Monday, August 30, 2021

10 Tips For Navigating the Upcoming Academic Year


School’s in Session?

As students, teachers, and parents look ahead to another school year full of pandemic uncertainty, they may be finding it difficult to prepare. Some families are anxious about children heading back to in-person learning unvaccinated, while others are concerned about kids starting behind on their studies. With some states reintroducing social distancing restrictions and mask requirements, parents are also worried about the implications of more time in virtual classrooms.
How do we support our children as they start fresh this fall? We’ve invited several distinguished researchers, psychologists, and others to share their tips on everything from adjusting to a new routine to alleviating anxieties and staying healthy.
1. Re-pack Your Backpack
This year’s back-to-school backpack looks a little bit different than in years past. “Help your kids create a personal safety kit to keep in their backpacks, with extra masks, hand sanitizer, and antibacterial wipes that your child can use to help keep their work areas clean,” suggests Daybreak Health Clinical Director Allyson Holmes-Knight, PhD. “Labeling all of your child's personal belongings will help prevent them from getting their school supplies mixed with others. Be sure to talk openly with your children about how they can protect themselves. This includes demystifying any rumors or false information they may have heard.”
2. Plan, Pace and Play
According to Clinical Psychologist Sarah Parry, D.Clin.Psy, the uncertainty that kids are experiencing this year can be balanced by appropriate planning, pacing, and play. “We understand the importance of predictability and stability – both of which can be threatened during times of transition,” Parry explains. “However, when suitable plans are in place, ‘anchors’ of predictability and stability can be identified and applied to help children feel safe during periods of change.” Relationships, Parry adds, can also be bridges to resilience. “Mutually respectful and trusting relationships between parents, educators and children can form bridges between problems and solutions.”
3. Talk about Feelings 
It’s important for parents and educators to focus on children’s mental health this fall. “We've gone through a collective trauma, and we're going to need to approach things a bit differently this year,” says Neha Chaudhary, MD, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “This means making the space for safe conversations about mental health, and assisting kids in getting the right kind of help when needed, whether it's practicing coping skills, or seeing a therapist or psychiatrist for an evaluation."
4. Talk about Tech

If social distancing measures require it,  children in some school districts may need to return to virtual learning, and parents and educators should be prepared to make the most of it. “First and foremost, check whether you have all the right technology capabilities,” suggests Lakshmi Mahadevan, PhD, Associate Professor at Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service. She recommends meeting with your child’s teacher and advises parents to “prepare questions about expected classroom activities, collect everyone’s contact information during the meeting, and check whether you have access to all documents, whether they be virtual or hard copy.” . Preparation and communication are essential in making the most of online learning.
5. Less Can Be More
When kids are facing difficulty at school, parents shouldn’t feel responsible for filling the role of “teacher” at home. “Keep in mind that ‘less is more’ when practiced consistently,” says Daniela Fontenelle-Tereshchuk, PhD, of the University of Calgary. “Short, simple and consistent activities suitable to each family’s unique dynamic may be more effective than trying to cover the whole curriculum at home. Ask your child’s teacher about the main things your child is struggling with and how you can help.”
6. Be Calm As We Carry On
According to Jeffrey Gardere, PhD, Associate Professor of Behavioral Medicine at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, it is important for parents to model calmness and confidence in preparing our kids for school re-entry. “The last thing we should be doing as parents is passing fear and anxiety down to our children who have already been through the most challenging time of their education and lives due to COVID,” he says. “Families should practice and role play how to follow COVID protocols, in a serious but fun and entertaining way.” Rehearsing and modeling will make a huge difference for “keeping our kids in the right and safer frame of mind to go back into the new normal of school, with a healthier and less fearful attitude.”
7. Take It Slow
“Everyone is understandably nervous about the start of another uncertain school year, and children will be looking to the adults in their lives for reassurance and guidance,” says Phyllis Fagell, LCPC, school counselor and author of Middle School Matters. “They may need help setting realistic expectations, particularly if they struggled on the virtual learning platform or feel disconnected from friends they haven’t seen in person for more than a year.” Fagell recommends encouraging children to take it slowly and work on building back up to their pre-pandemic schedules, to ensure they get plenty of sleep, and reminding them that it might take some time before they find their place in their friend groups again. She notes, “If kids are feeling more sensitive, they may be more impulsive, so help them regulate their emotions when they experience a social blow so they don’t do something they’ll regret.”
8. Compassion Comes First
Children need to feel safe and secure in order to do their personal best in the classroom. “As parents, we can be mindful and meet our children where they are,” says parenting journalist, author, educator, and nonprofit founder Donna Tetreault. “If a child is fearful, unsure, or concerned about going back to school, as parents we should think about ‘connection’ and ‘compassion’ first.” Tetreault reminds parents to allow children to feel their emotions and to “ listen to them - really listen - and then, if needed, ask 'how can I help you?' Taking the time to connect and show your child unconditional love will give them the security they need in order to feel stable during these very challenging times.”
9. Prepare early for success
It’s important for children to take responsibility for getting ready to go to school, though it’s ultimately a collaboration between kids and parents. “It should actually start the night before, with making sure uniforms are ready to be worn and bags are packed,” says Nicola Yelland, PhD, Professor of Early Childhood Studies at the University of Melbourne. Dr. Yelland encourages parents to help children learn to organize their assignments and keep up with deadlines. “Many schools provide children with a diary in which they record what needs to be done, so parents should plan early and ensure that they are familiar with the system that operates in their school and what is expected of them.”

10. Empowered advocacy

As Dr. Beth Tarasawa, Executive Vice President of Research at NWEA, points out, the pandemic interrupted learning and exacerbated opportunity gaps for millions of students in the US and across the globe. “Parents of students with learning and attention issues have been among the most vocal advocates pushing school district and state decision makers to use funding and resources in ways that address the needs of students with disabilities,” Tarasawa says. “This type of parental advocacy is needed now more than ever. More specifically, parents can advocate that schools meet the physical, mental, and emotional needs of children, improve distance learning, ensure equitable funding, and provide acceleration opportunities.” For additional resources please visit the National PTA and the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

It’s safe to say that this school year will be unlike any other, which means it’s important for families to be patient, adaptable, and empathetic. Whether your school has returned to in-person education, is continuing online learning, or is somewhere in-between, parents need to make time to communicate honestly and openly with their kids to help ensure that they’re getting the most out of their education. While it won’t always be easy, it will always be worth it.
About Children and Screens
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, informing and educating the public, advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness, and enhancing human capital in the field. For more information, see or write to

Tips for Families: Supporting Children With Speech and Language Disorders as They Return to In-Person School

Pandemic Learning Created Unique Challenges for Students With Communication Disorders

Speech and Language Disorders are Second Most Common Disabilities for Which School-Aged Children Receive Special Education Services

(Rockville, MD – August 11, 2021) With students across the country preparing to return to in-person school, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is providing advice for parents and caregivers of children with speech and language disorders. These disorders are the second most common disability category under which children receive special education services, representing more than 1 million schoolchildren nationwide.

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s recent report, Education in a Pandemic: The Disparate Impacts of COVID-19 on America’s Students: “For many elementary and secondary school students with disabilities, COVID-19 significantly disrupted the education and related aids and services needed to support their academic progress and prevent regression—and may have exacerbated longstanding disparities in their academic achievement.” 

Many students with communication disorders were particularly affected by changes like virtual and hybrid learning that were implemented during the 2020–2021 school year due to the pandemic. As some of these children return to in-person instruction for the first time in more than a year, ASHA recommends the following ways for families to help them prepare for a successful in-person school year and support recovery of communication, social, and learning skills:   


  • Attend school open house/meet-and greet events. If your child’s school is holding an open house or other meet-and-greet event with school personnel, try to attend if your schedule allows. If you cannot attend, ask if there is an opportunity to meet the teacher virtually or visit the building at another time.You may be able to visit the speech-language pathologist (SLP) as well. This can help children with communication disorders reduce uncertainty about the classroom and school environment—and give families specifics that they can talk about in advance with their child (e.g., where they will be sitting and with whom, where to go if they are overstimulated or want alone time, who is in the class, etc.).


  • Practice social skills. Everyday interactions such as talking with friends, playing at recess, and eating lunch in the cafeteria may be difficult for children with language and/or social communication disorders, particularly those who had little interaction with same-aged peers during the past year. All of this can play a role in academics as well as social success. Families can help children by playing school at home and practicing these specific scenarios. They may also want to arrange playdates with classmates and visit parks, pools, and other places where kids are, as family comfort level allows.


  • Prepare for social/behavioral expectations in classroom. Children may need to be reminded of basic classroom behaviors like staying in their seat, raising their hand when they want to say something, or asking for permission to go to the bathroom. Pandemic-related expectations such as social distancing, wearing masks, and staying with a particular group of children at lunch or recess may also be required. Talk about these changes in advance, and practice those behaviors that may be difficult. Families of children with communication disorders may want to create social stories—structured, personalized stories that explain social situations to children. These stories can help children with language and social disorders troubleshoot challenging situations. 


  • Prime children for learning. At least 1 week prior to the first day, formalize habits to put your child in a good place to start the year. These include nightly reading before bed, gradually reducing their screen time, and practicing going to bed early and waking up on time. Children with speech and language disorders generally thrive on such routines. A visual chart of these routines and maintaining a consistent schedule may help as well.


  • Role-play potentially stressful scenarios. There may be specific situations that concern your child about going back to school. For example, a child who stutters may be worried about introducing themselves on the first day of class or reading out loud. By talking about these situations and practicing, you can help reduce stress, decrease negative reactions and emotions, and build confidence about new social interactions.  


  • Keep communication open with your child’s teacher, SLP, and other school staff. If you have specific concerns about the return to school and/or any specific skills and learning regression, let the school know in advance so that staff can do everything they can to help your child succeed. You can do this informally (e.g., email the teacher) as well as formally (e.g., at meetings to discuss individualized education programs [IEPs] or 504 plans). 


  • Prepare for possible changes in IEP services or 504 plans. For students who have existing IEPs or 504 plans, there may still be changes in how speech-language and other services are delivered due to the pandemic. This may vary by school district and even by school. Talk to your child’s IEP coordinator and/or case manager about what services will look like so you all can know what to expect.


  • Educate yourself about your child’s services. Know that families still have the rights they always had when it comes to special education services. When you meet with your child’s educational team, discuss how they are evaluating them for any regression of skills and how the school will address this. Your child’s SLP and/or other providers want what’s best for the child. Through a collaborative relationship, your child can meet their highest potential. 

  • Stay positive about where your child is right now. Despite the challenging circumstances of the past school year, not all was lost. Children are resilient and can recover. Stay upbeat, and help get your child excited when shopping for school supplies or a new backpack, picking out the first-day-of-school outfit, and talking about teacher assignments and other details. Their excitement about the new year can impact both their learning and their social success. 

For more information on speech and language services in schools, visit


About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 218,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

A Checklist for Planning a Detox or Cleanse

Cleanse or detoxification will purge your system of toxins, and this has a variety of health benefits. You can use fast diets, drinks, or powders as detox regimens, sometimes called detox diets or detox drinks visits for more

Health Benefits of detoxification

  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Reliefs constipation
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Ensures healthy breath
  • Improved immunity
  • Provides relief associated with headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue.

Detoxing makes you more aware of what you consume and what goes into your body. You will be able to enjoy well-balanced, healthy meals while experimenting with new foods you learn to love too.

As part of our natural detoxification process, our bodies eliminate toxins. The digestive system, liver, kidneys, and skin break toxins down for excretion through the urine, feces, or sweat.

Exactly how does detox work?

A person undergoes detoxification to flush alcohol and drugs from their body so that they can begin treatment in a stable and controlled manner. When an individual becomes addicted to alcohol or drugs, their body becomes accustomed to these substances. Detoxification gradually reduces and eliminates these chemicals, so the brain needs time to adjust to a sudden drop. With such symptoms, you will suffer unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

In detoxification, the goal is to reduce withdrawal symptoms while ensuring comfort and safety. Medical aid and support can ensure successful detoxification. Medical professionals usually handle these procedures at a detox facility such as or a specialized center. As many failed attempts lead to failure, self-detoxification is very rare, resulting in unnecessary withdrawal symptoms and frustration.

Are there any health benefits to detox regimens?

There is little credible evidence that detox regimens remove toxins from the body. The specific detox diet varies partly because of the fasting period following a limited consumption of raw vegetables, fruits, or juices. Some detox diets recommend using herbs and other supplements, as well as intestinal cleansing (enemas).

Detoxing can activate the brain and make it more alert, and people usually feel more focused and energized throughout the process. Although detox diets claim to remove toxins from the body, little evidence suggests that they do so. The kidney and liver remove almost all toxic substances before excretion.

Why do people say they feel better after the detox? In contrast to highly processed foods, which contain solid fats and added sugars, detox diets contribute to this. Some people experience better health by avoiding foods that have high caloric and low nutritional content.

You should consult your doctor before beginning a detox diet. Aside from the potential benefits, it is also important to consider the side effects. Excessive protein consumption or fasting during detoxification may lead to fatigue. When you fast for an extended period, you can become deficient in vitamins and minerals.

The pros and cons of detoxing

Do not get sucked into the detox fad. This involves changing one's diet for a specific period to rid the body of toxic substances. Different detox options target different parts of the body.


  • Helps improve liver and kidney function
  • An increase in energy and vitality
  • Activates your mind and soul
  • It kicks starts a weight-loss journey.
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps one avoid bad eating habits


  • A sudden change in your diet, such as the consumption of high-fiber fruits, may cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea as your body adjusts.
  • Teenagers and people with certain health conditions should avoid detox diets since they may not get enough calories and protein.
  • Cleansers and detoxers have no long-term purpose other than to get people started on a healthy diet and exercise program.
  • Compared to natural mechanisms, detoxes do not seem to be as effective at removing toxins from the body.

Regardless of your decision, it is important to remember that your body tries to eliminate toxins naturally. Exercise-friendly diets include fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, besides being healthy for the overall body.


Back To School Roundup

Omgosh hair brushing can bring the anxiety and tears for some kids. My daughter use to hate me brushing her hair. Crave Naturals' O.G. Glide Thru Detangling Brush.

The CDC estimates that approximately 6-12 million cases of head lice occur in the United States yearly, mainly in children ages 3-11 years old. Luckily, we have Risa Barash, aka “Lice Lady” and founder of Fairy Tales Hair Carethe #1 line of all-natural hair care for kids, which, as an added bonus, also protects them from lice!

 I am in love with my @lamy_official Fountain Pen. Such a great feel and glides so smoothly across the paper. Haven’t missed a day writing in my journal since I got it! 

THE LUMICHARGE II LED-BACK TO SCHOOL SPECIAL: Lumicharge will have LUMI 30 code for 30% LumiCharge II is an all-in-one desk lamp. It’s multi-functional features include a convenient place to charge your phone with a universal charging dock (all phone types) and the 10W Wireless Fast Charger that charges two phones at once! The overall minimalistic presence of the 2.0 version will turn your desk into an efficient and non-cluttered study or work space! With three different hues (cool, warm and yellow), different levels of brightness, directional lighting, built-in-motion sensor to turn on when entering a room and an anti-bacterial surface-important in today’s environment.  This model includes an upgraded dimmable calendar display with daylight savings, date, temperature and calendar with alarm options. LumiCharge has a T2W model with a bluetooth speaker. 

@thelumicharge AVAILABLE: 

Fenrici - Trendy New Backpacks and Lunchboxes: 

Mermaids and dinosaurs - oh my! Fenrici has debuted new, eco-conscious backpacks and matching lunchboxes that feature dinosaurs, mermaids and more for back-to-school. With exciting new patterns to hold all of the essentials, kids will love carrying everything in a roomy, comfortable pack. Durable and made from recycled materials, the backpacks can hold a laptop, books and more. The new backpacks and matching lunchboxes are available on and, with every purchase giving back to Global Genes. Trendy new patterns include Aqua Mermaid, Blue Dinosaur, Purple Terrazzo, Camo, Tie-Dye Blue, Tie-Dye Pink and Leopard. I stole my daughter's new galaxy backpack to use this summer. I love the colors and the amount of space. Holds everything I need.

Learn more at

Blinks: Go back to school with the world's first smart tabletop game system with 30 games – built with AI-powered intelligent game pieces that respond to your touch, communicate with each other, and think for themselves. Every piece knows its own game and can learn new games. Blinks are portable and completely modular, so the more Blinks you have, the bigger games and experiences you can create anywhere you are.  Deal: Starter set of 9 games is now $149.

LilGadgets Headphones: Compact, foldable, non-pinching, with snag-free cushioning and comfy fixed-ear cup design, LilGadgets have a max volume of 93db. Comes with a SharePort so two children can share a device without sharing headphones, and they have a built-in microphone. LilGadgets Connect+ line is wired and designed for kids 3+. The Untangled Pro model is a wireless Bluetooth headphone that gives children the freedom to roam up to 30 feet away from their device while wearing them. Sold at:,, and

KC Cubs

These fun and educational rugs make learning fun for toddlers. KC Cubs' high quality rugs are perfect to teach your child the alphabet in an interactive way with memorization games.
BTS DEAL: Educational rugs are 20-40% off in August and there is also an extra 10% off for joining the email list.


Case-its durable and fun binders make it easy to keep everything from pencils and paper to calculators and chrome books organized for kids. Their binders feature padded covers, zipper closures and additional storage features to fit any classroom.

One of our favorite features is the sturdy shoulder strap that could almost make this organizer replace a backpack!

BTS DEAL: 10% off coupons on Amazon

Morning Bird:

Kids will need to get back on a routine sleep schedule. Morning Bird's bedding features their favorite characters including Batman™, Hot Wheels™, L.O.L. Surprise!™, PAW Patrol™, Ryan's World™ and many more. 

Their snuggly soft bedding products are made from 100% cotton which include organic sheet sets, shams and duvets, as well as quilts, sherpa throws and knit throws. With their versatile, family-friendly fabrics and original designs, it is easy to create the perfect sanctuary for your little bird. 

BTS DEAL: 20% off Complete Bedding Sets

World Renown Conceptual Artist Luis Camnitzer Pens First Children's Book (Sept)

THE VOLUME (Gregory R. Miller & Co; on-sale August 31, 2021; ISBN: 978-1-941366-28-8) is celebrated contemporary artist Luis Camnitzer’s first children’s book.  It's a whimsical adventure that takes readers on a journey through concepts that are the foundation of both art and life.


Camnitzer turns his powers of observation to familiar visual ideas and helps us to see them anew. Words and art collide—in Camnitzer’s signature style— to create a book that explores the very existence of humanity and the essence of being human. THE VOLUME helps us understand, in a charming way, how a simple dot on a page can lead to the creation of letters, colors, drawings and infinite possibilities. 


Luis Camnitzer (born 1937) is a German-born Uruguayan artist, curator, art critic and academic who was at the forefront of 1960s Conceptual art. Camnitzer has had numerous solo museum exhibitions over the course of his career and his work is in important museum collections throughout the world. He lives and works in Great Neck, New York, and taught at SUNY Old Westbury, where he is currently a professor emeritus.

This wonderful children’s book Nutley, the Nut-free Squirrel is a whimsical tale about a squirrel with a food allergy. Nutley’s message of community support and friendship resonates with all students. As the parent of a child with multiple food allergies, Stephanie donates 100% of the book’s proceeds to F.A.R.E, an organization dedicated to food allergy research and education. 


Her latest book, Am I a Unicorn was written to teach children the valuable lessons of embracing one's uniqueness and accepting others for who they are inside.  The story touches on self-esteem and diversity, ultimately teaching the important lesson of accepting one's individuality. 

BIO - Stephanie Sorkin

Stephanie Sorkin is the award-winning author of “Nutley, the Nut-free Squirrel”,“Chocolate Shoes with Licorice Laces” and “Frenemy Jane, the Sometimes Friend”. Her fourth and latest book,“ Am I A Unicorn?” will be released on December 8, 2020, to educate children on the value of acceptance and the beauty in differences. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Ms. Sorkin donates a portion of her books proceeds to various charities supporting children. Ms. Sorkin has appeared in the New York Times Style Section and written numerous articles for national publications. As a food allergy advocate, she spends her time visiting schools in the tri-state area, discussing the inspiration behind her books and the importance of creativity.  Stephanie lives in New York with her husband and 3 kids.

The ONLY Interactive Zodiac Series for Babies

In this brand-new, 12 board book series, each astrological sign will learn a fun summary of their personalities based on the stars. With a wheel to spin on every page—to help little ones develop their motor skills—there are endless possibilities to discover in this perfect introduction to astrology.

Disney+ Introduces An All New Home Alone Adventure For The Holidays





All-New “Home Alone” Adventure Comedy Starring

Ellie Kemper, Rob Delaney, Archie Yates, Aisling Bea, Kenan Thompson,

Tim Simons, Pete Holmes, Devin Ratray, Ally Maki, Chris Parnell to Debut

November 12, 2021 Exclusively on Disney+





Disney+ announced 20th Century Studios’ “Home Sweet Home Alone,” an all-new adventure comedy from the beloved holiday film franchise, will debut November 12, 2021 exclusively on the streaming service.

 Max Mercer is a mischievous and resourceful young boy who has been left behind while his family is in Japan for the holidays. So when a married couple attempting to retrieve a priceless heirloom set their sights on the Mercer family’s home, it is up to Max to protect it from the trespassers…and he will do whatever it takes to keep them out. Hilarious hijinks of epic proportions ensue, but despite the absolute chaos, Max comes to realize that there really is no place like home sweet home. The film stars Ellie Kemper (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), Rob Delaney (“Deadpool 2”), Archie Yates (“Jojo Rabbit”), Aisling Bea (“Living with Yourself”), Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”), Tim Simons (“Veep”), Pete Holmes (“The Secret Life of Pets 2”), Devin Ratray (“Home Alone”), Ally Maki (“Toy Story 4”), Chris Parnell (“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”) and is directed by Dan Mazer (“Dirty Grandpa”).

The screenplay is by Mikey Day & Streeter Seidell (“Saturday Night Live”), story by Mikey Day & Streeter Seidell and John Hughes (“Home Alone”) based on a screenplay by John Hughes. Hutch Parker (“X-Men: Dark Phoenix”) and Dan Wilson (“Patriots Day”) serve as producers, with Jeremiah Samuels (“Stuber”) serving as executive producer.


Twitter: @DisneyPlus / @20thCentury

Instagram: @DisneyPlus / @20thCenturyStudios

Facebook: @DisneyPlus / 20thCenturyStudios          

Hashtag: #HomeSweetHomeAlone


About Disney+

Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, along with The Simpsons and much more. In select international markets, it also includes the new general entertainment content brand, Star. The flagship direct-to-consumer streaming service from The Walt Disney Company, Disney+ is part of the Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution segment. The service offers commercial-free streaming alongside an ever-growing collection of exclusive originals, including feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series, and short-form content. With unprecedented access to Disney’s long history of incredible film and television entertainment, Disney+ is also the exclusive streaming home for the newest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Disney+ is available as a standalone streaming service or as part of The Disney Bundle that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. For more, visit, or find the Disney+ app on most mobile and connected TV devices.