like a failure as a mom. For 6 years I raised a child with special needs without realizing it. I knew he was a bit different; challenging and special, but even having a friend with a child with autism, I didn’t...
The Road to Diagnosis
Many parents of children diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome follow a long, twisting path as they try to find out what is going on with their child.  Many children with AS are initially diagnosed with everything from ADHD to mood disorders.When...
LA College Fair for Learning Differences
Choosing the right college is perhaps the most important choice for a high school senior.  While many students have an idea of what they want to do for a career, still others are uncertain of this important life decision.   Finding the...
Ask the Developmental Doc
Dear Developmental Doc, My son is 10 years old with a moderate form of autism. He struggles in almost all areas of development, particularly since he is non-verbal. I have recently read that there are iPad apps that help kids like mine become more...
Firing the Butler and the Maid . . .
. . . A strategy for helping your child with special needs learn to problem solve.Moms and Dads of children with special needs tend to take on the role of butler and maid far too long for the well-being of their son or daughter. As a consultant I...
Adult ADHD Doesn't Have to Harm Your Marriage
Does one of you consistently promise to do chores but then forget them? Does your relationship suffer from chronic nagging or anger? Does one of you feel that you are living with another child, rather than a spouse? Did you used to feel important to...
Kinderlift Opens Up to World of Special Needs
No one was more surprised than Randy Burklund, owner of Kinderlift, that a ski vest designed to keep kids safe on the slopes would find a market in the special needs community. Kinderlift was created by a mother whose son fell off a ski lift when he...
The Power of Stories to Change Minds
Wild Onion Press took off in 2009 on the mission to change minds one at a time about children (as well as about all creatures great and small) with physical differences.  We aimed to do this through literature, believing that a story is a...
Protecting Assets for Child with a Disability
Estate planning and lifetime planning for parents with a child with a disability present special challenges. The goals of the parents are to utilize their assets in such away to enrich their child’s life while, at the same time, preserving the child...
Music & Special Needs: Cooper Plays the Piano
Ten-year-old Cooper is teaching his twin brother to play Hot Cross Buns on the piano. Cooper, who has Down syndrome, has been playing the piano since he was 8 ½ years old.  I ask him how his brother is doing. Cooper says: “I showed him how to...
Special Needs App of the Day: Build a Train
Build a Train is an app kids love because it not only allows them to choose which engines and cars to put on the train, it also challenges them with different tracks and maps.  There are a variety of colors and designs of cars for your child...
Teen with Down Syndrome Wows Basketball Team
David Andrews, age 18, wears number 40 on the Germantown High School basketball team, just outside of Memphis, TN. Much like the Knick’s Jeremy Lin, Andrews spent quite a bit of time warming the bench during his team’s games before ever getting to...
Take a True Vacation with Autism on the Seas
Imagine taking a vacation with the whole family--a real vacation. And on that vacation, parents can rekindle their relationship, siblings can go on adventures, and kids with special needs can be themselves and have fun doing things like ice skating...
Special Needs App of the Day: I Hear Ewe
The I Hear Ewe app has 36 pictures of animals and vehicles paired with sounds for your child to click on. Children can use their palm or several fingers to click on an image. When they do, the app verbally describes the animal or vehicle and then...
Dealing with Staring and Special Needs
No doubt about it, when people stare at our children (or us), they make us squirm. Let's face it, people rarely stare at us because they're mesmerized by our great beauty. More likely, they are sizing up our glaring imperfections. For kids with...
When Your Child Grows Up & Out of Special Ed
It is all well and good to be told, as a parent, you must be ready for when your child with a developmental disability is no longer in special ed full time.  Yet, to me that time crept up in 2000. When my son with autism, now 31, was...
Special Needs App of the Day: Is That Gluten Free?
Many people with special needs benefit from a gluten free diet. For parents who are carefully watching their children’s diets, the Is That Gluten Free? app is an excellent tool. It is the number one gluten free app in the App Store.  Users can...