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The Special Needs SCHOOL Survival Guide [Review]

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Be sure to read all the way to the end. I’ve got a GIVEAWAY of this award-winning book!

When Future Horzions asked if I wanted to review Cara Koscinski’s The Special Needs SCHOOL Survival Guide: Handbook for Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, Learning Disabilities & More!, at first I thought I didn’t need it because I’m a homeschooler. Then I realized many of my readers might like to know about it, so I said yes.

Boy, am I glad I did! This is one of those books that I wish I’d had seven years ago at the beginning of my autism journey. I’m also thankful I’ve got my hands on it now, because it’s still very useful to me. Chapters include information on IEPs, therapy, handwriting, fine motor skills, autism, sensory issues, behavior, attention/organizing, and learning disorders. This book is intended for parents who send their child to a school so they can ensure the student gets the help they need. However, I find it very useful as a homeschool parent because Cara tells me activities to do to help my child in different areas.

Let me tell you why I love this book. (more…)

If you have a teen or young adult with autism, discover this book! via

Book Review–A 5 Is Against the Law! Social Boundaries: Straight Up!

The world can be a confusing place for all of us as we mature from child to teenager to adult. Add to that confusion a lack of understanding unwritten social rules, and you can imagine the frustration for those growing up with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Kari Dunn Buron wrote a solution–A 5 Is Against the Law! Social Boundaries: Straight Up! 

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Kari’s book is NOT a rule book. Kari writes plainly and frankly to teens and young adults about how life changes as you grow up and how to deal with that fact. She uses her 5-point scale to teach her readers how others feel and how to use self-control and calming mechanisms. She empowers them with tools and strategies for navigating the awkwardness of life. Using the scale gives common, unemotional ground for spectrum individuals to use as they deal with emotional issues. On page 4 of this easy-to-read book, the scale is this:


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Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist

Marla Roth-Fisch is a Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) advocate, but more importantly, she’s an SPD parent. She knows what parents face when their child has sensory issues. That makes her new book, Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist extra valuable, because you know she’s writing from experience.

A few years ago, Marla Roth-Fisch wrote Sensitive Sam, and Dr. J loved it. The sequel helps sensory kids feel more comfortable about dental visits. What will you find inside? Help.

  • A picture book you can read to your younger children and readers can enjoy solo. Your children will enjoy the bright colors as well as the spot where their finger can show the car where to drive.
  • A social story to prepare your child for the oft-dreaded dentist appointment. You may want to encourage your child to watch Sam’s facial expression to see if it changes through the book. Your child will like knowing he’s not the only one afraid of the dentist.
  • 5 pages of tips for caregivers from dentists
  • 14 pages of tips from special needs parents and therapists

Just like My Friend with Autism, I absolutely love that Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist gives you more bang for your ever-stretched buck! You get not only a valuable social story, but also myriad tips to help you help your anxious child. Depending on your dentist, you might even be able to let your child have a pre-appointment visit and have him show Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist to his dentist–sounds like a good ice breaker to me. Many thanks to Marla and Future Horizons for another valuable tool in the sensory parent tool kit. Check out the book now!

Future Horizons sent me a copy of Sensitive Sam Visits the Dentist for review. All opinions are my own.

I’m putting together a super-duper ebook of survival tips for special needs parents! My newsletters subscribers will be the first to get it…FOR FREE! Just click the button below to sign up and you’ll be in the know.

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Review: Learn to Have Fun with Your Senses

Many parents strive to teach their children independence. Parents of children on the autism spectrum desire independence for their children, too, but sometimes that is harder than it sounds. John Taylor, PhD, offers tweens and teens with sensory issues a chance to take charge of their sensory needs, and that is one of the reasons I love Learn to Have Fun with Your Senses: the Sensory Avoider’s Survival Guide. (more…)

Visual Techniques for Developing Social Skills [Review]

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As an autism parent, have you ever felt at a loss for words when you try to explain a social skill to your child? For example, how in the world do you explain personal space to your child, especially if (s)he currently doesn’t care about people? Rebecca Moyes, MEd, wrote just the book to help: Visual Techniques for Developing Social Skills.

Since kids on the autism spectrum usually need assistance in determining how to act in many social situations, and since they also need visual prompts, Rebecca Moyes created activities using everyday items to help them understand why a social skill is needed, and then how to perform it. She also gives parents and educators just the right words for explanation, without being overly verbose so that you lose the child. (more…)

Instrumental Dreamland–Music for the Soul

I had the pleasure of taking Instrumental Dreamland for a test drive. Here’s part of my review:

Have you ever had a crazy night right before bedtime? A night when the kids are wound up, and hoping they’ll go to sleep seems futile? Ok, you don’t have to raise your hand. I know you’re out there. Instrumental Dreamland is here to help!

With eleven songs in an acoustical style, Instrumental Dreamland will calm your children for sleep. It would also be great for an afternoon break time or background music at dinner. As I was writing this, both my sons were running and stomping around. I asked my six-year-old to put the CD on so we could time it. They both calmed down before the first song was over! That, my friends, is magic that is worth more than $14.98!

You can find the rest of the review over at Home Educating Family Reviews. There’s a giveaway, too, so click over to see how many stars I gave the CD, and enter to win it! (The giveaway widget is on the top right of the review.)

Gabby Mom Review–Welcome Home, Daddy

OK, moms. You are reading this, and most likely no one else is reading over your shoulder. Time for a moment of evaluation. When your husband comes home from work–whether it’s in time for dinner, breakfast, or somewhere in between–do you stop to say “hello” and make him feel glad he’s home? How about the time your family spends together–are you surviving or thriving? (No one is listening to your mental answers, don’t worry.) (more…)