Free Printable: Friends Don’t Count Chromosomes

Love this printable created my Melinda Martin from The Helpy Helper.

Melinda is the Graphic Designer for my magazine the SpecialMoms Parenting Magazine.  In our latest issue one of the moms we interviewed shared a picture of her daughter sitting on the street with her friends with the following graphic drawn out in chalk.  She loved it so much she created this printable that is formatted for an 8 1/2 x 10 frame.

Click on the picture to print and please share!

friends dont count chromosomes

Rules for Kids Using Social Media Safely

This is a guest post.

Twenty years ago, moms were worried about their kids safely crossing the street and whether or not they ate too much sugar. Nowadays, moms (and dads) have to be vigilant about the role of technology in their children’s lives, particularly when it comes to social media.

If you’re a mom, know someone who is, or are even looking for a few helpful tips for your own life, here’s a shortlist of rules to enforce if you want to be sure your kids are using social media safely.

6 Ways to Keep Kids Safe on Social Media

1. Parents Must Have All Passwords

It may seem like an invasion of privacy but it’s crucial your children know you’re actively checking out all their online communication. Make sure they give you the passwords to all their social networking profiles and that you check them often! They’re only useful if you’re monitoring.

2. No Photos That Are Inappropriate

Of course, what’s “inappropriate” will vary from family to family but in general it’s a good idea to keep photos of your kids in bathing suits, in front of your home, and sleeping off the web. A good rule of thumb is: if you wouldn’t want mom to see it, don’t put it online! And of course, you should be checking your kids’ online photos often to make sure one slipped through the cracks.

3. Don’t Give Out Identifying Information

It’s important that you talk with your children before they’re allowed online about what’s best kept to themselves. Obviously things like your phone number, your home address, and your kids full legal name should never be shared over social media but it’s also smart to nix the use of birthdates, sports team numbers, and your kids’ school name as they could be used to track them down in real life.

4. Obey the Time Limits

Social media can be a great addition to a child’s social development but it’s smart to limit the number of sites they use. Facebook and Twitter are great, as are Instagram and Pinterest, but more than two social sites is simply too much. Your kids don’t need to spend more than an hour per day using social to connect with their friends…any more than that and they could be missing out on In Real Life opportunities!

5. No Chat Rooms!

Chat rooms are notoriously hard to monitor and they’re the perfect hiding spot for child predators. If your kids are going to end up talking to someone you’d rather them not, it will likely be in a chat room. Have them promise they’ll never visit them and check up on them often.

6. Do Not Talk to Strangers

The main difference in social for kids and social for adults is that kids have no need to talk to strangers online. They lack the ability to properly assess someone’s character based on subtle cues and they should have plenty of personal friends already online to keep them busy! Social for children should be a means of catching up, not a means for meeting new people.
If your child has special needs they’ll likely need special attention when it comes to the web. If you feel more comfortable allowing your child to use social media only when you’re present, you’re well within your right as a parent to set that standard. First and foremost, keeping your child safe online should be your priority.

How do you keep your children safe from social media predators?


Guest Author Ryan Currie is a product manager at BizShark.com, with 5 years experience in online marketing and product development. In addition to web related businesses, he also enjoys the latest news and information on emerging technologies and open source projects.

Ultimate Online Guide to Becoming an Autistic Support Teacher

Autism is a neurological disorder that typically affects an individual’s sensory and social development. In some people, autism can also affect cognitive and motor development. The condition typically begins to show signs in a child prior to age three. In some cases, a diagnosis is not made until adulthood although symptoms must always be present during childhood.

According to the latest statistics from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of diagnosis for autism spectrum disorders is 1 out of 88 children. For boys, the rate is 1 out of 54. Many classrooms in today’s public schools will have a child with an autism diagnosis. Many teachers, doctors and human services professionals will work with at least one child who has an autism diagnosis during their career. Some choose to make their careers out of helping children on the autism spectrum grow and thrive. Autism support teachers are essential members of an autistic child’s support team and with today’s increase in the rate of diagnosis, the demand for qualified autism support teachers is high.

We have compiled the best resources available for helping one decide if becoming an autism support teacher is the right career choice. These resources will help those interested in working with autistic children learn what skills and education will be needed in order to pursue a career in special education. The following resources also provide information on the process for securing one’s dream job as an autism support teacher. In addition, we have provided several ideas to help autism support teachers be successful in the classroom.

Please click here to see this list of best resources.

Guest post by: Rianna Stanley from Masters In Special Education.

SpecialMoms Parenting Magazine – Feature Interview With Drew Long

Have you had the opportunity to download your FREE digital copy of the SpecialMoms Parenting magazine?

If you haven’t what are you waiting for?

In this premiere issue you will meet inspiring women with a passion to help others. You will learn how these motivating mom entrepreneurs juggle the demands of
caring for their families, advocating for their child, all while running a business or building awareness through a charity or blog they created.

Meet inventors, award winning authors, bloggers and more!

Pictured above is Drew Long, creator of Caroline’s Cart.  The first ever patented shopping cart for children and adults with special needs.

To read more about Drew and her journey to become a mom entrepreneur click here.

{REVIEW} Cozywoggle – The Car Seat Friendly Winter Jacket

coat 1 Meet the Cozywoggle, a car seat friendly winter jacket.

Why do I say “car seat friendly“?  We all know how annoying it is to put our children in heavy, puffy winter jackets and then trying to stuff them in their car seat.  It’s like a task, they hate to be confined and then adding the heavy winter coat makes it even more uncomfortable.  So to appease them we tend to loosen the seat belts, which then puts them in harms way of getting injured if you get into an accident.  As the coat compresses from an accident it now makes the seat belts very loose, as you have originally tightened them to fit the coat and not the child.  Think of the coat like a pillow.

“As a general rule winter coats should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat. A bulky coat under a child seat harness can result in the harness being too loose to be effective in a crash.” from the Consumer Reports News.

So what are you to do?  You can turn your child’s coat around but if it were my son that would never fly.  See Jacob has special needs, if I turned his coat around he would have a fit.  Why?  Because it’s not the right way you wear a coat and would completely throw him off.  Or you can pile a few blankets on, but again for my son that wouldn’t work either.  So enter the Cozywoggle.  The ability to still have your child wear a winter coat safely.

How Does It Work?

Basically it’s just like any other winter coat.  It’s made from heavy-duty wind/water resistant polyester, and is lined with cozy fleece.  But it has two side zippers, as you can see in the pictures below:

coat 2 You can see I unzipped the one side.

  coat 4 Now both sides of the coat are unzipped, making it more like a poncho.

coat 3 My silly guy playing peek-a-boo, but really showing the fleece on the inside of the coat.

coat 5

As you can see the Cozywoggle goes all the way up to a 6T (Comes in sizes 12 months, 18 months, 2T, 3T, 4, 5 and 6.)  Which works very nicely for some kiddos who have special needs that are still in car seats or strollers.

Can be used with any 5-point harness car seat – either forward or rear-facing.

To get a better idea of how great this coat is, check out the video below.

To order this coat, please visit the Cozywoggle site here, to order directly from them.

To sum up this review we love our Cozywoggle.

(Disclosure: I was given a Cozywoggle coat to facilitate this review.  No compensation was given.  All opinions are my own.)

 

 

 

{GIVEAWAY} “Today I Ate A Rainbow” Review

Rainbow Kit I love eating vegetables and fruits.  My mother always had us eating vegetables when we were little.  We had a garden in our backyard so fresh vegetables were always available to us.

So I am trying to instill that into my family, but it’s been difficult.  My husband has such a limited palette for vegetables and basically refuses to eat anything new, which doesn’t bode well when I am trying to introduce new things, especially fruits and vegetables to my 7 yr old son.  He has a very limited palette as well.  He basically loves lettuce and cucumbers, and believe it or not will eat Edamame with my husband, but that’s it.  As far as fruits the only fruit he gets is in his apple juice.

I had a therapist come and work with him at home trying to introduce different fruits and vegetables to him.  But it’s been difficult, see my son has special needs and because of his oral hypersensitivity, makes it challenging to introduce him to different textures and tastes.

In this video you can see the therapist working with him, having him nibble on different fruits and vegetables:

I was hoping this chart would help and it has but again only for the things he likes.  We are getting there, just not “eating a full rainbow yet”, but I am optimistic that one day he will be able to apply all of the stickers.

So what exactly is “Today I Ate A Rainbow”?

today i ate a rainbow2 “Today I Ate A Rainbow” is an interactive nutritional game that makes eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables fun for kids! Designed for children ages 3 and up, this product is made up of a colorful rainbow chart and bright colored magnets that allow up to 4 children (or two children and their parents!) to easily track the fruits and vegetables they eat throughout the day.

The package contains the following:

  • 1 Magnetic Today I Ate A Rainbow chart
  • 4 sets coloured magnets
  • 4 achievement magnets
  • 2 fridge magnets for the free Today I Tried Chart (download)
  • The Rainbow Bunch book
  • Access to print unlimited rainbow shopping lists
  • Access to print our Rainbow Eaters Certificate

Kia Robertson the creator of Today I Ate A Rainbow Chart needed a way to keep track of the produce her daughter was eating. Kia found that when life got busy she wasn’t always ensuring that her daughter was getting all the proper fruits and vegetables each day. So she created this colorful visual chart.  It’s also a great way to practice colors and shapes too.  There are magnetic stars, squares, triangles and circles.

(Disclosure: I was given a pack of Today I Ate A Rainbow to facilitate this post.  All opinions are my own.)

Buy Now:  Don’t want to wait please click here to purchase directly for $18.99

GIVEAWAY:

One lucky reader to win the above listed products from Today I Ate A Rainbow!  US Residents only, must be 18+ to enter.  Enter every day.  Ends 12/24.  Use the form below to enter.  Good luck!

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{REVIEW} EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale

scale   EatSmart Digital Food Scale

I was so excited when asked to review the EatSmart Digital Food Scale.  I have never had a food scale and have always wanted one.

I have all intentions of using this food scale for exactly what it’s supposed to be for, weighing food and watching my calories.  But there has been so much going on in my house and with the holidays coming, just recovering from shoulder surgery a few weeks ago and family being in town that starting a diet now would be useless.

So in the meantime I am going to also be using this food scale to help me with my new hobby …soap-making!  I took a class in soap-making, so you can see the Peppermint soap I made in class on the EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale.

I was hoping to make my first batch of Lavender and Lemongrass soap for this review using my ingredients pictured below.  But there are not enough hours in the day to get it all done.  eat smart 2

So in order to not hold up this review for the Holiday Guide. I wanted to post for you all what I can.

The EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale is an economically priced multifunction home scale, perfect for everyday tasks from weighing food or ingredients to calculating postage. Along with our Precision Pro, you will also receive a FREE Calorie Factors Book making it easy to achieve goals such as portion control and calorie counting.

Features

  1. Compact Design and Easy Two-Button Operation
  2. Tare Feature; Subtract the weight of any plate or container
  3. 4 Measurement Modes: Grams / Ounces / Kilograms / Pounds
  4. Max Weight: 11 pounds / 5 kilograms
  5. Graduation: .05 oz / 1 gram
  6. 3 minute Auto-Turnoff
  7. Includes 2 AAA batteries

Buy Now: Available for purchase on Amazon.com at $25.00, with free shipping.
Available in 5 colors;  Silver, Red, White, Black Chrome and White Chrome

The Amazon link to this product
The EatSmart website link

EatSmart on Facebook
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EatSmart on Google plus

EatSmart on YouTube
EatSmart on Pinterest

{GIVEAWAY} Udderly Smooth Cream Review

udderly smooth I was fortunate to have met Linda the Director of Operations at a blogging conference this year.  We received some great samples of Udderly Smooth at the conference and I feel in love.

So I was so excited to do a review and giveaway of their fabulous cream to my readers.

Made in the USA for over thirty years, Udderly Smooth® products contain rich moisturizing ingredients. Not your average moisturizing lotion- Udderly Smooth® can be used on Dry Skin, Cracked Skin, for Diabetes Foot Care, as a Facial Moisturizer, as a General Moisturizing Lotion and many other uses.

It was originally developed by a pharmacist for use on dairy cows (udders) during extreme weather conditions, but it was soon discovered that its rich moisturizing ingredients also helped to heal extremely dry, chapped and cracked human skin. Soon, Udderly Smooth made the transition from barnyard to beauty counters and homes across America!

I don’t know about you, but my hands take a beating in the cold weather.  They get dry and cracked.  I can’t leave the house without applying my Udderly Smooth Hand Cream.  My husband loves the foot cream.

I love the way it feels.  The cream is so rich and creamy, it feels like silk being applied to your skin.  It soaks right in without any sticky feeling on my hands.

Buy Now: you can visit Udderly Smooth’s website and purchase their product directly by clicking here.

Or enter in our giveaway to win.  Udderly Smooth will be providing one winner the following product:

12 oz Udderly Smooth Body Cream

8 oz Udderly Smooth Shea Butter Foot Cream

4 oz Udderly Smooth Hand Cream

2 oz Udderly Smooth Hand Cream

(Disclosure: I was given a pack of the Write On Labels to facilitate this post.  All opinions are my own.)

GIVEAWAY:

One lucky reader to win the above listed products from Udderly Smooth!  US Residents only, must be 18+ to enter.  Enter every day.  Ends 12/20.  Use the form below to enter.  Good luck!

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