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 […]

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 other important topics. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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”). Dysgraphia is a brain-based […]

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 […]

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 totally engaged in what […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 perspective.  He specializes in […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 turns […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Great Bike Giveaway: Enter To Win a Free Adaptive Bike!

Do you remember the freedom you felt, the confidence you gained, the pride you had when you received your first bike? The Great Bike Giveaway will help give children with special needs the same feeling you had when that shiny new bike arrived at your home. For the forth consecutive year Friendship Circle is holding the […]

Reading and Intellectual Disabilities: What the research says…..

For this month of Research Tuesday, I wanted to share a research article that discusses reading instruction with children diagnosed with an Intellectual Disability (ID). In my many years as a speech language pathologist, I have seen many children and adults diagnosed with ID who struggle with reading for several different reasons (e.g. never received […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 therapy. Elizabeth is also the author of a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 months of receiving […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Wonder

Powerful and memorable. These are the best ways to describe Wonder by R.J. Ralacio. I rarely review books that are not picture books, but this book is like no other. Wonder was written for children ages 6 to 12 years old, but is also very appropriate for adults to read. I read this within 3 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]