Nutrition Tips for Children with Special Needs

I am happy to present this guest post by Jenny Wise about nutrition tips for children with special needs. Jenny is a mother and blogger who educates her four children at home. Jenny has a child with special needs and shares tips for homeschooling and special needs on her website, Special Home Educator. To contact Jenny, email her here. If you have … [Read more...]

Reducing Stress with Contimusic

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Tom and Christine Conti, the founders of Emotion Transitional Music Therapy. As a speech language pathologist who works with children and adults with varying disabilities, I have seen first hand the positive and calming effect of music on my clients, specifically those with Autism. Although Contimusic is … [Read more...]

Jack’s Worry

Jack's Worry by Sam Zuppardi is an exceptional picture book about overcoming short-term anxiety and worry. A couple of weeks ago, I was in a waiting room and saw this book lying on the table. I immediately picked it up and read it to my son and instantly loved it. It was a simple story with real and complex feelings that any child could relate … [Read more...]

What’s The Big Deal About First Ladies?

In honor of Women's History Month, I am proud to review the book, What's The Big Deal About First Ladies? written by Ruby Shamir and illustrated by Matt Faulkner. This book is packed with facts about the first ladies of our nation dating all the way back to our first lady, Martha Washington. What's The Big Deal about First Ladies? can help teach … [Read more...]

Ed Roberts Father of Disability Rights

Ed Roberts: Father of Disability Rights written by Diana Pastora Carson and illustrated by Patrick Wm. Connally tells the inspirational story of Ed Roberts, the man who changed the life of people with disabilities. As a young child, Ed was a typical child that could run and play with all of the other children. He loved organizing football and … [Read more...]

Get Ready for Jetty

Get Ready for Jetty written by Jeanne Kraus and illustrated by Sandra Kimbell is a book written in a diary form about a girl named Jetty. Jetty is in 4th grade and has been recently diagnosed with ADHD. Throughout the book she discusses in the first person perspective, her thoughts and feelings about her diagnosis of ADHD and how it affects her … [Read more...]

I Don’t Want To Be Big

I Don't Want To Be Big by Dev Petty illustrated by Mike Boldt is an engaging children's book about a frog that doesn't want to grow up! The book begins with a frog refusing to eat his dinner because he doesn't want to grow big. The story takes you through the dialogue between the frog and his father and several other characters. Other characters … [Read more...]

Each Kindness

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson is a powerful book about kindness and regret. This story is told in the first person perspective by a young girl named Chloe and her friends who treat the new girl in class with unkindness. Each Kindness begins with the story of a girl named Maya, a new girl that has joined the class mid year. When Maya enters … [Read more...]

City Block

City Block written by Christopher Fanceschelli illustrated by Peskimo is an engaging, colorful and interesting book ideal for toddlers and preschool children. The book contains simple language with engaging pictures of various actions that are occurring in a city. The book is also not a standard "lift the flap" type of book. Each page is unique in … [Read more...]

Gravitybread Presents Kevin Diller and Justin Lowe

I am thrilled to present the interview with Kevin Diller and Justin Lowe, creators of the book, Hello My Name is Octicorn. This book was a huge hit in my house for number of reasons. It was engaging, interesting, funny and can teach an important lesson about being different and accepting others. Hello My Name is Octicorn is an excellent book for … [Read more...]

If You’re So Smart, How Come You Can’t Spell Mississippi?

Do you want to educate your child about Dyslexia? Whether your child has a learning disability or not, this book titled, If You're So Smart, How Come You Can't Spell Mississippi? is an excellent book to help children understand what Dyslexia is and how it can affect a child's reading and writing abilities. As an educator and advocate for all … [Read more...]

The Littlest Inventor

The Littlest Inventor by Mandi C. Mathis is the story of a young boy diagnosed with a Sensory Processing Disorder that struggles with sensory overload when on a shopping trip with his parents. The crowds, noises and visual stimulation are just too much to handle. He grows nervous and feels a need to "fight or flight." Instead of trying to run away, … [Read more...]

What Do You Do With a Problem?

What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada is an inspiring book about confronting problems in a child's life. I find Kobi's books to be not only inspiring and beautifully illustrated, but so thoughtful in the way that she is able to present complex information (such as having a problem) so that children can understand. Kobi Yamada is also the … [Read more...]

Activities That Teach Emotional Cues

Children and adults with varying developmental disabilities and/or social cognitive delays may have difficulty interpreting social and emotional cues. This reduced ability to interpret cues can significantly impact peer relationships and conversation with others. When an individual cannot discern whether a person is upset or happy with their … [Read more...]

Social Thinking and Me: Thinksheets and a Kids Guidebook

  Social Thinking and Me is a two book set written by Linda K. Murphy and Michelle Garcia Winner that helps introduce older elementary and middle school students to Social Thinking. Whether you are just beginning to learn about Social Thinking or have been exposed to it for many years, this resource is invaluable for older students with … [Read more...]

4 Effective Mini Lessons for Students with ADHD

Photo via Pixabay by geralt I am excited to present this guest post written by Joyce Wilson. Joyce is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud grandmom and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for … [Read more...]

Parent Resources for Children with ADHD

Do you have a child with ADHD? How about a student with ADHD? I want to share some valuable resources for children with ADHD written by Jim Forgan, PhD, author of the Terrific Teddy Series and Mary Anne Richey, M.Ed. Jim Forgan, PhD is a school psychologist who works with children with varying disabilities, but more specifically those with ADHD and … [Read more...]

Douglas, You Need Glasses and Erik the Red Sees Green

Does your child wear glasses? Is your child colorblind? I wanted to review these two children's books, Douglas, You Need Glasses and Erik the Red Sees Green this week to help give parents a resource about different vision issues. For many children, getting glasses can be exciting. For others, the process of wearing glasses can be frustrating and … [Read more...]

Screen Time and how it affects social skills…

Does your child spend too much time on the screen? As a parent, I constantly feel torn with screen time and how to monitor it. What are the effects of too much screen time? I found an interesting study titled Five Days at outdoor education camp without screens improves preteen skills with nonverbal emotion cues published in the journal of … [Read more...]

Social Thinking Conference…product reviews and tips to use at home

  "The concept of being social is a judgement not a test score" (Social Thinking, 2016) This past week, I had the pleasure of attending a one day Social Thinking Conference in Tarrytown, NY. I was excited to hear Michelle Garcia Winner, the founder of Social Thinking discuss Informal Dynamic Social Thinking Assessment and Core … [Read more...]

Social Thinking…product reviews plus a link to attend a conference…

As a speech language pathologist, I treat many children and adults with social cognitive learning challenges. Many individuals with varying diagnoses struggle with pragmatic language skills that impact their ability to build strong relationships with their peers and interact with others in their environment. Diagnoses such as Autism, genetic … [Read more...]

How Katie Got a Voice

Do you want to introduce your child to disabilities? How about educating your children about individuals who are nonverbal? I bought the book, How Katie Got a Voice by Patricia Mervine, MA, CCC-SLP many months ago and really enjoyed it. I have read it to my own children and recently got an opportunity to speak about augmentative and alternative … [Read more...]

Autism and the Extended Family

How does Autism affect an extended family? Many books and articles don't directly address the issues surrounding a disability and how it affects the child and their extended family. Autism and the Extended Family written by Raun D. Melmed, MD and Maria Bird-West Wheeler is a helpful guide for those outside the immediate family who know and love … [Read more...]

Out of My Mind

"Just because I can't talk, doesn't mean that I have nothing to say". This is one of my favorite quotes that I often share with my graduate students. As a speech language pathologist who specializes in Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper is a powerful book that teaches the reader many valuable lessons … [Read more...]

Terrific Teddy’s Focus Friend

Do you have a child with ADHD? Does your child fidget constantly? If so, you may want to consider a focus friend! Terrific Teddy's Focus Friend is about a young boy named Teddy who struggles to stay attentive to many tasks including schoolwork. Like many children with ADHD, Teddy states "I like running and swimming and video games. It's easy for … [Read more...]

Turbo and Scott: Raising Awareness of Tuberous Sclerosis

Do you have a child with Tuberous Sclerosis? What is Tuberous Sclerosis (TSC)? According to the website Tuberous-Sclerosis.com, "TSC presents in the form of noncancerous tumors called hamartomas. In children, these tumors can form in most of the major parts of the body, including the brain, skin, eyes, heart, and kidneys. These tumors in the … [Read more...]

My Mouth is a Volcano!

Do you have a child that constantly interrupts you and/or other family members? How about an excessive talker? Children naturally interrupt parents during daily activities, but when your child has special needs with impulsivity,  interrupting conversation can impact their peer relationships with others, including family members. My Mouth is a … [Read more...]

Anxiety in Children and Teens

Do you have a child that is anxious? How about a special needs child with anxiety? I love to share important resources on my blog that can help parents, caregivers, teachers and therapists with specific issues at home. With the new school year just beginning, there can be many different types of anxiety that a parent and child can experience. A new … [Read more...]

Stepping Stories..a review plus tips!

Do you want to introduce more stories at mealtime that relate directly to your child? Make your child the star of the book! I was contacted by Stepping Stories a couple of weeks ago regarding their personalized books. When I visited their website, I was able to easily create a personalized book for both of my children in less than ten … [Read more...]

It’s Hard To Be A Verb!

Do you have a child that struggles to pay attention and stay on task? Does your child fidget often and have a hard time staying still? It's Hard To Be A Verb written by Julia Cook is an excellent book about the daily struggles a child can go through with regards to ADHD. The book combines humor with practical solutions for parents whose … [Read more...]

Gravitybread presents Julia Cook

I am thrilled to present an interview with Julia Cook, a children's book author that I admire for her great work. I appreciate her dedication and passion for making children's literature a tool to help children with varying needs and difficult situations including anxiety, ADHD, behavior issues, depression, social communication disorders and many … [Read more...]

Personal Space Camp

Do you have a child that doesn't understand personal space? Many children who are both typical and have special needs struggle with giving others personal space. Many children who have ADHD or any social communication disorder may have difficulty with this concept of personal space and can struggle to learn why others are reacting negatively to him … [Read more...]

You Are a Social Detective Beginner App

Does your child have difficulties with social skills and being socially appropriate?  I am a big fan of Michelle Garcia, Social Thinking materials and the therapeutic strategy of video modeling. This app titled You Are a Social Detective Beginner App has 3 different levels with tons of videos and various questions related to the videos. The app … [Read more...]

Dysgraphia and a Children’s Book Review

Does your child struggle with their writing skills? Do you have a child diagnosed with dysgraphia? According to the website Understand for Learning and Attention Issues, Dysgraphia is  a condition that causes trouble with written expression. The term comes from the Greek words dys (“impaired”) and graphia (“making letter forms by hand”). … [Read more...]

Terrific Teddy and bd Mix-Up

Do you have a child who struggles with reading and writing? Does your child have Dyslexia or a language based learning disability? Terrific Teddy and the bd Mix-Up is an excellent book written by Jim Forgan, PhD, who also wrote Terrific Teddy's Excessive Energy. I had the pleasure of interviewing him and got some excellent information that can help … [Read more...]

Gravitybread presents Jim Forgan, PhD

I am happy to present an interview with Jim Forgan, PhD., author of Terrific Teddy's Excessive Energy.  Dr. Jim Forgan is a licensed School Psychologist in Jupiter, Florida which is in Palm Beach County, Florida.  Dr. Forgan has two children and he understands giftedness, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADD/ADHD from the parent and professional … [Read more...]

Terrific Teddy’s Excessive Energy

Do you have a child with ADHD? Terrific Teddy's Excessive Energy by Jim Forgan, PhD is a story of young boy that struggles with his hyperactivity and inattentiveness. He has trouble sitting, zooms through the halls and constantly gets in trouble at school. This book is written from the perspective of Teddy who describes his challenges as "My head … [Read more...]

The Kitchen Classroom

Do you have a child that is on a gluten free diet? Do you have a child with special needs? Do you want to boost your child's developmental skills in the kitchen? I am excited to share this educational and informative cookbook called The Kitchen Classroom that was created to be used with a parent and their children. I was contacted by Gabrielle … [Read more...]

Tom’s Special Talent

Do you have a child with a language based learning disability that struggles with reading and writing? Does your child have a diagnosed reading disability such as Dyslexia? If so, Tom's Special Talent by Kate Gaynor at Special Stories can be an excellent book to have in your personal library. This book is also excellent for typical readers because … [Read more...]

Superflex takes on One-Sided Sid, Un-Wonderer and the Team of Unthinkables

Do you have a child that struggles with his or her social skills? Does your child have difficulty reading social cues from peers and/or adults? Does your child have trouble having engaging conversations with his or her peers?  If you answered yes to any of these questions,  I highly recommend this book by Social Thinking titled, Superflex takes … [Read more...]

Preschool Make-A-Book Sequencing and Language Activities

Do you want to work a fun language activity with your young child? Does your child need help with sequencing, vocabulary or expanding their vocabulary? I was recently contacted by a fellow speech language pathologist, Elissa Benjamin a couple of weeks ago regarding a language activity book that she wrote and published titled Preschool Make a … [Read more...]

Dyslexia…Symptoms, Myths and Links to Research

Do you have a child with dyslexia? Do you suspect your child may have dyslexia?  I wanted to open up the discussion regarding dyslexia on my website because it is a common language based learning disability that impacts many children and adults (as many as 15–20% of the population as a whole—have some of the symptoms of dyslexia, including slow … [Read more...]

Tips on Facilitating Book Reading with Your Child with ADHD

For this month of Research Tuesday, I wanted to share an article about ADHD and reading aloud. Many people assume that when you have ADHD, you have trouble paying attention to most or all activities, but that is simply not true. Many children with ADHD can focus very well on specific activities, especially when it's a high-interest activity, such … [Read more...]

Margo’s Magnificent Choice

Do you want to help your child be kind and speak to other people with respect? As parents, we all struggle to teach our children to treat others the way you want to be treated. Especially when you have a child with special needs with impulsive behavior, teaching this concept can be even more difficult. Margo's Magnificent Choice is about a monkey … [Read more...]

Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist

Do you have a child with a sensory processing disorder? Does he or she like to visit the dentist? I think bringing any child to the dentist can be a difficult experience but having a child with special needs can add an extra complexity to the experience. Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist by Marla Roth-Fisch is an excellent book about a boy named Sam … [Read more...]

The Emotional Needs of a Child with a Sensory Processing Disorder

Does your child have a sensory processing disorder? Does your child have constant temper tantrums? According to Theresa Ellam, PhD, "Children with SPD can become overwhelmed more often, more intensely and more easily than typically developing children." I recently read an interesting article titled "The Emotional Needs of Children with Sensory … [Read more...]

Make Social Learning Stick

Are you looking for a fun and and functional guide to help improve your child's social and language skills? Make Social Learning Stick is an excellent guide to help build social competence through a child's daily routines and activities. I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Sautter's work because whatever she creates is extremely functional, fun and easy … [Read more...]

What Type of Learner Is Your Child?

What are the three types of learning styles? Do you know your own best learning style? How about your child? There are auditory learners, visual learners and kinesthetic learners. What does each learning style mean? An auditory learner would rather listen to things being explained to them rather than reading about it. This is a child that … [Read more...]

The Princess Panda Tea Party: A Cerebral Palsy Princess Tale

The Princess Panda Tea Party: A Cerebral Palsy Princess Tale is a sweet story of a young girl with Cerebral Palsy, who fulfills her dream of winning a scholarship despite her physical limitations. Michelle lives in an orphanage with many other girls who are unkind to her, which makes her feel isolated and dis-empowered. One night when Michelle … [Read more...]

10 “Grown Up” Sensory Activities for an Older Child and/or Teenager

Do you have an older child with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)? Do you need some fresh ideas for your older child to help meet their sensory needs? Finding ideas of sensory activities for a young child is pretty easy because there are so many resources out there. However, many of these activities are not appropriate for an older child, … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Use The Thinkables and Unthinkables Double Deck

Do you want to work on social skills with your child?   This activity is not only for children with special needs, but also excellent for children who are typical. Figuring out social rules is tough and with a parents guidance, it can really help a child.  The  Thinkables & Unthinkables Double Deck is an excellent teaching tool used for … [Read more...]

About Temple Grandin

Do you have a child with autism? Do you know a child or adult with Autism? When writing about autism, the name Temple Grandin comes up again and again. Who is Temple Grandin? Temple Grandin is an accomplished author, autism advocate and presenter. What makes her perspective unique? She has Autism and explains it in a way that others can begin to … [Read more...]

A Boy and A Jaguar

Do you have a child that stutters? Do you stutter or know of another person that stutters? This book written by Alan Rabinowitz is a beautiful story of a young boy who struggles through life because of his stuttering until he finds his passion, saving jaguars. Stuttering can be very isolating for children and a picture book such as this one can be … [Read more...]

Erik the Red sees Green

Do you have a child that is color blind? Do you know anyone that is color blind? According to the Colour Blind Awareness website, approximately 4.5% of the world population lives with a color vision deficiency. Erik the Red sees Green by Julie Anderson is an excellent book to read to your child to help raise awareness of color vision deficiency … [Read more...]

I Like Birthdays…It’s the parties I’m not sure about!

Do you have a child with sensory issues that has trouble enjoying birthday parties? Has your child ever been overwhelmed at a birthday party or you had to leave because it's too much noise, stimulation, etc? Speaking from a parent's perspective, birthday parties have definitely been a challenge in my past. Birthday parties that are loud and … [Read more...]

Wemberly Worried

Does your child worry excessively or have anxiety? Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes is about a girl named Wemberly who constantly worries. She worries about everything morning, night and throughout the day. At home, she worries that the tree would fall on her house or if there is a snake in the radiator. At the playground, she worries about the … [Read more...]

Once Upon An Accommodation

Do you have an older school aged child who needs accommodations in the school setting? I received this book, Once Upon an Accommodation: A Book About Learning Disabilities by Nina G a couple of months ago. I passed this book along to my close friend, Lisa Berey who is a social worker who works with older children who might benefit from a book … [Read more...]

3 Picture Books for World Autism Awareness Day

April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. With the prevalence of Autism climbing at alarming rates, it's important to not only support those with autism but also increase awareness. It is important to educate all children on what Autism is and how it can affect a child. I have worked with children and adults with Autism for almost fifteen years and … [Read more...]

It’s Haircut Time

Do you have a child with sensory issues? If you do, you may understand the challenge of getting your child a haircut. For many children with sensory issues, haircuts can be difficult and extremely uncomfortable. It's Haircut Time written by Michele Griffin is about a young boy who overcomes his fear of haircuts. The little boy describes the … [Read more...]

My Friend Suhana

My Friend Suhana is a children’s book about a young girl’s friendship with a girl named Suhana who has Cerebral Palsy. This book written by Shaila Abdullah and her 10 year old daughter, Aanyah, is engaging and well illustrated. The pictures are colorful, and the text is simple enough to be read to a child age 5 and up. The book is written from a … [Read more...]