Wednesday, February 29, 2012


...There are so many changes going on with this girl.

...Speech changes.

...Handwriting changes.

...Reading changes.

...Emotional changes.

...Attitude changes.

I keep telling myself that these are all good.
She is growing and maturing.
I know that she knows she is different than her peers.
But what doesn't change is her hard work ethic.
Yes, my 8yr old has a work ethic and its better than many adults that I know.
And I am having a hard time keeping up with her!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Top Ten

10. A great Parent-Teacher Conference for Andrew!

9. My daughter...testing the staff by continuing to take her shoes off in school. I think she is looking for attention, don't you? And if this is the worst thing that she could do in school, I consider myself blessed!

8. Getting two kids through the winter without any nasty cold, upper respiratory issue or the such. *Knocking on wood as I type this!*

7. Kids who absolutely adore their swim coach and love swim lessons!

6. She is reading! YAY!

5. She is writing sight words, too! YAY!

4. A boy whose strength in school is numbers. Go figure!

3. Prepping for the Special Olympics/Young Athletes programs!

2. I want to go on a vacation.

1. I LOVE my kids!

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Writing and Spelling: Practical Ideas for Parents

I love getting online subscriptions with tips and tricks, don't you?
Lately, I have been looking for new and exciting ways to help my daughter with reading and writing since she has really taken a liking to it.
And because of our early struggles with reading and writing are slowly going away (YAY!), I want to encourage you all to find the best fit for your child, too!

On of my favorite sites is Reading Rockets. Here is one such interesting article on tips to help your own child with reading and writing: one of the big issues along with apraxia.

In the early grades, reading and spelling are learned together. As children become better readers, formal spelling lessons are helpful.

Here are some activities to try:

Children can learn to spell some words by sounding out each letter. Short, simple words are best to learn in the beginning. Encourage your children to write stories and to spell words using the sounds the letters make.
Make a puzzle word by writing a word on paper and cutting the letters apart. Magnetic and felt letters can also be used for this activity. Mix the letters and have your children spell the word by putting the letters in order.
Say a word and have your children repeat the word. Then have them write the letters that match the sounds in the word.
Point out that some words are similar. Talk about how hop is similar to top, cop, and mop. Ask your children to say words that are similar to fun, man, pay, and pin.
Ask your children to draw a picture of a family activity. Have them write a sentence about it below the picture. Encourage your children to say the sentence and write letters to match the sounds in each word. Then have them read what they wrote.
Have your children cut a picture from an old magazine and write a story about the picture.
Tell your children a story and have them write their own ending for it.
Have your children write letters and thank-you notes to friends and relatives.
As your children progress, help them learn the correct spelling of the words they write.
Say a word and have your children repeat the word. Then have them write the letters that match the sounds in the word.

You can read the entire article Writing and Spelling: Practical Ideas for Parents Reading Topics A-Z Reading Rocketshere as well!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday Top Ten

10. Monday: a day off from school for President's Day.

9. Tuesday: a day off from school for Parent-Teacher Conferences.

8. Planning on taking my kids for their VERY FIRST TRIP to the movie theaters! This could be very good or very disastrous!

7. Continued progress with Speech and OT.

6. Mainstreaming.

5. Decisions about placement for the 2012-2013 school year.

4. I am giving up chocolate for Lent. Consider this your final will be ugly!

3. Online support and great friends!

2. I am caught up on Birthday and school scrapbooks. Now to try and catch up on life scrapbooks!

1. I LOVE my kids!

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Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day Homework

President's Day.
A day off from school.
But not a day off from homework.

Yes, I am that kind of Mom that makes her kids do homework on days off and weekends.
With special needs and special education, one cannot afford to take a day off.

But also with special needs and special education comes another issue: strategy.
How can I make learning fun?
How can I avoid frustrations between both of us?
How can I modify my homework to encourage success?

Click here for some great ideas and see if they can work for you, too!
And tomorrow, we are planning on doing something super special!
It's another day off from school, and I have a surprise planned for the two of them!
Stay tuned.....

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Today's Top Ten

10. Valentine's Day with my sweetie pies!

9. A rough night with reading last night.

8. A new day today with reading......and a new outlook!

7. Downloading new iPad apps for handwriting and visual motor skills.

6. Watching two kids in the backseat bop to Madonna (i.e..."Music") songs on the way to school this morning.

5. Coffee: my other love.

4. Great swim lessons for both kids.

3. A to-do list that seems to grow daily.

2. Snow.

1. I love my kids!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

A Valentine conversation heart montage for special needs parents!

This made me smile!

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day Owl Craft

What you'll need:
•Construction paper
•Owl template
•Googly eyes
•Sequins (optional)

How to make your Owl Valentine
1.Print the owl template and cut out the pieces.
Trace it onto construction paper and cut out the pieces.
We used pink and red paper for our body and wings and orange paper for our beak and feet, but you can use any color that you would like.

2.Glue just the edge of each wing onto the body of the owl.
You want the wings to be able to open.

3.Glue the beak and feet onto the owl and add the eyes.

4.On the wings write “Whoooo’s” on one and “the best?” on the other.

5.Open the wings and write “You Are!” on the owl’s tummy.

6.Your child can sign the wings on the inside as well.

7.Add sequins to the owl to add a little Valentine’s sparkle.

Cute, isn't it? Perfect for your pre-K child to do, too!
(*Craft copied/shared from All Kids Network)

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day Bug Craft

I'm not a fan of bugs, but this guy is a cutie!

What you'll need:
•Small styrofoam egg
•Serrated knife
•Pink construction paper
•Red and pink craft paint
•Black 3-D paint
•2 googly eyes
•Pink pipe cleaner
•Pink craft foam
•Paint brushes

How to make your Styrofoam Lovebug
•Use the serrated knife to cut a small amount of styrofoam off the side of the egg so that it will lay flat on it's side.
•Paint the smaller tip of the egg pink and paint the remainder of the egg red.
•Once the red body has dried, paint some pink hearts on it.
•Glue two googly eyes onto the pink part of the egg (the face).
•Cut a small circle out of craft foam and glue on the face of the lovebug under the eyes as a nose.
•Use the black craft paint to paint a smile on the lovebug's face.
•Cut the pipe cleaner in half and insert each half on the top of the bug behind the face portion.
•Cut two small hearts out of craft foam and glue to the top of each pipe cleaner.
•Cut two medium size hearts out of construction paper and glue onto the top of the bug to create wings.

Cute as a bug, isn't he!

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

FREE, FUN....Valentine's Day Stuff!

With Valentine's Day coming up soon, what better way to get your little ones involved (and do some early literacy fun stuff) too!

Check out this great website with tons of FREE printables!

Love is in the air......

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

5 Trouble Spots: Are You On Top Of It?

Getting your child an appropriate educational program is hard enough:
But even if you've dotted every "i" and crossed every "t" on the IEP, or chatted up every teacher on your child's strengths and weaknesses, there will still be times during the school day when all those helps fall down a hole. Periods like recess and lunch and gym and locales like restrooms and buses are hard for most schoolkids -- there are volumes of children's literature devoted to them. But for kids with special needs, those youthful rites of passage can be downright dangerous.

For each trouble spot, you'll want to ask these questions:
1.Where does my child do this activity?
2.How long does it last?
3.Which other students are there with my child?
4.What supervision is provided?
5.How structured is this activity?
6.Who resolves disputes?
7.What happens if my child misbehaves?
8.Are any special-education personnel with my child?
9.Is anyone able to adapt activities so that my child can participate?
10.Who can my child ask for help?

Trouble Spot #1 - Recess:
Recess is a danger zone for plenty of kids -- it's highly unstructured and unsupervised by design, and the law of the jungle often takes over. Your child will be particularly vulnerable if he or she requires structure and supervision, has trouble with social contacts or physical activities, tires easily, or is affected by temperatures and air quality. If there are problems, ask the school to assign an aide or a student buddy who can make recess safe and successful for your child.

Trouble Spot #2 - Lunch:
Schools are cutting lunchtimes short to make sure kids only have time for eating, but lunchrooms can still be havens of hurtful and unhealthful activity. Your child will be particularly vulnerable if he or she has special dietary needs, health problems that require mealtime accommodations, a need for structure and supervision, or trouble with social contacts. If there are problems, ask the school to assign an aide for supervision or assistance.

Trouble Spot #3 - Gym:
Physical education is an unforgiving subject for children who, whether due to gross motor problems, sensory integration dysfunction, or health issues can't get with the athletic program. Your child will be particularly vulnerable if he or she has physical limitations, needs supervision, overreacts to noise, or has a poor sense of pain and danger. If there are problems, ask if your school has Adapted Physical Education to provide an appropriate program, or if an aide can give needed help.

Trouble Spot #4 - Restrooms:
Whether your child is tormented by classmates, makes a mess himself, or just gets too distracted to emerge on time, those little rest stops can mean big trouble. Your child will be particularly vulnerable if he or she needs help or supervision, makes inappropriate social contacts, or is easily led. If there are problems, ask to have your child use the restroom in the nurse's office instead of the public restroom. This will provide for discrete supervision and assistance as needed.

Trouble Spot #5 - Buses:
Even those little special-ed buses are often inadequately supervised. But if your child has to ride the big bus with regular-education kids, there's a real risk of abuse. Your child will be particularly vulnerable if he or she has health or developmental issues that attract attention, needs constant supervision, is overstimulated by loud noises, or makes inappropriate social contacts. If there are problems, ask the district to provide a safer ride -- or pay you to drive your child yourself. Ask these 12 questions to get some answers.

*The following information was taken from Terri Mauro's website. She is the Mom of two adopted children with special needs.
You can read more from Terri by clicking here!

Thanks, Terri!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Top Ten

10. Two amazingly wonderful kids at a rowdy Super Bowl party!

9. "Indeed!" This is my daughter's newest word.

8. A great report card.

7. Upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences.

6. A little boy who is the master of any computer that you put in front of him!

5. A little girl who wants to be a nurse.

4. Continued progress in both speech and OT for both kids.

3. Handwriting, handwriting, handwriting practice.

2. "Good morning, Andrew." "Good morning, Kaitlyn." "I love you." "I love you." *Exchange of hugs* This is the dialogue that takes place every morning in my kitchen between my two children. Love it!

1. I LOVE my kids!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

The Price of a Child

I wish I could take credit for this, but I read it on Tina's blog and just thought it was too good not to share! It's from a mom out in California. It's hard not to see how blessed we are as parents when you look at this way!

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up $160,140! That doesn't even touch college tuition. For those with kids, that figure leads to wild fantasies about all the money we could have banked if not for (insert your child's name here). For others, that number might confirm the decision to remain childless. But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.44 a day! Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice says don't have children if you want to be "rich." It is just the opposite.

What do your get for your $160,140?
· Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
· Glimpses of God every day.
· Giggles under the covers every night.
· More love than your heart can hold.
· Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
· Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
· A hand to hold, usually covered with jam.
· A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sand castles, and skipping down the sidewalk in
the pouring rain.
· Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed
that day.
· For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus.
· You have an excuse to keep: reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning
cartoons, going to Disney movies, and wishing on stars.
· You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray
painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with
backward letters for Father's Day.
· For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for retrieving a
Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling the
wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but
always gets treated to ice cream regardless.
· You get a front row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and
first time behind the wheel.
· You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality
that no college can match.
· You get to be immortal.
· You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your
obituary called grandchildren.
· In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo,
scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them
forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.
· You also have the wonderful benefit of eating (low calorie) egg salad sandwiches for 2 weeks
straight...after Easter Sunday each year!

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy February 1st!

Thank you, Teri Mauro, for allowing me to share this!
Rremember, there is one extra day this year in the month of February!
Yep, it's Leap Year!
And never forget the kind of love that you have for your child and their needs.
Without you, they wouldn't be where they are today!

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