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.

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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.

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Are We Over-Scheduling Kids? Is It All Work and No Play?

Are We Over-Scheduling Kids? Is It All Work and No Play?

Over-Scheduling kids may cause stress.  Are you over-scheduling your children? Is it all work and no play in your home? Free play vs scheduled activities for children: is there a happy medium? Listen to the wishes of any of your adult friends. What do you hear most often? How they are too busy or too overwhelmed or how life is too hectic and how they are looking forward to a vacation or long weekend to relax and recharge their batteries.  Now listen to your kids, tweens or teens. Listen to your special needs child.  Do they feel the same way?

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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?

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Importance of “Play” for Kids, Tweens, and Teens

Importance of “Play” for Kids, Tweens, and Teens

Jill Howlett Mays, MS, OTR/L was my guest on The Coffee Klatch Tweetchat I hosted a few years back.  We had a marvelous session on some of the topics covered in her book Your Child’s Motor Development Story Understanding and Enhancing Development from Birth to Their First Sport that came out in the Fall of 2011. Our topic of discussion was Importance of “Play” for Kids, Tweens, and Teens. For the first segment of our session I had a Q&A period with Jill and then it was Open Forum so participants could tweet questions or comments.

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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.

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Tips on Helping Siblings of a Child with Special Needs Feel Loved and Important

Tips on Helping Siblings of a Child with Special Needs Feel Loved and Important

How do you make siblings of a child with special needs feel SPECIAL also and a valued part of the family? How can parents schedule their days to have quality time alone with the child who DOES NOT have special needs?  It is a very difficult position for both parents and siblings. What can these parents do? One week this was my topic for The Coffee Klatch Tweetchat I used to moderate. My guest for that topic was Julie Wolfe, both author and illustrator of  My Holly – A Story of a Brother’s Understanding and Acceptance.  This picture book is to help siblings of a child with special needs understand and accept their brother or sister who needs exceptional care.

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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.

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Why Kids Bite Their Nails? Tools, Tips and Tactics to Stop Nail Biting

Why Kids Bite Their Nails? Tools, Tips and Tactics to Stop Nail Biting

Nail biting is one of the most common ‘nervous traits’ in children but if it is not stopped, many times it continues into adulthood. Some children bite their nails because of stress, insecurity, anxiety or boredom. For some, nail biting is a habit or a need for comfort. Like hair twirling, hair chewing, hair tugging, teeth grinding, thumb sucking, finger tapping, and nose picking, nail biting makes you a target for teasing and is a health concern.

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Chewy and Fidget for Kids, Tweens and Teens

Chewy and Fidget for Kids, Tweens and Teens

A chewy and fidget are used to satisfy the needs of many who have an overwhelming urge to chew, bite, and fidget to get on with the day. These sensory oral-motor tools are chewable and wearable chew pendants for people with special needs like autism or that have sensory challenges. Individuals of all ages use them for focusing, calming, alerting, and to increase oral sensory awareness. Many who find transitions difficult, hold on to their familiar chewable necklace and feel less stressed going from home to school and from classroom to different parts of the school.

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Sensory Tools Help a Child to Survive Sensory Overload, Calm and Focus

Sensory Tools Help a Child to Survive Sensory Overload, Calm and Focus

Who likes to drive during rush hour? No one! What is life like for a person with sensory processing disorder (SPD)? An overwhelmed individual with SPD likened his life as having a “traffic jam” in his brain. If your child has sensory issues that often come hand-in-hand with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADD/ADHD, Tourette syndrome, etc. have your child evaluated by a professional. Often the child will be referred to an occupational therapist (OT) who will be able to help your child. What will an OT suggest to parents to help their child with sensory integration issues? Also what exactly is sensory processing disorder?

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