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Parenting Tips

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

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

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: Arghh]

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 …

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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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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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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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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: 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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