Who Is? Who Was? Series

The Who Is? Who Was? and What was? Where is? Series by Penguin Random House is a series of books that can help teach your child about important people and events in history. The series includes both  hundreds of titles to entice any child’s interest. Do you have a child that interested in music? Check […]

Special People, Special Ways

“Some see with a touch or shape fingers to talk. Others sit silent and many can’t walk” Arlene Maguire, 2000. I am thrilled to review this book, Special People, Special Ways for today’s review. During a recent staff training that I was conducting at a public school, a fellow speech language pathologist suggested this book […]

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

A couple of months ago, my daughter received this book, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli  as a gift. It has been such a wonderful experience reading this book with my daughter because both of us are learning about some rebellious and extraordinary women in history. Good Night Stories […]

The Technology Tail

Do you have an older child that is curious about social media? When you child reaches their tween years or even earlier, curiosity about social media begins. Being exposed to social media is inevitable as a child enters tween and teen years and teaching your child appropriate internet etiquette can be challenging. Where do you […]

Top Picks for Nighttime Stories

Are you looking for some bedtime stories that will make your child sleepy and ready for bed? Check out these two picture books listed below. A new book titled Wee Sister Strange written by Holly Grant and illustrated by K.G. Campbell is perfect for bedtime and the upcoming Halloween season. The second book, which can help both […]

5 Things you need to know about Social Skills Coaching

“In a world that is ever changing, there is one constant. As human beings, we need to communicate with each other. We need to be around others for many many reasons, including support, learning and most importantly a sense of belonging” (Ostovar, R & DiVittore, K. 2017). 5 things you need to know about Social […]

There’s Nothing To Do!

Does your child have tons of toys and activities but still complains there’s nothing to do? Check out this book written by Dev Petty and illustrated by Mike Boldt, There’s Nothing To Do! This engaging and interactive picture book is about a frog who gets bored despite his toys and creative ideas from his friends. In […]

Animated Language Learning

Do you have a child that loves Disney? Do you have a child with Autism or a language and learning disability? About this time last year, I became very interested in learning how Disney can encourage language and communication with children and adults with Autism. After reading the book, Life Animated I decided to try […]

The Difference Between a 504 and an IEP: Key Resources

With school quickly approaching, I wanted to share some important resources about 504 plans and IEPs (Individualized Education Plans). As a speech language pathologist, many people ask me these questions and I wanted to share some valuable information on this topic. Why is this important? If your child is struggling in class and with their […]

I’m Scared

I’m Scared by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm is the newest book in the inventive series My First Comics. Chilly is a scared and fearful snowflake. He is scared of many things including the dark and sometimes he is scared for no reason at all! One day he sees Tizzy Tornado and Grumpy Cloud […]

Games that Target Asking Questions

For many children with language delays and disabilities, asking questions can be a challenging. It seems natural to ask questions for children that present with typical speech and language development but for those who struggle, what types of activities can help elicit asking questions? This can be a tricky thing because asking questions usually comes […]

The Link Between Physical Activity and Better Academic Performance

Recently, I read an article in the newspaper that stated children are better at using technology then tying their shoes. It also said that children know how to use computer games better than riding bikes. Reading these statements, I can easily find them sad, but true. Having children growing up in this world of technology […]

Five Inspirational Picture Books

As a speech language pathologist and parent, I love to use storytelling as an opportunity to initiate meaningful conversations and encourage children to follow their dreams regardless of their disabilities and delays. Children with special needs face many challenges in their lives, and reading inspirational children’s literature can help improve their self-esteem and make them more […]

We’re All Wonders

We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio is a powerful picture book about the beloved character, Auggie from the chapter book, Wonder. Wonder was one of my favorite books because of it’s powerful and valuable lesson for all children to learn. To check out my review of Wonder, click here. When I saw We’re All Wonders […]

Sesame Street and Autism

As a speech language pathologist for over 15 years, I love finding resources for other children to learn about various disabilities. Since I was a graduate student, I always gravitated towards working with individuals with Autism. Learning about Autism has been a fascinating journey and that I continue with throughout my career. The learning never […]

Happy Dreamer

Do you have a child that is a dreamer? Are you a dreamer yourself? I recently attended an event with Peter Reynolds at the Jacob Burns Center. He read some of his children’s books including The Dot, Ish and then read his most recent book, Happy Dreamer. Happy Dreamer brought me to tears because it describes a […]

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 […]

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 […]

Picture A Conversation

With the increase in technology, our face to face communication has decreased over time. We are communicating more and more via text messages, email and through social media than we are with face to face communication. As a result, our ability to converse with others and stay attentive to specific topics is becoming more challenging. At […]

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 […]

Literacy and Children with Down Syndrome: Strategies for Home

As a speech language pathologist that works with children and adults with Down Syndrome, I wanted to take a look at some research about how literacy is affected in this population. I also wanted to find some valuable and evidenced based information to share with the families that I work with to help their children […]

Baby Sign Language: Learning about Baby Says More™

I am excited to present this article written by Michelle Lerner, Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist and owner of Baby Says More. Michelle is not only a colleague and friend of mine, but a woman that I respect because of her hard work and dedication to helping parents and caregivers teach their babies to communicate better. I […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Resources Available for Special Needs Parents

I was recently contacted by Ivan Serrano, a writer specializing in technology and lifestyle. He is from San Jose, California and attended San Francisco State University. He graduated with a double major in English (concentration in Creative Writing) and Journalism (with a concentration in photojournalism). This guest post was written to help parents of children […]

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 […]

Hello, My Name is Octicorn

Are you looking for a book that celebrates being different? Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller illustrated by Justin Lowe is a story that takes you the life of Octi (as he likes to be called), a creature that is half unicorn and half octopus. Octi is looking for a friend but is constantly left out […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

El Deafo

El Deafo by Cece Bell is a graphic novel about a girl named Cece who becomes deaf after getting sick as a young child. What was it like for Cece being deaf? Upon learning that Cece was deaf, her parents sent her to a special school for deaf children called The Fisher School. At this school she […]

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 response, their reaction may be considered unexpected, as […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Is My Cup Empty? Review, research and an author interview

Is My Cup Empty? is a heartfelt children’s book about being optimistic, helpful and mindful. What happens if your cup is empty? “Fill it with water, milk or juice that’s chilled. If your Grandma’s lap if empty and she needs love, “climb right up on it to give her kisses and a hug!” Is My […]

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 Treatment […]

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 syndromes, ADHD,  ODD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Tourette […]

Embracing Feelings with Mindfulness: Two Book Reviews

Anh’s Anger by Gail Silver is about a young boy named Anh who becomes angry with his grandfather one day when he is asked to stop playing with his blocks. When he is asked to “put his blocks down” to come to dinner, he angrily knocks down his blocks and tells his grandfather, “Go away! I […]

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 […]

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 […]

Gravitybread presents Sharon Draper

I am honored to present this interview with Sharon Draper, author of Out of my mind, an inspirational and powerful book about a young girl and her journey with communication. To check out my review and links to teacher lessons and resources, click here. What inspired you to write the book, Out of my mind? […]

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 […]

Video Modeling and Individuals with Autism..what the research says…

Do have a specific behavior that you would like to improve with your child? Try video modeling! Research from the last three decades states the benefits of utilizing video modeling for children with Autism. Video modeling is also effective for other varying disorders, specifically those that impact pragmatic and expressive disorders (e.g. ADHD, Social Communication Disorder, […]

Bluebee Pals review plus Speech and Language Goals

Are you looking for a fun and creative way to encourage social language, expressive language and play? Check out one of my new favorite therapy tools, Bluebee Pals!  What is a Bluebee Pal? A Bluebee Pal is a plush educational learning tool that can be connected to a tablet, phone or computer via bluetooth. Once […]

Temple Did It, and I Can, Too! Seven Simple Life Rules

Temple Did it, and I Can, Too! is an inspiration story of a girl named Temple who defeats all odds in spite of her disabilities. Temple Grandin is a successful woman with Autism that inspires people all over the world as an advocate for individuals with autism and their families. The book begins with an […]

Tips to Help a Child with ADHD Excel in School

I’m excited to share this guest post by wellness coach, Vee Cecil. Vee Cecil is a wellness coach, personal trainer, and bootcamp instructor. Vee is passionate about studying and sharing her findings in wellness through her recently-launched blog, and you can also connect with her on Twitter. She writes a variety of topics including wellness with […]

How To Motivate Your Child To Read

A couple of weeks ago, I began searching for an article that can help give me insight into motivation and reading. What motivates our children to read for pleasure?” As a child, reading was always a fun activity for me. I loved story time, book clubs and always had a book in my hand from the […]

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 […]

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 brain […]

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 Volcano by Julia Cook is about […]

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 […]

Increase Calm and Focus with MeMoves

Are you looking for a quick way to help your child increase their focus and calm their bodies?  In the crazy and busy lives that we live, it’s hard to find the time to calm our bodies and focus on one task at a time.  If it is hard for us as adults, it’s even […]

Do You Like Pie? Improving Speech through Music

Do you have a child with apraxia? How about a speech and language delay? Check out this CD, titled Do You Like Pie? by Pam Marshalla, speech language pathologist. The CD includes 10 songs that help facilitate speech that can be used in the car, at home, in therapy or on the go. Each song has […]

Verbal Responsiveness and Children with Autism

I recently read an interesting article titled Fathers and Mothers Verbal Responsiveness and the Language Skills of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Michelle Flippin and Linda R. Watson. This article examined the interactions of 16 young children with Autism and their parents and investigated the differences in verbal responsiveness used by fathers and […]

Echolalia: Research and Tips for Parents

I wanted to write an article about echolalia because I think it is something that affects many families of children with special needs. I found an excellent article which I discuss below that can help caregivers elicit more spontaneous speech with their child, specifically during mealtime. What is echolalia? Echolalia is the repetition of sentences, […]

Gravitybread presents Laura Pedersen

I am excited to present Laura Pedersen, author of Unplugged, Ella Gets Her Family Back. When I was recently shopping a small book shop with creaky floors (I love creaky bookstores), I found Laura’s book, Unplugged Ella Gets Her Family Back. I immediately read through it and loved it. Laura brings up some real issues in […]

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 […]