A Message to Parents

Dear Parents, I am finally back after a long silence for almost two years. It is very hard to disengage myself from thinking and writing about...

Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

All What An Assistive Dogs Can Bring To The Family

By Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting, tips

The proverb says: The dog is man’s best friend. Dogs are loyal and they love their masters unconditionally (I prefer to use the word masters over owners). They communicate without language, and understand the body language. If your child doesn’t talk or has poor verbal skills she/he can still have a social life. A dog would be a close friend,

Sing to Improve Speech

By Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting

This is a technique that I learned about just by trying. A student with very little speech demonstrated a very short attention span for regular work (Math and Language Arts). But I noticed that he showed a lot of interest in the Music class, and was able to focus and stay on task for almost the

A Simple Tip to Improve Speech

A Simple Tip to Improve Speech

By Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting, tips

I learned this technique from a great speech pathologist. She recommended it to be used for an autistic boy with very poor speech and verbal skills. She gave me a binder full of pictures (around thirty pictures). The pictures were simple, colorful with large details. The pictures should also appeal to the children. The technique worked

Eye Contact

Eye Contact

By Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting, tips

The human development has three components: Physical (body), cognitive (learning), and socio-emotional development. The three components are tightly related and should develop harmoniously and simultaneously from the first day of birth. (1) For a typically developed child the vision skills must develop automatically along with the motor and cognitive (learning) skills. Many children with autism

Where Should I Place My Child?

By Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting

You don’t know which placement is best for your child? Don’t worry! There is a whole system and a team responsible and devoted  to find the best placement for your child. By placement I mean the program and the class that best fits your child’s needs. Know Your Rights In case you do not know

Mainstreaming

Mainstreaming

By Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting, tips

The ultimate goal in special education is to help as many children as possible to get to the appropriate level of mainstream education. By mainstream, we mean a regular education class for typically developed children. The average number of kids in lower grade (kindergarten, first, second and third grade) is about twenty kids, and some thirty

Boost Social Skills

By Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting

There is a misconception about children with autism and relationships. Autism comes from the Latin word “auto” which means “self”. This is why children with autism have been attributed the unsociable characteristic: the word “auto” implies selfishness. However, in reality, these children are interested in having friends, holding conversations, and learning about their environment. The

Teach Flexibility

Teach Flexibility

By Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting, tips

One of the most characteristic traits of autism is rigidity, inflexibility, love for sameness and repetitive behavior. Why? Because it is easier to redo something than do something new. Even neurotypical people have a hard time making changes in their lives. It is easier to keep a routine. Change always comes with some effort. Tips

Continued: Tips for Sensory Problems

Continued: Tips for Sensory Problems

By Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting

10- Ball Chair It is a big rubber ball seated on a four wheels base. Instead of sitting on a regular chair, fidgety agitated kids can enjoy sitting quietly and calmly on ball chairs. They are rare in special education classes because they are expensive. 11- Play Dough A great learning tool. Rolling, squeezing and

Continued: Tips for Sensory Problems

By Nadia Shanab | autism, general advice, parenting

This article is part II of a series of articles on sensory problems. Click here to read Part I. 5- Compressions and Hand Massage The compression techniques I’ve learned from the occupational therapist are very simple to implement. Educators and parents can do it very easily. Here are the rules: Compressions are applied on the