• Special Needs

    Autism & Head Banging: How to Prevent it / Minimize Harm

    Kids with autism or special needs may show a wide range of challenging behaviors such as property destruction, physical aggression towards others and, quite often too, self-injurious behavior. One of the most worrying self-injurious behaviors (SIB) for parents is head banging. Head banging, hitting the head with a fist, banging the head on the wall or floor are all different manifestations of the same behavior. For us parents it is an extremely overwhelming situation: fears of brain damage and for their general health and safety frustration over our inability at times to understand what is going on helplessness over our failed attempts to help them doubts about whether our actions…

  • Coping Skills

    Emotions Chart: How to Use a Feelings Thermometer Effectively

    Have you considered using an emotions chart or a feelings thermometer to teach your child about emotions? Being able to identify, label, express and manage feelings play a crucial role in children’s social and emotional development. Understanding how people feel, they are able to respond appropriately and engage in meaningful relationships. And when they are able to express their feelings, us parents can guide them or help them to solve problems or develop coping skills. Some kids find it difficult to identify, label or express feelings. And this is when tools like an emotions chart or a feelings thermometer become very useful allies in our parenting job. (Disclosure: We are…

  • Coping Skills

    Anger Management for Kids: How to Calm an Angry Kid

    Trying to turn your angry kid into a calm child? You may need some good tips on anger management for kids. Being a parent is never an easy task. And our parenting job gets even harder when kids struggle with challenging behavior, anger issues, lack of impulse control or underdeveloped coping skills. The underlying reasons may be varied, but there are a number of strategies that can help our children develop coping skills, improve behavior and appropriately express their anger. The advice I will be sharing on anger management for kids can be split into two big categories: Tips that focus on us, parents. Advice that will revolve around our…

  • Coping Skills

    How to Easily Track Behavior Like a Pro: Behavior Charts

    Toys flushed down the toilet. Books torn Dolls broken. Random tantrums. Have you ever been so desperate with your child´s behavior problems that you just had to look for professional help? I have. And I also felt a bit disappointed when my very detailed horror stories didn´t get us that non-existing magic recipe that would fix our behavior issues. Instead, I was sent home with some homework to do: behavior charts. And more specifically, I had to track behavior with an ABC chart. It´s been years since that first psychologist visit. And I have done lots of behavior tracking since then. Different behavior problems have arisen at different ages. I now…

  • Music Therapy
    Special Needs

    Music Therapy for Autism: How to Improve 18 Valuable Skills

    My son´s special education unit has just added a new resource for kids with autism or special needs: music therapy. I have to admit that music therapy had never made it to my short list of autism activities and resources. While it sounded like a cool activity, my son is extremely sensitive to noises. He has a love-hate relationship with loud musical instruments. He explains it like this: “They scare me and I love them at the same time”. As excited as I was about the music therapy activity, I immediately realised I was clueless about how it could help my son. So I got in touch with our music…

  • How to Beat the Back to School Blues
    Coping Skills

    Happy First Day of School: How to Beat the Back-to-School Blues

    Are you already fearing the back-to-school blues? I am. This year, we escaped the southern hemisphere winter and travelled to sunny Spain to see family for the summer holidays. Can you imagine what it means to plunge back into winter without the mild months of autumn to help us ease into it? But, no matter how awful it feels to leave the holiday period behind, there are a number of things we can do to make sure our kids have a happy first day of school. So, let’s dive into my “happiness” back-to-school checklist and try to understand back-to-school blues a bit better. Post Index: -What do we call back-to-school…

  • Traveling with Kids Includes Special Needs Tips
    Special Needs

    A Survivor’s Guide to Traveling with Kids. 50 Awesome Tips, Special Needs Included

    How many times have you done 40 hours international travel with kids? I do it every summer, often on my own! Can I make traveling with kids even more exciting? Oh, yes. My eldest son has special needs and a lot of self-regulation issues, so I know how fun flying with kids can get.  By now you may be thinking I´m superwoman. I´m not (don´t tell my husband!). Traveling with children can get messy. If you are also positively sure that, at some point during the trip, there will be an emotional outburst or a meltdown, the fun is guaranteed. But for us, who miss our overseas family, “not traveling”…

  • 10 Life Skills learnt Playing
    Special Needs

    10 Life Skills my Special Needs Boy Learns While Playing

    Have you realised that some games are not just a source of entertainment but also an amazing learning resource? I think we are all used to seeing how much kids learn through playing. But for me, it has been a mind-blowing experience to realise how many life skills kids can learn while playing a board game. Our babysitter bought Junior Monopoly for my kids. I was a bit skeptical because our son has special needs. All the board games he has enjoyed in the past were basic variations of games that just require players to roll a dice and move a token along the board. To my surprise, he has just…

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  • Anger Signs and Anger Worksheets for Kids Post
    Coping Skills

    How to Teach Kids about Anger Signs: ANGER WORKSHEETS for Kids (free / printable)

    Anger, irritation, exasperation, indignation, fury. I could keep on writing anger synonyms and cover a few more lines. Anger is so important that we have a large number of words to express it. We also have expressions to describe how it feels. I´m sure you may be already thinking about how something can “make your blood boil” or how some people get “blinded by rage”. Luckily, there are plenty of anger signs that send us a warning when we are losing it (free printable anger worksheets for kids available at the end of this post) (Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising…

  • Special Needs

    Autism & Elopement: 30 Tips to Help Prevent Autism Wandering

    Have you ever stepped out to the backyard and found the gate opened and your son nowhere to be seen? Have you ever gone to bed anxious about your kid waking up before you and sneaking out of the house? You are not alone worrying about autism wandering.  As a matter of fact, autism elopement is a fairly common problem. Not long ago, I was chatting with my special needs Moms group about autism elopement. Half of us had kids who had escaped from home at some point in time.  Initially, I was surprised but I soon realized our situation exactly reflected the elopement statistics. Autism & Elopement A US…