Adapted Card Holders

Adapted Card Holders

Are you the caregiver for a person with little to no fine motor strength? Just because a person is not able to hold a hand of cards doesn’t mean that person should miss out on playing card games! I love these adapted card holder ideas, mostly because they are simple and truly work great! Trust me, we’ve used them at our house for everything from Old Maid and Go Fish to communication cards and medication reminders. The best part? You probably have all you need to make these work without even making a trip to the store. Images linked to...
Special Needs Swimming Tips and Gear

Special Needs Swimming Tips and Gear

Summer’s here and the living is easy  hot! Let’s be honest, there’s just nothing better than cooling off in a pool, lake, or ocean when those temperatures creep up! And for those with special needs, swimming is also a great way to get exercise in a weightless environment as well as much-needed sensory input. So let me share a few things that work for us with Chloe’s unique needs and I’ll share a few other awesome ideas I’ve seen around the internet that might work for your needs! Use a bath chair. Since we already have a bath chair for Chloe’s bathing needs, I love this idea because it didn’t mean spending any more money! Especially since I never know for sure what will and won’t work for Chloe, anything that is cheap or free is definitely preferred! We love using her bath chair at the beach or at pools because it keeps her safe when I have to use my hands for something else, but still lets her feel the water and be included in what everyone else is doing. In a pool, I put her in her bath chair in the shallow end and other kids love to come and play around her. So even though she isn’t actually swimming, she’s participating and having fun in the pool! I also give her beaded necklaces to hold in her hand and she loves to hit those on the water and make a splash. On the beach, this is also great to let her experience the waves rolling in and out. She LOVES it (as you can see below)! I’ve also...
Talking to My Special Needs Child About Her Special Needs

Talking to My Special Needs Child About Her Special Needs

A few years ago, I got thinking about how Chloe is unable to move or communicate like she’d like to and all the frustration and behavioral issues that go along with that. I got thinking it might be nice for her to know why she’s unable to do those things. I realized that when other severe challenges come up in life, i.e. abuse, death, etc, the recommendation is for a person to go to counseling and talk about it. Shouldn’t that same principle apply with Chloe? So I sat her down and told her “the story.” I had told her pieces of the story before then and I always explained what was going on in the moment, but I had never sat down and explained everything. This time, she got the full scoop. I told her how sorry I was that this happened to her, but how grateful I am that she is so strong and brave through it all, that I am grateful to be her mom, and that she is an inspiration to me and many others. It was a very tender time. I didn’t just tell the story, I told parts, then asked her to talk to me about it. Even though she is “non-verbal,” she is very expressive and communicates in her own special way. And talk she did, in her own little Chloe babble language. Although I don’t know exactly what she said, I’m sure she was just getting out some feelings, and I’m sure that felt good for her. After all, we all need to vent now and then, right? Even with non-verbal...
Alternative Therapies for Special Needs: Personal Experiences

Alternative Therapies for Special Needs: Personal Experiences

I love Chloe exactly as she is, which is why I often struggle with the idea of trying to “fix” her. Obviously, though, anything – or almost anything – we can try and see if it helps her, we are and always have been willing to do. I say almost anything because of the possible risks associated with different alternative therapies and, unfortunately, what it usually comes down to is the cost. So if something appears to be not too risky and is something we can afford, and especially if I have seen or heard of something helping someone else, then we will most likely try it for Chloe. Here is an overview of what we have tried and a few that are on the radar to try if/when we can afford it. Each therapy type is linked to an external website providing additional information. Anat Baniel Method (ABM) : According to their website, ABM, “rather than try to force children into developmental milestones they are not ready to do successfully, which can groove in their limitations even deeper, [this] method wakes up the child’s brain to create new connections, often at a staggering rate, leading to spontaneous, often extraordinary breakthroughs in movement, thinking, self-regulation, and connection with others.” I had heard a lot about this method through different online support groups and it couldn’t be ignored that this therapy was working wonders for other special needs children. So, despite significant financial constraints at the time, we decided we at least needed Chloe to try it once. One half hour session later, I was  convinced this could be a game changer...
Tiny unexpected things to keep tiny hands busy

Tiny unexpected things to keep tiny hands busy

Last week we found an article and posted it through our FaceBook page. An oldie but goodie, it was a brief blog post on what a great autism tool Tic-Tacs can be. As in… a powerful sensory tool that should be at the bottom of every mothers purse! That got us thinking…  what else can we use to keep those tiny hands and brains busy? Oh sure, we can find lists and lists of things to buy for a special prize or toy bag, crayons, peg boards, flash cards. There are a lot of ideas out there and truthfully? They are GREAT, I am even taking some of those ideas on a trip with us. But what not so typical thing can you have in the bottom of your purse or back for your not so typical child? And inexpensive to boot?` This is what we came up with: Masking tape or painters tape – Ever seen a parent tape two of a child’s fingers together? One from each hand? No? Well, then you probably haven’t been next to us at church, I would say it’s not an uncommon occurrence. Masking tape is not sticky enough to hurt when peeled off the skin and it’s not strong enough to leave a mark if it’s taped on something. This makes it the perfect tool to create art wherever you go. Tear a few pieces off for your child and see what they do with it. Stick it, roll it, peel it. Silly Putty – This is a two-for-one. A plastic egg for the first… and squishy happy wonderfulness for the...