August Special Needs Resource Article Links

Welcome to the August Article Links. These are articles that I have tweeted during the month of August. I tweet articles and links everyday. Please make sure you follow me and I will follow you back!
  1. 10 Truths About Making Friends When You have Autism. The Mighty
  2. CDC: 1 in 5 American Adults Live With a Disability. USA Today
  3. Rising Autism Prevalence Driven by Changes in Classifications. Medical News Today
  4. Autism and Epilepsy, More Consequences for Girls. Welfare Society Territory
  5. Kids With Autism Can Read Emotions Through Body Language. Smithsonian.Com
  6. What Causes Cerebral Palsy? New Research Suggests Genetics Plays a Stronger Role. Medical Daily
  7. The Forgotten History of Autism. TED
  8. New Studies Offer Insights Into Autism/Epilepsy Link. Epilepsy Research
  9. Reducing Back to School Anxiety. Autism Spectrum Therapies Blog
  10. Learning to Manage a Child’s Autism with Limited Communication. Kokomo Tribune
  11. Language and Autism: What Every Social Care Professional Should Know. The Guardian
  12. Model with Down Syndrome Inspired to Change the Beauty Industry. Gemstars
  13. Some Cerebral Palsy Cases caused by Genetics Anomalies, Not Just Brain Injuries- Study. The Hamilton Spectator
  14. 5 Autism Simulations to Help You Experience Sensory Overload. Mashable
  15. 10 Things Teachers Should Know About down Syndrome. Gillian Marchenko

Resources For Picky Eaters

Resources on Picky Eaters

Autism Research Institute– The Picky Eater by Kelly Dorfman
Autism Speaks– Seven ways to help a picky eater with autism
Children’s Disabilities Information– Tips for feeding picky eaters
Day 2 Day Parenting– Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders
Mayo Clinic– 10 Tips for Picky Eaters
Mid Michigan Child Care Food Program- Things to try
Mid Michigan Child Care Food Program-Understanding the Picky Eater How to Handle Picky Eater
Pathfinders for Autism- Parent Tips: Picky Eating
Sensory Processing Disorder– Resources and activities for picky eaters
The Inspired Treehouse– 15 Tips for Picky Eaters
WebMD– Picky eating by Autistic Kids Won’t Affect Growth

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Resources




What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the study of behavior and applies interventions based on the principles of learning theories. ABA is often use in working with children and adults with autism and ADHD. To learn more, click on the resources below.

Applied Behavior Analysis Definition 

Applied Behavior Strategies
Autism Partnership
Center for Autism
Kennedy Krieger Institute



Certification Programs

Florida Institute of Technology- Certificate Program
George Mason University- Graduate Certificate
Hunter College
Kaplan University-Post Baccalaureate Certificate
Northeastern University Certificate
Western Connecticut State University- Masters of Science


Association for Behavior Analysis International
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis

Resources on Creating a Handbook for Parents

Creating a parent handbook serves the purpose of not only communicating the policies and goals for your school but also building a supportive relationship with families. Handbooks should include the following information:

  • An overview about your preschool
  • Calendar
  • Philosophy and curriculum
  • Communication, including emails, telephones, newsletters, etc.
  • Arrival and departure policies
  • School closing and inclement weather
  • Rest-time
  • Toys from home
  • Clothing
  • Toileting
  • Healthcare policy
  • Medication¬†policy
  • Emergency pick-up
  • Late pick-up policy
  • IEP’s
  • Field trips and walks

Below are links on how to create a preschool handbook for parents

A Spoonful of Learning
 All Things Childcare
Childcare Central
PTO Today
Small Business Chron

Top Books on Down Syndrome for Parents and Professionals

down syndrome ribbon

Down Syndrome Parenting 101

Babies with Down Syndrome: a New Parents Guide

Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

Gross Motor Skills for Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

Down Syndrome: An Overview- Kindle Edition

Adults with Down Syndrome

The Down Syndrome Handbook: A Practical Guide for Parents and Caregivers

Reflections From Holland: A New Mother’s Journey with Down Syndrome

The Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook

Pick-Up Sticks as a Training Activity for Staff

Click here for printed copy


During my trainings, I often incorporate games that help staff understand from the point of view of a person with a disability. This is a fun and simple game

Providing ongoing sensitivity training for staff working with children with special needs and adults with developmental disabilities on a regular basis lessens the risk of staff losing sight of the specific needs of each person. One game that is fun and also allows participants to reflect is an old fashion game of pick-up sticks. This game has been around for centuries and is both inexpensive and fun. This game can be conducted during staff meetings or your next staff development day.

Purpose: Enhance staff sensitivity towards people with disabilities, specifically fine-motor skills, cerebral palsy, eye-hand coordination, intellectual disabilities and learning disabilities.

Learning Objectives: As a result of this training

Instructions: Participants will grab all of the sticks and quickly release his/her hand and allows the sticks to scatter. Each participant will proceed to pick up the stick one by one using the black stick with the non-dominant hand. If any of the sticks move, the game stops and the next person will attempt to pick up all the sticks.

  • Once the game is completed, Time should be given to discuss and reflect on the activity.
  • ask the participants how they felt.
  • Some of the feelings the presenter wants to encourage includes, frustration, slow, anger, and hopelessness.
  • Ask- What was the purpose of this exercise.
  • Some answers should include, to improve of understanding of what others are going through.
  • Discussion should include next steps including, increasing patience

Length of Training Session: 60 Minutes

Recommended Number of Participants: 3-15 people

Time: Allow each person 3 minutes to complete the task.

Materials: Pick- up sticks, timer


I purchases my sticks at a local stationary store however you can also purchase the pick-up sticks online. check out the resources below:


Century Novelty– $5.95$5.52
S & S Worldwide – $5.49

Van Funding Resources

Transporting your child or family member with special needs can be challenging. I have added links below on locating funding and grants on the purchase of a new van and things you should be aware of when transporting your child.

Funding Sources and Grants

Automotive Mobility Solutions– Funding and Rebates
Brunability– list nationwide funding Blog
Disabled World– Article on grant writing for a wheelchair van
ICDRI– Tips to apply for a wheelchair van
Mobility Works- grants and assistance program in help with owning a handicap van. Information listed by State.

Transporting a Child with a Disability

Friendship Circle– Blog article on transporting students with special needs
Ride Away– Article on factors to consider when looking for a van to transport your child