Family Favorites

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 speakers is often over-stimulating and frightening for children with autism, and they often have to leave before the movie is over.  Still other children find it difficult to sit still or stay quiet for an entire film, leading to the disruption of other families.

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 more exciting than skydiving?

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 mud is too deep here are some fun ideas for ways to create these signs of spring with your kids.

Paper Flowers

This craft is such a simple and great way for kids to practice their small muscle skills of cutting and tracing.

Items Needed

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 or going to a pool party with new friends. Autism on the Seas is a unique company offering vacations just like this to individuals and families living with special needs.

Activities for Kids: Coffee Filter Fun

Parents who are looking for something fun to do with their kids away from electronic devices this spring may want to consider the things that can be done with a coffee filter. This versatile item that is common to most households can be used to create crafts, do a science experiment or play a fun game. Here are three ideas for things to do with coffee filters the next time your kids are bored and looking for something new to try.

Colors in Black

Autism-Friendly Shows Planned for Broadway

After an autism-friendly showing of The Lion King on Broadway last fall, the Theatre Development Fund received interest in other shows from approximately 1,500 people. Now The Fund has bought out the 1,797-seat New Amsterdam Theatre and 1,677-seat Minskoff Theatre for a matinee performance of Mary Poppins and The Lion King, respectively.

Special Ed Kids Go to Space Camp in New Film

A Smile as Big as the Moon is an inspiring story about a class of special education students who dream of going to Space Camp. What began as a memoir written by real-life special education teacher Mike Kersjes has now been made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie of the same title.

Morgan's Wonderland to Team up with EMHE

Ultra-accessible family fun park Morgan’s Wonderland is teaming up with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EMHE) to build a new home for a wounded warrior and his family in San Antonio, TX. According to a joint press release, the deserving recipient of this new home will be Army SSgt. Shilo Harris, who was critically injured in Iraq when the truck he was riding in struck an IED.

Favorite Technology Tools for Dyslexia

Susan Barton, founder of Bright Solutions for Dyslexia, recommends five favorite technology tools for people with dyslexia. These tools allow students to work around their weak areas while they build up their strengths through tutoring or classroom accommodations. Barton explains that assistive technology is an overlooked solution. Ideally children with dyslexia would be able to get both classroom accommodations and one-on-one tutoring.

Choosing Gifts for Kids with Disabilities

Shopping for the perfect gift can be a challenge, but finding a gift for a child with special needs doesn’t have to be.

According to Julie Brinkhoff, assistant director of the Great Plains ADA Center at the University of Missouri School of Health Professions, children with disabilities enjoy the same type of toys, action figures and games as other children, but it is important to match children’s interests as well as their skills and abilities. The Great Plains ADA Center is part of the University of Missouri School of Health Professions.