How to Help Your Special Needs Child Cope with Big Emotions

As a parent of a child across the autism spectrum or with other special needs, you understand that navigating big emotions can sometimes be a challenge. Whether it's anxiety, frustration, or excitement, helping your child cope with their feelings is essential for their well-being. In this blog, we'll explore some practical strategies to support neurodivergent children’s needs in managing their emotions effectively.1. Identify EmotionsThe first step in managing big emotions is rec...
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From Awareness to Acceptance: Empowering Kids and Teens Across the Autism Spectrum

From Awareness to Acceptance: Empowering Kids and Teens Across the Autism Spectrum April marks Autism Acceptance Month, a time to celebrate neurodiversity and promote understanding and acceptance of individuals on the autism spectrum. Transitioning from autism awareness to acceptance involves a fundamental shift in mindset and approach. While awareness is important for understanding the existence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), acceptance goes beyond mere acknowledgment to em...
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Top 5 Reasons Why Specialized Day Camps are Beneficial for Children with Special Needs

Have you started thinking about summer activities for your child? With Spring around the corner, summer will be here before you know it, and early planning will allow your family time to carefully research and take proactive steps to explore and secure fulfilling summer activities for your child. If your child has special needs, you may find yourself wondering how to best provide them with a fulfilling and supportive experience during the break from school. Specialized day camps for children w...
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Building Bonds: Neurodiverse Girls and Their Path to Friendship

An interesting discovery in the area of autism reveals a significant underdiagnosis of autism among females. In fact, the prevalence remains at a ratio of four boys diagnosed for every one girl, and at our most recent Kids Like Me summer program, girls encompassed just 6% of the camper population. Because girls are underdiagnosed with autism, their specific needs often go unmet. Socially, many young girls take part in “masking”— when individuals mimic social behaviors and interests to fit...
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The Benefit of After School Enrichment Programs

The Benefits of After School Enrichment Programs When Kelani was six, she watched her grandmother sew quilts on an old-fashioned sewing machine and became fascinated. She asked her mother to teach her to sew and quickly her passion and skills grew. Kelani’s mother signed her up for a local sewing class after school-- this was what she needed to thrive in many areas. While she had been a shy and anxious child, Kelani quickly found a group of peers who shared her interests and love...
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Why Choose a Specialized Camp for Your Child with Autism?

Summer camp: a place to have fun, enjoy recreation, sports, arts and crafts, and make new friends. But for children with autism and other developmental challenges, the prospect of attending camp may be daunting. That’s why we at The Help Group’s Kid’s Like Me have created specialized camps for children and teens with autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental challenges where campers can enjoy a sense of belonging. But why choose a specialized camp? Laurie Stephens, the Senior D...
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Six Tips for Families to Help Maintain Emotional Well-being

As we have all been dealing with an unprecedented global pandemic; after nearly a year of stay-at-home orders, prolonged social distancing and challenges for some in virtual learning, many parents and their children’s mental health hangs in the balance.  With the vaccination rollout, families may have a renewed sense of hope, but the longing for our return to normal life continues.  Here are some tips to help maintain emotional well-being:   Give Your Kid’s Day Stru...
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The Therapeutic Power of Camp

As we embark on the year anniversary of uncertainty, changes to our everyday lives and “social distancing” due to the global pandemic, the need for social connections is more apparent than ever.  While this year at home has challenged us in many ways, it has also brought some unexpected benefits.  As our children and teens struggle with not having the usual activities such as play dates, outings with friends or family, graduations or even prom, families are striving for some meanin...
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5 Tips to Combat Zoom Fatigue for Children and Teens

6 Tips for Families to Improve Mental Health During a Global Pandemic main image
As this unprecedented and challenging year comes to an end, it is extremely important to keep in mind that many children are experiencing what is now coined “Zoom Fatigue” as a consequence of distant learning due to Covid-19.  Dr. Jena Lee indicates that Zoom fatigue “describes the tiredness, worry, or burnout associated with overusing platforms of communication.” Many of our families have described that their children or teens may feel overwhelmed with multiple Zoom sessions daily...
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Using Zones of Regulation At Home

Within our Help Group schools and our Kids Like Me (after-school therapeutic & enrichment) groups, we utilize the Zones of Regulation curriculum (by Leah Kyupers, OT) to help students develop self-regulation skills and emotional control. Given that stress and other difficult emotions are ever-present during the stay-at-home orders and Distance Learning, it is our goal to help caregivers implement some of the Zones language and activities at home as well.   Why Use the Zones? While th...
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