My Special Needs Network

A network to share best practices for children with special needs

May 2011 Blog Posts (26)

The R Word

Typically I write about how technology enhances the educational experience of children with special needs, but I have to divert this post to something that has spoken to me to such a degree that I had to share it. A friend of mine and Intuitive Parenting author Deb Snyder shared a blog post from a friend of hers whose own son used the word "retard". Now, she is the parent of two beautiful… Continue

Added by Hillary Brumer on May 31, 2011 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments

Join me for my upcoming Webinar Sensory Play for All Children

Join Occupational Therapist and Inclusion Advocate Ingrid M. Kanics, OTR/L for this enlightening webinar. Participants will learn about the seven senses as well as how the brain integrates and uses this sensory information in everyday activities. The webinar will provide participants with activities in each sensory area that can be used to help children explore and integrate sensory information in their daily lives


Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - Time: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.…


Added by Ingrid M. Kanics on May 31, 2011 at 12:51pm — No Comments

Spring Roars into Summer with Natural Disasters

The month of May is usually associated with finishing those end of the year IEP meetings at school, then making plans for summer camp, family vacations, and juggling day care responsibilities. But for many American families this past month has been inundated with back to back natural disasters that have stolen…


Added by Cecilia Cruse on May 26, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

What Would You Do....if You Saw a Child with Disabilities Being Verbally Abused?


Unfortunately, verbal abuse of children with disabilities happens, but even worse is when people stand by and do nothing about it. Some people are acutely aware and sensitive to situations that may happen in public and feel compelled to speak up like some in the above video. Others, may not feel as comfortable. This is clearly a type of bullying. Bullying happens in many facets to many different people. It is our obligation as teachers, therapists, and parents to…


Added by Tobi Isaacs on May 24, 2011 at 11:00pm — 2 Comments

Let's Go On A Hike!

Outings are a wonderful part of summer, and exploring the great outdoors is fun for ALL kids. Being outside includes physical, sensory and emotional benefits. State parks are full of hiking trails and make wonderful destinations. However, hiking can be limiting for those with physical challenges. One great…


Added by Ilana, School Specialty PT on May 24, 2011 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Daughter with Wolfhirshorn Syndrome.


I have a daughter with Wolfhirshorn Syndrome.  I was wondering if any one out there knows of a summer camp with education involvement in the area of Colorado?


Added by Karine on May 24, 2011 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

Traveling With a Child with Special Needs

Traveling by car this summer? You're not alone, but, if you're traveling with a special needs child, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. Stop that feeling by planning ahead. Make a list, and check it twice. Think about your daily routines and the items you might not be able to easily locate while away (feeding devices,… Continue

Added by Ilana, School Specialty PT on May 23, 2011 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Off and Running!

Summer travel time can be difficult for children with communication impairments. These kids are no longer in their own environment comfortable in their daily routine. In order to ensure smooth travels, it's imperative to offer your child a functional and useful way to communicate their needs.

Be sure to make…


Added by Tobi Isaacs on May 20, 2011 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Summer of Celebration

“May Madness” weighs heavily on anyone connected to the school system – teacher, parent, service provider, student – even the custodians are called upon to do more at this time of year. It’s busy, it’s exhilarating, and -- let’s face it – it’s exhausting!

I suspect you can relate when I say:  I’m ready for…


Added by Elaine Taylor-Klaus on May 19, 2011 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

Enjoyable Family Vacations Use Proper Planning

School is almost out and that means planning family vacation time. Remember, schedule changes, transitions and general travel fatigue can be a challenge to any child's sensory system, especially children with special needs.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind:


· Pick your vacation spot wisely. Choose a destination that meets your child's sensory preferences. A beach outing, for example, may not be the best choice if the child has tactile (touch)…


Added by Cecilia Cruse on May 19, 2011 at 5:00pm — No Comments

A Journey Through Life With My 27 Year Old Autistic Daughter

My daughter was diagnosed as DD when she was 12 months old, then changed to MIMH when she entered public school. Even though I tried to get it done earlier, she was in third grade before the autism label was added.

It has been an interesting journey for both of us; sometimes heart breaking, some horrific experiences, sometimes very humorous and sometimes ridiculous. I think we have lived through just about every school experience there is; great ones and terrible ones. Many times I…


Added by Gloria Doty on May 19, 2011 at 4:56pm — 1 Comment

Classroom Makeovers: The Key to Student Success?

As part of RtI (Response to Intervention) and Evidence Based Practice, schools must consider not only the Curriculum, but the Instructor, the Learner and the Environment for learning. We are passionate about revolutionizing the classroom with this topic and have spent the past several months blogging on…


Added by Cecilia Cruse on May 19, 2011 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Early Exposure to Literacy-Bieber Fever!

The earlier we start reading to our children, the better. They may not be able to make coherent or meaningful sounds as infants, but they do listen. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that 35% of American children start kindergarten without the language skills they need to learn to read. This is a sad statistic considering early literacy begins when they are born. Some may argue that it is…


Added by Tobi Isaacs on May 17, 2011 at 10:00pm — 4 Comments

Transitions....for Life

As a child and even young adult I always felt "off kilter" when I was going through a transition. This feeling of uneasiness would come over me and put me into a slight depression. I never liked Sunday evenings as I knew that the weekday and schoolday were soon approaching and changing gears was difficult…


Added by Ilana, School Specialty PT on May 16, 2011 at 8:30am — 3 Comments

When It Comes To Seating...Think Outside the Box!

Teachers and therapists are creative when it comes to knowing what kids need to learn best! For one preK teacher of children with special needs, she really thought outside the box. OR, inside the box if the box is a…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on May 16, 2011 at 2:30am — 2 Comments

Listening Lotto=Literacy enjoyment!

Teachers need a variety of tools in their kit to address a vast array of learning needs and styles. One of my tried and true favorite tools is Listening Lotto. It's a perfect way to develop early listening and literacy skills in students. Furthermore, it also reinforces social behaviors such as turn-taking, being a good sport, and playing with others. A spin on the classic "Bingo" games, Listening Lotto offers visual and auditory feedback, plus the kinesthetic process of matching cards. It's…


Added by Hillary Brumer on May 13, 2011 at 9:30am — 5 Comments

Stand Up For Attention

As an OT working with teachers and parents, one of the most frequent questions I am asked is, "How can I get my student/child to sit still?" The answer may lie, not in sitting, but in standing! When standing to work, many students get the additional kinesthetic input their bodies need to help stay alert…


Added by Cecilia Cruse on May 12, 2011 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

WHAT IS Contributing to the Rise in Autism?

I was astonished to see this article which reads that 1 in 38 children in South Korea have autism! I couldn't believe my eyes and kept reading to see the problems with the study so my mind could easily dispell the article as pure bogus. The study was very comprehensive…


Added by Tobi Isaacs on May 10, 2011 at 1:30pm — 5 Comments

Child With Aspergers Flourishes at Town and Country School






The Abiliations PeaPod is really a hit! Look how it helped one boy to be able to "attend" at school. See how schools are using alternative seating solutions with our hard work and creativity:…


Added by Ilana, School Specialty PT on May 9, 2011 at 8:00am — 3 Comments

Use Technology to help Students Love Literacy!

The power of technology, when used wisely, can greatly benefit our students. As an Assistive Technology Specialist, I am looking for ways to use technology as a tool to motivate, engage, and enhance learning. One of my favorite ways to do this is by using interactive books on devices such as the…


Added by Hillary Brumer on May 5, 2011 at 4:00pm — 6 Comments

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