The First Step to Helping a Special-Needs Kid: Get Organized by Hope Reese, The Atlantic

For the parent of a special-needs child, it’s often the small things—getting her dressed, out the door, starting homework—that feel like monumental obstacles. Carolyn Dalgliesh had no idea how much her daily life would change when her two-year-old son began showing signs of developmental delays. And while her child received support at the doctor’s office and at school, she felt unprepared for the changes she would need to make at home. To get ready for the challenges ahead, Dalgliesh, who had experience in the business world in sales, customer service, and recruiting, focused her business skills on rejiggering life at home.

The strategies she learned for coping turned into a book. Dalgliesh’s The Sensory Child Gets Organized: Proven Systems for Rigid, Anxious, or Distracted Kids is a practical guide written from the perspective of a mother and professional organizer—not, it should be noted, from someone qualified in the mental-health field. Dalgliesh uses her own experience to help make daily tasks more manageable for sensory children—a term that includes sensory processing disorder, AD/HD, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders. In turn, her changes make daily life more peaceful for the whole family. I spoke with her about how to organize routines using structure, visual aids, and communication devices and about the importance of keeping an open mind about how parenting should work. Read More...

My Medication Workbook

Written by Gary G.F. Yorke, PhD and illustrated by Ginny Campbell. My Medication Workbook is designed for children ages 6 through 12 who are prescribed psychotropic medication. Children who use this workbook will learn how medication works, why they are being prescribed medication, and how to talk to their doctor about medication.



Stress Quest Board Game

A Fun Way to Learn Coping Skills! Stress Quest is a therapeutic board game designed to teach children how to manage stress and anxiety in a variety of settings. The beach-themed board game creates a fun and relaxing framework in which children can play and engage in problem-solving which the game is designed to encourage. A boardwalk meanders through the sand, with each "board" on the walkway a space on which the player may land. 

Five different decks of cards are represented on the board (Relaxation Deck; Yoga Deck; Danger Deck; Top Secret Deck and Quest Deck). When players land on a deck, they pull the corresponding card, and read aloud and answer the question. Each card offers a coping tool to practice, or asks the player to mirror a yoga move pictured on the card. Even if the therapist or child has never done a yoga pose before, this quickly becomes everyone's favorite space on which to land! It introduces the child a way to relax and gives the child a chance to MOVE ABOUT during the game. 

A spinner introduces additional opportunities to learn coping skills. If players land on a space with a beach ball, they spin the beach-ball-themed spinner. One option is to go to time-out (a beach chair in the sand). This could be very challenging for a player that has difficultly with setbacks and it gives the therapist an opportunity to help the child practice the coping tools taught in the game. 

Designed by a therapist, this lively game is great for school counselors and therapists in all settings. Comes in a sturdy bag so that a counselor can transport the game easily. 


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Do you have a child or adolescent with ADHD/ADD? Check out two helpful products from WatchMinder and Please Remember Card.

National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health

"The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is a national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs and their families. It was conceived in Arlington, Virginia in February, 1989 by a group of 18 people determined to make a difference in the way the system works."

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