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Special events and holidays are often overwhelming for children with special needs, and Valentine's Day has its own unique set of challenges. It starts from the fine-motor skills it takes to cut out a shape or card, write a note/signature, close and seal an envelope, all the way to the pragmatic/social skills needed for participating in the giving/receiving process or attending a party.

Here are a couple of great tips to ensure a successful Valentine's Day experience:

Using photos of familiar faces (classmates, teachers, family) helps children, especially those along the autism spectrum, develop their social participation skills. The card itself becomes a treasured keepsake. Check out more info at HopeLights

Here are some easy crafts projects that are perfect for kids with limited fine-motor/writing skills. Use paper plates or thicker construction paper and cut into desired shapes with loop scissors then finish with glitter pens.

Finally, for the budget minded, here are some sites for downloading free printable Valentine's Day cards. For a small fee some can also be customized which takes the stress out of handwriting and signing each card.

What are your favorite tips to use for Valentine's Day?

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Comment by Cecilia Cruse on February 3, 2012 at 11:54am

Perfect and easy! I just tried the tip below. Again if done on thicker contruction or poster cardboard it adds just enough resistance to help with the bilateral motor skills of managing the paper and scissor accuracy. Thanks for sharing!

Comment by gloria leinbach on February 2, 2012 at 9:56pm

A great way to have kids make a heart is to fold a paper in half and have your child write a big 2 on the folded edge.  And you can smooth it out by outlining it in a dark marker.  Then have the child cut out the folded two, ending up with a symmetrical heart. I like to have them begin cutting on the bottom tip.  

Comment by Cecilia Cruse on January 31, 2012 at 3:42pm

What a lovely idea.... and great for sequencing and motor planning skills. Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Kelly H on January 31, 2012 at 1:24pm

We like to bake cookies for our Valentines and then put a computer-printed sticker label on the bag. Sometimes we  hand-decorate the labels, but it's not necessary. It's fun and easy -- both the baking part and putting on the stickers.

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