How to Design Playground Surfaces that Follow School PLAYbook Best Practices

  Each local playground has its own set of requirements dependent upon many factors such as the location, budget, resources available, stakeholders involved, and plenty of others. A playground is built through the work of a number of different bodies, which all share a common goal of encouraging social, emotional, and physical development in children. […]

Tips for When Your Child is a Picky Eater

My daughter has been a picky eater since she was a baby.  It was frustrating but also hard to talk about because it was embarrassing or I would get a lot of criticism as far as my lack of getting her to try new foods.  My daughter just turned 6 and although she has gotten […]

Baby Flat Head Syndrome

  What you should know about Baby Flat Head Syndrome The Back to Sleep campaign began in the 1990s, and it has been very successful in reducing the number of deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).  Unfortunately there has been an unintended consequence of babies now sleeping primarily on their backs.  In recent years, […]

Skweezrs Lycra Bedsheets (**GIVEAWAY**)

  This product was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review. Yup, I spelled that right.  Skweezrs! What is Skweezrs?  Skweezrs is a small, family-run business that makes lycra spacial body sock-sacks and bedsheets.  If I didn’t have a child with sensory needs, I would probably be wondering what is a body […]

This is all part of homeschooling (Homeschooling in the New Year)

So, it’s almost time to start a new year. 2013. It’s coming~ and it’ll be here soon. Even though homeschooling goals and schedules are set in the Summer, this is a great time to re-evaluate how your year is going. Are you on track to meet your goals? Are you on track to finish on […]

Making Time for Family

We seem to be swamped with this new school year. We have gone from the endless, carefree days of summer, to the busy routine of school and after school activities. Back to packing lunches, carpools, pick ups and busy afternoons of homework. Even though school has only been in session for two weeks, I can […]

Why Do I Avoid Artificial Food Dyes?

The idea that artificial food dyes may cause hyperactive behavior in children isn’t a new concept. It’s been debated for decades, and is a principle of the Feingold diet. Although I don’t completely “ban” anything, I do not regularly purchase anything that contains artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup. (You may remember […]

Make the new school year a new beginning

  With less than a month to go before most of us start homeschooling for 2012-2013 school year, I am once again asking myself “What the heck and I going to do with these kids?” This time last year, I was writing the series ‘Why I No Longer Homeschool’ parts 1, 2, and 3.  I […]

Summer is for Family Learning Fun

  “No more classes, no more books.  No more teachers dirty looks!”  I remember that day every year when I was in school~ there is no better feeling than knowing that you have almost 3 full months of nothing ahead of you. Well, “nothing” for me was the summer reading program at the library, as […]

How to Support Your Special Needs Grandchild

  If your grandchild has special needs, it’s difficult to know how to be there for both them and their parents. The best thing a grandparent can do to support his or her special needs child is to spend time with the child and talk to the child’s parents about the best way to handle […]

Sinking and Failing at Homeschooling

If any of you are regular readers of my posts here on a Nation of Moms, you know that deadlines and I do not get along. At all. So, I definitely did not understand that I was getting into deadline heaven when I first started cyber school with the twins. If you refer to Why […]

Special Needs Does Not Equal Lowered Expectations

For years, I’ve had to fight against people constantly underestimating Isaac.  It has happened as far back as I can remember. It has been every school year without fail. In Pre-K-I had to fight to send him to the integrated classroom, although it was painfully obvious that he was way past the peers in the […]

Career or Kids? Why I chose my kids over “my” life

I think I lost a friend.  I don’t know how, but I’m pretty sure she’s not my friend anymore.  And, I think she’s not my friend because I have made the decision to put my kids above my career. We all make decisions in life, some big and some small, and we make them everyday.  […]

5 things I wish my son’s new classmates parents knew

  Each new school year brings a new crop of kids in Isaac’s class. Some of them know him and can handle his quirky nature. Others are new to him and don’t quite know what to make of them. When kids go home and ask about why my son “talks funny” or stare at his […]

Summer Fun for Everyone (Special Needs Kids)!

Now that school is out, there is just an amazing amount of time to fill. For kids with special needs, this means that there is a lot of time to fill and all of us parents going insanely crazy. So, what do you do with the special needs kiddo that you’ve either not been offered […]

Why I No Longer Homeschool~ Part 2

In a previous post, I discussed my decision to enroll the girls in a cyber school.  This post is about the benefits to ME!   I remember that fateful day in October 2009~ Knuckles’ very first Parent-Teacher conference.  She was in Kindergarten.  It changed my life forever. I don’t remember if I had The Princesses […]

Why I No Longer Homeschool~ Part 1

I know I ‘homeschool.’ and I am (one of) the homeschool contributor (who misses her deadlines by 2 or 3 months) here, but I have a confession.  I am not homeschooling anymore.  My kids are going to *GASP* public school. Well, kinda…  Not really but kinda… I have, indeed enrolled my kids in public school […]

Parenting Special Needs Kids

Parenting is the toughest job there is. Parenting special needs kids is even tougher! As the parent of two special needs kids (Tourettes, Bipolar and ADHD), I remember getting up every morning when they were young and wondering how I was going to drum up the energy to cope. It wasn’t just the endless doctors, […]

Springtime equals IEP time!

I tend to go a bit bananas in the spring. Not because I’m coming off of a long winter in Upstate New York (especially this winter!), but because I realize I have to deal with the three letters that I dread the most-IEP. When I was just teaching, IEP (Individualized Education Plan) time meant that […]

Cats and dogs and fish and frogs, oh my!

People think I’m crazy when I tell them the types of animals I have in my house. I have 2 cats, a few fish and 2 albino claw frogs. Yes, the cats torment the frogs. Yes, it’s seriously entertaining to watch. But, what’s more entertaining to watch and learn from is the interaction between Isaac […]

Christmas and Autism: 5 Things You Can Do To Help

Many of you will be seeing family or friends who have a child with Autism this Christmas… here are 5 things you can do to make sure that visit goes a little more smoothly for everyone involved.. 1. Try to prepare yourself and your children for what to expect from the autistic child. If you […]

Rest for the weary

One thing that special needs parents need more than anything else is to take care of themselves. This doesn’t happen as often as it should. The majority of parents or caregivers with special needs children are often emotionally and physically exhausted to the point where they can’t take care of themselves, let alone their child. […]

Sporting Dilemma

Last year, Isaac got a great brainstorm. He asked to join the local professional hockey team. This was after one of the players asked him if he was going to be a goalie. Yeah. Goalie. The position of little brains and lots of guts. Of COURSE my child wants to be a goalie! The demand from […]

Why I chose public school

Last year at this time, I was tearing my hair out, in tears trying to figure out where Isaac was going to school for kindergarten. He had just come out of an amazing integrated preschool, where he had been for 3 years. I wasn’t handing my crazy boy off to just any school. I had […]

Including everyone-One mom (and teacher)’s perspective

In about two weeks here in Upstate New York, the students will be heading back into the classrooms and the learning will begin.  What a lot of students don’t realize is that the majority of them (at least in my district) will have a student with special needs in their classroom for, at the very […]

Your Child Has Special Needs? Really?

I’ve got a child with a disability. Most people don’t believe me because he’s verbal, funny, plays hockey and does anything a normal 6 year old does. My child is one of those who have a “hidden disability,” or one that’s not visible to the  naked eye. This is Isaac. Isaac has been diagnosed with […]