How to Choose a Special Needs Summer Camp

It might seem as though spring has just begun, but camps are already advertising and enrolling for their summer programs.  Doing some research early will ensure your child a spot in the summer camp of your choice.  Consider the following steps when searching for the right types of special needs camp.

What You and Your Child Want

Weighted Blankets for Special Needs

Weighted blankets are affordable tools that nearly any child with special needs should have.  Sensory Goods is a company that designs these blankets to help individuals with developmental disorders, including those with autism and sensory integration needs.

Weighted blankets are the biggest product for Sensory Goods, and these blankets help children relax, sleep, or calm down during a meltdown.

How They Work

LA College Fair for Learning Differences

Choosing the right college is perhaps the most important choice for a high school senior.  While many students have an idea of what they want to do for a career, still others are uncertain of this important life decision.

Finding the right college can be challenging, but take away some of the pressure and unknowns by attending college fairs.  Your academic and personal interests determine collegiate success, and college fairs are excellent ways to discover a university that matches those appeals.

Ask the Developmental Doc

Dear Developmental Doc,

My son is 10 years old with a moderate form of autism. He struggles in almost all areas of development, particularly since he is non-verbal. I have recently read that there are iPad apps that help kids like mine become more aware of the world around them. He does seem to enjoy playing on the computer, but I am not well versed on the actual mechanics of the programs and am concerned that he’ll get too self-absorbed and that the whole endeavor might do more harm than good. Your thoughts?  -Marilyn P. Silverlake, CA. 

Kinderlift Opens Up to World of Special Needs

No one was more surprised than Randy Burklund, owner of Kinderlift, that a ski vest designed to keep kids safe on the slopes would find a market in the special needs community. Kinderlift was created by a mother whose son fell off a ski lift when he was very young. The boy was fine, but the mother had the idea of making a brightly colored vest with a strap on the back so that it is easy for parents to grab onto kids when they start to fall as they learn to ski.

3 Anxiety-Busting Solutions for Autism

Here are three practical, simple solutions caregivers can use to help reduce anxiety and deal better every day with a child who has anxiety from autism.

 Autism spectrum disorders and anxiety go hand-and-hand like sneezing and a cold.

New Font Designed for People with Dyslexia

A font has been developed by a Dutch graphic designer, which will make letters easier to read and comprehend for people with dyslexia. Designer Christian Boer is dyslexic himself. He created a font called Dyslexie to keep letters "tied down," helping readers not to flip them in their minds. He did this by changing the letters to make the undersides bolder, letting gravity do the work of keeping them right side up. He also made letters more distinct and spaced wider apart. Some letters are angled slightly to keep them from looking like others.

Kate Winslet, a Hat, and Autism Awareness

It all started with a documentary from Iceland called A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism. The film needed an English-language narrator, and Oscar-winner Kate Winslet was sent a copy to watch. The story of Margret Ericsdottir's journey to discover whether her severely autistic 11-year-old son, Keli, would ever be able to speak moved the actress. It changed her. “I . . . knew I couldn’t just lend my voice to this documentary and go home,” she says in an interview with Ladies’ Home Journal.

Amazing Race Host Bikes across U.S. for MS

Phil Keoghan has been the impeccably dressed and proper host for 20 seasons of CBS’s The Amazing Race. On February 18, audiences will see him in a different role: as the subject of a new documentary, The Ride, which follows Keoghan as he bikes across America with a team of four other people.

Space Camp Special Needs Programs a Big Hit

The recent airing of the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie A Smile as Big as the Moon created such a surge of interest in attending Space Camp that the camp’s website was unable to handle the flood of traffic. The site crashed last night, but it is now back up and running as a resource for parents and kids with special needs who are looking into the program, many for the first time.