children special needs

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 Bradberry, co-author of the bestselling Emotional Intelligence 2.0, shares some insight on how to repair relationships between family members by focusing on the manner in which conflict is handled.

Special Needs App of the Day: Motion Math Hungry Fish

Motion Math: Hungry Fish makes learning math a fun game for children and even adults! It is a highly visual app in which a hungry goldfish must be fed with numbers. There are up to 18 levels of increasing difficulty, from matching numbers, to adding and subtracting, and even negative numbers.

Pinching bubbles together adds the numbers inside and works on fine motor skills. As you feed the fish, it grows bigger. If he doesn’t eat enough numbers, he shrinks. Win a level and you get to unlock new colors for your fish.

Special Needs App of the Day: Gube

Gube is an app that curates child-friendly videos from YouTube onto parents’ phones. All videos are pre-screened and safe to watch for even young children. This app is a lifesaver for those whose kids want to be able to choose videos for themselves. Now parents do not have to grant their children unrestricted access to YouTube.

Special Needs Karate: Is Money the Big Factor

Thanks for coming back to my monthly article for children with special needs and karate. I hope to bring you closer to understanding the multitude of benefits the martial arts bring to our children.

Over the years I’ve found myself answering the same questions day after day when a parent walks in or calls for information. What I’ve found is that most ask about cost right from the start and then about class times, but almost always I am the one trying to convey the many benefits we provide during the discussion.

Parents as Equal Partners at the IEP Table

As a private consultant I have the pleasure of supporting families as they work to become knowledgeable members of their son’s or daughter’s IEP team. They are often anxious weeks before the scheduled date, worrying if their student will receive the supports and services they need or if they are going to lose a service that has been helping. They worry about their struggles in understanding what the assessments mean and they become anxious over whether or not goals will be written in the areas of need.

Avoiding Obesity in Kids with Special Needs

Childhood obesity is a rising problem in the United States, both for typically developing children and children with special needs. According to a Fact Sheet released by the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Disability and Human Development College of Applied Health Sciences, children with disabilities are at greater risk of becoming obese because of their less active lifestyles. The report states, “many parents believe that because of their disability, their children cannot be physically active, which is not the truth.

Why Martial Arts Are Best for Special Needs

It’s no secret that a traditional martial arts program is one of the best extracurricular activities a child can participate in.  For children with special needs the benefits are invaluable because of the inherit structure and discipline the arts bring to a child’s daily life. All children need structure, some more than others. Some might need to be reminded more often or a different approach might be necessary, but in the end it's all the same.

Communicating with Your Special Needs Child

Every child is a special needs child.  Most of those special needs fall within our expectations, and that's the reason why we don't really consider them “special.”  But other needs are completely unexpected and require a lot of effort on our part to fulfill. The only first hand experience I've had with a special needs child was with my first born. He was born after only 28 weeks of gestation and my wife and I had to wait almost one month before we could hold him in our arms.

Benefits of Yoga for Special Needs Children

What are the benefits of yoga for children with special needs? What is a special needs yoga class like? Is your child expected to lie still on a mat? These are questions that Alex Newell, voted LAFamily.com’s Yoga Teacher of 2010, is happy to answer. As a senior instructor at Yoga Stars in Santa Monica, Newell has been helping to design a yoga program for children and teens with special needs. Recently she began doing classes with highly functioning students with autism (ages 11-16) at some local schools.

Holiday Meals and Families with Special Needs

Parents of children with special needs often find themselves feeling pressured to explain or apologize for their child’s behavior around the holiday dinner table. Maybe your child is a picky eater or prone to outbursts. This may cause tension if your host takes it personally, but there are ways to make the meal enjoyable for you, your child, and your family and friends.