Special Needs Roadmap

If you are a parent reading this post, you can relate to this scenario very well. You get the psycho-education evaluation for your child and then what? You turn to your doctor and the school for help.

Your child’s doctor can only recommend drugs as a solution to the problem however you know that in most cases that is not the only solution. There is some thing more however you don’t know what it is.

You are not sure how to articulate the problem to the school as you don’t have the right words.

You don’t know where and how to get help for your child.

It then becomes this crazy, time confusing and frustrating journey to find out who, what and where. This could take several years and those years are often the most crucial ones, as that is when your child needs the interventions and therapies to develop those lagging skills.

A few mothers gave up their valuable time and have put together this great special needs roadmap for schools. Read it, it will give you the information you need so that you can focus on getting the right help and advocating for your child.

Ontario Special Needs Roadmap

Ontario Special Needs Roadmap

This is focused on Ontario, Canada however if you are a parent from another region read it as it will give you an idea of the process and you might have something similar in your region. Better still if something like this does not exist, get a group of parents together and build one.

Either way connect with us and we will spread the word.


Social Skills Information Night

MindWare Academy and Steps and Strides Present Social
Skills Information Night. You will hear from experts on how your
child with special needs can find social skill success.

Topics covered are

  • Natural environment teaching at home (NET)
  • Consistency between home and school
  • Social skills to help your child gain confidence and reduce anxiety
  • The resilient child
  • Effective communication strategies between the parent and child

When: Thursday April 24th 2014

Time: at 7 pm

Location: 985 Pinecrest Road, Ottawa map

Cost: Free

Optional Donation to LDA (Learning Disabilities Association)

Contact: sj_mancini@hotmail.com or carolinegeorge0@gmail.com

World Autism Awareness Day: Help Spread the Word

imagesAccording to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder.

It’s been seven years since the United Nations declared April 2 of
every year as World Autism Awareness Day. A lot has changed since then.
The level of awareness of the medical and environmental factors
affecting autism has increased across the globe. In advanced countries,
diagnosis is much easier now compared to developing countries.

This is not to say that things are easier everywhere; the diagnosis
of autism and its management and care are still a big challenge. In
spite of the increase in the level of awareness, the number of children
diagnosed with autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorders, ASD continues to
rise. Experts say this in itself may be due to advances in medicine and
not necessarily proof that more children come down with autism.

Certain facts have come to light, for instance, according to autismspeaks.org,
older people are likely to give birth to children with ASD than younger
ones. Scientists say there are both genetic and social reasons behind
this. Studies have also shown that taking folic acid or a diet rich in
folic acid in the months before and after conception decreases the
chances of giving birth to a child with ASD.

Treatment & Management

Children with ASD are no different from others. In fact, most of the
movers and shakers of the world of business, sciences and the arts have
ASD diagnosis earlier in their lives. Well known people like Mozart, Temple Grandin and Dan Aykroyd were diagnosed with various forms of autism, yet they went ahead to impact society in very positive ways.

The key to dealing with autism properly is early diagnosis. People
with ASD may find social interaction difficult and have trouble with
verbal and non-verbal communication, but some are specially gifted in
solving mathematical equations. So, don’t give up and find ways to work
with children in the way they understand.

On this day, let us spare a thought for people with ASD and give a
helping hand to parents raising children with the condition by giving to
causes that support them. Happy World Autism Awareness Day!

Discovering Emotions with Zeely is an innovative therapy app that
helps children with autism, ASD and Aspergers learn to recognize facial
expressions and emotions.

In honour of World Autism Awareness Day, we are making Discovering Emotions with Zeely for iPad free in the App Store, so head over there and download a copy today, and let us know what you think!

How to power down and restart your iPad?

Sometimes an app running will appear to freeze or cut out. There
are a number of reasons for this ranging from a memory issue to an a bug
in the app. itself. If it is a memory issue then powering down the iPad
and restarting usually fixes the problem.

Here is how you can power down and restart your iPad.

Locate the iPad’s power button as shown.



It’s the same button you use to temporarily shut off the iPad.




Push the power button and hold for a few seconds until the red slider comes on the screen.



Slide to Power Off

To restart the iPad, hold the power button down for a few seconds.
The white apple icon will appear. Continue to wait until it fully powers
back on.



Socks Stand for Solidarity on World Down Syndrome Day

shutterstock_130699232Hello Spring! May we ask you not to march Old Man Winter off just yet? We can
use some of that cold for a good cause. This year, as we mark the ninth
anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day, attention is focused on people living with Down Syndrome and those who live and work with them.

The global solidarity message this year is to keep your feet in lots
of socks. Keep your feet warm for a good cause and let them help to
spread a message of care and enlightenment.

This year’s theme “Health and Wellbeing – Access and Equality for
All” reminds us of why we need to spread the message that people with
Down Syndrome need our enlightenment to live fulfilled lives.

Down Syndrome is a genetic condition, and with the correct diagnosis
and accurate, evidence-based information, most people with Down Syndrome
live normal, active and productive lives. It is important that parents,
teachers and health care professionals know how to help these people
reach their life goals.

with this year’s celebration comes a unique tool that does just that.
Studies have shown that people with Down Syndrome have difficulty

Discovering Emotions with Zeely as seen in iTunes

Discovering Emotions with Zeely as seen in iTunes

processing facial expressions such as surprise and fear. Discovering
Emotions with Zeely is an iPad app that helps people with Down Syndrome
learn to better recognize facial expressions. You heard right – there’s
an app for that!

The app is an education tool that helps parents, educators and
therapists working with children with special needs. It is a unique tool
that collates data and helps parents or caregivers monitor the child’s
progress either in school, in the therapy environment or at home.

To mark World Down Syndrome Day, we are making Discovering Emotions with Zeely free to download on March 21.

You can download the app for free here. 

Don’t forget to share the love by wearing lots of socks today and
remember – “Health and Wellbeing – Access and Equality for All”.

Special Needs Fair Ottawa 2014

If you are a parent to a child with special needs this event is
perfect for you. It’s the Special Needs Fair that brings together
the best of what Ottawa has to offer the Special Needs community.


Special Needs Fair 2014

Special Needs Fair 2014

When: Saturday March 22, 2014

Where: Jim Durrell Arena, 1265 Walkley Road
, K1V 6P9

Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Support FAQ is now live

Although Discovering Emotions with Zeely is an educational game for the child there are various options and settings that a clinician, therapist, educator or parent can use to measure the childs’ progress and identify problem areas. Once identified you can work with the child one on one and they can practice their skills further.

Support FAQ

Support FAQ

We will continue to add information to this FAQ based on your requests and feedback. So ask away we are here to help.

Rogers Daytime with Derick Fage and Tammy Laverty

I had the pleasure of being on Rogers Daytime with Derick Fage and Tammy Laverty yesterday. As with TV shows things move quickly as the show moves in and out of segments and commercials. We did have enough time to discuss the situation with diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, treatment options and more.

I even had the chance to do a live demo of Discovering Emotions with Zeely directly from the iPad. It surprisingly worked well and my initial concerns about not being plugged into a monitor were soon dispelled.

Here we are after the segment.

Rogers Daytime Derick Fage and Tammy Laverty

Rogers Daytime Derick Fage and Tammy Laverty

I have ordered a copy of the show and will post an update in a few weeks when I get it.

Update: The video is in, it does need some editing to remove the blank sessions when commercials were running. However it’s online for your viewing pleasure.


CBC Radio – All in a Day – Giacomo Panico

I was on CBC Radio yesterday on All in a Day between 3:15-3:30pm.

It was my first time in a radio station and I was excited. It was great to get a behind the scenes perspective of how a show is run and how they go in an out of live chat to pre-recorded segments, commercials and music.

Giacomo Panico was the host and did you know that he has a degree in Mechanical Engineering!!!

CBC Radio - All in a Day hosted by Giacomo Panico

CBC Radio – All in a Day hosted by Giacomo Panico

Giacomo and me post segment.

Giacomo and Natasha

Giacomo and Natasha


The audio from this interview is now on the site under Press/In the News

Discovering Emotions with Zeely now available on iTunes

I am very happy to say that, drum roll please…… Discovering Emotions with Zeely is now available on iTunes!!!!”

Here is a screen shot from iTunes.

Discovering Emotions with Zeely as seen in iTunes

Discovering Emotions with Zeely as seen on iTunes

The full title of the app is …..

“Discovering Emotions with Zeely – Educational Tool for Learning Emotions by Virtual EyeSee.”

Being a new app we are not on the first page in iTunes. So there are a number of ways to find us.

Via the direct link https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/discovering-emotions-zeely/id786676546?mt=8

You could try searching for zeely, emotions or ADHD. We are an iPad only app for now. You will have to be patient and scroll down to find us.

Go ahead download it and start to use it as part of your therapy sessions, in the classroom or at home. I look forward to hearing how you use this app effectively.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to all the people that collaborated with me on this project. I appreciate their time, patience, feedback and encouragement.