Featured Certified Cognitive Coach: Francesco Paladino

Francesco Paladino, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, Certified Cognitive Coach (CCC)

“My training with IBCCES was the most layered and priceless education I received. My awareness of communication and client obstacles has been heightened. As a coach and a motivational speaker, I am better because of my training.”

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Is Your Special-Needs Halloween a Trick or a Treat?

Elayne Pearson“Hand in Hand with Elayne”

By Elayne Pearson, Special Needs Preparedness Specialist, CAS

Most children love Halloween, but it can be tricky―and downright scary for some. This holiday can be problematic for people with sensory issues―from the intense sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures bombarding them each October.  If you have a child affected by a special-need, especially autism, Halloween can be a complex time. It can conjure a cauldron of concerns―resulting in amplified anxiety, increased impulsivity, deeper withdrawal, and even insomnia and nightmares. Yikes!

Over the many years with Heidi Ann (our little pumpkin with Down syndrome and autism) I learned several strategies to make this crazy/creepy holiday not only a happier one for her, but a sane one for us. My acronym “HALLOWEEN” offers options, cautions, and examples to help set a better tone. Continue Reading →

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Featured Certified Autism Specialist: Karen Jaggers

Karen Jaggers, NCC, LPC, CAS

State/Country: Texas/, USA

School/ Organizations: University of Houston, MS/Mental Health Counselling – Capella University, CalSouthern University (PsyD Clinical Psychology candidate)

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Problems with Parades and your Special Needs Child? Keep it “UP”!

By Elayne Pearson, Special Needs Preparedness Specialist, Author, and National Speaker

July is great for recalling our amazing heritage in this choice land. I adore the patriotic music, programs, and parades. However, there were many years when even attending a local July 4th parade with Miss Heidi, our cute daughter with Down syndrome and autism, was very stressful. Personally, I loved the spirit of patriotism, the scalloped star-spangled bunting, and creating parade floats. Our four daughters in their crisp red, white, and blue outfits (and matching hair bows) undoubtedly felt the excitement in the air too, but our youngest, Heidi (who craved peace, quiet, and predictability) probably felt like she was entering a war zone, with random firecrackers, flashing police lights directing the excited mobs, smoke and BBQ odors from vendors, and bands playing with true vigor.  More than once, Heidi darted off in a “parade panic” and our family (also in a panic) thankfully always found her.

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Using Positive Supports to Manage Behavior in the Classroom

By Kelly Noda, MA, CAS   kelly@ibcces.org

A few years ago, I encountered a set of notorious twins who challenged my classroom and behavior management skills honed carefully by years of teaching middle school students and parenting a “strong-willed” child. I had no formal ABA training; in fact, I was brand new to the school. I didn’t recall doing anything to merit these 15-year-old sophomores’ placement together in my class, especially in a period that ended up as the last class on Fridays. I’d been warned of their tendencies, their “attention-seeking” antics by my colleagues. Head-shaking, commiserating ninth-grade teachers wished me the perfunctory “good luck” after a disbelieving exclamation of “You have them BOTH in the same class!?”  I can still see the piteous looks on their faces.

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Building Bridges, Linking Lives, and Healing Hearts

By: Elayne Pearson, Special Needs Preparedness Specialist, Author/Life Coach/Motivational Speaker

February brings to my mind cold and prickly weather, but also warm and fuzzy thoughts of Valentine’s Day. It’s a favorite holiday of mine because I think we all need to express our love and appreciation more. Okay, at home, more love and at work, more appreciation.

“Ah love, it’s a grand thing,” Lady Cluck wistfully observes, while gazing at the dreamy Maid Marion in Disney’s Robin Hood, and I truly agree with her.

For years, our home rang with the delightful music and scenes from that show and many Disney classics, because Heidi, our beloved little girl with Down syndrome, adored all things Disney. A few years later her sweet personality shifted into anxious and baffling behaviors (before most had even heard the word autism) and our videos went from being a simple joy — to a deep need of Heidi’s to collect and constantly carry with her.

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“Keep it UP!” Helpful Hints from Hawaii

By Elayne Pearson, Special Needs Preparedness Specialist – Author/Life Coach/Motivational Speaker

It’s dawn. The sun sprinkles glorious golden bronze glitter on the navy blue ocean out beyond our little time-share balcony, or lanai, as they call it here in Hawaii.  My husband, Rod, and I love the Islands, because they transport and replenish us. We love the cultures, foods, and people here.

I’m supposed to relax, but it’s kind of hard, because for over 25 years on any vacation with Heidi, our beautiful daughter with Down syndrome and late-onset autism, it honestly was not relaxing for our family.  We had to watch her constantly.  Thank goodness (out of real desperation) I searched and gradually found drug-free solutions to calm her accelerated central nervous system and level out her baffling emotions.

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