Read Hartley’s Life With 3 Boys Blog Talks About SPD and More

There are a whole lot of blogs on the internet that contain stories about the day in the life of a family. These are often referred to as “Mommy Blogs”, and can be both interesting as well as informative. Parents who have children with special needs will want to check out the blog called “Hartley’s Life With 3 Boys”. It describes what life is like raising a child who has a mixture of multiple special needs. Blogging about one’s family has become rather common. Often, these kinds of blogs are written by moms, and the usual content consists of journal … Continue reading

More Just-Right Dolls

My last blogs told of two lines of dolls, one of school-age dolls and one of baby dolls, that had adoption stories attached to the dolls. Another source of dolls for multicultural families is Joy’s Waldorf Dolls. The unique thing about this site: kits, patterns and doll parts are sold so that you can craft your own doll in whole or in part. Five shades of fabric are available for the skin, and five types of hair also. Floss in different colors is available for eyes, noses, mouths. There is an instructional DVD available for purchase, and a limited selection … Continue reading

Sensory Integration Dysfunction: What is Vestibular Disorder?

The child with dysfunction of sensory integration (DSI) gets confused signals as the brain is interpreting information from the senses. This can cause all kinds of difficult or unusual behaviors in your son or daughter. (To understand the basics of sensory integration disorder, click here.) We have more than five senses, including the vestibular sense, which is input from the inner ear, along with visual, auditory, and movement receptors that travel to the brainstem, reticular formation, and cerebellum for processing. This input provides information about balance and movement, and how the size of our body relates to the sizes of … Continue reading

FUN with FOODS for Sensory Integration Dysfunction

Is your child a picky eater? Creative food play might help. In San Antonio, Texas, a group of families who have children with Sensory Integration Dysfunction (DSI)–and other eating disorders– get their kids together for a special kind of play group once a month. They appropriately named their program “FED UP.” Each “Fed Up” meeting not only provides a social opportunity for the preschoolers and toddlers involved, but it’s based around a theme. On one gathering, the theme was “balls and circles.” The children began their socializing in a ball pit in a tent to warm them up to the … Continue reading

Conduct Disorder: A Frightening Reality

When I first heard of conduct disorder, I wondered whether it was some conjured up name for kids who’ve been badly parented. I mean, honestly… “conduct” disorder? Have we gone so far with creating disorders and diseases that we’re giving bad behavior a medical excuse? But the symptoms of conduct disorder are so shockingly anti-social that, one must reason that something has gone wrong in the child’s psyche. This is not merely the case of a spoiled, manipulative child who throws tantrums. The child with conduct disorder has a surprising inability to feel empathy for other living things. This is … Continue reading

Sensory Integration Dysfunction: Just What Exactly Is It?

Imagine you’re a child, and the sweater your mother dressed you in feels like sandpaper chafing your skin. The sensation of the threads rubbing across your arms is so irritating, you can barely concentrate on anything else. You grunt and whine in frustration, trying to convey your feelings, but you can’t put them into words that make sense. You throw a tantrum, and finally your mother removes your sweater. Then she casually turns on the dishwasher. The buzzing of the motor rings terribly loud in your ears. You run into the corner of the room, covering your head and moaning. … Continue reading

“Help Me, I’m Stuck in Autism.”

I once heard about a frightening scenario where a patient undergoing surgery is put under general anesthesia, but only the immobilizing aspect of it takes affect. The patient is able to feel the pain of the surgery and comprehends everything that is happening, but is powerless speak, move, or to ask for help. I can’t think of too many things more terrifying. Is it possible that autistic children are in a similar predicament? Do you ever wonder whether children with autism are imprisoned in a world of total sensory chaos, but on some level can comprehend what they are experiencing? … Continue reading

Book Review: The Mislabeled Child

For unknown reasons, adopted children seem to have a much greater incidence of learning disorders than the general population. The Mislabeled Child can be a wonderful help for parents in getting beyond a label to the root of a child’s problem. Unlike many other books, this one also offers specific ideas, games and resources parents can use at home to strengthen certain skills. Spouses Brock and Fernette Eide, M.D.s, run the Eide Neurolearning Clinic in Washington State. They are researchers and clinicians in the field of learning disabilities. They also teach their own two children at home. The Eides share … Continue reading

Helping Your Child with Hypersensitive Gagging

The gag reflex is designed to be a normal response of the mouth and throat, to prevent your baby from swallowing foreign objects or getting food trapped in the airway. When a child gags, the reflex pushes the food off the back of the tongue and forward out of the mouth. Infants usually have an automatic gag response when the back of the tongue is touched, as part of this natural protection nature provides. Yet ideally, as the child progresses from liquids to strained foods to solids, the gagging reflex diminishes. For some children with disabilities, however, the gagging continues … Continue reading

Why Does My Child Keep Overreacting?

It’s always a good idea to remind ourselves that our children with special needs have brains that interpret and assimilate information differently. In a previous blog I wrote about “brain wiring” with respect to people with autism. A neurologist who was evaluating my son’s behaviors said, “It’s the way his brain is wired.” I’ve certainly observed that my son sees and comprehends the world around him in his own unique way. This is especially true for children with sensory integration dysfunction, who receive all kinds of confused signals as their brains process sensory input. These kids have curious, peculiar behaviors … Continue reading