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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

How Canine-Assisted Reading Can Help Your Child

Do you have a struggling reader at home? Are you a teacher that is looking for a new and creative way to help your students with their reading skills? How about trying to increase your child's confidence in their reading abilities? Check out how Canine Assisted Reading can help your child or student. For this month of Research Tuesday, I wanted … [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...]

Gravitybread presents Elizabeth Sautter

I  am thrilled to present Elizabeth Sautter, co author of Whole Body Listening Larry at School and Whole Body Listening Larry at Home. Elizabeth is a speech language pathologist who is also the co-director/co-owner of Communication Works (cwtherapy.com), a private practice in Oakland, California, offering speech, language, social, and occupational … [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...]

How To Make Cooking a Sensory Experience

Does your child have sensory issues? Do you have a child with special needs? Do you want to make cooking interesting and engaging for your child? I recently read an interesting article published in the Sensory Focus Magazine. The article discussed how sensory enrichment therapy decreased autistic behaviors in children with Autism. After six … [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...]

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...]

Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have The Wiggle Fidgets

Do you have a child with ADHD? Does your child have problems sitting and paying attention in class? Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have The Wiggle Fidgets  (ages 6 and up) by Barbara Esham is an excellent book to have in your home library and can be quite important in a school library as well. I love this book because it explains the symptoms of an … [Read more...]

Superflex, a Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum

Does your child like super heroes? Does your child need some help with their social skills and flexible thinking? Superflex, A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum is a "curriculum that can provide a teaching tool to help children learn about their social behavior and strategies on how to regulate it".  A great precursor to this book is You are a … [Read more...]

Josh’s Smiley Faces

Josh's Smiley Faces, A Story about Anger  by Gina Ditta-Donahue is an ideal book to read to a child that is experiencing frequent temper tantrums due to anger. Read this book during a relaxing time, such as mealtime. The book is about a little boy named Josh who gets angry often. He gets angry when his brother wants to play with his toy, when a … [Read more...]

Whole Body Listening Larry at School

Do you have a child who has difficulty following directions and listening? Whole Body Listening Larry at School is an excellent book to teach the concept "whole body listening" and following directions within the school setting. The story begins with two new students attending school named Luka and Leah. Luka and Leah have trouble listening and … [Read more...]

Whole Body Listening Larry at Home!

Does your child ever have trouble listening? I think every parent runs into this issue. Whole Body Listening Larry at Home which is written by two speech language pathologists is an ideal book to discuss whole body listening. I loved this book because the illustrations are so vibrant and engaging and the text is easy for a young child to understand … [Read more...]

Zach Gets Frustrated

Does your child get frustrated easily? If you have a child with ADHD (or any related disorder)  that gets frustrated very easily this can be an excellent book to read during mealtime or any quiet time. Zach Gets Frustrated by William Mulcahy is about a little boy named Zach who gets frustrated because his kite can't fly properly. As a result of his … [Read more...]

Ellie Bean: The Drama Queen

Is your little girl a drama queen? I think many of us feel like our little girls can be very dramatic at times.  Ellie Bean the Drama Queen is about a young girl who has sensory processing difficulties that cause her to get upset often and be very dramatic. These dramatic behaviors can be caused by a simple tag in her shirt itching her, the flush … [Read more...]

You are a Social Detective!

Do your children ever have trouble reading social cues and understanding what makes people upset or happy?  Make your children social detectives! You are a Social Detective! by Social Thinking Publishers is a book  that is appropriate for ages 5 and up and ideal for reading during mealtime. I love this book because it begins with explaining in … [Read more...]