Make a routine, have fun, repeat!

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

Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 006]

Today, it’s bath time that I’m appreciating! What I really love about bath time is that it is a simple environment: just water and a few toys; but it can be so rich in language between parent and child. Simple things like describing the water as ‘wet’ or saying the colour of your child’s toy is an effortless way to promote language without making your child feel like even bath time is a lesson.

Why Routines for Children are Important to Learning

You can ask your child to ‘wash’ …

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Tips for Special Educators – Verbal Behavior and Teaching Language

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

In today’s post, we begin a series of tips for special educators, designed to help them grow their skills and tools for teaching children with special needs.

Verbal Behavior (VB), is a method of teaching language that focuses on the idea that a meaning of a word is found in its function. In essence, to teach a child with language delays what a word means, you must first teach how the word is used.

This theory of teaching language (originally developed by renowned psychologist B.F. Skinner), has been reinforced by recent research into the use of models of language forms …

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Extreme Measures

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Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 005]

Today I wanted to discuss when parents are too extreme in dealing with their child’s sensitivities; letting these completely rule not only the special child’s life, but the entire family’s lives too. 

Having a special child can mean they have a dislike to many kinds of things. Being sensitive to those dislikes is important. Showing your child that you are conscious of these demonstrates respect and shows that you care about your child. However, I have found that in some families, parents will reduce their child’s sensitivities to an …

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To Scold or Not to Scold?

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Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 004]

A lot of parents ask me this question: ‘Can I scold my child?

Whilst there is no definitive answer, I always encourage positive directives rather than telling your child off. Positive directives are where you tell your child what you want them to do; as opposed to telling them what they shouldn’t be doing. For example: saying “please put your coat on so we can get in the car and drive to nursery” rather than “why aren’t you putting your coat on? We’ll be

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Autism Treatment Questions – Hours of Treatment for Your Special Needs Child

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Everything Autism, Parenting Tips | 2 Comments

Among the most frequent autism treatment questions from parents to special educators and therapists is, “How many hours of treatment is best for my child?”

Of course, the answer will vary from child to child and parent to parent, based on the particular condition and the amount of participation the parents and/or caregiver are available and able to provide. In Chapter 7 of our book, Let’s Talk, we outline the recommendations from a variety of agencies and foundations that support families of children with special needs. It is important to remember that quality always trumps quantity.

Here is a …

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

Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 003]

Who remembers the fidget spinner craze that swept the nation as few months back? They were everywhere and the craze spread like wildfire! I get it, one child has one and then another child wants it too and before you know it, all the parents also want their child to have one and so we all rush to the stores to get one too!

My problem with the fidget spinners however; was that they were marketed as aides for individuals with anxiety, autism and ADHD to name a few …

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Early Childhood Best Practices – Thematic Planning

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

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful January. January is my birthday month. I was born on January 1st on a cold frosty morning a few weeks earlier than expected. My mother, who is a doctor, was on call at the time and I was her New Year’s surprise! We were featured in local paper as I was the first baby born that year at the hospital, that was the equivalent of social media in the 70s. After spending my birthday with family, my bags were packed once again and I have been traveling and working in Cairo & Riyadh. …

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Evidence-Based Timing of Intervention for Special Needs Children

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

Scientific evidence is important, but it is not the only consideration when evaluating the type and timing of intervention programs for your child. Studies of young children with language delays not associated with ASD suggest that they usually learn effectively from interventions embedded in play and natural interactions, with clear models of language forms provided by adults for children to use the models in their own speech.

With this in mind, how can a family sift through the enormous amount of information available to find not only the most appropriate treatment for their child – but when such treatment should …

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Eating Cake for Breakfast

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

Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 002]

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 that’s just as fun as well; …

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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

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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