February Special Needs Article Links

Welcome to the February article links and resources. These are articles that I  tweeted during the month of February on special needs and developmental disability topics. I tweet articles and links everyday.

  1. Video games: A new therapeutic frontier for cerebral palsy– The Globe and Mail
  2. In case of emergency: ID bands offer extra protection for people with disabilities– Record Eagle
  3. 5 special things you might not know about autism– Autism Parenting Magazine
  4. Lego reveals first ever toy figure in a wheelchair– Independent
  5. Parents are the best advocates for children with sensory processing disorder– The Sensory Spectrum
  6. Trying to explain sensory processing disorder– Attachment Mummy
  7. How to design a calming room for kids with autism– autism.baydakh
  8. 5 reasons to read the autism book everyone’s talking about– parents.com
  9. 10 key reasons why autism unemployment so high– Autism Worlds- Eye Blog
  10. How to help your Aspie learn social skills: the 6 P’s to social skills coaching for parents– Autism Parenting Magazine
  11. Promises every special educator should make to their student’s parents– Think Inclusive.
  12. Bill requiring cameras in special education classrooms get mixed emotions-WSLS
  13. Scientist discover a link between epilepsy and autism for the first time– Daily Mail
  14. 10 rules for being an autism mom-Bloggy Mom
  15. 12 year old girl creates app inspired by sister on autism spectrum-ABCNews
  16. Why recognizing dyslexia in children at school can be difficult-KQED
  17. 24 tips for parenting a child with sensory processing disorder-Crystal & Co.
  18. Orlando hospital pilots ER program to help kids with autism-Bay News 9
  19. 5 things you must know about dating someone with sensory processing disorder-Health Medicine Network
  20. What it’s like to live with autism as an adult– Good housekeeping



Resources On Meditation


Meditation is said to have been around for over 5,000 years. Meditation serves the purpose of caring for the mind, body and spirit. It is the experience of relaxing the body, quieting the mind and awakening the spirit.

  1. Find a comfortable place to sit.
  2. Slowly close your eyes.
  3. Take a deep breath
  4. Focus on the sensation of the air moving in and out of your lungs
  5. Start slow- commit to 10 minutes a day
  6. Give thanks.

The following are helpful articles on meditation:

7 Ways Meditation can Actually Change the Brain
Meditation 101: Techniques, Benefits and Beginner’s How To
Easy and Relaxing Meditation
Mayo Clinic
How to meditate
Meditation for Beginners
 The Quieter You Become, The More You Can Hear

The following are great video’s on meditation by the Honest Guys. This site includes video’s that are guided. If you prefer meditation in silence, they also have great video’s with different types of background sounds:



Dysgraphia is a learning disability disorder that may affect handwriting, spelling and the ability to put thoughts onto paper.


May be part of the following diagnosis:

  • Sequencing Problems
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Visual process weakness
  • An awkward pencil grip
  • Difficulty organizing thoughts on paper
  • Unable to finish words on paper
  • May become tired quickly from writing
  • Lack of punctuation and capitalization
  • Avoids writing

The following resources include information on causes, symptoms and treatment:

Attitude Magazine

Davidson Institute


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIDS)

Smart Kids




Articles Relating to Dysgraphia

Accommodations modifications for students with handwriting problems

Dysgraphia: When Writing Hurts

Dysgraphia in Children: Essentials Parents Should Know

How to assist a student with Dysgraphia in the classroom

Autism and Meltdown Resources

autism_ribbon       Children with sensory issues including sensory integration disorder, Autism and ADHD may experience a meltdown due to feeling overwhelmed when there is too much sensory information to process.

Blankets- Helps in calming and improving attention and also decreases sensory behaviors by providing deep pressure touch

DIY-  How to make a weighted blanket

Etsy Shop

Mosaic Weighted blankets

Salt of the Earth Gear

Sensa Calm

Sensory Goods

The Magic Blanket

Swings– Will calm a child with autism by organizing and regulating the sensory system.

eSpecial Needs

Fun and Function

Sensory Edge

Sensory Goods


Vest- The weighted vest helps children stay calm and focused by stimulating their muscles through deep pressure.

Autistic Weighted Vest

Fun and Function


Therapy Shoppe


3 ways to deal with autistic children’s meltdowns

5 things about autism meltdowns

10 tips to calm down an autistic child in meltdown

Autism meltdown-management 101: Key points for parents and teachers

Autistic meltdown or temper tantrum?

Fears, anxieties, sensory issues and meltdowns

How to handle the 4 most challenging autism behaviors

Mood instability and meltdowns

The cycle of tantrums, rage and meltdowns

The difference between tantrums and meltdowns (Understood)

What a meltdown feels like for someone with autism (The Mighty)

Why the meltdowns? (Autism Mind)


The Self-Care 12-Week Challenge


Week 4 Challenge – Gratitude

In life, especially when facing challenges in life, it is so easy to focus on the negative aspect of life. I do believe that we are all living magnets that what we think, we become. Leading to the thoughts that become our reality. When we express gratitude, we are acknowledging all the good that has come into our lives. It also prevents us from worrying about a future that may not happen by being in the moment, we have a chance to appreciate all that is good which in turn will attract more positive thing in our lives.

Benefits of expressing gratitude:
  • Helps to put problems into perspective
  • It reduces stress levels
  • It makes us happier
  • It strengthens our emotions
  • It puts us in a place of now
  • It improves sleep patterns
Steps to practicing gratitude:
  • Pay attention to the little things in life that you appreciate
  • Write down the things you are grateful for daily in a journal
  • Start your day by being thankful for all the blessings in your life
  • Be thankful for all the lessons that you have received

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”- William Arthur Ward

Resource Articles

9 new ways to practice gratitude

14 creative ways to practice gratitude

40 simple ways to practice gratitude

How to live your life of gratitude

Developing an attitude of gratitude can help you live a longer, healthier life

Discover your life’s purpose with gratitude

Expanding the science and practice of gratitude

Practice Gratitude

The power of gratitude: Why gratitude brings happiness

The science behind gratitude


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Transition Planning

IDEA Regulations and Transition Services

The term “transition services” means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that:

  • Is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with the disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation
  • Is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interest.
  • Includes instruction , related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluations.
What is the Transition Process?

The transition process is designed to help students with disabilities move smoothly from school to adult life.

Resources on Transition Planning

Center for Parent Information and Resources– Webpage includes information on IDEA’s requirement on transition and how to include the student in the transition process.

Disability’s.gov’s Guide to Student Transition Planning– Topical links on secondary education and transition, transitioning to adult health care and options for life after high school.

National Association of Special Education Teachers– Great webpage on a variety of topics relating to transition planning including, overview of transition services, types of services covered, recordkeeping, employment planning, travel training, assistive technology and residential placement options.

National Parent Center on Transition and Employment– Website includes information on middle and high school transitioning planning including, IDEA, IEP, college planning and several worksheets on preparing for employment and transition planning.

Understood– article on understanding the transition process.

WrightsLaw– This page contains loads of information on transitioning planning including articles on IEP and transition planning, legal requirement for transition components of the IEP and IDEA 2004.

Angelman Syndrome


Angelman Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system.
  • developmental delay
  • intellectual disability
  • epilepsy
  • microcephaly
  • short attention span
  • happy demeanor
  • hyperactivity
  • hand-flapping
Associated Behaviors
  • tongue thrusting
  • feeding problems during infancy
  • sensitivity to heat
  • frequent drooling
  • attraction to water

Angelman Syndrome  is  a rare disorder and affects 1 in 12,000 to 20,000 a year. Equally to less than 200,000 case a year. Affects all ethnicities and sexes equally.


English pediatrician, Dr. Harry Angleman first described Angelman syndrome when he observed 3 children who had similar features including unusual happiness, developmental delays and similar facial disorders. He originally called it the “Happy Puppet Syndrome” based in a 17th century Italian painting by Gian Francesco Coroto.


In most cases, a gene located on chromosome 15 is generally missing or damaged, in some cases, the individual may have 2 copies of the paternal chromosome 15.


Diagnosis may include the following:

  • blood test
  • parental DNA pattern
  • missing chromosome testing
  • gene mutation

Treatment for Angel Syndrome may include:

  • anti-seizure medication
  • physical therapy
  • communication therapy
  • behavior therapy
Medical Sites

Boston Children’s Hospital

Genetics Home Reference

Mayo Clinic

Medicine Net



Angelman Syndrome Foundation– The mission is to advance the awareness and treatment of Angelman Syndrome through education, information and research.

Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics– FAST is an all volunteer organization of families and professionals dedicated to finding a cure for Angelman Syndrome and related disorders.


The Self Care 12-Week Challenge (Week 3)

Week 3 ChallengeCleansing the Body Through Detoxing


This week the focus will be on cleansing out bodies through detoxing. Constant exposure to toxins in our environment (pesticides, chemicals, preservatives, and environmental)

Detoxing is a way to clean your bodies of toxins and to flush the liver, colon and kidneys.

Detoxing has the following benefits:

  • Removes toxins from the body
  • weight loss
  • slows down premature aging
  • increase energy level
  • removes toxins from the body
  • increases the function of the immune systemic function
  • Give mental clarity
Resource Articles on Detoxing Drinks

3 ways to detox fast

6 DIY detox drinks that actually work, and taste good

10 green detox drinks you have to try

9 best drinks for detoxing

20 delicious detox waters to cleanse your body and burn fat

32 Detox drinks for cleansing and weight loss

Make your own detox drink for daily enjoyment and cleansing

Lemon ginger detox drink

My morning lemon detox drink

Top 50 detox water recipes

Articles on removing toxins from your body

3 ways to cleanse your body naturally

10 ways to detoxify your body

11 tips to remove toxins from your life and revamp your health

How does water help remove harmful toxins from you digestive tract?

How your body removes toxins

Natural ways to flush your toxins without doing a cleanse


This is for informational purpose only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, care or prevent disease.

Benign Roladric Epilepsy

Benign Rolandic Epilepsy

epilepsy ribbon

What is Benign Rolandic Epilepsy?

Benign Rolandic Epilepsy is a type of seizure that affects primary children. It is referred to as “Benign” since most children grow out of it during puberty and “Rolandic” describes the part of the brain where seizures begin.

Other know names:

  • benign focal epilepsy
  • benign childhood epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes (BCECETS)
  • benign rolandic epilepsy of childhood (BREC)
  • benign epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes (BECTS)

How Common is Benign Rolandic Epilepsy?

Benign Rolandic Epilepsy (BRE) is considered one of the most common types of epilepsy children will experience. It generally begins between the ages of 3 and 13 and peaks around the age of 7-8 and will stop around the ages of 14-18 (puberty). Children usually do well with this type of seizure although some may experience learning disability including reading, language and drawing.


  • A feeling of tingling on one side of the mouth which involves the tongue, lips, gums and inner side of cheek.
  • Generally begins when the child is sleeping or wakes up in the morning characterized by occurring in clusters and long intervals with no seizure activity.
  • twitching movements on one side of the face.
  • May make gurgling sounds.
  • Drooling and the inability to speak.
  • Day time seizures may be infrequent and typically last less than 2 minutes.
  • May spread from the rolandric area to the rest of the brain which becomes a tonic-clonic  seizures.


Diagnosis are done through an accurate history of the seizures and an electroencephalogram (EEG) test, which picks up seizure activity.


In most cases, children may not take any medication since the seizures end around puberty. May be treated with anti-epileptic drugs including:

  • Carbamazepine
  • Levetiracetam
  • Oxcarbazepine

How professionals can help

  • Recognize the signs of seizures
  • Teachers should be aware that a child may often feel tired and sleepy afterwards for hours
  • There may be learning difficulties and behavior problems





The Self Care 12-week Challenge (Week 2)


Week 2 Challenge-Silence

“The Quieter You Become, The More You Can Hear.”- Ram Dass

It is so easy to wake up I the morning and think about all of the things that you must do even before the day gets started. When we first wake up in the morning with so much chatter going on inside of our heads, we often cause additional stress to mind, spirit and body.

I’ll admit it this challenge is indeed a challenge, I use to go to bed running through the to-do list in my head and wake up running to make it happen. I have learned over the years that allowing yourself to wake up calm and peaceful for a few moments has some advantages including, calming your mind and relaxing your body not to mention that you will develop a deeper sense of peace and direction which will determine the type of day that you will have.

When silence becomes part of your morning  ritual, you will develop the ability to focus better and to allow your creativity to seep in.

There are three ways to wake up in experience silence:

  1. prayer
  2. meditation
  3. breathing

When you first begin this exercise, it will be a little bit challenging, It is very difficult to just to sit in silence and not think about what the day will bring or what happened the day before. Below you will find some great resources on breathing exercise and meditation. Prayers are also useful and calming.

Breathing Exercises

  1. Three Breathing Exercises- Dr. Weil
  2. 6 Breathing Exercises
  3. Stress Management: Breathing Exercises
  4. 6 breathing exercises to relax in 10 minutes
  5. Take a deep breath-The American Institute of Stress
  6. 5 simple breathing exercises to lower your stress levels
  7. Pranayama Exercises and Poses
  8. 7 breathing exercises to help you reduce stress (Infographic)
  9. Mindfulness of breath
  10. Breathing techniques for greater health and fitness

Meditation Resources

  1. How to meditate
  2. Meditation for beginners
  3. Neurobiological changes explain how mindfulness meditation improves health (Science Daily)
  4. Easy Meditation
  5. 7 ways meditation can actually change the brain
  6. How to meditate
  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jyy0ra2WcQQ
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e33dETmxAr0
  9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vO1wPAmiMQ