Tag Archives: Special Needs

A is for Aluminum Foil

I’m pretty sure I gleaned this activity from one of our preschool curriculum books. It was way too easy and successful for me to have come up with on my own.   All three of the Littles (Noah 7 DS, Bella 6, and Seth 4) enjoyed this project.
Photo Aug 07, 2 51 11 PM (HDR)


Black paper.

Chalk or white crayon.

Draw the Letter A

Glue stick.

Aluminum foil squares. (Moms, cut the squares before the activity begins.)

Need I say more?

(One little hint – my kiddos got tired of gluing each little square and then sticking it on the A. I wound up letting them put glue over a small section of the A and then stick the foil squares onto the paper before moving to the next section.)

Okay, okay. Two little hints. Kids love working with material they don’t usually get to put their hands on. Using correct line order, have them trace over your A with the chalk or crayon. I believe that for struggling learners and those with special needs, every single repetition of a motion, a letter, a word, counts; so let’s try to capture every opportunity we can.

Let’s hear it for the Letter A!

Swimming and Kids With Special Needs

Here’s a little ditty I learned from Noah’s (7 with Down syndrome)awesome former physical therapist (Oh how we miss Miss Lori).

Last year I mentioned to Miss Lori how fabulous Noah was in the swimming pool and she asked me if he could climb out on his own.  Ah hah, I thought, she’s wanting him to work on his upper body strength.


She was trying to clue me in on the most important thing we can teach our kids (special needs or not) in the swimming pool.

When it comes to swimming, being able to get out of a swimming pool is the number one most important thing our kids should know how to do.  And it’s not enough to teach them to go to the ladder and climb out.  If they wander into an unfamiliar swimming pool, they may not be able to find the steps or ladder, and they can only hold onto the side of the pool for so long.  Even if your child isn’t able to swim independently yet, you can teach him to pull himself out of the side of the pool.  He’ll need to grab the side rim with his hands, lift himself up, and then put his stomach on the ground and pull his knees out.  (If you can’t quite picture it, have an older child climb out of the pool at the side of the pool and watch how they maneuver.)

Every time you go to the pool this summer, practice this skill with your child.  Good upper body strength is required (I know this because  I can’t seem to pull myself out of the pool – I have to use the ladder).  Your child may need a little boost at first to pull himself all the way out, but try to withdraw your help little by little until he is doing it independently.  It could pay off it a big way.  And if nothing else, it really is a great upper-body strengthening activity.


Special Needs Gymnastics Class – South Austin/Dripping Springs, Texas

Special Needs GymnasticsYou know that fantastic special needs Mommy (or Daddy) and Me gymnastics class I’ve mentioned from time to time? Well, today I get to do more than just mention it to you. And actually, come to think of it, there are a LOT of daddies that attend this class. The dynamic Miss Suzi Ziegenbein, the gymnastics coach at the Dripping Springs YMCA, has given me the go ahead to invite your child with special needs to her class.

This session goes from Wednesday, September 4th through Wednesday, December 18th. Class space is limited, so get your form and payment if required in to the DSYMCA today! If you are already an Austin-area YMCA member, the class is absolutely free; otherwise you’ll pay a 15-dollar registration fee to enter the system.

Noah (6-Down syndrome) and I have done this class now for two or three semesters, and we have had such fun! Noah is swinging from rings, ropes and bars; jumping from obstacle to obstacle; log rolling; army crawling; jumping on the trampoline, and working on forward and backward rolls. Miss Suzi also has him skipping, galloping, stomping bubbles, and running. The classes move along so smoothly and are so much fun, the kiddos don’t even realize they are working. Each child is encouraged to progress through the weekly course at his own ability level and speed. We are also blessed to have Noah’s (and my) very favorite physical therapist for all times, the amazing Miss Laurie, attend these classes. She not only has a keen eye on how to maximize the workout for each specific kiddo, but she’s got a real knack for knowing just how to motivate these kids to keep them going. If your child has a special need (physical, social or cognitive) that would make attending a typical gymnastics class challenging, this might be just the class for you. Many thanks to Miss Suzi, her daughter Kaleigh, Miss Laurie, the Dripping Springs YMCA and Family Connections Center for making this opportunity available to our children.

A link to the registration and medical release form is below.
Special Needs Gymnastics Class Reg. form Fall 2013