Play and Holidays


top view photography of toddler playing with toy


Parents ask – what can I get for my special needs child for the holidays.  The gift of sharing time and allowing for this experience is probably one of the most important.  This is well documented in the literature and even pediatricians have weighed in on the subject of play with children.

Play is important for communication development as the below blog author illustrates   and as you step into the shopping mall on Black Friday or you are selecting toys online consider these developmental stages in play development   The reason to consider this would be to make sure that your child can actually benefit from the toy being purchased,

Recognize that for children – anything can become a toy.  The box collection (by age) of 52 quick and creative idea cards is great for easy ones which can be a guide for fun activities.  If money is an issue for you – take a look. All the materials can be found at home:

If it is hard financially to purchase toys, you may wish to contact The Salvation Army for assistance.


To me, a traditional toy is one that is not battery operated.  I remember using these as a child. For example lincoln logs, building blocks, board puzzles, board games such as Monopoly, CandyLand, Pick Up Sticks or numerous doll teal parties with a tea set, balls, frisbees. There are many others and this site offers

The value of a traditional toy cannot be underestimated because the use o f these involves that of imagination expansion.  Here is some foood for additional thought


One of my favorites is Melissa and Doug toys because they are very sturdy, last a long time and can be used in so many different ways as children grow.  A number are available on their website and here are some links on the site for those who want them toys for upcoming vacations with packing limitations:   or   

Other toys through Melissa and Doug are Sensory Friendly toys      as well as on these sites:

Whichever toy you may choose to purchase, have fun!  Without realizing it you will be building memories that will last a lifetime!

What Does it Mean to Have Generational Intelligence and What are Your Thoughts?

Spread template PC fonts


What is communication in the 21st century? Are we merely talking??  Research actually is saying “no”. The above chart from the University of Liverpool illustrates the differences between age groups.  We are really are what I would term to be global communicators; in that, we use a variety of communication forms.  That has good and bad sides to it.  The need to be generationally intelligent becomes necessary for all of us if we are going to get along.  Why?  It’s important since the presence of a digital world has made these differences even more pronounced than they ever have been.  The differences are also permanent. Technology is not going away any time soon and is changing every day quite rapidly.

Jean Twenge gives a great deal of insight about the concept I am introducing.  She discusses the differences in how people are living, looking at longitudinal studies that she has conducted. Her latest book documents this:  Sadly, she notes that those who are born in an age of smartphones and the internet are not as happy as a result of the social isolation of many digital natives.  Wouldn’t this now point to the need for increased and easier access to mental health care?

Technology has also had an impact on physical health, both positively and negatively.  Only you understand how you individually are being affected or not.   It is interesting to think about and then consider if there are any issues that impact on your life.  How is your life being affecting and how are you communicating pre-post technology or as a digital native?



Dr. Andreas Hoff (2012) Generational Intelligence: A Critical Approach to Age Relations By Biggs, S., and Lowenstein, A., Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 10:3, 304-308, DOI: 10.1080/15350770.2012.698975.  


Did You Hear What I said?? Did You Understand me!!

The answer to these questions are going to be conveyed differently, depending on your age and life experience with technology.  I’ve been doing a great deal of reading about communication and wonder what the best way to do so is at this time.   The subject has consumed me lately as I talk with others about how to figure out whether someone has a disorder of speech-language or not.  What is a real pathology of communication.

Jean a Twenge documents in a number of her texts, based on years of research, tells us that how we do will vary based on how old you are.   of the generational group into which you are birthed. .

Messages appear to get confused in my opinion,  unless the correct form of communication is utilized.    I use email a great deal; but find that it is unfortunate that I don’t even know what most my colleagues look like.  E-mail is mostly the way that I obtain work.  It is less personal.  All of us should add a photo of ourselves next to our names.  Can anyone communicate how to add that?  I send signed cards to colleagues around the holidays.  One year, I was told how much it was appreciated because “nobody sends these anymore is only communicated electronically.  The  impact that technology has had on Millennials vs. Baby Boomers has been documented in the literature.  For example, The titled Have Smartphone Destroyed a Generation documents some of the effects of these changes.   The article was published by a professor of psychology at San Diego State University by the name of Jean M. Twenge last week in “The Atlantic”. The link .  It poses the next question regarding how we view communication in today’s world.  How does the change affect those who did not grow up with it and how does it impact on those who did.?  The author explores it and it would be good to take note of its contents. My thanks again to its author!

Technology clearly can become addictive and studies are showing that there is impact on neurologic development.   No surprise!  It’s use can be beneficial if tailored to the individual; but parents in particuylar should be aware:

The author of the below article (see link) talks about how limitations around the use of technology are helpful with children. In the presence of AAP (american academy of pediatrics) guidelines parents can shape the behavior of them and ease the transition into and out of periods of exposure through the development of structured embedding of this into daily life.  To this day, I recall my childhood.  My parents told each of the three of us (two older brothers and I) that we had one hour of television per day unless there was a special show on or an assignment to watch something given to us by our teachers at school.  We survived AND the limits developed and implemented with consistency worked!   So-I leave you with food for thought…