Sensory Gifts for The Holidays by Amy Nielsen: Originally Posted on Collaborative Corner for Exceptional Children

With the holiday season in full swing, many families will begin their seasonal purchases, including buying children’s gifts. While the hottest toys may be on your radar, if you have an exceptional child, you may want to consider purchasing items that not only are they excited to open Christmas morning but that also serve to fill some of your child’s unique sensory needs. These items can then be used to create a Sensory Space within your home.Continue reading Sensory Gifts for The Holidays by Amy Nielsen: Originally Posted on Collaborative Corner for Exceptional Children

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

Podcast 32: Designing Interiors for Autism with Wendy Valente

in this episode, I speak with interior designer, Wendy Valente, of Live Well Designs. After Wendy’s oldest daughter was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Wendy began to realize the unique needs of those on the spectrum including those with Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD. She decided to create a niche within her company called Designing Interiors for Autism, where she helps families create spaces that fill those unique needs. From sensory areas, to bedroom design and more, Wendy can help you create spaces where your exceptional needs loved ones will thrive!Continue reading Podcast 32: Designing Interiors for Autism with Wendy Valente

Creative and Imaginative Play Activities For Autistic Kids That Improve Speech

Creative and imaginative play is the most complex form of play and an important developmental milestone. However, children on the autism spectrum can struggle in this area. In this article I wrote for Speech Blubs, I explain how to help children on the autism spectrum improve creative and imaginative play which will also improve their communication skills.Continue reading Creative and Imaginative Play Activities For Autistic Kids That Improve Speech

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

“Designing Interiors For Autism” by Live Well Designs’ Wendy Valente

Wendy Valente is the owner of Live Well Designs, an interior design company that is home to Designing Interiors for Autism. After her daughter was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Wendy coupled her years of experience as an interior designer with what she had learned about Autism Spectrum Disorder to make a unique space her daughter would thrive in. Now she shares that knowledge with other families impacted by autism and helps them create spaces for their child’s unique needs!Continue reading “Designing Interiors For Autism” by Live Well Designs’ Wendy Valente

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 Create an “About Me” Brochure for Your Exceptional Needs Child’s Teacher or Other Caregivers

If you have a child with exceptional needs, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, and they are attending school, daycare, therapy, or spend time with a sitter, it’s a good idea to send a personalized “About Me” brochure to those caregivers. Continue reading How to Create an “About Me” Brochure for Your Exceptional Needs Child’s Teacher or Other Caregivers

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!

X Means No: Curbing Aggressive Behaviors in Children on the Autism Spectrum

Up to 50% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder engage in aggressive behavior. This can be emotionally draining on families and impact the child’s educational, social, community and family life. However, understanding why they engage in aggression and implementing some simple strategies can greatly reduce the frequency.Continue reading X Means No: Curbing Aggressive Behaviors in Children on the Autism Spectrum

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