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
I recently had a conversation with Tiffany Johnson, author of the book “Brave Enough Now” on her “When We are Brave” podcast. To listen, check out the “When We Are Brave” podcast wherever you listen to podcasts or you can stream it from Spotify at this bottom of this page.
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!
In this short video, I share 5 simple activities to improve play skills in children on the autism spectrum and why this it is so important to build these play skills.Continue reading 5 Tips To Promote Creative & Imaginative Play Today For Children on the Autism Spectrum
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 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
Taking turns is a complex social skill. It involves patience, impulse control, and appropriate social interaction. Yet for children on the autism spectrum, these are precisely the skills in which they often struggle. Taking turns is an important developmental milestone that most children naturally develop, but children with autism may need a more direct approach in achieving success in this area.Continue reading How to Teach Turn-Taking to a Child on the Autism Spectrum
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
Creating safe, welcoming, and sensory-friendly environments can help children with autism thrive. This article, featured on Autisable, gives 4 simple suggestions to help parents get started.Continue reading 4 Easy Ways of Making Your Home More Special Needs Friendly – A Collaborative Post From Autisable
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
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
Children on the autism spectrum can be prone to severe meltdowns. But understanding what triggers a meltdown, and minimizing or eliminating that trigger can help.Continue reading Identifying Meltdown Triggers
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
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!
Parenting a child with autism spectrum disorder means that if you have other children, they are likely to get less of your time. While that often makes parents feel guilty, it’s an unfortunate reality. However, your other kids need to know that while they may not get an equal share of your time, they have an equal share of your love!Continue reading To My Other Kids Not On The Autism Spectrum
Because children with autism spectrum disorder function best in a structured routine, taking them out of that routine can cause overstimulation, dysregulation and confusion. Today I share about a recent experience we had taking our son with ASD to an aquarium and what I learned as a result.Continue reading When Plans Need to Change Quickly
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
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
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
Check out my guest appearance with Rob Gorksi on The Autism Dad podcast.Continue reading My Guest Appearance With Rob Gorski on The Autism Dad Podcast
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
Some days need a real and raw description and this was one of those days. However, despite the challenges, at the end of the day, I am grateful for what really matters.Continue reading What Really Matters at the End of the Day
As quickly as you make a plan, living in a world amid a global pandemic means that plan can come to a screech halt without warning. That is precisely what happened to our family yesterday when our 5-year-old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder tested positive for COVID-19.Continue reading Catching COVID-19: Our Family’s Story
Are you the parent of a VPK student and are not sending them to a brick and mortar campus for the upcoming school year? If so, check out this free downloadable At-Home Guide created by our team at Collaborative Corner for Exceptional Children.Continue reading Collaborative Corner For Exceptional Children’s Get Started VPK At-Home Guide
Educational choice for children has historically been a fairly easy decision for families. But families of children with disabilities, who already faced tough choices, amid a global pandemic the decisions are even tougher.Continue reading Education 2020: School Choice Amid a Global Pandemic
Today, as my husband and I stood in the garage about to put our 5-year-old son in his stroller for a walk he did something he never had before, but something I’d been terrified he eventually might.Continue reading Autism and Eloping: What it is, Why Children on the Spectrum Are Prone to It, and How to Minimize the Risks
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
This article by the online speech pathology program from Baylor University’s Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences is an excellent read for parents who may be concerned about language delays or speech disorders.Continue reading Parent’s Guide to Language Delays and Speech Disorders in Children by Baylor University
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
If you are the parent of a child with a physical, cognitive or developmental disability, home safety can be a concern. Fortunately, Bob from Child Senior Safety is here to help!Continue reading Keeping Children With Special Needs Safe at Home with Child Senior Safety