How To Diversify a Diet When A Child Has a Significantly Limited Food Repertoire by Lindsey Biel, OTR/L

How To Diversify a Diet When A Child Has a Significantly Limited Food Repertoire by Lindsey Biel, OTR/L

How to introduce new foods to a child who is a picky eater? The article, “How To Diversify a Diet When A Child Has a Significantly Limited Food Repertoire” appeared in the March-April 2011 issue of the Autism and Asperger’s Digest under the column Sensory Smarts: Happy Mouths, Happy Meals by Lindsey Biel, OTR/L.  It is reprinted with permission of publisher. Please note that we added the photos and added the words KidCompanions Chewelry in this article.

Continue Reading...
3 Comments

Ten Tips for Successful Celebrations for Kids with Autism: Birthdays, Holidays, Family Reunions…

Ten Tips for Successful Celebrations for Kids with Autism: Birthdays, Holidays, Family Reunions…

Holidays and family celebrations are a stress for many families for both parents and children. If you have a child with special needs these celebrations become a dreaded event that most parents would like to cross off their schedules or learn to celebrate differently. Most families like to keep ties with other family members and friends and this is usually done during family gatherings during the holidays or during family celebrations. What can parents do to help kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) be able to enjoy these family reunions and parties and in turn make it a successful celebration for all? How can you help your child with autism develop the social skills needed to interact with others at these social gatherings?

Continue Reading...

KidCompanions Chewelry & SentioCHEWS: SAFE, Sensory Chew Necklaces and Clip-on Fidgets

KidCompanions Chewelry & SentioCHEWS: SAFE, Sensory Chew Necklaces and Clip-on Fidgets

Pierrette and Lorna d’Entremont are co-owners of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd.,  the makers of two  sensory tool lines “KidCompanions Chewelry” and Tougher-than-Silicone SentioCHEWS. Our goal is to help special kids be themselves and thrive. Our sensory chew necklaces and our clip-on fidgets give parents peace of mindKidCompanions Chewelry Clip-on fidget: KidCompanions Chewelry & SentioCHEWS: SAFE, Sensory Chew Necklaces and Clip-on Fidgets and support their children who MUST bite, chew or fidget.

Our chew pendants are SAFE! They are BPA, lead, latex, pcv, and phthalate free and serve as chew necklaces and as handy fidgets!  These age-appropriate, oral-motor tools are sold online and in retail stores as well as in educational and special needs catalogues around the world.

Continue Reading...
10 Comments

Siblings of Children with Autism or Special Needs

Siblings of Children with Autism or Special Needs

On one of the  Coffee Klatch Tweetchats I moderated, my guests were Bobbi Sheahan and Dr. Kathy DeOrnellas, authors of What I Wish I’d Known About Raising a Child with Autism Our topic was: Siblings of Children with Autism or Special Needs and what a lively discussion we had! Let me share our tweets with you. Remember the Twitter restriction of 140 characters. Twitter might not make it eloquent English but the ideas and advice are first rate. Let me tell you a bit about these remarkable ladies.

Continue Reading...
2 Comments

Spring Break Activities For Kids Without Breaking the Bank

Spring Break Activities For Kids Without Breaking the Bank

Teachers and kids are looking forward to it but many parents hate when it rolls around…Yes, it’s Spring Break time again. How can families remove some of the STRESS of Spring Breaks? Many working parents must take time off to care for their children and they want this free week from school and work to be a happy, family event. How to plan Spring Break activities for kids without breaking the bank? Should you be looking for educational, scheduled, paid for activities or just enjoy free from routine, spur of the moment, fun things to do?

Continue Reading...
8 Comments

KidCompanions Chewelry Designed by a Mom Who Knows About Special Needs

KidCompanions Chewelry Designed by a Mom Who Knows About Special Needs

WHO is behind KidCompanions Chewelry? Pierrette d’Entremont, a mom who breast fed her three children, felt there was a need on the market for a safe item to occupy the exploring hands of a baby being fed or held.  Pierrette developed a two-part pendant and a custom breakaway clasp which she called HeartString Baby’s Companions . This process took a while. Then this handy chewy or fidget toy for  infants and toddlers evolved into a sensory oral-motor tool for individuals with special needs. Here is the KidCompanions Chewelry story!

Continue Reading...
8 Comments

Delays in Speech and Language Development: How Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) Help

Delays in Speech and Language Development: How Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) Help

The more I learn about children with special needs, the more I realize the importance for parents of pre-school children to be aware of the developmental milestones of their child from infant on.  I had the pleasure of having Robin Sue Kahn, MS, CCC/SLP (speech language pathologist) twice on our Monday morning The Coffee Klatch Tweetchats when I was moderator.  Ms. Kahn emphasized the importance of seeking help for your very young child the moment you notice delays in speech and language development. In Robin’s tweets, she mentioned speech-related disorders or difficulties in swallowing which is her line of work.

Continue Reading...
7 Comments

Nine Ways How Special Dogs are Helping Children with Special Needs

Nine Ways How Special Dogs are Helping Children with Special Needs

When Jasmine Hall messaged me about her informative post on how dogs are now allowed in schools to help children with special needs feel more secure, happy, and in return more apt to learn, I knew this information would benefit many of our readers. For  students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Asperger’s syndrome (AS), sensory processing disorder (SPD), social anxiety, Tourette’s syndrome, life threatening allergies, etc.  going to school is a challenge.  Getting them ready and willing to go is often a nightmare for the caregivers! Parents, teachers, and therapists should look into the possibility of introducing dogs in the mix of treatment and support.

Continue Reading...
18 Comments

Students with Special Needs – Substitute Teacher: Proactive Steps to Make it Work

Students with Special Needs – Substitute Teacher: Proactive Steps to Make it Work

Teaching in inclusive classrooms is very challenging. Being a substitute teacher  or supply teacher in one is even more difficult. The school administrator and regular teacher can do a lot to make the transition to a substitute teacher go more smoothly for students with special needs. Parents also can prepare their child with special needs so they can accept this change and work well with the relief teacher or casual teacher. What are the steps both the school and parents can take to make a substitute’s stay pleasant and productive for the students with different needs and a positive experience for the substitute teacher?

Continue Reading...
15 Comments

Who Can Benefit from Using Chew Necklaces and Chewy Hand Fidgets?

Who Can Benefit from Using Chew Necklaces and Chewy Hand Fidgets?

Most people cannot start to imagine what parents of children with special needs go through. Most have a hard time to understand that SentioLife Solutions, the Canadian company that designed and assembles chew necklaces made in Canada, receives orders everyday of the year for their mouth and hand chewable fidgets. These chew necklaces bring comfort not only to kids, tweens and teens but more and more adults are relying on them to satisfy their overwhelming urge to chew, bite, and/or fidget.

Continue Reading...
3 Comments

Tips On Helping Picky Eaters Try New Foods and Enjoy Mealtimes

Tips On Helping Picky Eaters Try New Foods and Enjoy Mealtimes

How to Teach Your Child About the Joy of Food? How to make mealtimes a happy time in your family even with a picky eater? Who better to ask than  Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP, author of  Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids: How to Teach Your Child About the Joy of Food! Practical and Surprising Tips from a Pediatric Feeding Specialist  and executive producer of CD Dancing in the Kitchen: Songs That Create the Joy of Food.

Melanie Potock was my guest on The Coffee Klatch Tweetchat when I was moderator and this interview took place on Twitter with its 140 character restriction. We learned about Melanie and her successful book and CD and our feeding specialist tweeted informative answers to parents trying to make “mealtimes a happy time” in their family. Here is part of our Twitter Interview.

Continue Reading...
3 Comments

Tactile Sensitivity – What It Is? TEN Common Signs

Tactile Sensitivity – What It Is? TEN Common Signs


What is tactile sensitivity?

Tactile sensitivity or hypersensitivity is an unusual or increased sensitivity to touch that makes the person feel peculiar, noxious, or even in pain. It is also called tactile defensiveness or tactile over-sensitivity. Like other sensory processing issues, tactile sensitivity can run from mild to severe.  It is thought to be caused by the way the brain processes tactile input. For these individuals, touch makes the person feel overwhelmed and often leads to avoiding touch when possible. They may be sent into fight or flight over very small, everyday touch sensations.

Continue Reading...
83 Comments