Archives for posts with tag: sensory diet

One of the great things about Summer is the time spent outside.   It is always nice to be able to have that as an option most days.

I speak from the perspective of a mid-westerner,  who has lived through many a polar- vortex and who has had many days where the only outside time we get is when we dash from a store to the car.  Then shiver and turn up the heat.

So with that perspective, summer is a great time to visit, in the words of Michael when he was two years old, THE BIG ROOM,  in other words,  be outside.

Something that I love to do in the summer, some days,  is to sit on the deck with the kids and do something creative.

Since we do this in the later afternoons, it is a nice time to sort of wind down after a summer day, talk a bit and have a little quiet fun.

Maybe sit and read together.

Maybe do a craft or color.

Something that is a fun and quiet sensory filled activity is this great sensory toy called Kinetic Sand.

It is “Sand” but it is so much better.  If your child has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), the Kinetic Sand is an ideal solution because your hands stay clean while you use it.

Gone is the feeling of sand stuck to your hands until you wash them many times or in our case using Baby powder  to get sand off of Elizabeth‘s hands. (True Story:  She was practically glowing white when we were at the beach during her younger years…all in the name of getting the sand off).

The amazing thing is, you can play with the Kinetic Sand minus the need to keep adding water to traditional sand.  We used to have a sandbox in the back yard.  Elizabeth loved digging and playing.  But once it was dry, she wanted more water and that led to the above “Baby Powder” story.

I love that the Kinetic Sand can be put in a tray,  add a few spoons or something to use for a mold and it is a nice contained sandbox.  But a table top version.

So if you are working with your special needs child on scooping or other fine motor skills, I know with Elizabeth’s Dyspraxia we did, or finger strength activities, this can be a nice therapy time exercise, but they will only see the fun!

You can count the scoops needed to fill a cup.  Press the sand down with fingers and work on gentle control to get the sand to come out like a small castle.  Or you can hide objects in the sand to have them dig out with their fingers.

Add the Kinetic Sand to the sensory bin or use during the next therapy session or the next time you hear “I am bored” give this to your child!  Mainly because it is fun, attractive bright colors, cool to touch without the sensory overload, strengthens hand and grip, encourages imaginative play, and something that makes you simply want to play and manipulate. And may I say, it is calming and relaxing to play making it a fantastic sensory solution.

I  was showing Emily, our oldest, this sand today and she said to tell her when I opened the new pack because she wanted to play with it.

I say the above because sometimes it is hard to find an activity that is fun for all the siblings as well as your child with special needs.

So take a look at the site to read more about this great stuff.   The sand comes in many colors to make it more fun.

I wish everyone a peaceful week and a great start to summer!!!

Michele Gianetti

author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”








Happy New Year! Well, not quite yet but soon.

I hope that everyone had a good holiday season. We did. But it came complete with a few much needed breaks per Elizabeth’s requests. But overall she had a wonderful Christmas.

Now onto the New Year.

I hope everyone reading this will be welcoming the New Year as a time to see the possibilities ahead and to take a moment to think about the year past.

-Not so much in terms of whether it was a tough one or an easy one

-Not to compare your child to where they were a year ago.

But to:

– Allow yourself to reflect on all the good things the year brought.

– Allow yourself to look at the year and see all that you did do for your child.

– Allow yourself to recognize all the efforts you made for your child’s life.

If you are like me, it is hard to allow yourself to think about these things when you are so busy thinking about all that needs done or all that your child needs day to day.

But there is this one time of the year when most of the world is reflecting on the highs and lows of 2017, that I want to offer out the same privilege to you, those who have a special needs child in your life.

Many people who do not have these wonderful children in their lives, simply cannot understand how all-encompassing their care can be. From the actual care of them, to the mental part that is always with us.

This mental part includes:

-the thoughts about how they are doing today.

-the thoughts about what their futures will hold.

-the thoughts about what therapies they will be going to/ needing in the future/ or dealing with presently.

-the thoughts about what is the next step on their journeys.

Trust me, it is with us. Every moment. Of everyday.

With that being said, there are gifts in this journey and they include an appreciation for the little successes in life. For the happy times, when our special needs child tries something new, says a new word or makes a new friend.

For us, when Elizabeth would try a new task and her Dyspraxia or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) would not show themselves, we would celebrate! We love seeing her sense of pride.

So as you reflect, allow yourself to see the good that happened in any form it takes.

Then when you look to the new year, my wish for everyone is that you can see the time ahead as one filled with possibilities and hope.

Special needs, sensory diets, therapies, friends, SPD, Dyspraxia, speech therapies, speech delays.

All those words will still be part of your 2018, just as they were in 2017, but know you will see the year ahead and know that you will be right there beside your child to help them, guide them and love them. And know just how special you are as the parent/  caregiver of one of these wonderful special needs children.


I know I love Elizabeth more than I can say in 20 blogs. I treasure the good with her. I cry over the tough times. But I treasure her always.

Take these moments to reflect. To plan for the next year. And to recognize all you are to these children.

Then, when it is time. Count down from 10 to 1 and wish everyone a happy start to a brand new year.

I wish everyone a peaceful week and start to 2018.


Author of: “ I Believe In You: A Mother And Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”

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