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 child that has big dreams, but is often … [Read more...]

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...]

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 times, … [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...]

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 develop more advanced literacy … [Read more...]

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 know you will find … [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...]

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 … [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...]

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 because he looks different. He is not like … [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...]

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 felt comfortable and secure. "George, Sabrina, Terry, … [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...]

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...]

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 Cup Empty? is the first book in the Lil Sherri series and … [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...]

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 hate you!" His grandfather tells Anh to go to his room and … [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...]

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? The simple answer to your question is … [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...]

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, … [Read more...]

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 connected to a device (such as an … [Read more...]

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 explanation of how the story is going to … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 time that I was in 2nd grade.  When I was growing up, my … [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...]

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 more challenging for our children! I have seen many programs that can help a child … [Read more...]

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 repeating phonemes, syllables and words, which can help … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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 her book regarding … [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...]

The Most Magnificent Thing

Does your child get frustrated often? Many children, specifically children with ADHD get frustrated often and have a difficult time sticking with an activity due to low frustration tolerance. I came across this book titled, The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires, which can be an excellent tool in helping a child who has trouble sticking with … [Read more...]

MimiQ Card Game

Do you have a child with childhood apraxia or speech? Does your child have trouble imitating movements, sounds or facial expressions? Are you looking for a fun and simple game that will help your child work on imitation, following directions and turn taking? Try this game called MimiQ. I bought this game at a toy store a couple of months ago … [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...]

Sensory Issues and Mealtime… What the research says…..

Do you have a child with sensory issues? Does it affect what he or she eats during mealtime? For Research Tuesday, I decided to take a further look at how sensory issues affects mealtime. I would like to share an article written in June 2011, titled Association of Sensory Processing and Eating Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. … [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...]

Bear Books by Barefoot and The Beginner Reader

I have always been a big fan of the Bear book series by Barefoot Books for many years. When my children were young, I would bring them to story time at FAO Schwartz, which is a very large and famous bookstore in NYC. Immediately, when you walked in the section of Barefoot books, it was like entering into a land of beautiful, colorful and inviting … [Read more...]

Kimochis….Social and Emotional Learning

What are Kimochis? Kimochi means "feeling" in Japanese. I participated in a wonderful workshop given by a fellow speech language pathologist, Ellen Dodge regarding social emotional intelligence and competence. I wasn't sure what to expect when I took this conference for continuing education credit. Within ten minutes of being at the workshop, I was … [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...]

Colored Overlays and Reading Speed for Children with Autism

Do you have a child with Autism? How about a child with language based learning disability? Would you like to check out a low cost and easy accessible strategy to improve reading with your child? Try a colored overlay!  What are colored overlays? They are "transparent colored plastic sheet that can be placed over printed text without interfering … [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...]

Sensory Activities at the Table

Do you have a child with Sensory Processing Disorder? Are you looking for some fun sensory activities the table with your child? According to the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, "Sensory processing (sometimes called "sensory integration" or SI) is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and … [Read more...]