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 […]

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 […]

Here Come the Girl Scouts!

“The work of to-day is the history of to-morrow, and we are it’s maker.” (Here Come the Girl Scouts, 2012) When my daughter and I discovered at our local library, Here Come the Girl Scouts! The Amazing All True Story of Juliette “Daisy” Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure,  we were immediately drawn to the story. Lately, […]

Teaching Critical Thinking Skills to Young Children: A Guest Post

I am excited to present this guest post by Katie Gilmore in partnership with KinderCare Learning Centers We often try to teach the young children in our lives the importance of practice, patience, and problem-solving. It can feel challenging to adequately arm future generations with these tools as we guide them towards a future of higher […]

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 […]

Juma the Giraffe

What makes you special and unique? Baby Juma the Giraffe wonders this when looking at his reflection one day. In the heart warming story of Juma the Giraffe written by Monica Bond and illustrated by Kayla Harren, Juma feels ordinary because he thinks he is like all of the other giraffes. His friend, Upendo likes […]

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. […]

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 […]

The Technology Tail

Do you have an older child that is curious about social media? When you child reaches their tween years or even earlier, curiosity about social media begins. Being exposed to social media is inevitable as a child enters tween and teen years and teaching your child appropriate internet etiquette can be challenging. Where do you […]

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 […]

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 […]

Five Inspirational Picture Books

As a speech language pathologist and parent, I love to use storytelling as an opportunity to initiate meaningful conversations and encourage children to follow their dreams regardless of their disabilities and delays. Children with special needs face many challenges in their lives, and reading inspirational children’s literature can help improve their self-esteem and make them more […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]