Yearly Archives

2015

Seasons Greetings

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It’s that time of the year again! Grading, finals and Holidays. It’s so easy to get swept up into the frenzy of:  I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO! But then stop take a breath. It’s the words we use to label how we are feeling that in a second can change our mood. This has been a wonderful few months and I am so grateful to all of those who have supported me and inspired me. As the end of the year approaches we tend to reflect on where we have been and where we would like to be but …

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Getting through the first week of school and over the bumps along the way!

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog | No Comments

The first week back at school can be overwhelming for any child and for children with ASD even more so. The key is preparation and priming. Priming is when you prepare a child for an activity or event before it takes place using visual supports and clear language. Teachers need to be primed too. No matter how well primed a child is, there will still be some anxiety, as they learn to self-regulate and adjust to the new classroom. Using Yoga with children with ASD and allowing for simple movement breaks can also be very helpful.

I have just finished …

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Self-regulation, social cognition and yoga

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Feelings are a funny old thing! Many therapists and teachers will work on this with children with special needs to help them understand how they are feeling as well as to “read” how other people may be feeling. Feelings show up at all sorts of times and depending on the course of the day most of us can venture up and down the feeling scale with some highs and lows along the way.

Two of the children I consult with recently went to see the movie “Inside Out” (http://en.disneyme.com). The film is a wonderful tool to help children understands …

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Can children with developmental disorders learn more than one language?

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Parents of exceptional children often ask me if it is ok for them to use more than one language with their child. The answer is yes! I am bilingual. I grew up in a home where I was exposed to several languages. It was the norm. My nieces and nephews are following similar suite. Sunday lunch with my family is a blend of cultures, languages and inter-spirituality! We call it our family “Salata” (salad).

Children with special needs, who are also dual language learners (DLLS), are NOT harmed by learning two languages, in fact the research shows the contrary. Learning …

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Exceptional teachers: Mrs. Tipping, an armchair and a fairy!

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Shakespeare and I have been friends for many years. We first became friends when I was seven and since then we’ve always been friends. My dearest teacher Mrs Tipping introduced me to him, as well as to other great literary artists such as Gerard Manley Hopkins, Eleanor Farjeon, and Wordsworth.  I owe a great deal to Mrs Tipping. My passion for the theatre, the joy I get from teaching and my love of reading. She was my teacher for 11 years, from prep school through to my first year at UCL, which is when she passed at the age of …

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Daily routines: give them a chance to communicate!

By | Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, Everything Autism, Tips for Parents and Teachers | No Comments

When do you teach your child to communicate? 

Hand washing, toileting, mealtime, and naptime are some of the daily activities that occur throughout the day. These routines are predictable and regular and therefore can be utilized for natural teaching opportunities to address communication development and related skills. These routines can become ideal learning activities for young children with ASD and developmental disorders especially when some time is taken to plan for what might be taught during such routines. Routines will look different from country to country and from home to home. I am ending a work visit in Saudi Arabia. …

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Whose role is that?

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Autism, gender and culture.

Autism crosses all boundaries: social, religious, cultural and linguistic. The treatments that we offer children and families must however address the differences in culture and language. When I was in Saudi Arabia conducting workshops, I gave an example of sorting laundry to help children match and categorize. This is an activity parents I have worked with in Egypt have reported to do with their young children with success. However when I was in Saudi I was reminded by the mothers in the audience that their boys would never sort laundry, it would be culturally inappropriate.…

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My little mentor

By | Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, Uncategorized | No Comments

I am spending Thanksgiving with my dear friend Susanna, her husband, children and family. This is my first American holiday. It’s postcard perfect. The house with the wooden front porch, children playing with autumn leaves in the back yard (garden), the aroma of turkey and pumpkin pie. Family traveling from afar. This is all very new for me, it’s not quite Christmas in London. My little friend Nikolas, aged 6 is my guide.  We each take turns to say what we are grateful for. My little mentor, Nikolas says, “It’s when we celebrate about everything we are grateful for. I …

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Resources AAC and Hand Held devices

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These are some useful resources if you are considering the the use of hand held device as alternative augmentative communication system for an individual with ASD. Supporting the communication of individuals with ASD leads to greater community accessibility and self-advocacy. If you want to be inspired I would suggest watching: Wretches and Jabberers this is an inspiring and informative documentary. 

A Comparison of Communication Using the Apple iPad and a Picture-based System, Margaret Flores*, Kate Musgrove,Scott Renner, Vanessa Hinton, Shaunita Strozier, Susan Franklin,

Doris Hil June 2012

http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07434618.2011.644579

 

A further comparison of manual signing, picture

exchange, and speech-generating devices as…

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A world of INCLUSION–Documentary

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I am excited to be attending a film screening on December 5th 2012  of the documentary film INCLUSION — at 6: 30 pm  at Japan Society, in NYC. This will followed by a Q&A with executive producer and former First Lady Kayoko Hosokawa and a reception.

This invitation has been kindly extended to my graduate students at Hunter College. Promoting inclusion and raising awareness in the field of special needs is a continued effort. If we are going to promote acceptance and tolerance as a society we must understand and acknowledge the challenges.

More details can be found at the …

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