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Christmas is coming and for those who have a child with autism in the family, it can be hard to choose the best toy. It turns out that nobody knows better than a parent of a child with autism. In order to find out which toys make the best gifts for a child with autism, … 10 Great Toys & Gifts For Autistic Children Read More...
Christmas is coming and for those who have a child with autism in the family, it can be hard to choose the best toy. It turns out that nobody knows better than a parent of a child with autism.
In order to find out which toys make the best gifts for a child with autism, an organization called MyAutismTeam recently surveyed 14,000 of its members ─ who are all parents of children with autism. Here are the results of the survey for the best toys and gifts – chosen by the parents themselves!
According to a large number parents, Apple’s iPad came in as the first choice as the best toy for an autistic child.
iPad apps and games help an autistic child to communicate and to learn ─ both things that they can typically struggle with. The touch screen offers a sensory experience which holds the attention of many children with autism, often keeping them involved for hours.
They’re great if you have to travel with your autistic child. They’re also useful if they accompany you to your other children’s activities.
From high-tech to low-tech, Lego came in second!
The bright colors and tactile experience of building with Lego are a big attraction for kids with autism.They can use the blocks to express themselves in creative ways while building whatever they can imagine. Lego can lead to hours of mental engagement for an autistic child.
As children get older, Lego Building Sets take it a step up with added instructions to create and build a unique design. Overall, Legos can offer hours of fun and creative building experiences!
Gifts that appeal to the senses, such as stuffed animals or toys that light up or move appeal to children with autism.
This is because autistic kids are sensitive to touch, lights, and sounds. Stuffed animals are soft to the touch while other toys such as remote controlled toys can offer movement, light and sound stimulation.
Gift cards are a popular gift for children of autism because the child can pick out what appeals to them.
According to lots of parents of children with autism, it can be hard finding the right, individual gift. Autistic children often go through phases, so giving a gift card gives the gift of flexibility!
Video games are shown to engage a child with autism by helping them to learn self-confidence as well as other skills such as hand-eye coordination.
Many parents report that their autistic child enjoys video games so much that they usually have several kinds and even bring a hand-held along on trips.
Video games also enable other family members to participate by playing along. This helps the autistic child interact with others, which is of particular importance for those with siblings. Video games can contribute to forming a bond with other family members.
Puzzles are a favorite pastime for kids with autism. Interlocking pieces offer stimulating, tactile actions.
Furthermore, autistic children enjoy watching the puzzle progress into an actual picture. Many kids with autism enjoy puzzles so much that they will complete one in each sitting.
Autistic children enjoy many aspects of children books such as rhythms and repetitions.
Parents report that their child’s ability to memorize detail is amazing, so books are a great learning tool for autistic kids.
For younger children, look for books with repetitive rhymes such as Dr. Suess books. Older kids will usually gravitate towards a particular interest, such as history or science so that they will enjoy stories detailed in these subjects.
Autistic children tend to learn more from visually stimulating methods. This can include touch and sound stimulation as well.
Favorite brands like Leapster and Leap Pad can help kids with autism to learn, maybe even better than traditional school settings.
According to parents, interactive educational toys, games or DVDs not only help their child to learn but also keep them engaged for extended periods of time.
After further research on the subject, Kidsaversnetwork can add a couple of more gift ideas to the list.
Photography is a popular past-time activity for autistic children. They love being able to share how they see the world and their parents love the clarity and direction it provides.
10-year-old Morgan Wolfers from Colorado started taking photos on walks with his parents.
His prints were that good, National Geographic selected one of his photos to be displayed in VP Joe Biden’s house!
These days there’s many devices that can help get autistic kids into photography. For younger children, check out the Vtech Kidizoom. It’s an excellent first camera for budding photographers.
Izzy Paskowitz is a professional surfer and father of an autistic child. Along with his with he, founded “Surfers Healing” in 1996. Izzy found that surfing helped calm their child like nothing else.
He began taking other autistic children out in the surf and found it had a therapeutic effect on them.
Surfers Healing now offers free surf camps nationwide. If you can’t make them (or it’s just too cold) taking an autistic child to the local pool could be great preparation. Anything water related such as a personal flotation device (PFD), kickboard even a bodyboard would make a great gift.
We hope our list has given you some great gift ideas and will help make somebody’s day! Don’t forget, experiences together are always better than gifts.
Simple traditions such as decorating the house, watching holiday movies and taking a walk around town to look at Christmas lights can also be very appealing to children with autism during the holiday season!
Being a single mother can be hard, especially when it comes to finding affordable housing for you and your children. Help is out there; however, you need to know where to look and how to apply. Housing assistance from the government is available in most states, as well as help from private organizations. Here are … How To Find Housing for Single Mothers in 2020 Read More...
Being a single mother can be hard, especially when it comes to finding affordable housing for you and your children. Help is out there; however, you need to know where to look and how to apply.
Housing assistance from the government is available in most states, as well as help from private organizations.
Here are some ways you can find housing as a single mother in 2020.[toc]
Emergency housing is for those who find themselves with no place to live. This is temporary housing, but it is worth to take note of in case of an emergency situation.
Emergencies can include such incidents as a fire or a case of domestic violence. Emergency housing includes shelters, group homes, boarding homes and sometimes, hotel rooms.
If you need emergency housing, social services along with private, non-profit organizations such as the Salvation Army and Goodwill, can help. Doing a quick Google search of “I need emergency housing” will bring up results for safe places closest to your current location.
Affordable housing is housing with low monthly payments, being rent or mortgage. This type of housing is granted with Section 8 vouchers or can be found in neighborhood, low-income apartment units.
The first step to applying is finding the right organization for you. Here are several to start off with.
This program assists with housing vouchers for low-income families and single mothers. The amount you will have to pay will be based on your income. You can find more information here.
The CoAbod program helps single mothers to find suitable housing and help with child care. It entails sharing a home with another mother and splitting all the expenses.
For more information, look at their website.
This service is a non-profit organization which aids single mothers in finding affordable housing. Their website is updated daily and lists accommodation opportunities in every state.
This worldwide organization builds and repairing houses for individuals in need. To apply for this benefit, go to their website
This kind of housing is only for people who have a low income. There is usually a maximum amount of money that you can earn to qualify for these programs.
Several organizations provide low-income housing:
Each state has HUD, or a PHA (the Public Housing Administration). With this program, low-income housing is available in a wide range of areas for low-income families, people with disabilities and the elderly.
Income allowance is determined according to each state and goes by your gross, annual income. To apply, go to their website:
This program offers low-income individuals and families a safe and sanitary place to live at a reduced price based on their earnings. The home that a person desires to live in has to be included in the program. It must also meet the Section 8 guidelines.
To qualify, you must meet the annual income restrictions. You can learn more and apply here.
This non-profit organization provides in-between accommodations to single mothers and their dependents who don’t have anywhere else to live.
It is a 2-year program. Vision-House requires single mothers’ income to be thirty percent below the overall income of the community in which they want to live. They must be considered homeless at the time of enrollment. To learn more, go to their website
This 501(c)(3) non-profit, charity organization helps women who are challenged with an unexpected pregnancy. They provide provisions during the pregnancy, and well after the child is born.
Services can include medical services, counseling, housing, legal assistance and help with locating employment. To learn more, visit their website
A national agency that seeks to expand housing accessibility for people across the U.S. To find out more and to let your voice be heard click here.
This agency gives property renters a tax credit if he or she offers affordable housing. With this program, the property owner reduces his tax liability. To learn more about qualifying as a property owner or as a low-income individual looking for housing, visit here.
Rental assistance programs are intended to help people with their rent. They either give people an allowance to use towards their rent or give money directly to the landlord to assist with rent.
Several agencies help single mothers with rental assistance:
The Salvation Army aids people in a lot of ways by using the money that they make in their stores. They help with housing for single mothers. They also provide food, rehabilitation and disaster relief. To learn more and see if you qualify, visit their website.
The programs that this charity offers include providing info on food aid, support for finding affordable housing and reintegration to allow people to qualify for higher-paying jobs. You don’t have to be a Catholic to be eligible for their services. To learn more, visit here.
The YWCA advocates for women’s rights. They believe in justice, peace, dignity, and freedom for all women.
They offer programs and aid in housing, domestic violence cases, women’s health plans, job training, primary childcare programs, literacy programs, veteran’s programs and women’s scholarship awards. To learn more about how the YWCA can assist you, go to their website.
We hope you found this listing of housing assistance for low-income mothers helpful. You might also like our page “Help & Assistance for Single Mothers“
More and more families across America are weighing up the pros and cons of homeschooling. The National Home Education Research Institute says that there are at least 2.3 million home-educated students as of 2016. The decision to homeschool is a very personal one. There are pros and cons when considering if this is the right … The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling Read More...
More and more families across America are weighing up the pros and cons of homeschooling. The National Home Education Research Institute says that there are at least 2.3 million home-educated students as of 2016.
The decision to homeschool is a very personal one. There are pros and cons when considering if this is the right option not only for your child, but also for you.
Let’s discuss what some of the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling can be!
For families that seek flexibility, homeschooling yields to be a wonderful option.
Homeschooling allows you the flexibility to manage the where, what, and when of the education. As the parent you are able to decide what texts to use and within what context to study the subjects from.
As long as your curriculum aligns with certain educational standards and goals you can craft the material in a custom made way. In addition to tailoring the curriculum texts specifically to your child, you have the ability o move at the rate at which your child can master the material.
Gone are the days of getting bored in the classroom. If you homeschool your child, you can move at a pace strictly determined by them.
Homeschool also can provide great flexibility in terms of schedule. You might decide on a year round school course, quarters, or even mixing travelling and schooling at the same time.
Those who are homeschooled often comment that schooling is something they really enjoy. As they get to set the pace of the learning, they also experience less distractions.
Behavioral distractions from other children (and even bullying), and peer pressure are not something that the homeschooler has to experience. They truly get to focus on the academic experience.
Each individual has a unique learning style. Some learn best by listening, others by writing. Some learn best by seeing, and others by experiencing hands-on activities.
If you decide to homeschool, you can determine how your child learns best. Its then possible to plan lessons to suit their unique learning style. As an example, when learning basic math principles, you are able to go to the grocery store, have the child purchase certain items within a certain budget and see how tax is calculated.
For hands-on learners this type of individualized curriculum can be very advantageous.
As you will know, there are a number of arguments against homeschooling. Let’s look and some of challenges you might encounter:
If you have multiple children that you want to homeschool, this can be very challenging depending on their ages. You may need to teach different curriculums, grades, and skill levels.
It can also prove challenging to balance each child’s needs and devote the needed time to each student.
Some children have a great need for social interaction. Not only do they enjoy it, but they can also benefit from learning from and with their peers.
Some children love to participate in sports teams or extracurricular activities. It puts extra effort on you as a homeschooling parent to make sure your child is getting the social interaction they need.
For some children homeschooling can be isolating. Cooperation homeschooling groups are available that can help aid in getting children interacting with their peers. Check with your local county school district.
It takes a lot of time commitment on the parents as well as the children when homeschooling.
Each party needs to be committed to preparing for the lessons, as well as the homework. Parents and children alike must commit to the routine and stick to it.
If you are not disciplined, homeschool can become just another chore on your checklist each day. It takes dedication and commitment on both sides.
Here are three ways to get started with homeschooling.
Each states laws differ slightly. Some require certain testing and observations by state officials. Other states are more relaxed and offer curricular outlines of topics that should be covered. You can check your state’s homeschooling laws here.
There are over a dozen educational methods and philosophies. See which philosophy matches up best with your teaching style and your child’s learning style. Take this quiz to find out which teaching style you are.
Again, this is another very vital area to successful homeschooling. Do your research. There are a lot of moms that review homeschooling materials and then make their own supplementary materials online. Some of these include cathyduffyreviews.com, homeschool-curriculum.org and thehomeschoolmom.com
Find a local homeschool group to join in your area. This is a great chance to engage with other parents and children who homeschool.
You can plan field trips, extracurricular activities, and co-teach subjects together. A great place to help you find a local homeschool group in your area is this website.
There’s many families across America who are also weighing up the pros and cons of homeschooling. To help, there are Facebook groups like “Hip Homeschool Mom” and “Homeschool.com.
You can also find a number of good books and Dvds around homeschooling on Amazon.
Whatever route you choose for your child’s education, be an active participant. The most important role a parent can take on in your student’s education is getting involved.
Whether that means for you to teach your child, or volunteer within your children’s classroom, find a way to be committed to what your child is learning!
It seems that a lot of parents have one common problem. How to get our children away from the screen and back to natural activities, such as playing outdoors. Kids under the age of six watch on average about 2 hours of screen time per day. Even worse, kids ages seven to eighteen watch about … 10 Tips To Reduce Your Child’s Screen Time Read More...
It seems that a lot of parents have one common problem. How to get our children away from the screen and back to natural activities, such as playing outdoors.
Kids under the age of six watch on average about 2 hours of screen time per day. Even worse, kids ages seven to eighteen watch about 4 hours per day.
Too much screen time can be extremely harmful to our children. It can lead to obesity, having less energy and engaging in more risky behaviors as they get older.
When kids also play video games for extended periods of time, it can make them irritable and moody. Sometimes, even impatient and selfish.
If you notice these behavioral changes, it is time for a serious change. Read on to learn how to get your kids away from the screen before it is too late.
Set a positive example for your children.
If you watch too much TV or surf the internet all day long, how can you expect them to do differently?
Children will gravitate towards the modeled behavior set by their parents. Instead, read a book or plan family activities that don’t involve screen time.
Set time limits for each of your children.
Older kids might require screen time to complete school work. Take into consideration how much screen time each child needs compared to how much leisure time they should have each day.
Also, ensure that screen time occurs only when homework and other daily activities, such as chores, are finished. Be sure to enforce the limits that you set.
Allow your children to enroll in local sports teams or classes, such as gymnastics.
This way, they are getting out of the house and doing physical activities with their peers. Many communities offer several sports teams for all ages and during all seasons of the year, as well.
For children who don’t like sports so much, consider dance classes, music classes or art classes. Encourage your kids to take part in other activities, too. These activities could include crafts, writing and reading a good book.
Don’t just encourage other activities in place of screen time. Do them with your children.
Play games, do crafts, go to the library, and go fishing. There are many activities to share with your kids. Ask them what they want to do, too. When your children help with choosing the activity, they will want to be more involved.
This kind of goes along with doing activities with your children, but it still needs to be said. Spend time talking with your children. Ask them how their day was and what’s going on in school.
Spending time in conversation shows your kids that you care what is going on in their lives.
Furthermore, don’t just drop off your kids at their activities. Stay for practice or even volunteer to help at practices. Most community sports leagues are looking for parent volunteers to help out with practices and games.
Suggest that your child reads a book before bed instead of watching TV.
Did you know that 2/3 of kids who can’t read proficiently can end up on welfare or even in jail?
Your children will learn more from a book than a 30-minute television show, and you are preparing your children to engage in far deeper conversations than those about TV shows.
Don’t skip out on the family meals. Instead, try to eat all meals together, as much as possible.
Avoid having the TV on during mealtimes. Take advantage of mealtimes to talk with your kids, about their lives, and even yours.
Don’t allow screens in your vehicle. Instead, have a family conversation or sing along to the radio together.
Take advantage of the time you have with your family while traveling in your car.
Remove all the TVs from the bedrooms. This is a sure way to reduce screen time. Plus, it’s a good way for you to enforce your screen time limits.
Furthermore, do not allow for your children to take their cell phones or tablets to bed with them. They’re sure to sneak on these smaller devices when you are not paying attention.
Be aware that screens of any size will contribute to keeping your child awake at night and not getting the quality sleep which they require to function the next day.
Don’t give in to your kids no matter what! Make your plan, set your limits, and stick with it.
You will get resistance at first, but in the end, you are teaching your children to think for themselves, to learn about new things, and to participate in the world around them.
Limiting your children’s screen time might seem to be an impossible task at first. However, it is worth the fight.
Start small if needed. Then, once your kids become more active in other activities, it will be easier to implement your strategy.
You will see, and so will your kids, that once the screen is off, it becomes easier to keep it off, for good.
There is a great website called Screenfree.org which has the latest reseach and printable fact sheets.
Dear New Mom of Twins, No one can possibly prepare you for the experience of having twins. It is the journey of a lifetime. Not only have you just become a Mom, you are now a mom of twins. You will get to experience double the trouble and double the awe. You will be tired, … 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Having Twins Read More...
Dear New Mom of Twins,
No one can possibly prepare you for the experience of having twins. It is the journey of a lifetime.
Not only have you just become a Mom, you are now a mom of twins. You will get to experience double the trouble and double the awe.
You will be tired, and cranky, and filled to the brim with love. The exhaustion will be amplified, but the joy will be magnified.
There are a few things I wish I could have told myself, back when I was a rookie mom to twins.
No one could have prepared me for how hard and how amazing the journey would be.
The nights of the endless baby parties where no one wants to sleep. Or the high you would get after seeing them both take their first steps. No other twin mom could have told tell me how their smiles would carry me through the tantrums and sickness.
I believe experiencing the hardest parts of parenting in the beginning, and learning to figure it out have made the sweet moments so much sweeter.
Your twins will be each other’s biggest fans. They will entertain each other, laugh at each other, and make each other cry.
When you send them to school for the first time, you won’t be anxious because you know they will have each other. They never feel alone; their best friend is always there.
Everywhere you go people will stop and ask you questions about your twins. They’ll tell you about twins they know, or ask you how hard it is being a parent of twins. When tell you that you have your hands full, you can tell them so is your heart.
When you’re a new mom you want to prove to everyone and yourself you know what you are doing. This makes you feel hesitant to ask for help. But please ask for help, you will need it.
For the first eight weeks, our family rotated through one week at a time so that we could grab some sleep and actually eat dinner other than fast food.
Don’t worry about if your babies are in the cutest outfits, or how often you should be having professional photos made of them. Don’t worry about not making homemade baby food. Instead be present.
Celebrate the twins sleeping through the night. Celebrate successfully cooking a homemade meal.
Don’t worry about hitting up the gym. Don’t buy a membership, you won’t have time. But trust me when I say you will probably take more than 8,000 steps a day chasing after your little ones.
Take them on walks, the double stroller alone will provide you with some strength training.
Don’t do it. You will give yourself an anxiety attack reading about how someone had to be put on bedrest for 3 months.
You’ll be worried about counting babies kicks, and wonder if they are growing accordingly. There are a lot of horror stories out there, so don’t read the blogs.
The hardest part in my opinion was the first eight weeks, and in total the first twelve months. But after that it only gets easier.
They learn to communicate. They learn to feed themselves, and eventually they learn to walk around without falling and hit their heads!
The best part about having twins as they get older is the companionship they provide each other. It’s like a built in play date!
You’re a superhero to two. Learn to trust yourself and the decisions you make as a parent. You will grow more comfortable with who you are and the best way to parent each child.
You are raising two little people at once who are not only surviving – but thriving!
I was brave enough to have another child after having the twins. I couldn’t imagine being an empty nester all at once.
Having a singleton, the second time around has been a piece of cake. My husband and I can now trade off and take breaks, I still have one arm free while carrying a baby and cooking dinner, and somehow the fussiness of just one baby is much easier to handle!
So, don’t be scared to have another!
Baby monitors have been getting a lot of bad press recently, due to concerns around how secure they are. However, the right monitor could potentially save your child’s life – especially if your heater or heating system malfunctions in the middle of the night.[toc] The Tragic Case of Sammie Volmert In February of this year … How Baby Monitors With Temperature Sensors Can Save Lives Read More...
Baby monitors have been getting a lot of bad press recently, due to concerns around how secure they are. However, the right monitor could potentially save your child’s life – especially if your heater or heating system malfunctions in the middle of the night.[toc]
In February of this year in Texas, a malfunctioning HVAC system caused the death of 17-month old Sammie Volmert.
Her parents had a split HVAC system. They put little Sammie to bed with the nursery thermostat set to 72 degrees. When they awoke, they realized the heating system had malfunctioned during the night. By the time her father reached the nursery, the heat was around 100 degrees and poor Sammie had passed away.
The cause of death was listed as “Hypothermia”, due to an elevated body temperature. Doctors noted that although more common when children are left in cars, it is quite rare in the home.
As many parents know, young children and babies are particularly sensitive to changes in temperature. Sammie’s 3-year old brother Jackson was also on the same floor. He remained unharmed by the change in temperature.
The Volmerts have a facebook page “Remembering Sammie Volmert” where you can read their account and similar stories from other parents.
The Volmerts are now seeking legal action against the HVAC company, but nothing will compensate them for their little girl. They are urging other parents to invest in Baby Monitors with can also measure room temperature.
Surprisingly, this feature is not on many of the best-selling baby monitors . There are also some which do say they “Monitor Temperature” but it is only visual! How can you see a visual alert when you’re sleeping?
To help, we researched the best baby monitors with temperature sensors that can actually wake you up and warn you in time.
Vtech is one of the leading brands of Baby Monitors. There VM321 model does something that many from Samsung, Summer Infant or even Motorola don’t. It beeps if the room is too hot or too cold! Sounds simple, but many baby cams don’t have this important feature!
It also sounds an audible alarm (not just visual!) if the battery runs low or the link is dropped between the camera and the receiver. As discussed earlier, this is absolutely essential for when you’re sleeping and want alerts you can act on from the monitor.
As discussed earlier, this is absolutely essential for when you’re sleeping and want alerts you can act on from the monitor.
The V-Tech VM321 also does all of the basics well. Here are some of the important features:
Many parents are rightfully worried about their monitor feed being hacked. This monitor uses DECT so it is not on a wireless network. This means that it’s more secure and their won’t be interference from other WIFI devices and cordless phones.
It also has a two-way talk which is great for parents of toddlers and pre-school children and lullabies too.
Some drawbacks to the Vtech VM321 are the relatively small screen size at 2.8”. Also, there is no tilt and pan function.
There is an adjustable lens which you can manually adjust to ensure your baby is always in shot. Also, it’s relatively cheap and easy to expand this Vtech model to up to 4 video cameras. This will allow you to have full coverage of the nursery. It also makes it a great camera for twins or as a dual room video monitor.
This Hello Baby monitor has a feature that many much more expensive models don’t have – a temperature monitor that beeps loudly and turns the screen red.
It also has some other great features:
Naturally, there are some things you won’t get at this price point. At 2.4”, the monitor’s LCD screen is on the small side for some parents.
The other thing you need to know is there is no wall bracket included with this model. This makes it harder for parents to mount in the nursery.
You can read feedback from parents on the Hello Baby digital monitor here.
Philips is a brand parents can trust, and this baby monitor has great feedback from hundreds of parents.
This particular model will monitor the nursery temperature and send an alert to your parent unit if it changes. The alert is a loud “BUZZ!” which parents say is loud enough to wake them from deep slumbers.
The drawback to the Philips SCD570 is that is audio only, so there’s no video feed. However, it does have quite a few advantages over video:
There’s no WIFI needed so this monitor is virtually hack-proof
Philips gaurantee 100% and no interference from other baby monitors, cordless phones or other devices. The DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) technology is digitally encrypted to protect your privacy.
Video baby monitors tend to burn through batteries. With no video feed, you’ll get an extended battery life which is better on your pocket and the environment.
“Audio-only” monitors often have better sound. You’ll be able to hear every movement your baby makes.
This audio monitor is cheaper than many baby video cameras. You can check today’s price here.
You’ll be pleased to know that there is an alternative solution to monitoring nursery temperature.
The SensorPush wireless thermometer will measure both the temperature and humidity of any room and send alerts to your smart-phone. You can pre-program alerts in case the temperature or humidity changes. You can also receive the feed on multiple devices in your home (I.e other phones, tablets) that are paired with it.
Having a humidity sensor is a great feature that hardly any baby monitors have. Measuring the level of humidity in a nursery is a great idea. Many hospitals keep their humidity at 55%, with 40 – 60% being generally accepted levels. If the air becomes too humid it can cause asthma and breathing issues. It also helps spread things like dust mites, pollen, and other airborne bacteria.
The SensorPush Hygrometer currently sends alerts via bluetooth 4.0 (not wifi). This means it has a stated 300ft “line of sight” range. Of course, with rooms and walls the range will be considerably less.
Users still report they can put it in the garage and get updates anywhere in their home. SensorPush have announced they are currently working on a wi-fi gateway to make it internet compatible.
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