• Special Needs

    A Sensory Gifts Christmas List: Super Cool Gift Ideas for Sensory Seekers and Avoiders

    Are you a Mom or a Dad to a kid with sensory processing issues? I´ve just started my “hunt” for Christmas gifts that can provide my son with a nice dose of sensory stimulation. So, if you are also looking for sensory gifts, keep on reading. It´s actually been quite fun. I´ve been pleasantly surprised to find quite a number of fun and cool gifts that may make it under our Christmas tree this year. I´ve prepared a long Sensory Gifts Christmas List with all the “runner-ups”. And I have also added a few of the presents that have been real “hits” for us in the past (just in case…

  • Coping Skills

    Anger Games: 14 Super Fun Ways to Learn Anger Management Skills

    Anger is a topic I´ve touched upon in several of my posts. I´ve shared with you a comprehensive review of the best tips for anger management with kids, a selection of anger management activities, and printables to help recognize the signs of anger. But, is there a better way to build coping skills and emotional self-regulation than through play? Anger games are a great way to turn a really serious topic into an enjoyable activity. In this post we´ll read: Why play is important when learning a new skill Anger Games: 11 super fun ways to learn anger management skills My 4 “Top Picks” Other anger games for you to…

  • 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

    Behavior Charts: How to Easily Track Behavior Like a Pro

    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…

  • Special Needs

    Music Therapy for Autism: How to Improve 18 Valuable Skills

    My son´s special education unit has just added a new resource: music therapy for autism and special needs. 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 music therapy for autism, I immediately realized I was clueless about how it could help my son. So I got in touch with our music therapist, asked…

  • 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”…

  • Special Needs

    Play and Learn: 10 Life Skills a Kid Can Learn with Just One Board Game

    Have you realized 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 realize how many life skills kids can learn while playing a board game. “Play and Learn” has now a new meaning for me. In this post you will read: – 10 skills a kid can learn with just one board game – How you can turn popular games into therapeutic games Our babysitter bought Junior Monopoly for my kids. I was a bit skeptical because our son has…

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