Archives for the month of: November, 2016

Hi, my name is Michele Gianetti and I am happy to be the blog writer for Special Needs Essentials.  

I thought I would tell you a little bit about myself.  I am currently 50 years old and I have three amazing children.  Our middle child has special needs.

Prior to having children, I graduated from YSU with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.  I worked mostly in community health situations at the health department and then as a school nurse for five years.  

Our middle child was born in 1997. Elizabeth.   It was at this point that our world changed dramatically and we began my journey with a special needs child. Specifically Sensory issues and Dyspraxia.  I learned so much in my early years with Elizabeth.   Through the years she has made wonderful, amazing gains in her life.  She has also given us so many gifts along the way.

I wanted to share her story…our story to help others. So I wrote my first book.  In the book I tell about some heartfelt stories, share the therapies we have tried, our successes and ouribelieveinyou
failures.  All to let others know they are not alone on this journey.

Elizabeth told me one day, probably a year before I started writing my book,  that people don’t understand me, mom.  I started thinking that this book would be my tribute to her.  To let the world know all she can do and all she has accomplished.  And through the book, I told her, Now Elizabeth, everyone will understand you.

I also wanted to let parents and caregivers know that you can make a difference in your child’s life.

I am excited to share these blogs with you.  My hope is that my years of life with Elizabeth and the experiences we have had will help others on their own journeys.

I hope to write blogs that are honest, helpful and hopeful. Blogs that share thoughts, ideas and support.  Because even though we are all on our own special journeys, our goals are the same.

Michele Gianetti

“I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey”


Movie Showings for Guests & Families Living with Autism or Other Special Needs

With the holidays coming up, many families turn to the movie theater as a fun family activity, whether it is the new Marvel hero to hit the silver screen, Doctor Strange, defending our world from powers mystic, a trip across the Pacific Islands with the brave Moana and her demi-god friend Maui, or a journey to A Galaxy Far Far away with the new Star Wars story Rogue One. But for kids with autism, the traditional movie experience can be pretty overwhelming. The loud sounds and the dark can be pretty overwhelming, and the need to watch the movie in silence can be hard for the kids. Though they may love the stories told and the heroics performed it can be difficult yo handle all the sensory input. For many families with kids with autism, going to a movie theater together is simply not an option.

Fortunately, movie theaters across the country have recognized the need to offer sensory-friendly viewings.

AMC Sensory Friendly Films to Families Affected by Autism is just one example in a growing movement to welcome families with kids on the spectrum to the theater by adapting to the audience’s unique needs. According to their website, “the auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!” AMC’s program, and many other theater companies with similar initiatives, is available across the country, and their popularity is growing!

“AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to bring you unique movie showings where you can feel free to be you! We turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing!

We are now expanding our Sensory Friendly Film program to four showings per month.

  • The second and fourth Tuesday and Saturday.
  • Family-friendly movies will continue to show Saturdays, starting at 10am local time
  • We’ve added Tuesday showings at 7pm local time that may appeal to others on the autism spectrum.

Share posts and pics of your family fun with #AMCSensoryFriendly.

Curious about the sensory friendly movie experience?”

What About Other Times?

Sometimes, however, there are times where a child with autism or other sensory disorders is in an environment that is overwhelming. In daily life there can be times where it can be too much, or special events that you want to share with those you care about, be it a concert, a sporting event, or simply a night in a crowded place.

There are. however, things you can do to help your child deal with these kinds of environments. One of the best of these products, that have gained popularity due to theb00muzvl5q latest Olympics is the earBanz available in both infant and kids sizes. Seen on Michael Phelp’s son, Boomer, these have become, with their certified noise
reduction, a great tool for parents to help their kids stay comfortable in loud environments. A cursory glance at social media shows kids and infants attending concerts and events with earBanz looking comfortable and undisturbed.

lap-padAnother great idea to help a child with sensory input disorders is to have either a weighted lap pad or blanket in order to help calm and comfort them. Providing a calming and soothing
weight, they can even be heated or cooled, they help a childblanket-green calm down in environments that might be overwhelming.



How do you and those you care about deal with entertainment options when dealing with sensory input disorders? Let us know in the comments!






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