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Thrive - February 2018 Issue

by A is For Apple, Inc. | Feb 05, 2018

Valentine's Day Cards: Tips to Help Your Special Needs Child

heart-762564_640Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and for those parents that have children in school, that means you have the privilege of helping your child pick out the perfect Valentine cards for their classroom party. If you have a child with special needs, the process of picking out the cards, filling them out, and even handing them out comes with its own set of challenges. Have no fear! We have some tips to make the Valentine card process fun this year.

Picking Out the Card: If your child would like to pick out their own card and would like to touch and feel them, go to the store when it will be quieter and there are less shoppers around. With less shoppers, there will be less noise and distractions. If you have the option, try going to a store like Hallmark instead of your local grocery store, where it is smaller and normally less crowded. Smaller stores will also have a smaller selection, making it easier to make a decision and not as overwhelming. If going to a store isn’t an option, there are an abundance of stores and printable resources available online.

Addressing the Cards:
This can be an overwhelming process for some children. You can get a list ahead of time from the teacher, so your child can take their time addressing the cards a couple each day. If your child would rather have help, you can do this for them and write the names on the cards. The other option is to leave the cards blank – this is OK! That way, they can simply pass out the cards without the stress of trying to figure out who’s card belongs to whom.

Signing the Cards: This can be a fun activity for your child, and great practice for them to write their name. The important part is for it to be fun! If your child loses interest or gets frustrated, it’s OK to move on. Pick it back up another day (which is why it is key to contact the teacher and get the list early). Another fun way to address the cards would be to turn their signature into a sticker. You can print out their name on a sheet of labels and have them stick their signature to each card – another fun activity, and each card will still have your child’s name on them.

Helpful Tips:

  • This should be fun! As mentioned above, if your child gets frustrated, loses interest, etc. take a break and come back to it. It’s OK if your child is only able to get a couple of cards done each day.
  • If your child has a hard time making decisions and doesn’t know which cards to choose, or who to give each card to, it may be best to find printable cards online and print the SAME card for everyone.
  • Buy or print more cards than you need so you have them on hand. Mistakes happen, and you’ll want to prepare for that in advance to avoid any meltdowns or frustrations.
  • You may want to consider practicing how to pass out the cards with your child at home, and go over the expectations of the day so they will understand what will take place. This will help get them prepared and will help reduce any fears, insecurities or anxiety they may have about the day!

Stay Connected
It takes a village! Find community with local parents, support groups, Facebook communities, or other local organizations. Email us, or join us online: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram - we'd love for you to connect with us!

Local Events & Resources

AMC Saratoga 14 - Sensory Friendly Films

Peter Rabbit, Saturday, February 10

700 El Paseo De Saratoga, San Jose, CA  95130


AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! Our Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month.

Click Here For Tickets and More Information

Valentine's Parents Night Out

Saturday, February 10, 5:00pm - 8:00pm

We Rock the Spectrum - Kids Gym
1341 Blossom Hill Rd San Jose, CA 95118

we-rock-spectrumLet us entertain your kid/s while you and your other get some much needed Valentine's Day fun (or rest). Call 408-622-8455 or book your deposit online. Space is limited.

Cost: $40/Child; $30 for Siblings
$20 Deposit Required

​ ​Click Here For Tickets and More Information

Technology Spotlight


One of our "Helpful Tips" was to rehearse Valentine's Day and the act of giving out cards with your child before the day of the party. What better way to do that but by using social stories? There is an iPhone app called "i Get....Valentines Day Social Skills Stories" that uses social stories to do just that; describe Valentines Day to children who may be participating in this social activity for the first time.

From the app store description: i Get... Valentine's Day is an application providing a photo social skill story for individuals that need support in understanding the process of Valentine's Day. Twenty-seven icons with real picture images are used to illustrate the sequence of events. Each page can be individualized for the user by adding personal photos taking pictures with an Apple camera ready device, add text and audio.

Typically developing young children participating in Valentine's Day for the first time and individuals with developmental delays, such as PDD-NOS, autism and down syndrome will benefit from this interactive application.

"i Get..." has a variety of other social skills app available as well, you can find the Valentine's Day app and others online or in the app store in the link below.

You can find this app on the iTunes store online here.

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