Special Needs Trusts: How and When to Set One Up

Special Needs Trusts: How and When to Set One Up

SNTs are legal arrangements in which a trustee holds, manages, and distributes assets to a beneficiary. The beneficiary is the disabled person. In most situations, the parents or family members establish the trust, and then a bank or agency manages the assets. The rules of special needs trusts are complex and can vary significantly from…

4 Free Groundhog Day Activities for Kids (Printable PDFs)

4 Free Groundhog Day Activities for Kids (Printable PDFs)

These FREE Groundhog Day activities for kids will help you explain Groundhog Day and its accuracy and make your own predictions. Perfect for preschool, kindergarten, and more. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, so maybe I have a skewed vision of Groundhog Day. I mean the day, not the movie. Groundhog Day is a…

10 Free Printable MLK Day Activities for Kids, including ‘I Have a Dream’

10 Free Printable MLK Day Activities for Kids, including ‘I Have a Dream’

MLK Day Printables MLK Day can be fun, serious, educational, and thoughtful. Here are activities and projects for kids to make the day memorable, including “I have a dream speech” activities. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. Martin…

What is CVI Cortical Visual Impairment? Includes IEP Goals and Accommodations

What is CVI Cortical Visual Impairment? Includes IEP Goals and Accommodations

Cortical Visual Impairment I recently attended a conference to educate myself on Cortical Visual Impairment, one of my son’s diagnoses. It was so enlightening and revolutionary and added in a big heap of mom guilt. When you have a child with multiple disabilities, it can be tough to decide which one to prioritize or focus…

25 Free, Printable Adult Coloring Pages PDFs

25 Free, Printable Adult Coloring Pages PDFs

Adult Coloring Book Pages I love this new trend! It’s what moms have known for generations; coloring is fun! But it made international news when some adult coloring books made the Amazon top seller list. Kids love coloring, and it’s easy to see why. It’s calming and peaceful. And now, researchers are finding some therapeutic…

220 Dolch Sight Words List and Free PDF by Category

220 Dolch Sight Words List and Free PDF by Category

In 1936, Edward William Dolch published his list of what he called “Sight Words.” Dolch, an advocate of the ‘whole word reading’ approach, argued that his list of 220 words was used in up to 75% of all school texts, libraries, newspapers, and magazines. This is why I made sure to point out that the…

What to Know About Xfinity Essentials, the Internet Disability Discount Program.

What to Know About Xfinity Essentials, the Internet Disability Discount Program.

I had the chance to attend a super cool event at Pennsylvania School for the Deaf to celebrate teh Xfinity Essentials program. Many of our households could benefit from this. Plus, I know I have a lot of teachers in my audience. Hopefully, you have families, guidance counselors, and school social workers who will benefit…

What is Dysgraphia? Symptoms, Treatment and 17 IEP Accommodations

What is Dysgraphia? Symptoms, Treatment and 17 IEP Accommodations

IEP for Dysgraphia “Dysgraphia? What’s is dysgraphia? I’ve never heard of it!” This is a scenario that has come up many times to parents in our online chat group. As parents become more informed, we are better able to advocate for our kids. If you go back even 10-20 years, not many parents had even…

Kennedy Space Center near Orlando: Review with Photos and Family Travel Tips

Kennedy Space Center near Orlando: Review with Photos and Family Travel Tips

Kennedy Space Center The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is one of Florida’s top attractions, after the Orlando theme parks. The complex is located on Cape Canaveral, at the center of NASA’s spaceship launches (which you can see if you’re lucky!), and is the place for all things space and moon landing! The last day…

The Best Reusable Swim Diaper for Adults and Older Kids (and where to buy them!)

The Best Reusable Swim Diaper for Adults and Older Kids (and where to buy them!)

Swim Diaper for Adults This has been a huge struggle and colossal waste of money for us. Finding an adult swim diaper for an older child that works. And that fit Kevin well. Kevin has really skinny legs, so finding swim pants that were snug around his legs was a challenge. Well, and his waist….

The Autism Epilepsy Connection: My Son’s Brain Surgery

The Autism Epilepsy Connection: My Son’s Brain Surgery

Can preventing seizures alter the course of autism? Delicate lines dance across a screen mounted on the wall of the operating room. Their peaks and valleys become pronounced, suddenly flatten into a straight line — and then return, stronger than before. These digital traces represent the buzz of neurons in 12-year-old Kevin Lightner, read by…

What are Echolalia and Autistic Scripting?

What are Echolalia and Autistic Scripting?

Does your child repeat back words to you, often? Are they repeating words and phrases over and over? Or maybe reciting movie and TV lines? Have you heard of echolalia or scripting? It’s a common autistic behavior, though not everyone who does it is autistic. While beliefs and perceptions about autism are changing, there is…

What is Animal Assisted Therapy? How do you find a program?

What is Animal Assisted Therapy? How do you find a program?

Pet Therapy vs Animal-Assisted Therapy “Is that a therapy dog?” The good news–more and more, we (society) are better understanding the human/animal bond, and using it to make progress or make things accessible. The bad news–there is more confusion than ever as far as what is a therapy pet, animal-assisted therapy, a service pet, and…

4 Best Classroom Pet Ideas (and which ones to avoid!)

4 Best Classroom Pet Ideas (and which ones to avoid!)

Pets in the Classroom Pets in the classroom are now easy for every teacher to get. The benefits students receive just by having a pet in their own classroom are life-changing. I’m going to share with you how to get one for free. “Nothing else that blinks!” That used to be my household rule. Nothing…

What is Hyperfixation? How do You Stop Being Hyperfixated on things?

What is Hyperfixation? How do You Stop Being Hyperfixated on things?

Hyperfixation Lots of teens love video games. Everyone knows that. And many teens, autistic or neurotypical, play video games too often, which can interfere with daily living. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are hyperfixated on video games. But do you remember the story a few years ago about the young man who died after…

20 Free Apps for Executive Functioning Skill Deficits (adults and students)

20 Free Apps for Executive Functioning Skill Deficits (adults and students)

Apps for Executive Functioning After preparing this blog post, I plan to go back to the Google Play store and get some of these apps for myself. I can be scatterbrained, and stress makes it worse. And now having two kids, with their own schedules and sets of things to remember, it’s no wonder I…

10 Free Symmetry Drawing Worksheets for Kids (winter-themed PDF)

10 Free Symmetry Drawing Worksheets for Kids (winter-themed PDF)

Symmetry Drawing Worksheets When snow and ice come around, many schools move to an online format. It can be hard to keep kids engaged when all they want to do is go out in the snow! One way to overcome this is to use winter and snow-themed activities to teach the skill you’re trying to…

What to Expect (and do!) When Your Child has a Disability

What to Expect (and do!) When Your Child has a Disability

For the Newly Diagnosed With a Disability Welcome! None of us expected to be here, but here we are. And I’m here to tell you, that you are still going to have a rich, rewarding, full, and enjoyable life. I mean that! Please don’t let anyone suck you down into that world of “perpetual grief.”…

Zero Waste Christmas Ideas and Waste-Free Christmas Gifts for Kids

Zero Waste Christmas Ideas and Waste-Free Christmas Gifts for Kids

Zero Waste Christmas Ideas I’m sad that we’re not going to see some family members this Christmas. But I have to admit, I’m a little excited at being able to break some bad habits. Some parts of our family exchange a lot of gifts, and so much of it gets tossed before January 1. I…

Brain Breaks: 10 Ideas and Activities for Kids at School

Brain Breaks: 10 Ideas and Activities for Kids at School

Brain Breaks for Kids As adults, we know we need brain breaks. It’s why the phrase “water cooler chat” became a thing. Workers realize they need a break, so they walk to the water cooler for movement and refreshment. While there, they may discuss the holidays or Fantasy Football, which gives their brain a break…

How to Create a Compelling GoFundMe Page (and make it go viral!)

How to Create a Compelling GoFundMe Page (and make it go viral!)

Start a GoFundMe Page GoFundMe has become increasingly popular in recent years. It makes sense. Times are tough for a lot of people. It’s no secret that I started a GoFundMe page for my son because we found ourselves in a dire situation. But, if you go to the GoFundMe site to start one, right…

Learn Colors in ASL with these Free Sign Language Colors Printables

Learn Colors in ASL with these Free Sign Language Colors Printables

Colors in ASL If you are trying to learn sign language, learning clusters or groups of words is a great way to start. Many people start with numbers in ASL, or fingerspelling. But learning common ASL words and practicing them throughout the day is a great way to build up your ASL vocabulary. The great…

Interoception and your IEP: How to Improve Interoceptive Skills

Interoception and your IEP: How to Improve Interoceptive Skills

Interoception and Interoceptive Skills Several years ago, I took my boys up to my Dad’s house. Kevin just walked into the room where we were, stood in the middle, and started vomiting. Since he doesn’t vomit often, he was upset by this and started shaking his head. It was like a vomit sprinkler. If that…

20 Best Christmas Books for Tweens, Teens, and Middle Schoolers

20 Best Christmas Books for Tweens, Teens, and Middle Schoolers

Best Christmas Books for Teens and Middle Schoolers 20 minutes a day! That has been browbeaten into me ever since I was pregnant. I loved it when they were small. But at this busy time of year, it can be tough to carve out even 20 minutes. That’s why I loved doing a Christmas book…

25 Disabled Elf on the Shelf Ideas (Autism, Wheelchair, Hospital)

25 Disabled Elf on the Shelf Ideas (Autism, Wheelchair, Hospital)

Wheelchair and Hospital Elf Ideas I’ll admit, when Elf first came out, I loved him. Then I hated him. Well, not him, but I hated how competitive it was on social media. Seemed like every mom was trying to outdo all her friends with crazy Elf ideas. Now we’re back to loving our Elf on…

25  Best Gifts that Autistic and Disabled Teenagers and Adults Actually Want

25 Best Gifts that Autistic and Disabled Teenagers and Adults Actually Want

Gift for Disabled Teenager and Adults Teens and adults with autism and disabilities can be so hard to buy for! This post was crowd sourced from my friends and from members of our Facebook Group and what I could pull from Twitter. If you are buying a gift for autistic adults or a gift for…

Atlantic City Airshow Viewing: 10 Tips for Watching, including Practice Day

Atlantic City Airshow Viewing: 10 Tips for Watching, including Practice Day

Should you go the Atlantic City Airshow? In a word, absolutely! We just got back from our 3rd or 4th time attending the Atlantic City Airshow and I am already counting down the days until next year. This year, we did something different. We attended the Atlantic City Airshow practice instead of the airshow. More…

Not All Hand Flapping is Autism | The Case for Stimming

Not All Hand Flapping is Autism | The Case for Stimming

Hand Flapping when Excited That is not Autism Let’s just get this out there–everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY stims. Yes, we all do it. But what it looks like for each person is different. Hand flapping is just one type of stim behavior. But since everybody stims, not every stim behavior is autism or sensory…

10 Best Fidget Toys | Where to Buy Cheap Fidget Toys for School

10 Best Fidget Toys | Where to Buy Cheap Fidget Toys for School

Best Fidget Toys I recently participated in a local consignment sale. My youngest son had quite the collection of fidget spinners. That was a short-lived trend, wasn’t it? I’m kinda glad it’s over. For him, anyway. But, for some kids with ADHD, Fidget Spinners and Fidget Toys are therapeutic. I just hope that the trend…

20 Best Kid-Friendly, Fun, Family Farms | PA | Philadelphia | DE | MD

20 Best Kid-Friendly, Fun, Family Farms | PA | Philadelphia | DE | MD

Farms Near Me for Kids to Visit We just love visiting farms. Both of my kids love animals, Kevin in particular. There are many local farms and animal farms to visit with children in Pennsylvania. I think I have taken my kids to visit every farm on this list! With the pandemic, make sure you…

How to Get Your Autistic Child to Try New Foods (written by an autistic person!)

How to Get Your Autistic Child to Try New Foods (written by an autistic person!)

A dangerous, yet common, misconception in regard to autistic kids is that they will eat if they’re hungry enough. The reality is that hunger, appetite and sensory input all battle each other. Autistic individuals often have interoception that is quite different from what their parents or the adults in their lives are experiencing. Interoception is…

Do you have an IEP Emergency Plan? School Shootings | Weather | Evacuation

Do you have an IEP Emergency Plan? School Shootings | Weather | Evacuation

Evacuation Plan on your IEP When I was in school, we regularly had nuclear drills. We either hid under our desks or ran to a shelter in the school’s basement. We’re fortunate. We laugh about it now. We can laugh about it because first, nuclear war never happened. And second, the idea that being under…

25 Disability Awareness Activities for Kids of all Ages.

25 Disability Awareness Activities for Kids of all Ages.

Teaching Your Child about Peers with Disabilities. What better day than today to publish this post. Today is the first day of Developmental Disabilities Awareness month. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that…

Is Your 3rd Grader Struggling? It’s Probably the Matthew Effect in Reading.

Is Your 3rd Grader Struggling? It’s Probably the Matthew Effect in Reading.

Matthew Effect | Matthew Principle Ask any Special Education Advocate, and I bet they all will tell you that they have a huge chunk of clients that are in 2nd, 3rd or 4th grade. I can remember periods of time when all my clients fit into that category. Coincidence? Unfortunately, no. It’s the Matthew Effect….

5 Popular Stim Toys for Autism or ADHD | Cheap | DIY | Chew

5 Popular Stim Toys for Autism or ADHD | Cheap | DIY | Chew

Stim Toys Quality stim toys can be hard to find, since fidget toys and chewy jewelry, or chewelry, is trendy. Even the higher priced ones don’t always promise quality, or the ones with great reviews just aren’t within your budget. Several popular stim toys can be made at home from everyday household objects, or using…

How to Redirect Self Injurious Behavior | Autism

How to Redirect Self Injurious Behavior | Autism

Self Injurious Behavior and Autism Self-injurious autistic behaviors do not illustrate why stimming, or self-regulatory behaviors, are bad. Stimming is harmless by default and crucial to autistic individuals’ ability to self-regulate and cope with everything in their life and the world. Instead of seeking to stop autistic stims altogether, self-injurious behaviors can be redirected to…

Autistic Shutdowns

Autistic Shutdowns

You might have heard about autistic meltdowns, but what about autistic shutdowns? The two terms are often used interchangeably by non-autistic autism professionals, but autism meltdowns and autism shutdowns are two completely different things. Difference between Autistic Meltdowns and Autistic Shutdowns Autistic shutdowns are NOT meltdowns, and recovering from them is not the same either….

What is Summer School? What Do you Do in Summer School Programs?

What is Summer School? What Do you Do in Summer School Programs?

What is Summer School? Summer school has a terrible stigma in this country. And, wrongfully so in my opinion. First, the whole concept of children having summers off is rooted in farm work. In today’s society, children are rarely needed in the summer months to help on the family farm. With the exception of maybe…

10 Outdoors Activities for Autism | How to Get Autistic Kids and Adults Outside More Often

10 Outdoors Activities for Autism | How to Get Autistic Kids and Adults Outside More Often

Outdoor Activities for Autistics Today really reiterated to me that I need to get back to the outdoors and get my kids outside. I had my son at the eye doctor and she is an expert in her field (at a local children’s hospital). She said that they are seeing an increase of young kids…

3 Best Adaptive Bikes for Autistic Teens | Adults with Disabilities

3 Best Adaptive Bikes for Autistic Teens | Adults with Disabilities

Autism and Riding a Bike I get a surprising number of inquiries about this. Ever since I posted a photo of my son riding our adaptive bike, people ask me what it is and where we got it. First, let’s start by saying, just because a child has autism, does not mean that they cannot…

Sensory Friendly Philadelphia | 50 Fun Places and Activities for Kids on the Spectrum

Sensory Friendly Philadelphia | 50 Fun Places and Activities for Kids on the Spectrum

Sensory Friendly Philadelphia If you’re the parent of a child with sensory sensitivities, you know that it can be challenging to find activities and attractions that both you and your little one can enjoy. I live near Philadelphia and we just love it here. There are so many autism friendly places and activities. You will…

Knoebels Amusement Park: Secrets to Know Before you Go!

Knoebels Amusement Park: Secrets to Know Before you Go!

Knoebels Amusement Park One of my favorite places to visit is Knoebels in Elysburg, PA. I have been going there ever since I was a toddler, and my (now deceased) grandmother even went there as a child. It’s that kind of place. Even though it’s a 2+ hour trek for us now, we make sure…

ARFID | A Family Guide to Overcoming ARFID

ARFID | A Family Guide to Overcoming ARFID

ARFID “Mom, I don’t want another ham and cheese sandwich for lunch.” “Well, you don’t eat anything else for lunch. Give me something else to put in your lunchbox, and I’ll do it.” And so began our journey with ARFID. A few quick facts about ARFID. Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder Was renamed in DSM…

5 Free Google Organization Apps that help Manage the Disability Household

5 Free Google Organization Apps that help Manage the Disability Household

Google Organization Apps Let’s face it, when you have a disabled child, Moms and Dads become caseworkers. I’ve never seen one person, let alone a child, generate so much paperwork. Then you add in annual IEP dates, annual and biennial medical appointments, biannual evaluation dates, MA renewal, Rx renewals….it’s exhausting and overwhelming at times. But,…

Fairmount Water Works | 5 Reasons You Need to Visit this Amazing Little Gem in Philadelphia

Fairmount Water Works | 5 Reasons You Need to Visit this Amazing Little Gem in Philadelphia

Fairmount Water Works I recently had the opportunity to visit the Fairmount Water Works. And I can’t believe I’ve never gone before! It has so many amazing things to offer. We put it on our list of things to do every summer. It’s a great day trip if you want to visit the Philadelphia art…

Seizure Disorder | 6 Things I Wish I had been told about my Son’s Seizure Disorder

Seizure Disorder | 6 Things I Wish I had been told about my Son’s Seizure Disorder

Seizure Disorder I’ve been having some real “beat myself up” moments about Kevin and his risk for seizures. Things I should have known. Or could have known. Or wish I had known about seizures and seizure risk. Do you use the Timehop app? I do and I love it. If you are not familiar, what…

Cellulitis from a Bug Bite? Yes! Here’s What to Look For.

Cellulitis from a Bug Bite? Yes! Here’s What to Look For.

Cellulitis from a Bug Bite Can you get cellulitis from a mosquito bite? Cellulitis from an insect bite? In a word, yes! It’s happened to us. Twice! Despite our snow squalls here in PA yesterday, I have seen mosquitoes already this year. My son has always had the worst time with bug bites, fly bites,…

Tuckerton Seaport Museum | 5 Reasons You Should Go!

Tuckerton Seaport Museum | 5 Reasons You Should Go!

Tuckerton Seaport Museum This past Saturday, we were invited to a blogger event at the Tuckerton Seaport Museum. I knew my 4-year-old would love the Pirate Festival, and he did. I didn’t tell him we were going until about 48 hours beforehand and it was all he talked about. He talked about finding treasure and…

Rocking Horse Ranch Resort | Highland, NY | Is it worth the money?

Rocking Horse Ranch Resort | Highland, NY | Is it worth the money?

Rocking Horse Ranch Over Labor Day weekend, my parents invited us to join them at the Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland, NY. Rocking Horse Ranch Resort is an all-inclusive resort. You pay one rate for all the food, lodging and activities. I love having the opportunity to try new places and review them from our…

Hopewell Furnace | 7 Essential Tips to know before you go with kids

Hopewell Furnace | 7 Essential Tips to know before you go with kids

Hopewell Furnace Recently I took both of my boys up to Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. It is located in Berks County, in Elverson. It was a cool and cloudy afternoon for July so it was not a pool day. Since we were fresh off the heels of our trip out west to some National…

Disability Moms | 9 Habits of Happy, Strong, and Successful Disability Moms

Disability Moms | 9 Habits of Happy, Strong, and Successful Disability Moms

Disability Moms Yesterday I had a lovely phone conversation with someone whose child was recently diagnosed with a disability. We have mutual friends who referred her to me. She’s been having a bit of a struggle just finding a group that she feels comfortable with as far as our different parenting. I think we all…

Liar

Liar

When your Child Lies As I often begin many articles, I state “this has been coming up in the Facebook group a lot lately.” And, it has. I’m going to try to present this issue (lying and ADHD or other disabilities) as succinctly and unbiased as possible. But, to be honest, it’s very triggering for…

5 Best Things to do in Orlando with Kids, that are not Disney!

5 Best Things to do in Orlando with Kids, that are not Disney!

Things to do with Kids in Orlando Right around Easter, my husband found out that his company was going to send him to Orlando for a week. Taking the kids to Orlando has always been on our to-do list, but not a super high priority. We were able to put together a nice trip in…

Easy Fundraisers for Schools | 8 Non-Cash Ways to Donate to Schools

Easy Fundraisers for Schools | 8 Non-Cash Ways to Donate to Schools

Easy Fundraisers for Schools It’s back to school time, and I swear, every time I turn around, I’m writing another check for this or that. I only have 2 kids, I don’t know how larger families do it, or those with less income. You want to help, right? But we cannot support every fundraiser that…

Disabled Child Grandparenting | Including Extended Family in your Disability Household

Disabled Child Grandparenting | Including Extended Family in your Disability Household

Disabled Child Grandparenting Disabled Child Grandparenting? That’s a phrase you never heard even 20 years ago. Now, grandparents want to know. It’s their nature to want to help. So how do you involve your extended family in disability parenting? Paying attention to grandparents and other extended family members, as it pertains to having a disabled…

Buying a Home While Disabled | 11 programs that help People with Disabilities buy Homes.

Buying a Home While Disabled | 11 programs that help People with Disabilities buy Homes.

Buying a Home While Disabled Buying a home while disabled may feel impossible but here are 11 programs available to help you. I’ve compiled a list of various state and federal resources that may help you buy a home if you are disabled. I was recently asked this question. “Are there any programs that can…

Chester County Special Education | Best School Districts

Chester County Special Education | Best School Districts

Chester County Special Education Omigosh, if I had a nickel for every time I was asked this! Ok, this is not the answer you want to hear. But I cannot in good conscience make a recommendation for you. I’m sorry. I’ve thought this over for a few days and even consulted with some good friends….

Wraparound Services | What are they? | How do I apply?

Wraparound Services | What are they? | How do I apply?

Wraparound Services As I’ve navigated my way through the disability community over the past fifteen years, I’ve noticed a trend. That is, NO ONE TELLS YOU ANYTHING! Don’t get me wrong, if you ask, you usually are helped. At least that has been my experience. But how do you even know what to ask for?…

Ridin Hy Ranch | 5 Things to Know Before you Go!

Ridin Hy Ranch | 5 Things to Know Before you Go!

Ridin’ Hy Ranch Is Ridin’ Hy Ranch disability-friendly? Ridin’ Hy Ranch is an all-inclusive resort nestled in the mountainside of Adirondack State Park, in New York. I’ll share my review and what it is like to stay at this resort with a child with disabilities. I thought I’d share a few things I learned while…

Trunki Suitcase | Everything You Need to Know

Trunki Suitcase | Everything You Need to Know

Trunki Suitcase The Trunki Suitcase is so much more than a carry-on suitcase. The Trunki Suitcase transforms ordinary luggage into an adventure for children. This suitcase is a must-have if you are traveling with little ones. They can sit on the suitcase. They can easily pack it. It’s small enough for them to pull the…

23 Free Easter Egg Coloring Pages | Mandala | Preschool to Older Kids

23 Free Easter Egg Coloring Pages | Mandala | Preschool to Older Kids

Easter Egg Coloring Pages I recently shared another set of Easter coloring pages. Specifically, those free downloadable printable coloring pages were mostly Easter Bunny Coloring Pages. And, I got some requests to share coloring pages for older kids. Kids who might find the Easter Bunny to be a little too babyish for them. One reader…

6 Free Coloring Pages for Easter | Easter Bunny | Printable | PDF

6 Free Coloring Pages for Easter | Easter Bunny | Printable | PDF

Easter Coloring Pages When holidays come near, any parent or teacher will tell you, kids get antsy! Especially if a holiday like Easter is associated with time off from school and work. Like Spring Break. At home or at school, it can be hard to keep kids focused on school work. Especially if they know…

Free Visual Schedule Templates for Autism | Picture Schedules for Home Activities | PDF

Free Visual Schedule Templates for Autism | Picture Schedules for Home Activities | PDF

Visual Schedules and Autism How stressed out are you by daily routines? What about your kids? I mean, it’s something that we do, as a household, every.single.day. Why does it have to be so stressful? Most of us do not use visual schedules at home though many kids use them at school. These free printable…

The White House Easter Egg Roll | 2023 | What to Know Before You Go

The White House Easter Egg Roll | 2023 | What to Know Before You Go

White House Easter Egg Roll One really fun and memorable activity for families is the White House Easter Egg Roll. The 2022 White House Easter Egg Roll is always the Monday after Easter. This year, that is April 18. To get tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll, you must literally win the lottery….

Bumble Bee Preschool Activities 🐝 Free 🐝 Printable

Bumble Bee Preschool Activities 🐝 Free 🐝 Printable

Bumble Bee Activities I think everyone has a love/hate relationship with bees, right? I mean, they’re essential to the planet, but many are afraid of them. But, we can’t appreciate and save what we don’t know–so it’s important to teach bee appreciation early. And, contrary to popular belief, bumble bees rarely sting people! If you…

A Weighted Blanket Causing Pain or Back Pain? Yes, yes it is.

A Weighted Blanket Causing Pain or Back Pain? Yes, yes it is.

Weighted Blanket Causing Pain Weighted blankets. They seem harmless enough, right? So we started using them. I purchased two for our household. In less than 6 months, they caused me so much hip and back pain, I’m tossing them. We are no longer using weighted blankets in our home. So I thought I’d explain why….

🍀 10 Easy St. Patrick’s Day Crafts, Activities and Worksheets 🍀

🍀 10 Easy St. Patrick’s Day Crafts, Activities and Worksheets 🍀

St. Patrick’s Day Easy Crafts So, you all know that I’m not normally a fan of labeling things with a chronological age. When you’re working with disabled students or adults, skill sets can vary widely. And, to label a teenager who has a lot of needs and limited skill sets as a ‘preschooler’ is infantilizing,…

ASL for Thank You + 25 Common Words | Free PDF Worksheets

ASL for Thank You + 25 Common Words | Free PDF Worksheets

ASL for Thank You Many people don’t know this, but ASL or American Sign Language, is the 4th most common language used here in the USA. It’s also becoming more and more common for parents to use sign language with babies and toddlers before they have verbal words. We used sign language with Kevin as…

Recycling Worksheets for Kids | PDF | Printable

Recycling Worksheets for Kids | PDF | Printable

Recycling Worksheets All right, so before you download and print these recycling worksheets for your preschool or classroom…let me address the irony. Yes, it seems hypocritical to offer a school activity that has a theme of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ or recycling, and said activity is on paper. But, hang with me…what better time to present…

🌎 Earth Day Color by Number Pages | Free | PDF

🌎 Earth Day Color by Number Pages | Free | PDF

Earth Day Color by Number I am a huge fan of multi sensory learning, and surrounding kids with language and content. Numerous studies indicate that it helps kids learn. And, it can be applied to any content. Like Earth Day! Adding in a kids’ activity like color by number activity can also reinforce the concept…

Daily Affirmations for Kids | Free PDF

Daily Affirmations for Kids | Free PDF

Daily Affirmations for Kids Honestly, the first and only time I really followed anything about daily affirmations was a satire account for Philadelphia. It just listed nuisances we find in daily life around here, it’s a pretty funny Instagram account. Then, I have this friend. He’s contributed to this site before, as he is a…

Mardi Gras Coloring Pages | Mardi Gras Masks | PDF | Free
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Mardi Gras Coloring Pages | Mardi Gras Masks | PDF | Free

Mardi Gras Coloring Pages I honestly just love Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday, even though I’ve never even been to New Orleans or Rio. It’s a fun little holiday that usually happens right at a time when you’re really sick of winter and need a lift. Mardi Gras is so colorful and can be a…

12 Inspirational Family Movies | Gratitude | Making a Difference | Giving Back

12 Inspirational Family Movies | Gratitude | Making a Difference | Giving Back

Movies: Making a Difference and Giving Back I hate when I have to rework posts due to creeps. With all of the buzz out there about the misogynist creeps in Hollywood, I am updating this post. I certainly do not want to promote anyone’s career who acts like that. And certainly, they don’t deserve to…

Spot the Difference | Printable Worksheets for Kids | Free PDF

Spot the Difference | Printable Worksheets for Kids | Free PDF

Spot The Difference We love spot the difference worksheets. My whole extended family is really into worksheets and puzzles. They’re great when you need to take a screen break but want to work on some skills Visual clutter is something many kids with learning disabilities struggle with. Spot the Difference worksheets can help with that….

20 Free Bird Coloring Pages | Bird Word Search | Bird Watching for Kids

20 Free Bird Coloring Pages | Bird Word Search | Bird Watching for Kids

Bird Watching Coloring Pages and Activities Calling all bird nerds! Here is a huge list of Backyard Bird feeders and bird watching activities for kids. A great way to get your kids to appreciate and conserve nature is to engage them in bird watching, have them build a bird feeder or other fun activities. We…

Sesame Place PA | Review | Best Insider Tips | Crowds and Calendar

Sesame Place PA | Review | Best Insider Tips | Crowds and Calendar

Sesame Place Travel Tips Let’s be honest. Sesame Place is an expensive outing and chances are, a special occasion trip for your family. So you want to make the most of it, right? I’ve been to other parks and our trip was a disaster because we wasted our day waiting in lines, we didn’t know…

Basketball Word Search 🏀 Worksheets 🏀 NCAA 🏀 FREE PDF 🏀

Basketball Word Search 🏀 Worksheets 🏀 NCAA 🏀 FREE PDF 🏀

Basketball Word Search We are just all about the basketball around here! My younger son loves it and plays in two different leagues. We love watching March Madness and the NBA games. Of course, since we spend so much time talking about basketball, I wanted to involve Kevin, beyond taking him to his brother’s games….

10 St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Kids ☘️ Free ☘️ Printable 🌈
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10 St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Kids ☘️ Free ☘️ Printable 🌈

St. Patrick’s Day Activities Growing up, I don’t have great memories of St. Patrick’s Day. My dad would play record albums of Irish Folk Music like the Clancy Brothers and drink too much. Yep, the stereotype. It never occurred to me until I had kids that St. Patrick’s Day Activities for kids existed. I had…

St. Patrick’s Day Color by Number | Free | Printable
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St. Patrick’s Day Color by Number | Free | Printable

Color by Number St. Patrick’s Day I have posted several other St. Patrick’s Day coloring pages, but kept this one separate. That is because the color pages are color by number, but still with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. Color by number can not only be fun for the kids, but can also practice and…

St. Patrick’s Day Preschool Arts and Crafts 🌈 Easy 🌈  Pop Up Card
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St. Patrick’s Day Preschool Arts and Crafts 🌈 Easy 🌈 Pop Up Card

St. Patrick’s Day Arts and Crafts If you’ve been to a card store lately, you know how expensive they can be. So why spend $5 or $7 on a pop up card, when this St. Patrick’s Day craft is so easy to make? I’ve included photos and step by step instructions. It really can be…

St. Patrick’s Day Word Search ☘️ Word Scramble ☘️ Free PDF
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St. Patrick’s Day Word Search ☘️ Word Scramble ☘️ Free PDF

St. Patrick’s Day Word Search Here we go with another fun activity to incorporate all kinds of skills with a fun holiday. This time, I’m sharing two free PDFs-a St. Patrick’s Day word search and a St. Patrick’s Day word scramble. Since my site largely focuses on kids with various learning disabilities, please be mindful…

Free Printable St. Patrick’s Day Bingo Cards ☘️
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Free Printable St. Patrick’s Day Bingo Cards ☘️

St. Patrick’s Day Bingo Bingo is one of my family’s favorite things to do. Mind you, I’m a middle aged adult, and I’ve only recently discovered the joy of bingo. Mostly due to my youngest son. For whatever reason, he loved playing any kind of bingo at a very young age. Then, one time we…

Valentine’s Day Word Search 💗 Free 💗 Printable 💗 PDF 💗
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Valentine’s Day Word Search 💗 Free 💗 Printable 💗 PDF 💗

Valentine’s Day Word Search Hi there and Happy Valentine’s Day! Sure, it’s a corny holiday. But, a holiday dedicated to celebrating love and friendship? Count me in! This Valentine’s Day Word Search is a free printable in PDF format. Just download it and there you go! If this word search puzzle is either too easy…

☘️ St. Patrick’s Day Coloring Pages ☘️ Free ☘️
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☘️ St. Patrick’s Day Coloring Pages ☘️ Free ☘️

Free St. Patrick’s Day Coloring Pages Happy St. Patrick’s Day! These free St. Patrick’s Day coloring pages will keep kids happy and occupied for an afternoon or even longer. Coloring is a great fine motor skill, so why not incorporate some holiday fun? The St. Patrick’s Day coloring pages are all free for you to…

ASL ☘️ St. Patrick’s Day Words ☘️ Worksheets
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ASL ☘️ St. Patrick’s Day Words ☘️ Worksheets

ASL Signs for St. Patrick’s Day Depending on which set of statistics you look at, ASL or American Sign Language, is the 3rd or 4th most popular used language in this country. Many people are unaware of this. Pretty amazing, huh? While it is predominantly used by the Deaf community, teaching sign language to babies…

Teaching Music to Students with Learning Disabilities | Free Music Note Worksheets

Teaching Music to Students with Learning Disabilities | Free Music Note Worksheets

Teaching Music to Students with Learning Disabilities We all know that music has tremendous health and wellness benefits that extend far beyond just enjoying music. There are countless studies out there that students who study music often perform better than their peers in other areas too. If your child has an IEP or disability of…

Free Story Map Graphic Organizer | Worksheet | Examples | PDF

Free Story Map Graphic Organizer | Worksheet | Examples | PDF

Story Map Graphic Organizer Most people have read a book, and then went to see the movie. Or, saw the movie and then went back and read the book, right? Chances are, that is a book that you can recall with more detail that other books you have read. Because it was a multisensory approach…

💘 Valentine’s Lunch Box Jokes 💘 Printable 💘 Free

💘 Valentine’s Lunch Box Jokes 💘 Printable 💘 Free

Valentine’s Lunch Box Jokes Hey, here’s a fun little freebie for you–printable valentine’s day lunch box jokes. Print them, clip them….and put them wherever you want to insert a smile in someone’s day. In the lunch box of course, but also on the bathroom mirror, on a car dashboard, in a briefcase or backpack. Enjoy!

Valentine’s Day Directed Drawing Activities | Free | Printable PDF

Valentine’s Day Directed Drawing Activities | Free | Printable PDF

Valentine’s Day Directed Drawing I like Valentine’s Day for a lot of reasons. Sure, I can concede that it’s partly a made-up holiday fueled by the American marketing machine and consumerism. But, I can’t hate on a day dedicated to celebrating love and friendship. Plus, it’s a bright spot in a dreary part of the…

180 Printable Lunch Box Jokes | Free | Tween | Holidays | Summer

180 Printable Lunch Box Jokes | Free | Tween | Holidays | Summer

Lunch Box Jokes If you asked my son, he’ll tell you that he’s too old for me to be putting things in his lunch box, like printable lunch box jokes. He’s 12. He rolls his eyes at dad jokes, which are plentiful around here. And, he dutifully packs his own lunch every evening. It’s part…

How to Create Calming Classroom Decor | Decrease Visual Clutter | Increase Focus

How to Create Calming Classroom Decor | Decrease Visual Clutter | Increase Focus

Calming Classroom Decor Look, I love teachers. They are totally underappreciated and the whipping boy for “all things bad” with society and schools. But classroom decor? Yikes! Lots of room for improvement based on some of the classrooms I’ve been in. And, attending IEP meetings all over the Philadelphia region, I’m in a lot of…

Snowman ☃️ and Snowflake ❄️ Coloring Pages | Free | Worksheets | Preschool + Toddler

Snowman ☃️ and Snowflake ❄️ Coloring Pages | Free | Worksheets | Preschool + Toddler

Snowman Snowflake Coloring Pages Once the holidays are over, it’s time to start thinking about snowflakes and snowmen. I find them just as festive as the holidays and I keep many snow themed decorations up until about Presidents’ Weekend. Since I try to make everything multi sensory for Kevin, it’s only natural that I would…

7 Virtual Playdate Ideas | Hospital and Homebound | Preschool

7 Virtual Playdate Ideas | Hospital and Homebound | Preschool

Virtual PlayDates The Covid pandemic has made some permanent changes in how we live. Doing everything from school to family dinners virtually started out as a survival mechanism, but is probably here to stay. Many companies are not bringing employees back to an office to work, opting to keep them at home. The same goes…

11 Healthy Marriage Tips when you have an IEP

11 Healthy Marriage Tips when you have an IEP

Healthy Marriage Tips My visiting mother-in-law walked away uncomfortably as my husband yelled at me. “WHY are you doing this?” What was I doing? A county coordinator from the 0-3 program had just left our house. She came to take our initial information and explain how the evaluation process worked. She explained the different people…

Fun + Free New Year’s Resolution Activity for Kids

Fun + Free New Year’s Resolution Activity for Kids

New Year’s Activities for Kids It can seem like such a drag to suggest that you print and do worksheets with your kids over holiday break. I get it! Sometimes the last thing we want to do is more ‘homework.’ But sometimes these activities can not only break up boredom but have tremendous value too….

Is AngelSense Legal in Schools? Can I add it to my IEP?

Is AngelSense Legal in Schools? Can I add it to my IEP?

AngelSense My friend and fellow advocate Susan loves to tell this story. One morning she woke up and her son was gone. He is autistic and has limited speaking ability. Before panic was able to set in, a neighbor called to say they had found him. He was sitting on their living room couch. It…

How to Talk to {Disabled} Children about Death | 10 Ideas for Parents

How to Talk to {Disabled} Children about Death | 10 Ideas for Parents

How to Talk to Children about Death “Mommy, can people die from surgery?” I’ve answered that question about 1000x in the past 2 months. Or one similar to it, just switch out that last word to something else. Lately, my non-disabled child is somewhat obsessed with death. It doesn’t appear to be affecting him in…

How and Why You Should Talk to Your Child about their Disability

6 Reasons Why You Should Tell Your Child About their Disability Over the years, I’ve had clients with all kinds of diagnoses. And yeah, some of them were pretty extreme and intense for a young child. I had this one mom and she was trying to protect her son. He was young, a tween, at…

Leapfrog Games you can Download for Free | Incl. LeapPad Ultra | Discounts

Leapfrog Games you can Download for Free | Incl. LeapPad Ultra | Discounts

LeapPads Games Everyone loves a good freebie and a free Leap app is a great freebie. The free LeapPad app codes are below but just wanted to let you know a few things. I update this post often with the latest and greatest deals on Leap Pads and LeapPad accessories. So make sure you read…

How to Create a Medical and IEP Binder for your Child | Free Printables

How to Create a Medical and IEP Binder for your Child | Free Printables

How to Create a Medical Care Binder I need to do a Care Binder. This is long overdue. I’m traveling across the country in 2 weeks to speak at a conference. I’ve never left Kevin alone since his epilepsy started. And guess what?!? Pretty much his entire plan and his medical records are in my…

17 Mindfulness Activities for Kids | Music | Books

17 Mindfulness Activities for Kids | Music | Books

Mindfulness Meditation for Kids Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition Is your brain on overload the way mine is? And your kids’ too? This is why I am looking into mindfulness. To help me with the mental clutter. I’m pretty…

The 5 Best Weighted Calming Toys your Child will Love | Under $10

The 5 Best Weighted Calming Toys your Child will Love | Under $10

Weighted Calming Plush Toys We tried the whole weighted blanket thing. And, I did an entire separate article on how my weighted blanket caused pain for me. Extreme pain. However, I still believe in and enjoy the concept of weighted items having a calming effect for anxiety, autism, etc. I really wanted to have something…

Hanukkah Dreidel Game and Rules 🕎 Activities | Free Printables

Hanukkah Dreidel Game and Rules 🕎 Activities | Free Printables

The Dreidel Game + Hanukkah Activities Happy Hanukkah! I like to teach my kids about all the major holidays and customs, even if we are not that ethnicity or religion. My sons both started playing the dreidel game in preschool and now one still asks for it. Personally, I think it’s just for the chocolate….

Elkonin Boxes for Dyslexia |  Phonemic Awareness | Examples | PDF

Elkonin Boxes for Dyslexia | Phonemic Awareness | Examples | PDF

Elkonin Boxes for Phonemic Awareness Just the other day, an advocate friend of mine was in an IEP meeting with a young-ish School Psychologist. And, this person said during the meeting that “you can’t test for dyslexia until the child is in 3rd grade.” It amazes me that myths and misconceptions like this are still…

ASL Christmas Activities | Christmas Tree Worksheet | Free Printable

ASL Christmas Activities | Christmas Tree Worksheet | Free Printable

ASL Christmas Activities How super cute is this ASL Christmas Tree Worksheet?! This is the best free Christmas printable worksheet you are going to find. Ok, worksheets. Not worksheet. Because it is multiple pages. But what a great way to infuse holiday spirit and teach letter recognition and ASL. You can teach so many skills…

Santa Letter Template | Free Printable Fill in the Blank Santa Letter

Santa Letter Template | Free Printable Fill in the Blank Santa Letter

Santa Letter Template When your child has a learning disability, they don’t only have the disability from 8-3 on school days. Right? They have it all the time. Sometimes people just don’t understand how a disability can take even what is the most fun and festive of activities, and ruin it. Like writing a letter…

How to Get a Free Letter from Santa Claus by Mail | Ideas | Sample

How to Get a Free Letter from Santa Claus by Mail | Ideas | Sample

Free Letters from Santa Claus by Mail Would your child enjoy a free mailed letter from Santa? Who wouldn’t? A letter from Santa can be so fun to receive. And, here’s a secret. It can be a great way to set expectations for your child as far as what is going to be under the…

100 Best and Funniest Fantasy Football Team Names | 2023

Best Fantasy Football Team Names If you play Fantasy Football, you know that one of the highlights is when your league competitors start to reveal their team names. You want your to be unique, clever…and reflect you! You also want a Fantasy Football Team Name that is hip and current, but has the staying power…

Direct Language | How to Correct your Communication with your Child

Direct Language | How to Correct your Communication with your Child

Direct Language We live in a sarcastic society. We also live in a society that uses clichés, innuendos, double entendre and other literary license. Even when it’s not in literature, these components have permeated our spoken language. But some kids need direct language, all the time. If you do not struggle with language processing, you…

Social Emotional Learning Activities | Middle School | High School

Social Emotional Learning Activities | Middle School | High School

Social Emotional Learning Activities “Ugh!” (and insert eye roll) “You want to talk about feelings again,” is what my 12-year-old recently groaned. I hope that as you read my site and participate in the Facebook group, that there is so much more to social skills besides exhibiting the actual traditional social skills. Social emotional learning,…

Football Bingo | Free Football Bingo Cards to Print | Rules

Football Bingo | Free Football Bingo Cards to Print | Rules

Football Bingo Are you planning a Super Bowl party or another football-themed event? Looking for some free football bingo cards to print? Well, welcome! This football bingo game is a great way to involve all ages and abilities on the day of the big game. Five months out of the year, football talk is everywhere….

6 Common Medications that are Poisonous for Pets | What to Do

6 Common Medications that are Poisonous for Pets | What to Do

When Your Pet Eats Human Medicine My son takes several medications every day. We have a new dog in our house. He’s a border collie mix, so he’s quite agile and smart. And, a counter surfer. I crate him when I am preparing Kevin’s medications or feedings. Most parents know to keep medications out of…

8 Christmas Social Stories for Kids | Autism | Santa

8 Christmas Social Stories for Kids | Autism | Santa

Christmas Social Story This list of Christmas Social Stories was compiled by popular request. Every year, I dig up this post and go over a couple of them with my autistic son. Social stories about Christmas are so important. There are many free social stories here on this site. Think about some holiday traditions from…

5 Social Stories for Thanksgiving | Thanksgiving Social Skills

5 Social Stories for Thanksgiving | Thanksgiving Social Skills

Social Stories for Thanksgiving Thanksgiving is almost here! For most of the world, families anticipate and look forward to this time with happiness. Some of us with special needs, maybe not. It can be challenging, to say the least. Sometimes I think that I could use printable social stories for Thanksgiving to help me prepare….

25 (free!) Evidence-Based Games and Activities to Learn Social Skills | Autism

25 (free!) Evidence-Based Games and Activities to Learn Social Skills | Autism

Evidence Based Games for Social Skills If you go out to bars frequently, or you’re in a phase of your life where you’re attending a lot of weddings, you get to practice those social skills. When you don’t, you struggle. “What do I wear to a wedding? Ack!” is a sentiment I know that I…

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Musical Review | Why you might want to skip it this year!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Musical Review | Why you might want to skip it this year!

{Review} How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical. We had so much fun at the Grinch Musical last night! Honestly, I didn’t even think that we’d go. I got an invitation to attend on media night. And a zillion thoughts ran through my head. Should I invite my sister-in-law? My niece? She loves musicals. My…

The Bayberry Candle Tradition | Poem | Christmas | New Year’s Eve

The Bayberry Candle Tradition | Poem | Christmas | New Year’s Eve

Bayberry Candle Legend Have you ever heard the bayberry candle poem or tradition? Legend has it that a bayberry candle can bring you luck. I love bayberry candles and have always loved the scent. When I learned about the holiday tradition of sharing the prayer or poem with a friend, it became an annual thing…

8 Halloween Social Stories including Trick or Treat

8 Halloween Social Stories including Trick or Treat

Halloween and Trick or Treat Social Stories With Halloween not that far off, I thought I would gather some Halloween and Trick-or-Treat Social Stories for you. I know from friends and clients that Halloween can be a tough time for kids with autism because so many unexpected things happen. Does your child with autism use…

25 Best Free Christmas Apps for Kids

25 Best Free Christmas Apps for Kids

Free Christmas Apps Are you looking for Christmas apps that are both fun and educational? Well, I was and found it nearly impossible to get a good list. So I went digging and found my own. From Christmas social stories apps, picture identification, vocabulary building, sequencing and so much more. And we have Android devices,…

Poop Smearing | Causes | Solutions | Autism

Poop Smearing | Causes | Solutions | Autism

Feces Smearing One of the most unpleasant parts of parenting is the gross stuff we sometimes have to encounter. It starts out fine, right? A little baby throw up and dirty diapers–no big deal! But what if you, ahem, have some issues long after your child is no longer a baby? What about poop smearing?…

10 OSEP Dear Colleague and Guidance Letters every IEP Parent should Read.

10 OSEP Dear Colleague and Guidance Letters every IEP Parent should Read.

OSEP Dear Colleague Letters Parents, here is another great tool for your advocacy toolkit. And yes, another issue that was brought to my attention in our Facebook group. Sometimes I forget what it is like to be an IEP newbie. So when a parent asked, “What’s an OSEP guidance letter?” I knew I had to…

25 Best Non-Scary Halloween Movies Streaming | Disney+

25 Best Non-Scary Halloween Movies Streaming | Disney+

Streaming Halloween Movies (that aren’t scary!) Do you like scary movies? I like the scary movies if there’s no possible way it could happen in real life. But if there is a real life theme to it, no way. Yeah, I’m a child of the 1970s, so I still get a little nervous swimming in…

20 Halloween Costumes with Helmets | Seizure Helmet | Baby

20 Halloween Costumes with Helmets | Seizure Helmet | Baby

Costumes with Helmets I am so tired today, I have a bad foot. So when I looked in Kevin’s room and saw him relaxing with a book on his bed, I couldn’t resist laying down next to him. He’s wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jersey today. It was my intent to take him with me to…