It’s finally here the first annual 2012 SpecialMoms Special Needs Holiday Gift Giving Guide.

As a mother of a child with special needs, mom blogger and mom entrepreneur I wanted to create a unique guide that is specially targeted to children with special needs and their families who care for them.  The intent was to reach out to small business owners, Etsy shops, mom entrepreneurs and people who have a vested interest or passion for the special needs community.  As a mom entrepreneur I thought this was the perfect opportunity to help support other mom entrepreneurs.

What I found was their experience and interests brought real unique and helpful products that I wanted to share with you.  I hope that the products you find in this guide are practical, but will be helpful and provide a real value to you and your child with special needs.  But more importantly, bring real joy to your holiday season!

As joyous as the season is, gift giving can be stressful especially if you are purchasing for a child with special needs.  My intent with this guide was to make it a little less stressful with practical, reasonably priced items that can provide a real value to the child and their families.

Please share this guide with others and would love any feedback that you may have.  You can either click the picture above or click here to view the guide.

Happy Holidays!

Marla Murasko, Founder of SpecialMoms A Special Needs Parenting Club

 

So what’s the buzz in the mommysphere? Subscription boxes! ~  We love them, but what are they?

Kiwi Crate

It’s an amazing concept that I wished I thought of.  Just like you get magazines mailed to you every month, well now your children can have a box of goodies mailed right to them.  Yes and it’s fun stuff.

As a mother of a child with special needs, I am always looking for different toys, games, apps or activities to review that my son can enjoy doing, while working on fine motor, cognitive thinking, eye hand coordination.  All things that are important for children to complete daily tasks.   

Special Needs Students: Five of the Best Colleges
Guest Post by: Linda Forshaw

The prospect of leaving home and going to college is daunting at the best of times. Add special needs into the mix and the thought may just become overwhelming for many students and their parents. But should that really be the case? While having special needs can undoubtedly make the college process more challenging, it most certainly does not rule it out. Increasingly colleges and universities are reaching out with tailored support packages to assist those students with disabilities ranging from hearing impairment to autism spectrum conditions. Let’s take a look at five

Our friends at Melissa & Doug are hosting a fabulous 20 Days of Terrific Twenty giveaway promotion on their Facebook page. Each day they will be giving away one item from their Terrific Twenty list which compiles the best of the best holiday gift ideas of the 2012 holiday season, to at least one lucky Facebook fan who could be YOU!

As a Mom and Special Needs Mom Blogger I love the toys from Melissa and Doug. They are the number one manufacturer of quality Kids Wood Puzzles, Floor Puzzles, Toy Food, and Educational Toys in the country, and are trusted by all moms, therapists and kids.

Their products last and allow our children to use imaginary play to create, learn and play together.

I also like that some of their toys get evaluated by National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world accessible to children of all abilities.

I have to share just a snapshot of our stash of Melissa and Doug Toys, take a peek.  Believe me we have more we just love Melissa and Doug.

 

Entering is easy!

Simply visit the Melissa & Doug Facebook page enter to win a gift every day from the Terrific Twenty list.

Buy It
To purchase any of the 2012 Terrific Twenty holiday toys, as well as any of the many other amazing products available, visit the Melissa & Doug website directly.

Win It
In celebration of this terrific promotion, Melissa & Doug have generously offered 1 lucky SpecialMoms reader a cuddly Beeposh Elvis Lion Stuffed Animal, which is one of gifts featured on the 2012 Terrific Twenty list!

Do you have a child that would like to give this cuddly Elvis Tiger a new home?

If so, enter on the Rafflecopter below and you could be my lucky winner. For even more chances at winning gifts from the Terrific Twenty list, enter at http://www.facebook.com/MelissaAndDoug — they are giving away a gift every day!

Good Luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Melissa & Doug are providing the prize for this giveaway and will also be providing me with a 2012 Terrific Twenty Holiday Toy.

 

 

Featuring SpecialMoms – Want To Share Your Story?

special needs mom

Want To Be Our Featured SpecialMom?

Are you a mother of a special needs child, who wants to share an inspiring story? Whether it be about your child, your experience of being a mother of a special needs child or maybe you are an entrepreneur and you want to share how you juggle being a mother and business owner. Let’s share!

Sharing your story may inspire or motivate others. It may help them to reach for their dreams of running a business from home, or it may help to build awareness or an understanding of how difficult yet rewarding it can be for a family that has a child with a disability. This may promote compassion and maybe even some tolerance for people with disabilities.

Support * Inspire * Share that’s what SpecialMoms Entrepreneur Club is all about.

Whatever your story is, you never know how your story can touch or help someone else.

If you want to be one of our “Featured SpecialMoms, please fill out this form Featured SpecialMoms Form and email it back with a picture (if you want) to specialmompreneurs@gmail.com. We will post your story on our website and share it on our Facebook page, Pinterest and Twitter.

This is your moment to SHINE!

Sleeping Techniques for You and Your Baby
Guest Post: Wendy Marie Desdeliah is a yoga-loving, dedicated mother. She is also a contributing author at Home Equity Loan.

Getting a baby to go to sleep can sometimes be very difficult, because it is up to the parents to get the baby to go to sleep. But there are many different ways to make the process easier.

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

Tips:

  • 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?