My Special Needs Network

A network to share best practices for children with special needs

September 2010 Blog Posts (21)

International Multi-Sensory Environment (MSE) Symposium

This week I am off to Birmingham, AL to attend the 8th Annual International MSE Symposium October 1-3. This is great opportunity to hear about the latest research and uses for Multi-Sensory Environments. Children with cognitive impairments, behavior disorders or those along the autism spectrum are just a portion of the special needs population that is thought to benefit from MSE's.

There are bubble tubes for vibration and calming, ceiling…

Added by Cecilia Cruse on September 29, 2010 at 12:00pm — 4 Comments

Stand Up for Attention!

Little John won't sit down and in fact he is kneeling, standing, leaning backward or upside down more than he's sitting. Sound familiar? So what is your take on kids standing in the classroom? Do you find it disruptive? Have you found it helpful? Maybe you've tried super-gluing their rear ends to the chair?

Well, lets take a look at standing and what it does. Standing has many physical benefits. Calcium is actually laid down when we stand and pressure is exerted through our bones… Continue

Added by Ilana, School Specialty PT on September 27, 2010 at 9:00am — No Comments

Fidgets: Toys or Tools

Are fidgets just toys that should be put away at the sound of the bell? Are fidgets really a Special Needs’ tool to be used all day at home and in class with the blessing of both parents and teachers and on the recommendation of professionals?



Added by Lorna d'Entremont on September 25, 2010 at 1:30pm — No Comments

URGENT: Tools that REALLY WORK for ADD. No pill bottles required!

Listen To This! Got deadlines? Need to enhance your productivity? Hom ework struggles?

These are tools Miss Sue swears by:

First, do something PHYSICAL. If you are helping a child, a trampoline, swing, bungee jumper or jump rope give best results. …


Added by Sue Wilkinson on September 24, 2010 at 1:00pm — No Comments

ADHD Body and Brain Work in Tandem

"The Body Affects the Brain as Much as the Brain Affects the Body"

It is known that half the kids who have ADHD are easily…


Added by Lorna d'Entremont on September 24, 2010 at 8:30am — 2 Comments

What It Is Like To Be a Special Needs Mom

A Special Needs mom is on duty 24/7. Moms of Special Needs kids run ragged dealing with all the added responsibilities. They find it almost impossible to maintain balance and harmony in their hectic lives.…


Added by Lorna d'Entremont on September 23, 2010 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Taking Breaks to Stay on Task

Do you have a student that...

1. keeps changing position in his chair?

2. asks frequently to go use the bathroom but doesn't really have to go?

3. makes several trips to his cubby to get his supplies?

All these students may be trying to regulate their own sensory system to stay alert and focused. Try replacing these inappropriate actions with more suitable "movement breaks" during the day.

1. The wiggly seat student could take a few… Continue

Added by Cecilia Cruse on September 22, 2010 at 5:00pm — No Comments

Overdiagnosis of ADHD for Children Who are the Youngest in Class

For years, it was thought that ADHD was over diagnosed. Now, the most recent research is showing that within a classroom of children, the youngest of those children are being over diagnosed. These children with later birth dates might be looked at as more immature compared to their peers but in fact are just age-appropriate.

There are many…

Added by Tobi Isaacs on September 22, 2010 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Special needs teen

Thats wonderful to have a park to take special needs chidren. However,what about special needs teens? Theya are in need of recreational activities also.I find as your child get older, less services and programming are available. I will keep on PUSHING.

Added by GraciWhite on September 21, 2010 at 6:22am — 1 Comment

Finger Fidgets For Focus

We all fidget. We fidget when we’re bored, when we’re tired and when we’ve been still for too long. We fidget to pay attention. Fidgeting actually stimulates our neural responses and can increase blood circulation to our brain and extremities. If you are witnessing a child who seems to fidget a lot, chances are his body is telling you that it needs movement. Often that is not possible and so hand and foot fidgets offer a great alternative and stress… Continue

Added by Ilana, School Specialty PT on September 20, 2010 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

"Making A Difference" in RtI...the CATT Center Rocks Cincinnati!

Today, Mary Miracle's voice on the phone was jubilant! She just delivered 2 CATT Centers and attended the teacher trainings done by Toni Schulken, occupational therapist. "This is the most important work day I have had in three years. What we are doing with these CATT Centers ...IS REALLY MAKING A…

Added by Sue Wilkinson on September 17, 2010 at 7:00pm — 2 Comments

Backpack Awareness Day This Month!




September 21, 2011 is the designated date for this year's National School Backpack Awareness Day, now in its 11th year! This annual event is designed to bring awareness to a growing problem in our schools...students with back injuries caused by ill fitting and/or excessive weight in backpacks. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported over 7,000 injuries that were treated in emergency rooms in the U.S…


Added by Cecilia Cruse on September 15, 2010 at 7:00am — 4 Comments

Decreasing Hyperactivity Increases Focus and Attention

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can have a major impact on how well a child can focus and attend to tasks. For a school-age child, this can have an impact on their school work, their ability to be a successful student, and can even cause social difficulties. Children with ADHD are typically impulsive and hyper. They can be easily distracted, have a short attention span, and can easily be bored or restless. Decreasing these distracting behaviors can result in increased…


Added by Tobi Isaacs on September 14, 2010 at 11:45pm — 4 Comments

Organize Me, Please!

For many special needs children, the ability to self-modulate is very difficult and their internal organizer is challenged at best. We often want to think that this is because they are not thinking properly or not processing properly. This may in fact be true, yet, often the source of their disorganized habits lie deep within their musculoskeletal structure. A morning routine of stretching, swinging, walking or playing ball can put even the most disorganized child right into military… Continue

Added by Ilana, School Specialty PT on September 12, 2010 at 8:00am — No Comments

ADHD Awareness Week Sept 13-17th. ADHD Is REAL.


Added by Sue Wilkinson on September 10, 2010 at 9:41pm — No Comments

Research Shows Ball Chairs are Good for Students with Attention Issues

Exercise or therapy balls are moving their way out from just gym class and into the classrooms as a method to improve focus and attention! Here is a great article from USA Today about a Classroom in Colorado where one smart teacher decided to replace some of her classroom chairs with ball chairs. Click here…


Added by Cecilia Cruse on September 8, 2010 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Organize Your Thoughts: Stop, Think And Speak!

There is an inherent organization to our speech and language skills. Although most children generally learn speech and language milestones in order, some kids may have more trouble understanding concepts than others.

Infants begin speech patterns with coos then babbling. They have consonant verb (CV) sounds which change into CVCV combinations. They first learn vowels then move on to easy sounds such as “b” or “m.” As babies become toddlers,…


Added by Tobi Isaacs on September 7, 2010 at 1:00pm — No Comments

10 Ways to Prepare Kids' Bodies To Pay Attention in School!

Paying attention requires the use of our ENTIRE body (not just the brain). So to rev your kids up for a great day of attentiveness, I’ve prepared a list of 10 ways to prepare their bodies to think, write, read, listen and create. These activities can be done throughout the day, in-between lessons or right before a test. In addition, I recommend 10 of each but even 5 can do the trick.

1) Streeeeeeetch! Have your kids stand up and reach up as high as they can and then…

Added by Ilana, School Specialty PT on September 5, 2010 at 8:00am — No Comments

ADHD...Are We Overmedicating Our Kids?

There are NO answers in this blog...unfortunately.

My friend said to me this morning, 'doesn't everyone meet the criteria for ADHD? My brother was just diagnosed and he's an adult. They put him on medication!'

The ADHD debates seem endless:

Is ADHD a real diagnosis or is it only based on subjective…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on September 3, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments

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