All posts in Special Needs

Special Needs Books for Kids ages 4-16

Special Needs Books for Kids ages 4-16

Please welcome my guest author today, Sandra Woffington, with a special needs book list. Her book, Evil Speaks: Warriors and Watchers Saga #1,  is a middle grade novel that follows teens with disabilities on an epic, mythological adventure. Sandra is a middle school teacher who is passionate about teaching her students not to just tolerate those with differences – but include them.

Evil Speaks not only takes young readers on an epic mythological journey, it helps to break down stereotypes and encourage inclusion of people from all walks of life.

Evil Speaks follows the journey of this unique crew, along with Benny, a lonely fifteen-year-old whose paranoid mother has moved him from town to town after the disappearance of his father at age three. Benny has had enough. After a particularly bad argument, he decides to run away. Just as he packs his bags—boom!—the house explodes, catapulting Benny into a world he never imagined existed. The trail leads him to a gated neoclassic building in the woods where he meets this unlikely band of heroes, all who seem vaguely familiar to Benny. As unique and different as they all are, they share one common thread: each of them lost a parent on the exact same day. As they set out to uncover the mystery, the only clue they have to follow is the whereabouts of Benny’s grandfather, a strange—and dangerous—man. They must quickly learn to become warriors before the seven gates of evil are opened forever. [chapter book with special need blind, deaf, and paraplegic, for ages 8 and up]

p.s. See a longer Special Needs Reading List here. Read more…

comfort cube fidget toy

This New Fidget Toy, Comfort Cube, Could Help With Anxiety

Anxiety and stress are real problems in the real world. There have been several technological advancements made to decrease anxiety, but some people just can’t manage to escape it. Even minor issues such as a low smartphone charge stresses some people out. So what’s the solution?How can we alleviate anxiety and stress?  A new device called Comfort Cube, could come in handy.

What is the Comfort Cube?

Comfort Cube is both a desk gadget and fidget toy. The primary function of the device is to decrease stress, promote relaxation, and increase focus. The cube’s lightweight design and small size means it does not use up much room. And this means you can store it inside a kitchen cabinet or desk drawer, and also in your pocket, purse, or your vehicle’s center console.

fidget toy helps with anxiety Read more…

Wheelchair Books for Kids: Iron Man Exoskeletons

Wheelchair Books for Kids: Iron Man Exoskeletons

International Wheelchair Day is always 1st March and is an annual day of events and activities which take place around the World when wheelchair users celebrate the positive impact a wheelchair has on their lives. This video of a modified “Iron Man” suit inspired this book list.

Lego wheelchair mini figure

Another interesting tidbit that I found is that Lego is introducing a new wheelchair mini figure. Read more…

Making Math Fun!

Making Math Fun!

Please welcome my guest blogger, Michele Williams, Ph.D., who has a math tutoring company. Today she will be sharing tried-and-true ideas for making math fun for kids!

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I can’t think of anything more rewarding than tutoring, especially in math. That’s why I spent nights and weekends helping family and friends with math during my years as an engineer, and it’s why I eventually made the transition to tutoring full time. What could be better than helping a child go from “I can’t do fractions” to “Fractions are fun!”? Read more…

Volunteering at Special Surfer Night in Kennebunk

Special Surfer Night in Maine

When we were first went on a vacation in Kennebunkport, Maine, we stumbled upon a surf shop called Aquaholics. I’m from a little beach town in Southern California, so finding a surf shop in New England is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. They offered surfing lessons and Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyKidPix wanted to give it a try. Thus began their great love of surfing five years ago.

speciall surf night maineRead more…

FREE Resources on Bullying, IEPs, Dyslexia and More

FREE Resources on Bullying, IEPs, Dyslexia and More

Today I wanted to share some great resources via the National Center for Learning Disabilities. The best part? These toolkits and e-books are FREE!!

Free E-Book: IEP Basics for Parents of Students with LDRead more…

special needs and ncld

Special Needs Resources for Parents

Thank you to everyone who took time to give me feedback on my last sponsored post on Special Needs Resources for Parents from The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). Many of you left kind comments that this was useful stuff so I will continue to highlight resources from the NCLD.

As this is the holiday season, I thought I would start with some timely topics to help reduce the stress during this busy time of year.

 

How to Deal With Relatives Who Don’t “Believe” in Learning and Attention Issues

“She has such a hard time controlling that child.”

“Oh, it’s only a stage. He’ll grow out of it.”

If you hear frustrating comments like this, here’s some great advice from NCLD on how to respond:

When you get these kinds of comments, take a deep a breath and try not to be defensive. Instead, try to talk with your mother or whoever is doubting you. Keep in mind this person may be coming from a well-intentioned place and may not want to see flaws in your child. Sometimes generational differences can be a factor. Issues like ADHD may not have been as well known or as widely discussed when you were a kid. There may also be an element of denial. More here.

NCLDRead more…

National Center for Learning Disabilities Resources for Parents

National Center for Learning Disabilities Resources for Parents

I’m proud to be an ambassador for the National Center for Learning Disabilitites (NCLD) and even though my three children are typicals, I think that all kids benefit from a deeper understanding and empathy for their classmates with special needs. For my kids, diversity no longer means skin color or whether their classmates have two moms. These are non-issues for them (and what wonderful progress in terms of Civil Rights!).

Instead, they will benefit immensely from a deeper understanding their classmates with learning disabilities that may not be obvious to them. This is the new millennium diversity issue and helping everyone succeed will make us a stronger community.

I wanted to share the great resources they have in the hopes that it helps parents. Here are four examples of the information they provide.

National Center for Learning Disabilities Resources

What’s the difference between ADD and ADHD?

The biggest difference is that kids with ADHD are hyperactive—they can’t sit still and are so restless that teachers quickly notice their rambunctious behavior and begin to suspect there might be attention issues involved.

Kids with ADD might fly under the radar a bit longer because they aren’t bursting with energy and disrupting the classroom. Instead, they often appear shy, daydreamy, or off in their own world. More here.

ADD versus ADHD Read more…

teaching kids compassion for special needs classmates, Understanding Our Differences, books for kids with special needs characters

Teaching Kids Compassion for Special Needs Classmates

I volunteered in the 5th grade a few weeks ago for a really great program run by volunteer moms called Understanding Our Differences. I believe we purchase curriculum from a Newton based non-profit with the same name which was started by a Newton parent with a special needs child. It’s basically sensitivity training for grades 3 through 5, possibly even younger.

Understanding Our Differences Makes a Difference

Understanding Our Differences sponsored author R. J. Palacio of Wonder as well to speak at our local high school as well and I run into them on Twitter. Small world, isn’t it?

I am not a coordinator. I just show to help run the breakout sessions. This was the final session for the 5th graders and we combined in two units that day: Physical Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders, focusing on Asperger’s Syndrome.

Understanding Our Differences, special needs education for kids, physical disabilities, spectrum disorders sensitivity training for kids, Newton School District, Newton MARead more…