Value of Reading to Children with Special Needs

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

reading-to-children-with-special-needsReading aloud is a great way of engaging with young children, while also promoting language development and early literacy skills. It is widely accepted that reading aloud is the single most important activity leading to language development and promotes early literacy skills in children; yet, when it comes to reading to children with special needs, recent research indicates that reading instruction in small groups may have more value.

According to researcher H. Lee Swanson, Ph.D., Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of California at Riverside, “Traditionally, one-on-one reading instruction has been considered optimal for students with [learning disabilities]. Yet …

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5 Tips to Communicate with Your Child with Special Needs

By | Tips for Parents and Teachers | No Comments

Finding effective ways to communicate with a child with special needs can be stressful and frustrating for both the parent and the child. Since few parents or guardians are trained as a speech language therapist, it’s unlikely that you will go into parenthood understanding the often-unique ways your child will try to express him/her self, or the best tips to communicate with your child with special needs.

When a child is not speaking, the adult will try to do anything to help but this often ends up with the adult speaking more and asking questions and, in turn, there is …

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Positive Parenting Skills: 5 Positive Parenting Rules

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

parenting-rulesAs a parent, you must distinguish between your child’s behaviours, understanding the difference between those that are deliberate and those that are due to other factors, such as: fear, stress, fatigue, and hunger. Following these 5 parenting rules will help you figure out the clues your child is sending.

Each parent or guardian will have their own unique way of parenting, which you learnt from how you were brought up. We all tend to parent as we were parented, until we become aware of certain behaviours and make conscious decisions to try and modify them.

We can all think of …

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Positive Parenting Skills: Building Positive Role Modelling Skills

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

role-modellingI am often asked by parents how to manage specific behaviours exhibited by their children. My first question to these parents is always the same, “How do you behave as a parent?” This is often met with stunned silence and wide, staring eyes as they struggle to understand the need for positive role modelling.

Children need their parents or guardians to be good models; role models for acceptable behaviour. That means you have to practice good listening to teach good listening, use manners to teach manners, and practice self-control to teach patience.

If you argue, shout at others, and call …

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Positive Parenting Skills: What Type of Role Model Are You?

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

As parents, we often don’t realise that, through our own actions, we are encouraging our children’s negative behaviours, such as: screaming, whining, kicking, and not listening. Young children are incredibly attentive, and they crave adult attention, be it positive or negative. Preschool children are especially adept at testing adults because, developmentally, they are on a quest for autonomy. This is why learning positive parenting skills is so important.

Children this young simply do not understand consequences, the “If you… I will…” type of experience that parents often mistake for a “teaching moment.” Such language structures have no meaning to them …

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December is a Time for Kindness, Joy and Giving

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog | No Comments

kindness-childrenDecember and January for me are the months of kindness, joy and the season of giving. This is a wonderful opportunity to teach and practice kindness. Kindness is a universal value that is an integral part of all traditions. Kindness knows no borders. Kindness is contagious. It even makes our hearts beat longer and means that we treat everyone with equal respect, regardless of their culture, color, social or intellectual status.

Whilst the holiday season can be full of such wonderful joys, it can also be a very stressful time for many parents and children with special needs. Sharing …

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November is a Time to be Grateful

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog | No Comments

grateful-applesIt’s been a busy few months with lots of fun travel working with amazing educators around the world and some very special children. I have been to Denmark, Cairo, Riyadh and New York in the last three months.

November is one of my favorite months. I love the changing colors of the Fall and going on crisp forest walks. Apple Picking is one of my favorite actives to do with the children. It can be a fun family outing for all children. Remember to prepare your children before they go for what’s to be expected and take lots of pictures …

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Let’s Talk: Experience Sharing & Autism

By | Everything Autism | No Comments

Our children today are taught to express themselves, to be successful in school, on the sports field, in music, in drama, in music and to generally to be busy DOING.

autismWe do a good job at ensuring their little minds and bodies are taken care of but what about their little hearts? Do we teach our children to LOVE, to be kind to each other and to forgive? Do we teach our children compassion and the deeper meaning of sacrifice (giving up what you love to someone else in need). Do we teach our children to both appreciate differences in …

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What is the Difference between Talking and Communicating?

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

AACPic2For a moment think about TALKING and COMMUNICATING. Are they the same thing? I consult for a family, who have a little boy Sammy, with a rare genetic disorder. Sammy is three and is unable to communicate using spoken language but does this little boy try his best to communicate!! His smiles, infectious giggles and facial expressions tell an entire story. He has now learned to use the app My Very First AAC to express his needs and is moving onto a more complex device.

I love this app, it is parent friendly, simple to use, and photos/voice recordings can …

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People Games: Five little men in a flying saucer!

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog | No Comments

GamesinSun2In my role as an educational consultant parents of children with special needs often ask me about appropriate toys and games they can play with their children. With the availability of technology there is sometimes a tendency to “pull out the iPad”. While I am a fan of developmentally appropriate use of technology there is so much value and fun gained from just playing (minus iPad)! During summer holidays and while traveling the toy box can’t always join you. Some outdoor fun at the beach, visiting play-grounds and People Games can be enjoyed by all children.

People Games are …

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