Benefits of Audio Books for Children with Special Needs

Do you have any road trips planned for the rest of the summer? Have you fallen behind in reading aloud to your child? Try audio books! Audio books won’t replace reading aloud to your child but it can be wonderful way to experience literacy in a different way and together. I have been a member […]

Something To Say Series with Author Interview

A couple of months ago, I came across a wonderful series of books titled Something to Say written by Eden Molinex and illustrated by Natalie Beauvois. Eden is a certified speech language pathologist and a children’s book author who is passionate about making a difference with her children’s books. As a speech language pathologist and author myself, I […]

3 Ways to Make Your Home Sensory Friendly for Special Needs Children

I wanted to share this informative guest post that was shared with me about making your home sensory friendly for children with special needs. Children with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) experience the world in a different way. With their sensory needs met, they can function more comfortably in their world. This is especially important in your […]

Teaching Children with Autism about Character Perspective

As a member of the International Literacy Association, I enjoy receiving articles about literacy and evidence based strategies that are practical and interesting. In the latest journal of The Reading Teacher, July/August 2018, I gravitated towards the article titled, Understanding Character Perspective: Strategies to Support Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Elizabeth G. Finnegan and […]

Improve Your Child’s Language and Learning in 20 Minutes

Do you want to improve your child’s language and learning in 20 minutes? Since beginning my website in 2012, I have become passionate about learning different literacy strategies to improve read alouds with my children. These skills have also helped me as a speech language pathologist and children’s book author. This eBook that I wrote […]

Just Under the Clouds

Are you looking for a book to help teach empathy?  When I received the novel, Just Under the Clouds in the mail for review from Penguin, I was immediately drawn to the story. As a passionate reader of all children’s literature both young and old, I was looking forward to reading the book. On a rainy […]

Lines that Wiggle, review and author interview

When my son came home one day from his visit at the school library, he was so excited to show me the book he chose, lines that wiggle. When we read this book together, I was immediately drawn to the artistic way that the book was written and illustration. The author, Candace Whitman and illustrator, […]

Chapter Book Picks for Girls with ADHD

Do you have a daughter with ADHD? Having some kidlit picks that you can share with your daughter is important. Reading these recommended books aloud and together is a perfect bonding activity! It’s Just Me and My ADHD, Life Through the Eyes of a 10 year old girl: This book is an interesting story about […]

What Do You Do With A Chance?

“What do chances become? New friendships, exciting opportunities, and daring discoveries.” Kobi Yasada, What Do You Do With A Chance?  What Do You Do With a Chance? is another inspirational book by Kobi Yamada, one of my favorite children’s book authors. Kobi Yamada (author) and Mae Besom (illustrator) write and illustrate with beauty and wisdom. […]

Friends Stick Together Blog Tour

I am really excited to kick start this wonderful Penguin Blog Tour for the book, Friends Stick Together. I love books that celebrate friendship and embed a valuable lesson and relationships. Friends Stick Together by Hannah E. Harrison is a unique story about an interesting character named Rupert. Rubert loves reading dictionaries, listening to classical […]

My Second Year of Kindergarten

I am really excited to present my newest children’s book, My Second Year of Kindergarten, which released on April 4th, 2018. This book has been a project that I have been working on with Mascot Books for about 2 years and is close to my heart in many ways. This book is intended to be […]

How Jottings Can Help your Child plus an Author Interview

I recently read an article in The Reading Teacher titled, Jottings: An Approach to Guided Reading in the Elementary Classroom (March/April 2018) written by Jennifer A Knight and Hilary A Justesen that immediately caught my eye. As a parent and a speech language pathologist, I am very interested in discovering new ways to encourage critical thinking for […]

Assessment and Intervention for Autism

Do you have a child with Autism? Are you an educator or a therapist that works with children with Autism? I wanted to share two wonderful resources with my readers today available from Future Horizons. Both of these tools can be helpful with regard to assessing a child with Autism and then using a video […]

Rules

Do you have a child with Autism? Do you have a child with complex communication needs? Are you an educator that wants to raise awareness of different types of learners and disabilities? When I was recently teaching a graduate class about AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication), one of my students recommended this book, Rules. That […]

Exploring Feelings Program: Anxiety Training Manual

  Do you have a child or client with Autism and anxiety?  Exploring Feelings Training Manual is based on Asperger’s expert Dr. Tony Attwood’s Exploring Feelings: Anxiety book. It is a guide for people who want to use the Exploring Feelings materials in group settings with young people who have Autism Spectrum Disorder and high […]

Using The Think Aloud Strategy with Dr. Molly Ness

I wonder…I think…I like that…I feel…. Do you want to help build your child’s language during read alouds? Try the Think Aloud strategy! As a speech language pathologist and parent, I am always searching for any new evidence based strategies that can help a child improve language and literacy skills during read alouds. I recently […]

My Pillow Keeps Moving!

When I received this book in the mail from Penguin, my kids were immediately drawn to the story and asked me to read it again and again. My Pillow Keeps Moving! is a silly and entertaining story that both children and adults can enjoy together. Laura Gehl and Christopher Weyant create a story that can […]

How Music Can Help Children with ADHD

I am excited to present this guest post by Charles Carpenter about utilizing music for children with ADHD. As a speech language pathologist, I have seen first hand the benefits of music therapy and how it can change lives. To learn more about music therapy and to learn about how it can benefit many individuals […]

Milestone Tracker App

Do you have a child 5 or younger? Are you concerned that your child is not meeting their milestones? Check out this free and informative app titled the Milestone Tracker App. I learned about this free app in the most recent issue of the ASHA Leader, which is a wonderful resource of information for speech […]

Terrific

Terrific by Jon Agee is a funny and entertaining book about the main character Eugene and his new friend, Lenny. This book opens up the topic of what sarcasm is and how an unlikely friendship gets established. It’s also a wonderful book about treating others with respect, whether they are a human or an animal. […]

Making Play Dough with EZ DOH

I was contacted about a month ago by John Dmytriw, owner of the EZ DOH product, a manual dough mixer. He emailed me regarding his product and wanted to know how it would work with children and adults with special needs, specifically those with Autism. I agreed to review this product because I really like […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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. […]

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 […]