What’s new in the blog...
In this blog post, I celebrate a significant milestone:
My son is finishing his first year in secondary school.
I feel immense joy and amazement at his progress. Reflecting on his journey, it's incredible to see how much he has grown. As a mother of a child with additional needs, my aim is to share our story, offering hope and inspiration to fellow parents who are also navigating similar...
(Photo 14997390 © Darko64 | Dreamstime.com)
As an early intervention specialist and a parent, I understand the importance of teaching delayed gratification to all children, including children with disabilities. It is a valuable life skill that helps them learn patience, perseverance, and the ability to work towards what they want.
In this blog, I share practical strategies to help...
(Illustration 155631998 © Ramu Chinnasamy | Dreamstime.com)
Starting primary school is a significant milestone in a child's life, and it can be both exciting and overwhelming for parents and children alike.
For children with additional needs, transitioning to primary school can be even more challenging, with new environments, routines, and people to get used to.
(Photo 184933974 / Father Child Hugging © Christinlola | Dreamstime.com)
Parenting can be challenging and rewarding, and balancing discipline with love and nurturing is a constant struggle for parents. As an early intervention specialist and mother, I have been reflecting on this topic a lot lately, especially after teaching a Masterclass on Behaviour just before Easter.
Last week, while...
(Photo 251270419 © Pojoslaw | Dreamstime.com)
With World Down Syndrome Day this week, I wanted to share a personal story that has shaped my life. It's about my childhood friend Monica, who had Down Syndrome.
A story about friendship, inclusion and inspiration.
I met Monica when I was around 6 or 7 years old. I remember the first day she entered our classroom - she was the "new kid". Even...
(Photo 118478201 / Child © Katie Nesling | Dreamstime.com)
As an education consultant who has worked with many parents and teachers of children with additional needs, I have noticed that rewards are often used to manage children's behaviour.
In particular, some approaches geared towards autistic children heavily use rewards to encourage the child to perform certain tasks or behaviours....
(Photo 250682456 © Eleonoraos | Dreamstime.com)
In this blog post, I wanted to answer a question sent to me by a teacher.
"I am supporting a Junior Infant girl with Down syndrome. She is bright and happy yet very stubborn regarding what she will do. She walks out of the classroom mid-lesson, although we have movement breaks, as she would rather play! I want to do the...
(Photo 258330047 / Couple Child Disability © Yuri Arcurs | Dreamstime.com)
Based on my experience working with families for over 20 years, I have observed that many couples become more robust as they navigate the challenges of parenting a child with additional needs. However, it is important to acknowledge that some couples may experience the opposite and instead grow apart.
There is no...
(Photo Rachel Tyrrel - The Colour Club)
I started working with some new families in early January. It has been exciting to get to know the little ones and find ways to bond with them before we start an early intervention programme.
Visual supports are among the first supports I encourage families and educators to use.
Although families and educators seem aware of visual supports, only some know...
(Photo 80645577 / Autistic Child © Olesia Bilkei | Dreamstime.com)
In this blog, I answer a question sent by a preschool teacher:
"I would love to know more about how to deal with children with autism in the preschool room who don’t have language or social skills and don’t like other children coming close to them.
I would love to know how I can help and support...
(Photo 69724423 / Child © Syda Productions | Dreamstime.com)
In this blog, I respond to an early years educator's recent question.
"How do you stop a child with Down Syndrome from throwing toys? We have tried a box and asked her to look in the box and show her, which she will do. But then, as soon as you don't say it, she will throw toys again. We are...
(Photo 102887981 / Child Blowing Bubbles © Eleonoraos | Dreamstime.com)
Learning to control one's breath flow is critical in developing speech.
From a young age, babies experiment with this as they make sounds and babble. When babies are "blowing raspberries," they discover they can inhale and exhale to produce a sound.
This is what we do when we talk. We inhale first, and then we exhale...
(Photo 229746503 © Evgenyatamanenko | Dreamstime.com)
I often talk about inclusion of children with disabilities in our communities. But before we can look at inclusion in the community, we must remember that inclusion starts within the family circle.
Enjoying a family meal, going to the playground with friends, or enjoying a sleepover at the grandparents' house, may not be...
(Photo 104711102 © Igor Mojzes | Dreamstime.com)
Christmas is a time of celebration and fun.
But being off school, changes in routine and family gatherings can sometimes be difficult for children with additional needs.
Over the years, through my experience as a mum and working with other families with children with disabilities, I have learned a few things about planning...
(Illustration 30939548 © Tigatelu | Dreamstime.com)
It's the season for school Christmas concerts and plays, and there is lots of excitement in the classroom as children rehearse for the Christmas recital.
Today, I want to share some points to consider when planning Christmas concerts with children with special needs, whether they attend regular or special classes.
Seeing the kids dressed...
(Illustrations and book credit Rod Campbel)
This blog has a surprise for you: a Christmas story read with Lámh signs.
I recorded a video of the book "Dear Santa" by Rod Campbell.
You will find a list of the Lámh signs used below, as I use a combination of Lámh signs and natural gestures, so you know which is which.
I hope you and your children enjoy watching it!
(Photo 133112104 © Melpomenem | Dreamstime.com)
In today's blog, I answer a question a mom sent me recently:
How can I teach pointing to my 2yrs 4months nonverbal child, so he can tell me what he wants?
So let's go straight to the point and learn all about pointing.
Pointing is an important milestone for young children.
Some children point using their index finger, although others...
Become your own CEO - My Message To Parents
(An Enable Ireland Podcast)
Enable Ireland has launched its new Podcast (and a video version of it, too), called Enable Conversations, and I was honoured to be their first guest.
In this conversation with its host, Sebastian Koppe, I speak about my experience as a parent and professional.
I also share what interventions I implemented...
There is nothing more fun than playing with little kids, so I am excited about this weekend
I am doing a live event for children at Castletymon Library in Dublin this Saturday from 10 am to 12 pm: Storytelling with Lámh signs.
I will read books, sing songs, and play games with children through Lámh.
I ran one of these before at...
I have recorded a free mini-training video answering some of the questions I received over the past while.
In this video, I discuss the topic:
How to help expand children's attention span.
You may be interested in this week's topic if your child or student:
- Wanders around the classroom or the playroom, exploring toys but not playing with them.
(Credits: Written by Laura Numeroff & Illustrated by Felicia Bond)
It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse (With Lámh Signs)
Halloween is a very exciting time of the year for the kids. Spooky costumes, trick or treating, and the thought of getting enough sweets to last them for an entire year have all kids ecstatic.
I have a little surprise for you here, and it's not a spooky one.