• 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 sceptical 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…

  • Anger Signs and Anger Worksheets for Kids Post
    Coping Skills

    How to Teach Kids about Anger Signs: Free Simple & Comprehensive Worksheets

    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) Emotion recognition predicts social competence. Recognizing and responding to others’ facial expressions or emotional states…

  • Autism Wandering Prevention blog banner
    Special Needs

    30 Tips to Help Prevent your Autistic Child from 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.  If you have a kid with autism or a cognitive delay, this is a fairly common situation that parents have to deal with. I was surprised chatting with my special needs Mums group not long ago, that half of us had kids who had escaped from home at some point in time.  As I am concerned about my own child´s safety, I have made a list…

  • WeParent Free Memberships
    Resources

    Giveaway Alert! Free WeParent Memberships to Help Everyday Parenting Issues

    Emotions, friendship and social skills, independence, positive sense of self, sibling rivalry and bullying prevention. Would you like help with those everyday parenting issues? The mid-childhood years are the most important when it comes to children’s emotional development and their mental health. Being a parent is not an easy task. I´m sure we all wonder sometimes if we are doing the best we could. There are also everyday life situations when we may be faced with issues we don´t know exactly how to address. In those moments, it would be great to have a helping hand to guide us through this amazing parenthood journey.  And guess what, this is exactly…

  • 5 Tips for a Special Needs International Relocation
    Reflections

    5 Tips for a Special Needs International Relocation

    An international relocation for a family with a child with special needs is not an easy undertaking. At the beginning of 2017, we left Spain, where our two children had lived for the whole life they could remember, bound for New Zealand. Neither of them spoke English and despite having dual citizenship, they were more Latino than Kiwis. You cannot always organise everything you would like by remote control, but in our case, we were able to prepare some aspects of our new adventure before hopping on the plane. 5 Tips for a Special Needs International Relocation These are some of the things we planned well before our relocation that…

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  • Breathing Exercises for Children
    Resources

    Breathing Exercises for Kids: Lazy 8 Breathing

    Today I will write about deep breathing, breathing exercises for kids, why breathing techniques work and finally why the Lazy 8 Breathing technique that I recommend has worked for us. Deep breathing Deep breathing has multiple benefits such as helping to reduce anxiety, stress and pain sensation and improve concentration just to name a few of the best known. However, is it that easy to convince a kid in an anxious or angry moment to start a breathing exercise? I´ve personally found it mission impossible in the past. Scenes of my 10 y.o. come to my mind, only managing to arrive at the third inspiration before he starts shouting “four…

  • Monster Stories for Kids : Muffler Monster
    Special Tales

    Monster Stories for Kids: The Muffler Monster

    Were you missing my monster stories for kids? This week I will not write a serious post. Instead, I will try to bring back to the blog a bit of humour with another of my monster stories for kids. As some of you already know, the stories I write have been inspired by annoying and intrusive thoughts that sometimes assail my 10-year-old son. A few weeks back, he went through a phase in which he would often say “I hate not hearing”. Victor does not have any hearing problems. My best guess is that at times he would miss on a piece of information due to high background noise (t.v.…

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