Good morning (or afternoon/evening),

I finally decided that it was time to take the plunge and create a monthly newsletter. I have been writing about special needs parenting, homeschooling special needs children and all things in between involving staying sane for about five years and counting. It has been a long time coming but I hope you all like what I have to share and enjoy every moment. My monthly newsletter will be packed full of interesting facts, seasonal recipes, inspiration and all things autism/special needs. So, without further ado….


~Mandu Owner/Editor in Chief of HSSN Tidbits

Homeschool Tips for Autism-Come Up with Projects

mother helping her daughter with homework
Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Due to its many benefits, many parents are choosing homeschooling for their children, especially their special needs children. Homeschooling allows for a more flexible educational experience, and a flexible curriculum that can be tailored to your child’s individual needs. As the costs of private schools continue to rise, homeschooling becomes a viable economic decision as well.

When you decide to homeschool your children, you need to become knowledgeable on a broad range of subjects so you can prepare an adequate educational plan. Once you have established a plan, which should include targets for different subject areas, you should consider the idea of unit projects.

You’re probably familiar with projects, as you likely did one or two if you came through the public school system. Projects are a great way to implement and test knowledge acquired through an educational unit. A good plan is to have a multi-week unit set up for a given subject, and at the end of the unit assign a week-long project that will make use of what your child has learned.

Science Project
Photo by Czapp Árpád on Pexels

For example, if you and your child study a biology unit, a great weeklong project is to create an ecosystem. This can be done with an old aquarium, and your child’s goal will be to create an environment that can be self-sufficient in the sealed aquarium. In learning about the water table and the different cycles of nature, encourage your child to think of the best way to make his or her ecosystem. After your child has come up with a plan, take him to a store to by the requisite materials with which to begin his project. Once it is started have him track the ecosystem’s progress every day.

young students holding their art projects
Photo by Vanessa Loring on Pexels.com

Projects like this can be very effective because they serve multiple educational purposes: your special needs child will not only be learning as he goes, but he will be learning in an engaging way, and most likely with a higher level of retention. A project can also engage other members of the family. The ecosystem, for example, could be placed in a prominent location, and other family members will no doubt take interest. It’s a great educational experience when your child with special needs can excitedly report on a project’s progress to his parents, but actually show the work at hand. Every parent has witnessed a child from the publics system describing a project they’re doing at the dinner table, but as a homeschooling parent you have the benefit of having “home” and “school” being one: you child can not only tell, but show.

Artworks on white table, imagination, creativity
Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels

When you homeschool, you’re not limited by the practicalities necessary in a public or private school system. Project ides are only limited by you and your child’s imagination. For each and every unit, encourage your child to come up with long term project ideas and use their learning in a practical way. Not only will the project allow your child to learn more about the subject, but it will also carry over into the home as a whole and beyond: other family members will take interest, and the whole process of buying the materials and planning the project will become part of your child’s educational experience. Priceless.

Inspirational Quotes for AutismParenting

See the source image

Therapy Corner + Healthy Recipe-Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Upset ethnic woman screaming in room
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Brought to You by Staley Counseling
Child Anxiety Audio Program

MAY 2022 Blog Post: Summer Beckons.


Daily Living Skills for Everyday -Cooking

woman in white t shirt standing behind a boy breaking an egg into pan
Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.com

My autistic soon loves to cook but is too afraid to actually put anything on the stove ***SIGH***. It has been a while, but a few years back he accidentally burned himself on the stove and this has caused him some considerable anxiety surrounding cooking on the stove, if at all. But he is slowly becoming more comfortable with at least watching me, his father or his sister cook dinner, lunch, and sometimes breakfast. What he has managed to make for himself successfully are cheesy quesadillas, which he just takes out of the fridge, puts some shredded cheese on (sometimes meat as well, like sandwich meat or sliced chicken breast meat, etc.). He also microwaves other things that are easy to prepare like frozen burritos, dinner/lunch plates with leftovers and so many more things.

My advice-Start where your child/teen/adult son or daughter feels the most comfortable and then go from there. Although we do make most of his meals for him, he has very quickly become accustomed to making his own sandwiches, warming up frozen food and overall making sure that it is a balanced meal.

We remember the days when all that he would eat would be chicken nuggets and fries, and/or yogurt. Sound familiar? He has come a long way from those days but textures and other sensory challenges, especially when it comes to food will not ever go away. They may change but will always be present in most meals. You just have to find that balance.

At the end of the day, we are just blessed that he still wants to cook even after having such a negative experience. Cooking is a science and needs to be taken lightly and with lots of patience, especially when it comes to your special needs child. We have waited for our son to tell us when he is ready to do some “real” cooking, like on the stove {with the burner on;-)}. Once we cross that bridge, he will probably be finally cooking for our entire family (At least that is one of the goals.) But for now, we will take the milestone of our autistic son finding such joy in his awesome PB&J sandwiches and/or microwaved homemade cheese quesadillas. You have to start somewhere, right?

Is That All?

Well, for now of course😉, but I hope you continue to come back and peruse the HSSN TidBits Monthly Newsletter so that you have your fill of what my website is pretty much all about. Raising a special needs child, homeschooling, blogging, and staying sane in the midst of all the crazy (meltdowns, anxiety attacks, mental health, depression, etc.-you get the drift).

Special needs parenting and advocacy is definitely not for the faint of heart and there are still so many mountains to climb, but so worth it.

Until next time, take care of yourself and each other.

~M. (aka MomAdvocate)