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Best of Winter Picture Books

December 1st, 2019

Reading together is even more special in the winter, when the thought of curling up in a big chair with cocoa and blankets invites us to remember favorite childhood moments. Settle in with your favorite young children and share some well-deserved quiet time with these special, snowy gems:

  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (Robert Frost) – One of our best-loved poems, beautifully illustrated by Susan Jeffers.
  • Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats) –The classic snow story for young children, now over fifty years old!
  • Snow (Uri Shulevitz) – A quiet story that builds with the excitement of an unexpected snowfall.
  • Snowmen at Night (Caralyn Buehner) – Our favorite of the popular series, giving us our first glimpse of what those snowmen are up to!
  • Snowballs (Lois Ehlert) – A creative and colorful recipe for the perfect snow family.
  • The Snowman (Raymond Briggs) and DVD – This brilliant wordless book led to the hauntingly beautiful children’s film.
  • Red Sled  (Lita Judge) – Newest on the scene, and winning accolades for its practically wordless portrayal of an animal sledding romp. Sure to be a toddler favorite!
  • Annie and the Wild Animals/The Hat/The Mitten (Jan Brett) – Jan Brett is the queen of the snowy picture book, inviting us into her wintry world with these favorite animal stories.
  • Bear Snores On (Karma Wilson) – This much-loved bear first burst on the scene in this cautionary tale of the dangers of hibernating through an animal cave party.


Not snowy outside? Add a sensory component to the experience by making your own snow! Just mix baking soda or cornstarch with shaving cream, or find other options online.

Remember that the book is just the beginning of a delightful conversation with your child, one that you may revisit again and again (and again!) to retell, ask questions, laugh and wonder about – anything to relate it to your child’s world. Soon enough your child will be telling these stories to you!

Author: Karen Coleman, Family and Support Coordinator

Posted by Siskin Admin  | Category: reading, engagement, family

What is ABA?

November 15th, 2019

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy that focusss on behavior and learning. The overall goal of ABA is to figure out why a child behaves the way they do and then focuses on ways to encourage those good behavior habits and correct the harmful behaviors habits of that child. ABA focuses on positive reinforcement in order to decrease those unwanted behaviors. The therapy helps improve socially significant behaviors including communication and social skills, memory, academic performance, and language.

How does the ABA therapy work?
ABA Therapy typically follows these general steps, however these experiences are completely unique to each individual child.

  1. Referral to ABA (typically by a physician)
  2. Assessment will be done with a Board Certified Behavior Analysis (BCBA). A BCBA is a specialized therapist specifically for the ABA program.
  3. The BCBA will do visits (mostly in-home but could also be at school or in the community) to come up with strategies and goals to increase positive behavior in the child’s everyday life

Who is a good candidate for ABA?

ABA was created to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. Our ABA program is designed for children anywhere from 18 months to 12 years. Like most therapy’s, ABA is more successful when started at a young age.

Watch the video above to learn more about the ABA program at Siskin Children's Institute. 

We have all seen post about being kind or teaching children about disabilities but what does that really mean to young children? How do you as an adult answer questions that perhaps you don’t really understand yourself? Is it rude to ask or even approach someone in a wheelchair or who has braces on their legs or maybe they just look, speak, eat different then you and I? What is the importance of teaching young children about engaging with someone who has a disability? How do you as a parent support a young child with developing a friendship with a child who perhaps is non-verbal?

The adults in a young child’s life has many influences and this includes how you interact with someone who may have diverse abilities that may make you uncomfortable because you just simply don’t know how to respond or engage. To create a culture of acceptance and inclusion, it is very important that we demonstrate and model appropriate and respectful responses to people we encounter in day to day life as well as those we pass on a daily basis.

If you are in a situation that it is appropriate to ask a person either about themselves or their child simply ask, “Do you mind if I ask about your child?” When we as adults avoid or ignore we are not modeling for our children that it is okay to have differences, we are all different in some way, and our differences makes us unique. When we model acceptance through simple gestures we are creating the foundation of inclusion on the most basic level.

Parents often say, "I wish someone would just ask me instead of telling their child don’t stare that is rude." Remember when asking someone about their disability or why they use a specific piece of equipment such as braces, wheelchair etc this does not give you permission to ask more personal questions, keep it general.

When young children that have never been around medical equipment and suddenly find themselves in a preschool classroom with a child who needs suctioning throughout the day or at the grocery store and pass a child who is different from them, they may find this a little scary. It is up to the adults to help this child understand that it is ok and our role is to help that child look past that device and see that this is just another little boy or girl in their class that likes to read and sing songs or at the store picking up groceries just like them.

Be honest! Answer the hard questions truthfully and directly but remember age appropriately. And remember disabilities are part of everyday life in every culture and across all socio-economic levels but most importantly remember we are all more alike than we are different. 

Author: Lisa Spurlock, Coordinator, Family Voices of Tennessee Southeast Partnership

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