Weekend Links

I have decided this rainy day is going to be devoted to crafting, baking, and reading (with a little garage clean out thrown in for good measure). What are you up to this weekend?

Simple Holistic Helps for the Special Needs Child

The following is a guest post from Cara Faus of Health, Home, and Happiness.  Thank you, Cara!  We’re honored to have you here today to share your thoughts and experience with us.

Even before I had a special needs child, I valued taking a holistic approach to treating any health problems that came up. I believe that nearly any physical problem indicates an underlying issue, and so the entire body should be taken into consideration when seeking treatment. This has been especially true with my child with autism, I have found looking at her issues as a whole to be the most effective way of helping her.

Today I am going to share some of the tips that I have found that made the biggest difference in her life. Differences that have allowed her to learn more, be happier, and grow healthily.

Learning About Sensory Issues

Learning about sensory issues was one of the biggest ‘ah ha!’ moments in our lives. Many special needs children have issues with how the message of sensory input gets to their brain. In our case, my daughter is over sensitive to light and visual sensation, and under sensitive to physical sensation.

This means that she gets overwhelmed with bright lights and when there is too much to look at (think big-box stores!) and craves physical touch to the point of acting aggressive and clingy while she tries to fulfill that need. When the needs for less visual stimulation and more physical stimulation are met, she is able to regulate her emotions, learn, and is much happier!

[Read more...]

Creative Pretend Play Props and Ideas

The following post is by contributor Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore.

Pretend play is an important part of a young child’s life. Trying out different roles, replaying experiences, practicing social skills, and trying out new vocabulary are just some of the many benefits of imaginative play.

Creating an environment that supports pretend play is easy – kids just need some space to play, unstructured blocks of time, and a few simple props.

We usually do a combination of gathering things from around the house and creating our own props for pretend play. Making your own pretend play props is a great way to extend the playtime, involve older siblings, and incorporate real-life literacy and math skills. Keep your play props together by theme in plastic bags or bins and rotate them to keep things fresh and interesting.

I’m sure you have played your fair share of restaurant, house, and doctor. Here are three more pretend play ideas to add to your repertoire. Happy pretending! [Read more...]

Permission to Be Kind to Yourself Today

The following is by editor Kara Fleck.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  I know that you have probably spent the time leading up to this day coming up with ways to show your loved ones how much you care about them and planning some simple family celebrations for them.

I want to encourage you to do something else today, as well:  be kind to yourselves.

You deserve it.

Thank You

While I strive to make life simple and parenting uncomplicated, I will never say that it is easy.  I’m here, in the trenches with you, and I know some of the sacrifices you make and difficult things that you do on a daily basis.  And, I want to say thank you for that.

[Read more...]

Weekend Links

Have a wonderful Sunday, friends!