All Posts By

Dr. Donia Fahim

Eating Cake for Breakfast

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Parenting Tips, Podcast | No Comments
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Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 001 / Segment: Eating Cake for Breakfast]

Professor Rhea Paul and I recently completed series 1 of our podcast, Let’s Talk about Super Special Kids and Cake. One of the segments in the podcast is called ‘Eating Cake for Breakfast’ and in today’s post, I wanted to share a little bit more on what this segment is all about!

Eating cake for breakfast is a metaphor. It’s the part of the podcast where we share ideas on super fun and creative things that you can do with your child …

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Tips for Special Educators and Therapists – The Early Start Denver Model

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Tips for Parents and Teachers | No Comments
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More than a dozen studies have demonstrated the benefits of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) as an early intervention for autism among children as young as 18 months. These studies included children across a wide range of learning abilities, as well as one-on-one sessions and ESDM delivered to groups of children.

The foundation of ESDM is the empirical knowledge-base of infant-toddler learning and development and the effects of early autism. It is a relationship-based intervention that fully involves the child’s parents, caregivers, and family.

A relationship-based approach like ESDM is founded on the idea that, what children with ASD …

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Focusing on the ‘Now’

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Parenting Tips, Podcast | No Comments
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Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 001 / Segment: Super Special Topic]

Life is full of worries. We worry about the mortgage, we worry about our health, we worry about the bills. The list is endless. Once you become a parent, worrying about your children probably takes up the most amount of room in your mind. This is especially true; when caring for a special needs child. However, most people will also agree that worrying is not constructive and doesn’t solve any problems. Rather, we should try to look at solutions and ways to achieve this.…

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Tips for Toilet Training Children with Special Needs

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Parenting Tips | No Comments

As mentioned in a previous post, Providing Structure is Critical, when teaching even the most basic skills and habits to children; but this is especially true for children with special needs. By putting in place a clearly defined process for even simple tasks, like these tips for toilet training, your child will be able to more easily understand what is required and is far more likely to develop good habits for following through.

Even something as straightforward as going to the toilet requires a clearly defined process to make it easier for your child to learn this important routine.…

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How to Choose a Preschool for Children with Special Needs

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Parenting Tips | No Comments

While US federal laws requires that accommodations be made to educate children with special needs in all public schools across the country, many other countries have followed the lead on this. When it comes to educating pre-school children the regulations are not as stringent and, when it comes to choosing a preschool for children with special needs, great care should be taken to ensure you find the right place for your child.

When I worked in Africa and the Middle East, at a time when we were establishing the guidelines for setting up early intervention programs and inclusion practices during …

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Holidays Can Be Stressful for Children with Special Needs

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Parenting Tips | No Comments

While most of us experience increased joy and happiness during the end-of-year celebrations, the holidays can be stressful for special needs children. Crowded spaces, flashing lights, lots of noise, meeting strangers, hugging, change in routine, and sheer chaos can be a recipe for stress and sensory overload for them, at this otherwise happy time.

As the parent, guardian, or caregiver of special needs child, you will need to be flexible with your ideas of what your family’s holiday celebrations should look like. The ritual and traditions you remember from your childhood may not be the best choices for your own …

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Teaching Math Concepts to Children with Special Needs

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Tips for Parents and Teachers | No Comments

While language and auditory processing deficits can affect the ability to learn language, they can also hinder your child’s ability to understand abstract concepts and to master the problem solving skills conveyed when teaching math concepts. Children with special needs may have receptive or expressive language problems that can substantially affect their learning and ability to express what they do not understand, or to show how they solved problems.

Words and phrases we use every day, will have very different meanings when it comes to numbers and mathematical operations. When you say to your child, “I’m just in the middle …

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Setting Up a Home Therapy Room/Corner

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Tips for Raising Children | No Comments

The colder months can mean spending a lot more time at home. But this doesn’t have to be boring for you & your child. Why not try setting up a few things right in your home?

How to Set Up a Home Therapy Room

Creating a simple shelf with a few items on it can be a great way to introduce stories and songs to your child. Perhaps you and your child could spend some time here just before bed which could be a wonderful opportunity to make mundane routines more fun and educational!

Here’s an example of a home …

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Tips to Reinforce Speech and Language Therapy at Home

By | Tips for Parents and Teachers | No Comments

Even if your child has not been diagnosed with specific speech language challenges, as a parent or guardian, you are the person who knows best if he or she would benefit from speech and language therapy. With that in mind, there are a number of ways for you to reinforce the work your child is doing in therapy to help build your child’s communication skills; or things you can do in the interim if you are waiting for an assessment.

Language building is essential during the first years of a child’s life, as this is when most of the pathways …

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For Special Needs Children, Providing Structure is Critical

By | Tips for Parents and Teachers | No Comments

Providing structure is important for every child but, for children with special needs, providing structure is essential for their learning experience. The designation “children with special needs” is for children who may have challenges which are more severe than the typical child and could possibly last a lifetime. These children will need extra support and additional services, as well as a clearly structured home life.

Consistent routines and clear expectations – a consistent, organized, clearly defined daily plan – will help create order and add structure to your child’s day, as well as your own. Things go more smoothly when …

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