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Parenting Tips

Importance of Playfulness Training for Toddlers with ASD

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

Hello, and welcome to my latest post, where I’m sharing expert advice around the importance of playfulness training.

I have been sharing posts about the importance of playfulness and using a theme inspired by, and rooted in, your child’s interests when playing with them.

What is systematic planning?

Systematic planning is a cornerstone in an early invention home-based programme and, as promised, over the next few months each newsletter will focus on an early childhood theme and ways to maximise your systematic planning.

This month, as we begin the summer holidays, I have chosen the theme ‘Under the Sea.’ If …

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Communication Training for Toddlers with ASD

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

vocalization-in-toddlers-with-asdThere is a significant difference between talking and communication. As most of us know, the inability to use speech does not preclude the ability to be understood by others. Sign language, body language, pictures, all facilitate non-verbal communication and these can provide an opportunity to work towards increasing and encouraging vocalization in toddlers with ASD.

For children who struggle to develop speech, learning to communicate through other means also offers an opportunity for them to eventually learn to use language to communicate their needs and enjoy the social pleasures of communicating with others.

According to the National Institute on Deafness …

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Play, Rewind, Repeat

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Parenting Tips, Podcast | No Comments
autism-and-parenting

Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 004 / Segment: Special Q]

Case study in autism and parenting: I worked with a family where the husband and their two boys were all autistic. All three of them really liked watching a particular video of a plane take off and land. The mother reported that they watched this video repeatedly and would not want to watch anything else. Consequently, the mother was afraid that this would be their only interest.

In this circumstance, what’s important to note that this sole interest can be the basis for further learning …

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Who are you? What do you do?

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Parenting Tips, Podcast | No Comments
support-for children-with-asd

Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 004 / Segment: Super Special Topic]

If you have a child with ASD, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the number of different types of professionals and the work that they do. However, when it comes to intervention, remember that although a professional is an expert in their field, it is you that is the professional when it comes to your child. You know your child better than anyone and so I really encourage parents to build a positive relationship with the professionals that their child is working with; making …

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Tips for Therapists and Teachers – The Sacred Sound of Silence

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

It’s quite incredible what silence can offer. As therapists and teachers, we are trained to both listen and to speak with impeccability. We are taught to be aware of not just what we are saying but also how we are saying it and to be good role models for those we teach.

In my years of being a therapist and mentor, I am constantly learning from my students. My most recent, and perhaps one of the most profound lessons for me, came from a boy named AP, a little 4-year-old with Autism.

We have been working together now for over …

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Public spaces are lovely places!

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Parenting Tips, Podcast | No Comments
keeping-special-children-engaged

Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 003 / Segment: Eating Cake for Breakfast]

The world is a big place and even bigger for our special little ones. If you want to make your child’s day super fun and interesting, but inexpensive at the same time, you needn’t worry. There are such wonderful public places that you can take your child to for free!

Museums such as the Natural History Museum where you can look at dinosaur bones; or The Transport Museum where you can ride old replica trains are such fun and so educational without being …

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Toddlers & Tantrums!

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Parenting Tips, Podcast | No Comments
when-toddlers-have-a-tantrum

Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 003 / Segment: Special Q]

Tantrums are tough. Whether it’s our own child or maybe a niece or nephew: we’ve all been there – they tantrum and at the worst possible time! Tantrums can be especially difficult to deal with when it’s a special child that’s throwing one. This is because communication is usually already a barrier and so it’s even more difficult to decipher exactly what your little one wants. What do tantrums mean? Why do they do it? Usually it’s because they’re tired or they can’t communicate what …

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Make a routine, have fun, repeat!

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Parenting Tips, Podcast | No Comments
establish-routines-for-children

Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 002 / Segment: Eating Cake for Breakfast]

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 …

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Extreme Measures

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Parenting Tips, Podcast | No Comments
coping-with-sensitive-children

Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 002 / Segment: Arghh]

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 …

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To Scold or Not to Scold?

By | Dr. Donia Fahim Blog, Parenting Tips, Podcast | No Comments
tips-for-raising-children

Let’s Talk About Super Special Kids & Cake Podcast [Episode 002 / Segment: Special Q]

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

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