Discover why one autism mom loves this book! via

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…)

Come on over and discover some new articles to read! via

For My Readers: New People to Read

Happy Monday, friends! Today is the last day of Darren Rowse’s Blogging Groove challenge. If you’ve missed the rest of my posts from this challenge, here you go…

Day 1: List (Ironically, I wrote this one the day before I knew about the challenge, and it fit!) “7 Reasons I Homeschool My Child with Special Needs Instead of Sending Him to School

Day 2: FAQ, “How Do You Deal with Those Who Think You Shouldn’t Homeschool Your Child with Special Needs?”

Day 3: Review, “The Special Needs SCHOOL Survival Guide

Day 4: Story, “The Day My Son with Autism Broke My Heart

Day 5: How-To, “How to Be a Friend to an Autism Parent During a Child’s Meltdown

Day 6: Discussion Starter, “How Do You Do Special Needs Therapy at Home?

Do you know what one of the best parts of the challenge has been? Meeting new bloggers and seeing the different ways people respond to blog post challenges–the variety of topics and twists.

I’ve come across some posts that I thought you might like. They all relate to my readers in one way or another. Let me know which one interests you the most!

  • When I read this post by an autism mum in Australia, it struck me how much alike we special needs parents are. Though each of our children have different challenges, we experience many of the same things.
  • I know many of my readers like alternatives to chemical cleaners. Over at the Hippy Home, you can learn about non-toxic cleaners.
  • Many of you are busy parents like me. I don’t know about you, but because I work from home and my job uses the computer, I feel like I’m on the computer much of the day. I often feel like I’m neglecting my boys. I love the Post-It Note idea in this post idea in this post on saying yes to our kids and no to distractions!

There’s a new kid on the special needs homeschooling block, and I hope you’ll click on over and say hello. To get an idea for her voice, read this post on why she chose to homeschool her son with severe autism.

It’s your turn! Which one of those new-to-me posts did you enjoy the most? Tell me in the comments!

Discover why this #specialneeds mom taught her sons to knit! via

Knitting as Therapy

When I lost my job at the end of October, I ended up with a lot of time on my hands unexpectedly. I needed something to do to fill the many hours that had once belonged to someone else. I am not a crafty person. In fact, my idea of a trip to Joann Fabrics, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby is in and out. Ten minutes or less.

I had wanted to try loom knitting with the boys for a while, but hadn’t gotten to it. I thought it might be good occupational therapy for Dr. J. I also thought it would be an opportunity for the boys to reach out to others. For example, we could make hats for babies in the hospital or waiting for adoption.

So, at the beginning of November, I gathered up some coupons and purchased the boys and I some knitting looms. My mom gave me a good-sized starter stash of yarn, and it was on.

I was right. Knitting is good occupational therapy for both boys. It helps them both develop coordination skills. They are also learning patience and perseverance, as well as thinking of others.

For me, it’s therapy for me for a different reason. I feel like I can “sit and do nothing” and yet be productive at the same time. Often I listen to Food Network’s Chopped while I knit. I have gotten to the point where it is also calming for me. I actually enjoy it! I never thought I’d enjoy knitting.

I have a huge stash of yarn now. I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I learn a new project and get it right. I actually miss it when I don’t have time for it for a few weeks. Clearance yarn in the store now makes me pause. I drool over my friend Monica’s hand-spun yarns. (Visit her shop if you love yarn! Use coupon RAINDROP for 11% off until April 30!)

I don’t think the boys enjoy it as much as I do, but they do like it. Each of them also get big smiles when they finish a project. Dr. J’s first hat was for the toddler downstairs and then he made a hat for his new baby cousin. Noah made a hat for a baby who’s been in and out of the hospital. We are all working on projects for an auction to help raise funds for a pediatric cancer camp.

Learn why one #specialneeds mom taught her sons to knit! via
Meatball making a hat for Baby Lucy


Learn why one #specialneeds mom taught her sons to knit! via
Dr. J giving Baby Meg her hat

It’s not hard to learn. There’s lots of tutorials on YouTube if you don’t understand the written instructions that come with your loom. My favorite is Tuteate. I highly encourage it for boosting confidence and coordination skills.

What hobby do you do with your children? How do you use it to bless others? I’d love to hear!
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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Learn about Family Hope Center's #specialneeds program! via

Family Hope Center Therapy: A Year Later

I know I haven’t written here in months, and I know this will be a fast post. However, some people have wondered what’s happened with Dr. J’s therapy since I went to training at the Family Hope Center last summer. I just completed a re-evaluation to see where he falls. At first I was very depressed because he came out as an infant. HUH?

After trying not to cry, I figured I did something wrong in the calculating. I tore through my notes, and lo! I had! Now, here’s reality.

The only thing I’ve done since the training is the therapy laps (creeping and crawling) and a few nutrition tweaks. I did not do any of the sensory therapy. I didn’t even reach the full number of laps. I was trying to have both boys do laps and some days it’s really frustrating to keep on top of that in a one-bedroom apartment with squirrely boys!

So, imagine my surprise when…

Dr. J has gained 17% brain function. He gained 13.5 months in neurological age ABOVE the 12 that he aged! (He gained 25.5 months total.) I am very excited.

So, if you’re curious about Family Hope Center, all I can say is look at his numbers on the partial program. That’s all, folks!

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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