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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Jake Starts School

Has your child ever attached themselves to your leg and it felt impossible to remove them? Jake Starts School by Michael Wright is a funny and sweet tale of a boy named Jake who is anxious about leaving his parents to start school. He is so anxious he actually clings to his parents so tight they can't pry him off! He can't do anything in school … [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 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...]

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...]

The Invisible Boy

The Invisible Boy (ages K-2nd Grade) by Trudy Ludwig is a powerful story of a young boy who struggles to fit in and as a result, feels " invisible". The Invisible Boy  is powerful in many ways and can teach a child valuable lessons about treating others with kindness and respect. The symbolism in this book is beautiful and should be a part of any … [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...]

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...]