The Fallout of a Disrupted Routine

I recently read a quote, “It’s never the same day twice, but don’t dare change the routine!” If you are the parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I am sure you can relate!

3 Simple Positive Behavior Strategies You Can Implement Today!

If you are the parent of a child with exceptional needs and are using the same techniques your parents used while raising you, or that you’ve used with your children who don’t have exceptional needs, it’s probably not working. But, here are three strategies that will!

Pod 36: My Conversation with Rosemarie Griffin of ABA Speech

Rose is an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She divides her time between a public school and her own private practice- ABA SPEECH. ABA SPEECH provides specialized in person and teletherapy speech therapy services across 10 states including California, Ohio and Florida.  Rose is the creator of the Autism OutreachContinue reading Pod 36: My Conversation with Rosemarie Griffin of ABA Speech

Optimizing Your Home Environment to Help Your Exceptional Needs Family Thrive

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Family’s of children with exceptional needs often spend a great deal of time looking for resources and providers outside the home, and understandably so. However, it is equally important to focus attention on what is happening inside the home as well. The following suggestions can help your exceptional needs familyContinue reading Optimizing Your Home Environment to Help Your Exceptional Needs Family Thrive

Former Umatilla Middle School Staff Member Working to Support Families of Children With Exceptional Needs

(previously published in The North Lake Outpost) I spent most of my childhood and professional career in Umatilla, Florida. My family moved to North Lake County in 1980, and I joined the staff at Umatilla Middle School in 2005 as Media Specialist and Television Production teacher. I left Umatilla Middle School to be a full-timeContinue reading Former Umatilla Middle School Staff Member Working to Support Families of Children With Exceptional Needs

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

A Google search of the phrase “what is autism spectrum disorder” will net you about 46,700,000 results in 0.62 seconds. Many of those results are full of complex medical jargon, paid advertisements, obsolete information, and misconstrued facts. It’s understandable that so many people both inside and outside the autism community do not have an accurateContinue reading What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

How to Structure an Effective Parent-Teacher Conference From the Parent’s POV

Educators often schedule parent-teacher conferences regularly to discuss with parents their child’s academic progress and struggles as well as behavior and social-emotional development. For families of children with exceptional needs, the interactions between home and school are typically greater than for general education students. But what happens when a parent, rather than the teacher, requestsContinue reading How to Structure an Effective Parent-Teacher Conference From the Parent’s POV

My Recent Conversation with The Autism Dad, Rob Gorski

Recently, I had the pleasure of a follow-up conversation with The Autism Dad, Rob Gorksi. Rob and I spoke about my family’s experience with COVID, about the judgement and negative comments families impacted by autism often receive, how to address them, the danger of eloping for children on the spectrum, some of the new services being offered by Collaborative Corner for Exceptional Children, and more.

It is always a pleasure speaking with Rob and I know you’ll benefit from our conversation!

Check it out!Continue reading My Recent Conversation with The Autism Dad, Rob Gorski

The Prodigal Daughter

I typically write about our family’s experiences in raising a child with developmental disabilities, but not always. I wrote this piece months ago when my youngest daughter was struggling. She’s overcome so much in a short time. I am so proud of her! It is my desire that this message can give you hope if you have a child struggling to find their way. And to tell you this, never give up!Continue reading The Prodigal Daughter

The Most Important Skills to Teach Your Child With Autism – Words by Liz Talton

It is an honor to feature on Big Abilities guest blogger, Liz Talton. Liz is the author and creator of Pitter Patter of Baby Feet, a website dedicated to families trying to conceive, fertility, pregnancy, mental health, and anything related to motherhood. Before starting a family, Liz received her master’s degree in forensic psychology and mental health. She is now a full-time blogger, wife, and mother to two boys, ages three and six months.Continue reading The Most Important Skills to Teach Your Child With Autism – Words by Liz Talton

How to Take Care of the Most Important Person in Your Child’s Support System – You!

Parents and caregivers are often guilty of overlooking their own needs as they work to deal with the significant needs of their child. However, neglecting your needs can have a negative impact on your ability to handle the stress and responsibilities that having an exceptional child often entail.Continue reading How to Take Care of the Most Important Person in Your Child’s Support System – You!

How to Explain Autism Spectrum Disorder to Children – Part 2

Explaining Autism Spectrum Disorder to children can be challenging as ASD is so complex. So I created a resource to help make it easier. I took the familiar story of Goldilocks, giving her characteristics that someone on the spectrum might exhibit. This free resource includes an audio version of the story, a free downloadable PDF of the story and a detailed Discussion Guide. Continue reading How to Explain Autism Spectrum Disorder to Children – Part 2

How to Explain Autism Spectrum Disorder to Children – Part 1

Explaining Autism Spectrum Disorder to children can be challenging as ASD is so complex. So I created a resource to help make it easier. I took the familiar story of Goldilocks, giving her characteristics that someone on the spectrum might exhibit. This free resource includes an audio version of the story, a free downloadable PDF of the story and a detailed Discussion Guide. Continue reading How to Explain Autism Spectrum Disorder to Children – Part 1

Melissa and Doug Fresh Mart: a Great Tool For Teaching Life Skills

I love buying my son toys that serve a valuable function. We have had this Melissa and Doug Fresh Mart for a couple of years and we love role playing shopping at our favorite grocery store, Publix. For children on the autism spectrum, life skills can sometimes be difficult. So check out the review below and click the link for more great Melissa and Doug products!Continue reading Melissa and Doug Fresh Mart: a Great Tool For Teaching Life Skills

The Confusing Controversy Around Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a highly effective therapy for children on the autism spectrum that is based on the science of learning and behavior. As a mother of a child with autism, I have seen firsthand the positive impact of ABA therapy with my son. I have also seen the confusion in others about what ABA is and the controversy surrounding it. Hopefully this post will break it down and dispel those misconceptions.Continue reading The Confusing Controversy Around Applied Behavior Analysis

Mourning the Loss of Someone You Never Met, But Should Have

Today my sweet mother tragically lost a dear friend that, as a result of COVID-19, I never had the chance to meet. I wrote this to help to heal us both. His death reminded me that isolation may reduce the spread of COVID-19, but there are also consequences to that isolation. For me, that meant never getting the chance to meet someone who was so important to my mother.Continue reading Mourning the Loss of Someone You Never Met, But Should Have

Podcast 25: Vacationing With Children With Autism Featuring “The Autism Dad” Rob Gorski (including a review of DoubleTree Orlando at Sea World and Sea World)

Amy interviews “The Autism Dad” Rob Gorski about their recent shared experiences at the DoubleTree Orlando and Sea World to review both facilities’ Certified Autism Center accreditation in addition to talking about the challenges of vacationing with children with autism and how children who are prone to wondering add a layer of concern to being outside your families comfort zone.Continue reading Podcast 25: Vacationing With Children With Autism Featuring “The Autism Dad” Rob Gorski (including a review of DoubleTree Orlando at Sea World and Sea World)