My Special Needs Network

A network to share best practices for children with special needs

All Blog Posts (502)

PeaPod Perfection!

Introducing the New and Improved PeaPod! We listened to your feedback and made adjustments for added durability.    Like peas in a pod, students will STILL love the deep touch pressure snuggle factor these inflatable “veggies” provide! The super strength PeaPods now feature .7 mil fabric for added strength for the entire unit while keeping the flocked surface for that just right soft touch. Perfect for calming, defining spatial boundaries, as a quiet time space, as an added support on…


Added by School Specialty Special Needs on August 17, 2015 at 9:00pm — No Comments

ITV Signed Stories

I would like to introduce you to ITV Signed Stories. We produce storybook apps that are specially designed for deaf children, and those with Special Education Needs.  I hope they could be of benefit to the children in your networks. Here at Signed Stories, we believe that all children should have access to great books!


The apps have animated stories performed in American …


Added by ITV Signed Stories on June 24, 2015 at 9:29am — No Comments

Dads needed to share their experience working and raising a child with special needs

Survey about working fathers who raise a child with special health care needs.

48,000 households in the United States include a child or children with special health care needs. Caring for a child with physical, developmental, emotional or behavioral difficulties is expensive and in 2009/2010 22% of families reported financial difficulties because of these care responsibilities. 15% were even forced to give up employment. In addition to these financial…


Added by Claudia on March 16, 2015 at 3:35pm — No Comments

Everyday Learning Fun (ELF) Product Review

We received a product review from Staci, 7 on a Shoestring. She reviewed the Everyday Learning Fun Reading Teaching Resource Set from School Specialty.  …


Added by School Specialty Special Needs on February 3, 2015 at 8:30am — No Comments

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014

Here are the Top 10 Blogs for…


Added by Laura Doell on December 15, 2014 at 11:54am — No Comments

National Special Education Day/You Don't know What You're Missing

Just like many other professions-there comes a day really to celebrate your job- teaching. While it is really nice, this day is to celebrate those of us that serve students and individuals with disabilities and special needs. However our day is a day of recognition, that actually…


Added by Hannah Ehrli on December 1, 2014 at 8:00pm — No Comments

"I am picky! Please listen to me and help me better interpret my needs to feel safe!"

“There are alligators under my bed!” It is amazing how role playing can work its' magic on great areas of concerns for therapists and parents alike.  Playing with different foods, textures and positioning allows a child to expand his repertoire of skills.  

When a child displays…


Added by Cynthia L Andric on November 17, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Classroom Accommodations?!? THAT IS NOT FAIR !!!!


Nothing is so unequal as the equal treatment of unequals”. I love this quote by Thomas Jefferson! It is especially appropriate when referring to accommodations for students with a learning disability. The quality of support children receive in school is crucial to their academic success. Collaboration between general and special educators is the key to guaranteeing all children receive a free and…


Added by PAM BROGDON on October 20, 2014 at 10:30am — No Comments

SPD Awareness Month: The upcoming 17th International SPD Symposium “Strategies, Science and Success: The Changing Landscape of Sensory Processing Disorder”

In preparation for celebrating SPD Awareness month, this blog will highlight the upcoming 17th International SPD Symposium scheduled for November 7 and 8, 2014 in Tempe, Arizona.

In this blog, I will first speak very briefly about SPD.

Then I will discuss one of my presentations “Use of Playground in Therapy Tour session”.

I will also discuss items which will possibly be on display at the exhibitor booths.

And finally, I will list the other speakers and many…


Added by Diana Ashby Henry on October 13, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

10 Ways to Improve Focus & Attention in the Classroom

Just in time for back to school check out these great tips on how using sensory strategies may help with attention and focus:

  1. Allow opportunities for movement! Many students today do not get enough vestibular (movement) input in their daily life due to decreases in physical education, recess and free time play.  Swings, trampolines, bicycles are all great tools, but during the day even small tasks such as taking a note to the front office or getting up to feed the fish in the…

Added by Cecilia Cruse on September 18, 2014 at 8:30am — No Comments

ADHD Awareness Month: Can ADHD mask sensory processing challenges?

On the NIMH website you will read that “ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).”

Because September is ADHD awareness…


Added by Diana Ashby Henry on September 1, 2014 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Sensory Processing and the Teenager: Helping Teachers, Caregivers and Teens Understand Sensory Needs

This month's blog is for teens to help them discover how to live in a more “sensory safe world.” And for the caregivers and teachers to help them better understand teen behaviors as they relate to sensory processing challenges, preferences, and needs.

The Teen Sensory Tools Survey

Teens: Complete the…


Added by Diana Ashby Henry on August 18, 2014 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

Preparing Your Classroom: A Few Things Your Student with Special Needs Wishes You Knew!

1. Fluorescent lights bother me!  It seems like they are blinking and/or buzzing and they make for extra glare on my paper.  If you have a classroom with access to natural daylight (windows or skylights) please consider turning off the overhead lights at different intervals during the day. If this is not an option then try these cool light covers called Cozy Shades.  My sensory system…


Added by Cecilia Cruse on August 18, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments

5 Fun Activities to Soak Up Summer!

Check out these fun ideas to beat the heat AND work on fine motor skills!

  1. Squirt Gun Painting. Fill your favorite squirt gun with liquid watercolors, use an easel or secure a piece of…

Added by Cecilia Cruse on July 14, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments

General Ed teachers: Helping to integrate students with sensory processing challenges into the classroom

In this month’s blog I will be discussing children who are displaying behaviors reflecting sensory processing challenges, often not thought as appropriate in the classroom. Unlike children who are wheelchair users and easily receive assistance for their challenges, those with sensory processing challenges have “hidden” disabilities. They are often misunderstood and receive punishment for their behaviors. Assessment is important to identify the cause of their challenges. Once identified as…


Added by Diana Ashby Henry on July 7, 2014 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Treat Yourself to A Summertime Continuing Education Webinar!

Now that summer is here, time to relax, right? Yes…and it is also an opportunity for continuing education. Like our children, we need to take advantage of the summer for learning too. How exciting to be prepared for the upcoming school year with new “sensory tools” . Why not sign up for a webinar such as Ten Ways to Implement Response to Intervention (RtI) with Sensory Strategies? This webinar also includes “bonus” clips from the Tools for Teachers DVD…


Added by Diana Ashby Henry on June 16, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Summer Social Skills

School’s out for summer!....but so is the structured routine that many children with special needs so often need.  The daily school tasks also provide the opportunity to practice social skills in context.  But don’t despair, to keep the momentum going over summer here are a few great tips to keep kids connecting:

  1.  Encourage eye contact:  Vestibular (movement) input is a great way to also help support the visual system.  Have your child swing and encourage him/her to look at you…

Added by Cecilia Cruse on June 2, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Transitions from School to Home for Summer Break

Preparing and planning for summer break ahead of time can make for a successful transition from school, especially for those with sensory processing challenges.

During the school year, teachers and parents create predictable daily routines at school and for homework time. With summer break approaching, parents and caregivers are wise to develop a daily summer “…


Added by Diana Ashby Henry on May 19, 2014 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Marvelous May: Celebrating Better Hearing & Speech Month

As a therapist and a writer, I have always enjoyed alliterations. Even the term is fun to say. Alliteration basically means a series of words in a row that have the same first consonant sound. The classic phrase she sells sea shells down by the sea shore for example comes to mind.  Alliteration is part of normal development of phonological awareness along with rhyming and isolating sounds and all are important components for early literacy skills. Many children with special needs struggle…


Added by Cecilia Cruse on May 5, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments

Autism/OT Month: Understanding the Distinction between Sensory Integration and Sensory-Based Strategies

There are many interventions and treatment techniques for assisting children diagnosed with autism.

Research indicates that about 90% of children diagnosed with autism also have sensory processing challenges. Therefore sensory processing must be evaluated.

Two of my favorite standardized rating scales are the Sensory…


Added by Rick Ruess on April 14, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

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