Archives for the month of: August, 2015

Labor Day is coming up and you wonder what activity to do with your special-needs young adult? We have you all set up with these 5 tips to find a job.

The job market is tough enough, even without the challenges special needs young adults face. And though finding the right workplace is a process, there’s reason to persevere. Here are a few tips you can use when coaching your big kid one how to locate the best place to work and thrive, and find a comfortable path to independence.

Now Hiring - Special Needs Essentials1. Application:

Young adults with special needs need their relatives’ support in this transition to working-life independence. There’s definitely a reason why they say it takes a village! Your loved one will need help from you in articulating his or her strengths, challenges, and talents on applications, resumes, and possibly in-person interviews.

2. Appearance:

Personal appearance and good hygiene are important in the workplace. Be sure that in helping your loved one in the transition, you practice helping him or her understand how to take pride in appearance on a daily basis.

Blonde girl brushing teeth - Special Needs Essentials

3. Conflict:

Everyone who’s ever had a job knows that conflict comes with the territory, so learning how to handle it is crucial. Whether it’s a co-worker or a customer, it’s important to help your loved one become comfortable with possible conflict by role-playing possible scenarios.

4. Transport:

The challenges of work go beyond finding a job and keeping it: you also have to get to and from the job every day! While it’s always safe to take your loved one to and from work, it’s also paramount that he or she experience the independent benefits of public transport or driving. So finding a job near a bus stop or on a tram line, for instance, are great places to start.

Real life businesspeople shot on location - Special Needs Essentials

5. Career assessment:

While a post-grad special needs adult is still in school, it’s a good idea to have him or her visit their transition coordinator as often as necessary prior to graduation. A career assessment can help you navigate through opportunities like on-the-job learning experience, internships, and volunteering to help prepare for the working world. They can also help you pinpoint good supported employment: places with integrated work settings and support services to help a special needs adult maintain a great working life.

A job means more than making money: it’s a means to having a great quality of life. And that’s priceless.

For more advice, see your local Center for Independent Living.


Back-to-school is a challenging time for all children. But children with special needs, especially those with non-verbal Autism may find it even more difficult to process all the feelings that come with this time of the year. They may feel anxious, over-excited or overwhelmed. And it would help to be able to communicate with their teachers or parents.

That’s why we brought this new Feelings Friend into our store, a stuffed animal who teaches facial vocabulary. At Special Needs Essentials, we sincerely want to help children communicate easily with special ed teachers and parents to get the best possible education!

Feelings FriendIt holds a bag with different shapes of eyebrow and mouths to velcro on its face. It also comes with a set of illustrated cards that explain each feeling. And… it is soft. Designed and developed in collaboration with child psychologists, this toy is a unique and powerful way to express feelings when the words just aren’t there!

Here is what Marie F. says: We love this cute little buddy! I ordered this for my Pre-Kindergarten class. We needed a friend that we could help through the trials and tribulations of being 4 and 5. The children chose the name Lucy for her and now she is officially a member of our class. The children even take turns tucking her in for naptime. A few of the children’s winter holiday lists ended up with “A Lucy Doll” on them. 🙂 This toy is well made and just the right size. Thank You!

F emotions friend - Special Needs Essentials

Edushape Feelings Friend Feeling Friends

As a reminder, all education supplies are on sale this month at Special Needs Essentials. Just shop in this section of the site before August 31 to get your 10% discount.

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