{Giveaway} Book: “Leah’s Voice”

Lori_cover-2 Book – “Leah’s Voice” by Lori DeMonia

Leah’s Voice is a story that touches on the difficulties children encounter when they meet a child with special needs such as autism.

Children who have a brother or sister with special needs may find it difficult to explain to their friends, or feel disappointed when their friends aren’t more understanding. Leah’s Voice tells the story of two sisters facing these challenges. Through her kindness and devotion, one sister teaches by example the importance of including everyone and showing acceptance.

Mom’s Choice Award Recipient for children’s books for developing social skills.  Mom’s Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services.

Lori DeMonia would like to have one lucky winner win a copy of her book.  US Residents Only! 18+ to enter. Enter every day.  Use form below to enter. Good luck!

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This is a guest post from Arlene Chandler writes about life cover from Suncorp and ways to help people navigate through the depths of parenting.

Being the mother of a special needs child is a situation with added complexity, particularly for those women that are in the role of a single parent.  If you’re a mother in this situation, one of the many positive aspects is that being the parent of a young person with special needs can be the most rewarding experience in life. Not only do you get to craft the best existence possible for your child, but you get to see your true colors shine through as a caretaker.

So “What’s Happening Wednesday”
"Hello SpecialMoms! It's time for What's Happening Wednesdays!"

“Hello SpecialMoms! It’s time for What’s Happening Wednesdays!”

What’s Happening Wednesdays brought to you by SpecialMoms!

So how is your Wednesday going?  Mine has been busy. Had a great meeting this morning with a client developing a plan to publicize her book. Then brought my car to get an oil change as we are heading to Mackinaw Island this weekend for my birthday.  I won’t say my age, but I am feeling it. My husband and I played “spy” this afternoon to see how my son was doing at day camp through our local park.  They were in the local pool and I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of the counselors was spending one on one time with him.  You never know how people will take care of your child when you leave them in their care.  So it was nice to see that they are caring for them the way you would like them to.  I encourage every parent to check on your child from time to time when they are in school, camp or even if you let them go to the park on their own.  You don’t want to be mistrusting you just want to be caring!  I know it’s a double edge sword, but I am a mother and I have the right to know. Have a great rest of your day.  Stay cool!

The CHAT Bag – $35.00


What is the Chat Bag?

The CHAT bag was inspired by Lori’s beautiful daughter Hannah who has Down Syndrome, Autism, and Apraxia. She currently uses an iPad to communicate with. Lori wanted to create a versatile bag that had adjustable straps, soft fabric with colorful designs, and have the screen exposed at all times for easy access. Now she can carry her bag anywhere and CHAT (Children Have A Tool) with us.

I was so excited to receive this bag as my son loves using his ipad.  Although my son doesn’t use it for communication I love that he has the ability to have it protected and has the ability to carry it with him.  This will help promote responsibility for his stuff.

Assisted technology like ipads and smartphones are becoming more widely used in schools and during therapy sessions.

Here is a link to my son using the ipad during his speech therapy in school. http://youtu.be/8EqzDotOjfk

The CHAT bag fits Apple Ipads 1, 2 and 3.

You may even special order if you don’t see a fabric that you like or if you have a different tablet size.

If you are looking to buy this for a loved one, but don’t know what fabric they would like Lori has gift certificates available.  Click here!







Here is the bag that I received for my son:















Lori graciously sent me my own CHAT bag, yes they do have Adult CHAT bags.  Here is the
one she sent for my ipad:


To order directly from Lori at CHAT Bag please click here.  Please make sure to reference the SpecialMoms Special Needs Holiday Gift Guide.

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Disclaimer: I received the above product(s) at no cost to me by the company or representing PR agency. All opinions are my own. You may read more of my disclosure here.



Introducing Your Child to Their School With a Student Snapshot

Beginning a new school year can be overwhelming to any child and their parents, but if your child has special needs it’s even more nerve wracking.

As the expert on your child, you as the parent or caregiver have valuable information that needs to be shared with the school community.  Who is the school community; these are people that interact with your child during the school day, besides their IEP team, it may include office workers, nurse, playground assistants, aides, teachers, bus drivers, or cafeteria aides you want them to know more about your child in order to assist them during their school day.

This is where a “Student Snapshot” can come in handy.  If the only information people have about your child is a special education label, they may make their own assumptions about your child that may be inaccurate.  Let’s say your child is on the playground and the aide, keeps calling your child to come in but your child doesn’t respond.  The aide may get frustrated with your child, not realizing your child has a hearing impairment.

This is where the “Student Snapshot” is perfect; it’s a simple, quick, concise way for you to share information quickly and accurately without long emails, missed phone calls or relying on others to relay the information.  This one page snapshot is more likely to be read and remembered.  Click for  Student Snapshot


  • Keep it simple, like 5 bullets
  • Keep it short (one side)
  • Bulleted lists are easier to read
  • Avoid medical terminology since some people may not understand that important detail (layman’s terms)
  • Prioritize – just a few of the most important considerations that all staff should be aware of don’t duplicate the IEP.
  • Personalize it – put a photo on it so people can recognize your child
  • Decide who will need a copy of the “Snapshot”
  • Distribute it at a back to school night event, IEP annual conference and make sure to give a copy if any of these personnel change


How did you introduce your child to their school, teachers, students, etc?

mommy bloggers











This will be my first time attending the Bloggy Mom Conference in September and I can’t wait. Whether you are a first time blogger or a seasoned blogger I hear this is the place to be.

Bloggy Conference, presented by Bloggy Moms, is an event suited for those in social media who want to connect with their peers in a community setting while further developing their presence and brand. Designed for the beginning blogger as well as the seasoned blogger at Bloggy Conference you can network with others in your niche while honing your skill and authentic self.

Bloggy Conference was created to enable the members of the blogosphere to attend a conference where family can come along and enjoy the trip as much as conference attendees. Attendees will walk away from Bloggy Conference with a better sense of authentic self, community, education and direction.

There is such a wonderful lineup of speakers, you can click here to see who will be there.

What a great place to network with other moms and find women in your niche that you can network with, create relationship with and enjoy each others company.

Come join me at Bloggy Con!  And because I really hope to see you there, you can take advantage of this wonderful offer for SpecialMoms, just type in “marla” (lowercase) as the promo code :


Look forward to seeing you in September!

BabbaCo has introduced the BabbaBox! It’s a monthly interactive subscription box that is delivered right to your home with ALL the physical materials plus easy-to-use content to help you create activities to engage with your kids.  The monthly box is based off of a theme.  So each month you will have a new activity to create, story to read and theme to explore that your kids will love! These boxes are targeted for are 3 – 6 year olds!

So what’s Inside? There are 4 major components that are included:

  • Create: 2-3 projects kids can do with their hands
  • Explore: Activities to engage with the world and nature
  • Story Tell: Books and stories for their imagination
  • Connect Digitally: Interactively learn with BabbaCo approved downloads

Here are the details:  You can sign up for 1 single BabbaBox, a 3 month subscription or a FULL year (great idea for Christmas Presents if the grandparents are looking for ideas!)  Then a themed BabbaBox is shipped right to your doorstep for your children to enjoy!  That’s right…to your doorstep!  No more getting a great idea and then having to drag your kids to the store to purchase the items, and to get home and they are no longer interested in doing the activity.

I was very fortunate to have been asked to review this wonderful product.  We received the Sun, Moon & Stars Box:

The box was filled with the necessary supplies and direction for your children to create their very own glowing nightlight moon and constellation frame.




With the BabbaBox there is a lot of thought that goes into each activity because of the team of individuals that create the box each month.  As you can see these are the skills that your child will utilize when creating each activity:

With the explore activity my son was able to use his very own binoculars to explore the world outside and he especially loved to explore things inside.

I absolutely loved the book that was enclosed about “Twinkle Star Of The Week” by Joan Holub.  It was such a wonderful story about sharing, helping and wishing on a star.  It was perfect timing as I have been getting my little guy in the right mindset to start getting ready for school.  Talking about his teachers and his new friends he’ll meet.

Join Twinkle on her journey to discover her special talent when it’s her turn to be the Star of the Week at school.

There was even a little gift inside for the moms and dads as a way to say thank you for joining and for giving their children a wonderful gift of learning.  Look at this beautiful star wine stopper:

This is such a wonderful product and such a fantastic idea for an educational activity for your children or even for a gift.  The idea of having a new activity delivered right to your door every month will even excite your children.  Here is Jacob receiving his box: So here comes the fun part, I have a been given the opportunity to share this wonderful product with you all, and have a unique offer for the SpecialMoms Entrepreneur Club members

Get the BabbaBox: A new, all-in-one activity box for kids. Save 20% off your first box! Use code:MM20OFF when you checkout!

Please Note: I received a product sample for review purpose. No other compensation was received. Views expressed are always 100% my own.

Parenting Tips On How To Inspire Greatness in Children


Guest Post: by Sharon Gress, she is a contributing author at homeinsurance.org.

Part of being a good parent is recognizing challenges and facing them head on.  You don’t have to get bogged down in guilt or self-doubt.  There are many ways to inspire your children towards goodness.

“You must nurture the ability
to care about others in
their early years.”


By admitting to our own weakness and fears, we teach our children not to fear a challenge.   parenting After all, they are little sponges that learn by example.  This does not mean that everything that we do or say will require an excuse.  When we make a mistake, we should be able to admit it openly without any fear of ridicule or finger-pointing.  People are not perfect, and everyone inevitably makes mistakes.  By surrounding ourselves with loving, compassionate and honest people you will teach your children a valuable lesson:  an open heart and a non-judgmental mind leads to a beautiful, compassionate person.

Be A Parent
Children need the benefit of parents who will truly parent them rather than trying to be their best friends.  We all know how difficult that it is to hear a child talk back to their parents, especially during the tween and teen years — parents must command a certain amount of respect, and this is impossible when the child thinks of the parent as his or her friend.  That being said,