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Special Needs

Want to learn more about special needs? Check out our articles written by experts and get actionable information about autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, sensory processing disorder and more! You can also receive a weekly email digest of our blog. Sign up at the form below!

Ultimate Guide to the IEP blog post

The Ultimate Guide to the IEP

by Shea Brogren, MOT, OTR/L March 22, 2019

If you have a child who needs special education accommodations for autism, ADHD, or another diagnosed disability, you should know about an individual education plan (IEP) and how your child may qualify for one. Read our guide to learn about the IEP process and examples of goals and objectives related to an IEP.
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weighted blankets for toddlers blog post

Do Weighted Blankets Work for Toddlers?

by Molly Shaw Wilson MS OTR/L BCP March 19, 2019 4 Comments

Many toddlers have difficulty getting a good night's sleep. Weighted blankets for toddlers can be an effective strategy to improve sleep. However, there are some very important safety principles to follow. Learn this and more in this article.
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toys for kids with autism blog post

101 of The Best toys for Kids with Autism

by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP March 09, 2019

Looking for the right autism toy for your child, classroom, or therapy clients? Check out our list of the best toys for sensory input, skill development, and more!
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fidget toys for anxiety and adhd harkla

Everything You Need to Know About Fidget Toys for Anxiety & ADHD

by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP March 08, 2019

Can a fidget toy help your anxiety or ADHD? We take a look at the science behind them and how they can actually alleviate anxiety and ADHD symptoms.
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Calming Tantrums and Meltdowns in Autism blog post

The Best Strategies for Calming Autistic Tantrums and Meltdowns

by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP March 07, 2019 23 Comments

There is a difference between an autistic meltdown and an autistic tantrum. In this article, learn the difference between each and how to best calming strategies for children with autism.
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Common medications for autism

Common Medications for Autism - Can They Help?

by Molly Shaw Wilson MS OTR/L BCP March 04, 2019

When the behaviors and symptoms of autism are so severe they interfere with daily life and cannot be alleviated by traditional interventions, parents sometimes look to medications to help. There are many medications available. We have information to help figure out what's out there and what to consider before making a decision.
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autism social skills blog post

The Go-To Guide to Social Skills and Autism

by Shea Brogren, MOT, OTR/L February 19, 2019 5 Comments

All children with autism show delays in social skills. Whether it's making proper eye contact or taking turns when engaging in conversation, there are many ways to help. In this article, we will explore the most effective interventions to encourage and improve social skills in children with autism.
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Life Planning for Special Needs

Life Planning for your Special Needs Child: Building Your Blueprint

by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP February 18, 2019

This is the first article in our series about planning for the future for your special needs child. If you often worry about your child's future, have questions about financial planning for your special needs child, or maybe avoid the other difficult questions that should be answered, we're here to help.
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Music Therapy for Autism

The Benefits of Music Therapy for Kids with Autism

by Curtis Dean February 18, 2019 2 Comments

Music therapy for kids with autism is shown to have many benefits. From its calming effects to encouraging verbal communication, autism and music go hand in hand. Learn how music therapy is used and why it might be the right choice for your child.
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weighted blankets for adhd blog post

Do Weighted Blankets Work for ADHD?

by Casey Ames January 31, 2019 3 Comments

Weighted blankets can offer a number of benefits for those with ADHD. Not only can they improve classroom performance, but also sleep, anxiety, and relaxation. We take a look at the science behind weighted blankets, as well as how to choose the right size.
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arts and craft projects for autism blog post

Arts and Crafts Projects to Build Skills for Kids with Autism

by Alescia Ford-Lanza MS OTR/L, ATP January 30, 2019

Turn fun arts and crafts activities into skill-building opportunities. Check out these ideas for creative sensory projects ideal for kids with autism to help build skills, put together by an expert OT. These activities are easy to do at home while helping encourage healthy development.
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autism statistics blog post

2019 Autism Statistics: New Recent Study Shows Increase

by Shea Brogren, MOT, OTR/L January 28, 2019 5 Comments

A new study shows that the rates of autism are dramatically increasing. Learn more about the study, the most recent autism statistics and other important findings from the new research, in our article written by an OT.
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