Their Stories

“Their Stories” is where we will celebrate the “Big Abilities” of children with developmental disabilities.

I’d love to feature YOUR child on Big Abilities!  Click the link below!

Click here to tell me all about your child’s “Big Abilities!”

 

 

Using Video to Create Social Stories

Amy shares how social story videos help her son with new and/or challenging experiences and offers step-by-step suggestions for creating your own.

 

 

If you were going to explain what happens during a haircut to a young child with Autism, which of the above photos do you think would be more effective?  Obviously the one on the left.

When my son was about two years old I went to a workshop on using visual aides with children who are in early intervention.  Early intervention is the period of time between birth and three for children with developmental delays.  The participants were given tons of what is called “social stories” using clip art like shown above on the right.  Social stories are basically visual aides created to help support a person with autism in social situations.

During the workshop I was thinking, my son who is non-verbal, has severe receptive language delays, impulsivity and inattentiveness will not be able to grasp meaning from something so abstract.  I couldn’t even make out what some the images were.  The people were either egg heads or stick figures.  Maybe for more verbal or older children these images might work, but not for my child. However, I did love the concept.  I decided to tweak the idea and use what I knew would work, pictures and video of him. Continue reading “Using Video to Create Social Stories”

A Trip to the Supermarket Can Be So Much More Than a Trip to the Supermarket!

Amy shares how she uses Supermarket trips with her son, Barclay, to target specific developmental goals.

IMG_9016A year ago, trips to the supermarket with my son, Barclay, were not pleasant. Barclay has a speech disorder, ADHD and ASD. It was sensory overload, for both of us!  He’d try to wriggle out of the cart, throw items from cart and grab things as we walked by aisles.  But part of the problem was also me.  I’d go to the supermarket when I needed to go rather than when would be a good time for him. I’d go with a list a mile long and be distracted hunting for things while expecting him to just be patient.  It didn’t work. Continue reading “A Trip to the Supermarket Can Be So Much More Than a Trip to the Supermarket!”

The Outdoor Classroom: A Visit to the Park Can Be a Brain Booster for Developmentally Delayed Toddlers

Amy shares how important it is to “get off the bench” and engage with your child at the park.

WalkingChildren love to be outside and the research is undeniable that physical activity is so important for them.  For my little guy, Barclay, physical activity is imperative!  He has profound ADHD, in addition to a speech delay and ASD, so if I don’t make the time to help him get the urge to move out, then it’s going to come out regardless!  But physical activity for children with developmental delays does more than give them an outlet to release energy, it is a prime environment for learning!  Continue reading “The Outdoor Classroom: A Visit to the Park Can Be a Brain Booster for Developmentally Delayed Toddlers”

Making Screen Time Interactive for Children with Developmental Delays

Amy shares how parents can turn sedentary screen time into an interactive and engaging experience.

 

elmoScreen’s often get a bad rap in the parenting world, especially when speaking about children with developmental disabilities. Overuse is a serious problem and understandably so.  A study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that many children are spending an average of 7.5 hours a day in front of a screen SITTING.  Add to that how much time children spend sitting in schools, doing homework, in cars, at the table eating and the number becomes staggering.  Yet the research proves that MOVEMENT (not sitting) in children increases memory, perception, language, attention and decision-making.  All of these are areas our children with developmental disabilities need help with. Continue reading “Making Screen Time Interactive for Children with Developmental Delays”

Using Sign Language to Help Move Your Child Along the Language Continuum

Amy shares how she used sign language to help bridge the gap in communication as her son learned to speak.

baby signing timeBarclay was diagnosed with a severe language delay at around 20 months and later more specifically a disorder called Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS).  He was in speech therapy, but progress was slow.  I started learning that sign language can help bridge the gap in communication skills for late talkers.  I found a program called Baby Signing Time by Rachel Coleman and we started using it with Barclay a few months before his second birthday. Continue reading “Using Sign Language to Help Move Your Child Along the Language Continuum”

Our Childhood Apraxia of Speech Journey

Amy shares her son Barclay’s journey with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

CASBarclay spoke his first two-word phrase at around 18 months old.  He was waving and said “Bye, Dada” as his dad, Brent, left for work one morning.  However, that would be the last time for a very long time we would hear Barclay utter a two word, or even a one word phrase.  In fact, Barclay would regress in his speech to the point that he almost became nonverbal. Continue reading “Our Childhood Apraxia of Speech Journey”