Kim’s Korner: Children with special needs

By Kimberly Jenkins - [email protected]

This week’s column is centered mainly on children with special needs, which is why I put the article from Connecticut on these education pages. I’ve had these kids on my mind because I have a master’s degree in special education and taught these children for my first years of teaching and I loved to have them in my classroom because I felt I could help them so much. Don’t stop reading if you do not have a child with special needs because there is so much to learn and toward the end of this column, I have a great little app that all students will find fun and educational.

The first thing that caught my eye was an article on dyslexia. This link not only has tips and other things it has different ways to find out if your child may have dyslexia: dyslexia – The Magical I Am™ website discusses the traits and behaviors of dyslexic learners.

I then found in my search, I was directed to: This page will open you up to so many many things to do with your child of special needs. A few things that caught my eye were: Hand-eye coordination activities for all ages, using pom poms- touch and feel counting cards pom pom math, and pom pom transfer activity, sensory bin ideas, playdough smash, fine motor activities using dyed oatmeal and so many others.

Another page I found that had details and gives you why they are good for kids:

Games And Activities For Children With Special Needs And Autism

Dance up to a tune

Age: three to nine years

Benefits: Confidence, spatial awareness, motor and social skills

Suitable for: Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Physical disability, Cerebral Palsy, Learning Disability

Dancing is great for self-expression and for keeping your child’s body in shape. And all that tapping, stomping and twirling are so much fun. Even for children who are wheelchair bound, dancing can help in flexibility and improve upper body strength. When you incorporate music into it, your child’s brain gets a boost of endorphins, the feel-good hormones, which will relax her. Also, by involving in a dance session with friends and family, your child can hone her social skills.

Follow the leader

Age: Older kids and teenagers

Autistic children often have trouble with routine daily activities. This social skill activity will help your teen perform simple activities such as making her own bed, changing her dress or prepare breakfast. The idea is to break down a task like making the bed into three or four steps. Announce that you are going to ‘make the bed’. Show your child each step carefully and ask her to mimic your steps. With repetition, your child will be able to do this on her own. Follow the same method to teach her to become independent with other routine tasks.

Emotion sorting activity

Age: Younger kids and teenagers

Kids with autism often struggle to express or identify emotions. Use this simple activity to help them learn what each emotion means. Print some cards with some basic emotions labelled in bold – joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust. Now print another set of cards with facial images depicting each of these emotions. Keep the cards with the written emotions face down and ask your child to pick one and match it with the correct face card. Use this activity to help your child associate with each emotion and how to respond correctly to it in a real-life situation.

These games and activities not just help engage your kids but also encourage them to be spontaneous and enjoy themselves. Not to mention that these games are inclusive of special needs and disabled children.

I will be continuing to look for things to help you parents who have kids with special needs. I’ll put in more as I find them and check them out.

Lastly for this week, I stumbled upon an app that can be found for IPads and IPhones. It is called Bookful, and it is really fun looking. The intro says, Reading just got better with Bookful!

Turn screen time into interactive reading time. With the power of Augmented Reality (AR) and 3D elements, Bookful creates an engaging experience and brings the story and characters to life. Parents and educators love how Bookful transforms reading into an active learning experience.

Bookful holds the world’s largest 3D/AR library with hundreds of titles from leading publishers and brands such as; The Tale of Peter Rabbit, DK’s Encyclopedia, and children’s favorites; My Little Pony, Thomas & Friends, Transformers and The Smurfs.

This site also says this app is a 2020 National Parenting Product Awards winner 4.7 stars for ages 4+ 100’s of books


• Hundreds of animated 3D/AR English books from leading publishers such as Penguin Random House and DK.

• New books added regularly.

• Educational games and activities to encourage better comprehension and learning.

• A variety of reading levels and categories personalized for your child.

• Interactive and engaging books for early readers.

• Narration mode to encourage independent reading.

• Book recording feature to practice reading out loud.

• Personal area where users can save their creations and see their reading progression

I think your kids and even parents will love this app, from just what I previewed, I wanted more.

I will have more things, especially for those who are doing more of the virtual learning in the weeks to come.

Have fun with your children this week, it will make you and them feel better. Keep in mind. I try to do my best to find things that are not a ton of work for you.

Let me know any ideas you have or what you would like to see and I’ll get right on it for you. Email me at [email protected]

Remember to be kind to each other and continue to set a good example for our children.

By Kimberly Jenkins

[email protected]

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928

© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928

© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights