Archives for Sensory Needs - Page 4

Autism and ADHD

Autism Service Dogs at Disney World

Many families find that service and therapy dogs are an invaluable tool for helping children with autism cope with sensory overload, transitions between activities, and basic tasks. More importantly, an autism service dog can be an important safety tool. Many children with autism will wander away or even bolt into a crowd or a busy street. We do not have an official service dog for our sons (although we hope to adopt one soon!), but we have found that our family dog Buddy has a unique relationship with Patrick. When Patrick melts down, Buddy can pull him out of it – often when no one else can. Patrick can lie down on the floor with Buddy and our normally high-energy dog instantly calms and cuddles. He seems to know what Patrick needs. I know that having his dog at his side would make some of the challenges of travelling,...
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Autism and ADHD

Sensory Activities for Waiting in Line

No one likes to wait in line. But for a kid with sensory processing disorder, it can be practically impossible. Imagine trying to wait quietly in line while hundreds of people all around you keep jabbing you with needles and screaming. You and I can block out the background noise of other people’s conversations, and don’t really notice when someone brushes against us. Those are the things kids with certain types of sensory processing disorders can’t block out. It’s far from hopeless though! Various activities can help kids modulate their reaction to sensory input, making lines a little more tolerable. The activities that work for one kid may not be as effective with another with a different sensory profile. Many of these strategies are good for neurotypical kids too! Earphones. We recently got an inexpensive set of shooter’s earphones for our boys. They block out loud sounds, but don’t...
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Autism and ADHD

Disney Blog Hop – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Have a Very Happy Thursday, as Pooh would say. Thursdays ARE a Very Happy Day around here, because of course, it’s Blog Hop Day! If you’ve never been here before, welcome! If you’re an old friend, welcome back! Today’s Blog Hop theme is “The Good, The Bad, and The #8221; I originally planned to do something cute with pictures – a good picture, a fuzzy (bad) one, and maybe one of Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters…then I read Lisa’s post about her day alone in WDW and I realized that just wasn’t gonna cut it. I’ll admit, I like to focus on the warm, fuzzy, positive memories. But reality is, taking four kids ANYWHERE, even to Disney World, is going to be a roller coaster. So here goes. Keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times… when Disney was good, it was very very good . . ....
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Autism and ADHD

Guest Post: Homeschooling – the Ultimate IEP

Heather at recently asked me to write a guest post for her series on Autism Awareness, and how I adapt homeschooling to accomodate autism. It wasn’t an easy thing to write, because whether I knew it or not, I’ve been adapting to my kids’ autism since the day they were born. I hope that my experience is helpful to others struggling with raising and educating special needs kids. Pin It
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Budgeting

Drive or Fly?

For our family, simply getting to Orlando (or Anaheim for that matter) is an undertaking. We live in the middle of Illinois—936 miles from Orlando. With 6 people, we generally assume it’s less expensive to drive when we travel, an assumption that was probably formed in childhood back when gas cost less than $1/gallon! I’ve done the math and it actually cost the same amount to fly to Orlando as it would to drive, without even considering the time and stress factors: According to Google Maps, it’s a 19 hour drive. Our kids have a hard limit of 3 hours in the car before one of them starts getting car sick and the rest try to kill each other. Assuming we left before dawn to maximize the time the kids are asleep or at least drowsy, we could do it in two days: Day 1: Leave at 4am, drive...
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