posts in parenting

Using Home Therapy for Kids with Processing Disorders

iLS-home-therapy

I just started using a home therapy program for my daughters and I'm pretty excited about it.

My daughters have a variety of processing issues.

  • Alexis (age 17): dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, sensory processing, Asperger's
  • Lorelai (age 13): dyslexia, dysgraphia, auditory processing disorder, sensory processing disorder
With all these challenges, I jumped at the chance to use this home therapy program.

ils-home-therapy-tool

Using Home Therapy with Kids Who Have Processing Disorders

{Disclosure: I have received this product free of charge. I was compensated for my time and, as always, all opinions are my own.}


What is iLS?

It's great to have a therapy available, but having a therapy I can do in the comfort of my own home is exciting! So what's this program?

It's called the Total Focus Home Program from iLS.


iLs is medication-free and uses movement and activities in lieu of on-screen programs. The program is an integrated listing system (iLS), a sound and movement therapy for people living with special needs, including 

  • dyslexia
  • autism
  • apraxia
  • dysgraphia
  • auditory processing disorder
  • ADHD/ADD
  • Down’s syndrome
  • and sensory processing disorder.
The iLS should be used two to five times per week for 20-50 minutes per session. Using a headset, iPod Touch, and other equipment, children integrate sound with body movement.

The special headset contains a bone conduction piece which sends sound through the bones themselves. Pretty cool!


By combining sound with balance and coordination exercises, various parts of the brain are being exercised and retrained. In this way, the program improves communication and processing, cognitive skills, as well as memory and concentration.


Does home therapy really work?

home-therapy-SPD

iLs has been used at some of the top clinics in the world to address learning difficulties and autism, and it is now available for home use. While I'm not using it for autism, that's a terrific statement of success.

Clients who have used the at-home program have reported substantial improvement in attention and sensory issues.


I was quite impressed by the feedback the program has received. In particular, in liked this client testimonial:



"Together, with occupational therapy and iLs, their sensory issues have almost disappeared. The anxiety and emotions that used to take over lives has subsided."
Anxieties and sensory issues are such a huge thing in my home. In fact, anxieties tend to increase the SPD symptoms, so I'm all for anything that will help anxieties!

We've only just begun using the program and will be using it for three months. I'm hoping to see improvement in my kids processing issues (language, auditory, and sensory).

If you'd like to learn more about the program, check out the science behind iLS. 


If you're interested, contact the company. I had to call them to discuss the fact that my kids have bipolar disorder. The coach I spoke with was helpful, answering all of my concerns.



Want more ideas for helping your special needs child? Subscribe here to receive my posts in your inbox each week!

30 Ways Your Kids Can Enjoy 30 Minutes in Nature

Child playing outdoors



Kids these days aren't spending enough time outdoors.

Perhaps Miss Charlotte Mason and Mr. John Muir understood the importance of being outdoors, but modern people seem to be lacking in this knowledge.

Nature isn't just for naturalists. It's for everyone.


Nature was created for us. Therefore, we benefit from it. In fact, we need it. Nature is the key to good physical and mental health. 

Just google "children, outdoors, important" and you'll find a wealth of information on the social, cognitive, and health benefits of being outdoors.

So how can we get out kids outdoors more often?

child on monkeybars

30 Ways Your Kids Can Enjoy 30 Minutes in Nature


{This post may contain affiliate links.}


Here are some easy ways to add outdoor time to your day. 


A photo posted by Michelle Cannon (@tmichellecannon) on
  • Make a nature shadow box or nature table.
  • Look for traces of animals (tracks and scat).
  • Sketch in your nature journal.
  • Collect items for your nature journal.
  • Listen for sounds in nature.

  • Eat outside. Always fun!
  • Observe spiders and their webs.
  • Take photos. Macro photos of flowers, spiders, icicles, or any other thing in nature, make for a great scrapbook or addition to your nature journal.
  • Climb trees.
  • Build a fort!

A photo posted by Michelle Cannon (@tmichellecannon) on
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A photo posted by Michelle Cannon (@tmichellecannon) on


A photo posted by Michelle Cannon (@tmichellecannon) on
  • Play outdoor games.
  • Go for a bike ride.
  • Explore shells and rocks at the beach.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Hike in a nearby state park.
What ideas would you add to the list?

More useful tasks that take little time!

Need more assistance? 

I'm full of nature-y ideas. Get them delivered them to your inbox! Subscribe here. 

5 Ways to Encourage Reading in a Reluctant Reader

In recognition of National Reading Month, I'm sharing tips for encouraging reluctant readers.

Do you have a reluctant reader? I do. Lorelai can read, but she's not interest in reading. 


I don't have an issue with the fact that reading isn't her thing. I mean - I don't have an issue with her not collecting stamps, skateboarding, or horse-riding either. A hobby is a hobby and reading isn't hers.


However, she does need to read when it comes to homeschooling. She needs to read for the sake of gaining knowledge and improving her reading skills. But it bores her.

So how do we get a reluctant reader to read?

How to Grow a Naturalist in 5 Easy Steps

Do you have a child who loves exploring nature? Here are 5 tips for growing a naturalist.

Does your child love being outdoors? Does she collect caterpillars with the intent of raising them? Does he like to help in the garden? You may have a naturalist on your hands.

What is a naturalist? 


A naturalist is a person who studies plants and animals and, I would add, is passionate about nature. 

Anyone can be a naturalist. 

Homeschooling My Autistic Son Is Worth the Challenges

A new homeschool mom discovers the rewards are worth the challenges of homeschooling her son who has autism.

I am a new-ish homeschooling mama to two awesome little boys. This is our second year homeschooling. My oldest has special needs, the most challenging when it comes to schooling is autism.

I always wanted to homeschool, but for years was scared I could not do him justice because of his special needs. I finally took a giant leap of faith after he was mistreated at school, and started homeschooling him beginning in fifth grade. It has been a challenge! 

Why I Don't Limit My Daughter's Minecraft Time

Find out why a mom who has led her children through a screen-free lifestyle would choose not to limit time on Minecraft. #minecraft www.heartofmichelle.com

It may surprise you to read this, but I don't set limits on my daughter's Minecraft time.


If you know me or have been reading this blog long enough, you know that I'm not big on screens. Each year, our family participates in Screen-Free Week and I've even written a series of posts called Screen-Free Family Activities.


We didn't have television in my home (no service anyway) for many years. My youngest two, who are now 16 and 11, didn't have T.V. until they were 14 and 9.

So why would a mom who has led a pretty Screen-Free lifestyle not set limits on Minecraft?

I Have a Problem with Labeling Kids, Not with Diagnosing Them

In this post, I challenge the concept of 'labels' when it comes to children and their special needs diagnoses. #specialneeds #parenting

This topic has been on my mind for a while now. A long while. 


I don't understand why so many people have a problem with so-called labels when it comes to kids' illnesses or disorders.

Why? Why is it a problem? Actually, what I want to know is:



Why are you calling a diagnosis a label?


If my child has a cancer or flu, should I rush away from the doctor's office proclaiming, "I won't have my child labeled?" No.


Instead, I take the information, learn about the causes and symptoms, and then I work toward helping my child get better. Why is it different for other illnesses or disorders?


Why do we call those labels rather than diagnoses?

Your Kid Is Weird: Life on the Autism Spectrum

Guest Post by Lee of A Geeky Ginger.



Sometimes, as special needs parents, we feel a need to protect our kids. We might feel like we should hide the things that might make them seem 'weird' to other people. But here's a thought:  What if we embraced what makes our children different? This mom is sharing what it's like to be a child on the spectrum, always trying to hide who you are - and why that's a good reason to embrace your kids' weirdness.

Your kid is weird. Your child is strange. So is mine. So is every child on the autism spectrum.  

We have kind-hearted, genuine, loving, sensitive, compassionate, passionate, intelligent, INCREDIBLE people that we're raising. That, my friends, is something we all should be very proud of.


Unfortunately, not many people are proud to admit who their child is. 

Many people want to try to hide it from the world. They don't want to "label" their child in eyes of others. They don't want other children, parents, teachers, or random strangers looking at their child as the autistic kid.

But why not? Why hide that? 

You and I know our kids will never get away from it. They will not suddenly wake up one day neurologically "normal." I know this because I have yet to wake up neurologically "normal." 

I have Asperger's and I am completely happy to tell others. I also let others know my child has it.

Why shout out to the world how weird your child is?

10 Toys that Have Stood the Test of Time

Toys come and go, but some toys stand the test of time, entertaining generation after generation.


10 toys that have stood the test of time


Even though technology continually moves forward, bring us new and exciting - and expensive - ways to entertain our kids, there are some toys that just never fade away in their popularity.


I've been thinking the toys my kids have enjoyed, and realized many are the same toys I had as a child. Here's a list of those seemingly timeless toys.

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