Thursday, January 20, 2022

Free Printable Heart Themed Feelings Chart

A free printable heart themed feelings chart for kids. It's perfect for helping kids open up about their emotions this Valentine's Day.

Many kids might be feeling worried or nervous about Valentine's Day.

Or they might be excited to see all the different Valentine's cards they receive. 

Either way, Valentine's Day is supposed to be a day about love. 

But it's really a day that has different routines (especially at school) that may cause anxiety. It's also a day that can make many feel sad, depressed, or lonely. 

It's basically a day for feelings all the feelings.

So to check in with your child leading up to or on Valentine's Day, why not use this free printable heart themed feelings chart? It's a simple way to see how your child might be feeling.

Free printable heart themed feelings chart for kids - perfect for Valentine's Day!

About this Heart Feelings Chart

This feelings chart for kids is perfect for using in late January and early February, leading up to Valentine's Day. It's a fun and festive way to talk about different emotions that your child might be feeling.

Your child can simply point to a heart emoji on this feelings chart that best represents how they're feeling or they could draw a circle around a heart. There's even an option to draw and name their own emotion using a blank heart as their canvas.

Anyway, if you're planning to draw on it, then I highly recommend laminating this printable first and using dry erase markers. That way you can reuse it day after day. Here's the laminator I use and love.

If you don't have a laminator, then you can also just use clear sheet protectors, which you can usually find at the dollar store. Just slip the printable chart inside and voila!

Download the Free Printable Heart Themed Feelings Chart

This one page printable has 12 heart emojis (11 with facial expressions and one blank) that represent different emotions. Each heart is paired with a related emotion word.

To get your copy of this feelings chart, enter your name and email in the form below.

Want More Heart Themed Emotions Activities?

This emotion chart is a free sample from the Heart Themed Emotions Pack. If you love this activity and this theme, then grab a copy of the full emotions pack below.

Heart themed emotions pack for kids that's perfect for Valentine's Day

Get your copy of the Heart Themed Emotions Pack

Other Valentine's Day Printables You'll Love

Free Printable Valentine's Day Word Scramble Game

Free Valentine's Day I Spy Game

Free Heart Pop it Number & Letter Order Mazes

Free printable heart themed feelings chart for kids - perfect for Valentine's Day!

Continue reading "Free Printable Heart Themed Feelings Chart"

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Free Printable Heart Pop it Number & Letter Order Mazes

These free printable heart pop it number and letter order mazes are inspired by pop it fidgets. Simply find and connect the letters or numbers in order. Makes a great Valentine's Day activity for kids!

You likely already know that bubble pop it fidgets are all the rage lately. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some even come with numbers or letters on them, which is the inspiration behind this activity.

So if your kid happens to be one of those kids who loves these types of fidgets, then they're going to love these Valentine's Day inspired pop it mazes.

The basic idea here is to connect letters and numbers in order as you move around the heart shaped maze. 

And since this activity uses letters and numbers, you know they're great for hyperlexic kids!

So if you're looking for a quick Valentine's Day activity, be sure to grab a copy of these heart pop it number and letter order mazes below. You're going to love them! Pun intended.

Free printable heart pop it number order & letter order mazes for kids - makes for a great Valentine's Day activity!

About these Heart Pop it Number & Letter Order Mazes

Below you will find two heart shaped number and letter order mazes that are perfect for Valentine's Day.

The number one is a pink heart and you have to connect the numbers in order from 1 to 20.

The letter one is a rainbow heart and you have to connect the uppercase letters in order from A to Z.

To play, simply start at letter A or number 1 and connect the letters or numbers in order. For example, you would draw a line from 1 to 2, then 2 to 3, then 3 to 4, and so on.

Please note that you don't need a physical pop it fidget to complete these number and letter order mazes. They're simply inspired by heart shaped pop it fidgets.

I highly recommend laminating these mazes first so you can reuse them over and over. Here's the laminator I use and love.

Download the Free Printable Pop it Mazes

This two page printable includes two mazes, one number order maze and one uppercase letter maze. To get your copy, enter your name and email in the form below.

Want More Heart Pop it Mazes?

This printable is a free sample from the Heart Pop it Number & Letter Order Mazes Pack. If you love this activity, then grab a copy of the full pack below. It includes a total of 12 mazes in 2 different colored hearts.

Heart pop it number & letter order mazes for kids - great for Valentine's Day!

Get your copy of the Heart Pop it Mazes Pack

Other Valentine's Day Heart Activities You'll Love

Free Printable Heart Deep Breathing Exercise

Valentine's Day Gross Motor Activities Using a Package of Hearts

DIY Foam Heart Tangram Puzzles

Free printable heart pop it number order & letter order mazes for kids - makes for a great Valentine's Day activity!

Continue reading "Free Printable Heart Pop it Number & Letter Order Mazes"

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Free Valentine's Day Word Scramble Printable for Kids

This free printable Valentine's Day word scramble game is perfect for kids of all ages.

Now that Christmas is over, it's time to move on to the next holiday: Valentine's Day! Out with the reindeer and the red, green, and gold and in with the pink and red hearts and love.

Speaking of love, you know what hyperlexic kids love? Letters and words. So if you're wanting a quick no prep Valentine's Day activity that will appeal to them, then this Valentine's Day word scramble is the perfect place to start.

They'll love unscrambling the letters to find the secret Valentine's Day themed word!

Free printable Valentine's Day word scramble game for kids with answers

Why Word Scramble Games are Good for Kids

Word scramble games are a great way for kids to work on vocabulary, spelling, language skills, working memory, problem-solving skills, writing, and so much more! There's a wide range of skills you could target here. Just get creative.

You can use free printable word scramble games like this one at home, in the classroom, or even on the road. Or you could use them in Zoom meetings for online learning (tips on how to do so here). They'd even make a great rainy day or snow day activity too!

Also, if you've been looking for other ideas on how to use your hyperlexic child's interests in letters, then word scramble games are a great fit. They definitely build off of a hyperlexic child's interest in letters. I mean the game is literally just a bunch of letters. Besides, using your hyperlexic child's interest to teach new skills is definitely something you should be doing - and something you'll hear me say a lot around here!

So anyway, if you're looking for a quick Valentine's Day activity, give this Valentine's Day word scramble for kids a try.

Download the Free Valentine's Day Word Scramble Game

This printable is three pages total. Two versions of the word scramble game are included (one with a word bank and one without the word list). Each game contains 14 Valentine's Day themed words. An answer key is also included.

To get your copy of the Valentine's Day word scramble, enter your name and email in the form below.

Other Valentine's Day Activities Your Kids Will Love

Free Valentine's Day I Spy Game

Free Printable Valentine's Day Scrabble Math Activity

More Valentine's Day Activities for Kids

Free printable Valentine's Day word scramble game for kids with answers

Continue reading "Free Valentine's Day Word Scramble Printable for Kids"

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Should You Get Hyperlexia Officially Identified?

Taking a look at whether or not it's worth getting hyperlexia officially identified. We'll look at reasons why you might want to pursue an official "diagnosis" and some of the potential barriers you might face when doing so.

A couple of months ago, someone on Instagram asked the following question: "Is there a need to get hyperlexia medically diagnosed or should parents simply assume that it is hyperlexia?" 

I thought it was a great question. One worth digging into deeper as I'm sure many other parents are wondering the same thing. Proof lies in the fact that you are here reading this right now...Right?

Anyway, interestingly enough, when I polled my Instagram audience, only a small fraction had actually had their child professionally identified as hyperlexic. 

It turns out that the majority had self-diagnosed or self-identified hyperlexia in their child, which I found fascinating! 

And honestly, there are good reasons to explain why self-diagnosis is so common when it comes to hyperlexia, which I'll get into later.

So, let's take a look at whether or not you should get hyperlexia officially identified. In doing so, we'll take a look at some of the reasons why you might want to get an official "diagnosis," as well as some of the barriers you might face along the way.

A look at whether or not you should get hyperlexia officially identified in your child

Important Reminders About the "Diagnosis" of Hyperlexia

First things first, it's important to remember that hyperlexia isn't an official diagnosis on its own. At least not yet. That's the reason I put diagnosis in quotations. I do hope that, one day, it can be a standalone diagnosis much like dyslexia is. 

In the meantime though, hyperlexia is something that is usually identified alongside another diagnosis, such as autism or ADHD. You can see what other diagnoses a hyperlexic child might have here. But basically, hyperlexia is given as a practical label to accompany some other form of neurodivergence.

So you can't technically get an official diagnosis for just hyperlexia at this time. 

However, a psychologist or speech therapist may be able to identify your child as hyperlexic. There are other types of specialists who might be able to identify hyperlexia as well, but these are the two most common ones that do. You can learn more about how hyperlexia is identified here.

In our case, it was a psychologist who identified my son with hyperlexia and hypernumeracy during his autism assessment so we do have these labels physically written down on paper in his report.

Important reminders about the "diagnosis" of hyperlexia

Before you continue reading below, I do strongly encourage you to read this post about understanding the hyperlexia "diagnosis" first.

Regardless, there are lots of reasons to get hyperlexia officially identified. But there are also a ton of barriers that you might face when pursing an official "diagnosis." Which leads me to our next two topics...

Why You Might Want Your Child Officially Identified with Hyperlexia

Here are some of the reasons why you might want to pursue an official "diagnosis" for your hyperlexic child:

  • To confirm and validate your child's identity
  • Need it written down on paper in order to get proper accommodations at school, to access funding and services, for insurance purposes, etc.
  • You're unsure if it's the correct label for your child and want a professional opinion (basically, you want to confirm a self-diagnosis)
  • You suspect that your child might have another neurodivergence such as autism, ADHD, or similar in addition to their hyperlexia
  • No one will take you seriously without an opinion from a professional. Otherwise, people might think you're just making things up (yes, this happens!). People just don't want to believe that (a) your child started reading as a toddler and (b) that early reading can sometimes also come with a host of language issues. So getting a professional to confirm things can definitely help people believe you and be used to back you up.

Reasons why you might want your child officially identified with hyperlexia

Some of these reasons may or may not be strong enough for you to pursue a "diagnosis." That's up to you to decide.

Just be aware that even if you decide you want to get your child officially identified, you might still encounter some pretty big hurdles in the process. Which leads me to...

Barriers to Getting Your Hyperlexic Child Identified

Remember how I said there were good reasons as to why self-diagnosis of hyperlexia is so common? Well, it has to do with the barriers parents face when seeking a "diagnosis" for their child.

Here are some of the most common barriers you might face:

  • Cost - Getting a diagnosis can be expensive depending on where you live and whether you are seeking a diagnosis privately or publicly.
  • Lengthy wait lists - We're talking over a year or more!
  • Finding someone who's familiar with or knowledgeable about hyperlexia - This is the biggest challenge for many families!
  • Professionals who dismiss hyperlexia or your concerns (i.e., they don't take hyperlexia seriously, dismiss it as just as meaningless splinter skill, or similar)

Potential barriers when it comes to get your child identified as hyperlexic

Due to these barriers, self-diagnosis is a valid option.

However, I still encourage you to get hyperlexia confirmed by a professional, if and when you can. I'll share a few reasons why next.

Why You Should Eventually Consider Getting a Self-Diagnosis of Hyperlexia Confirmed by a Professional

The presence of hyperlexia can be a sign of another diagnosis or form of neurodivergence, which may require a proper assessment and diagnosis. 

In fact, the likelihood is extremely high. 

Your child could also be autistic, have ADHD, have a language disorder, apraxia, OCD, or seizures - to name a few - in addition to their hyperlexia. And some of these other diagnoses may require intervention, therapy, medication, or other forms of support.

In other words, hyperlexia can be an indicator of something else going on that you might not have considered or that might need intervention or early support.

That's why I encourage you to get hyperlexia confirmed by a professional, if and when you can. They can help you identify and spot anything else that might be going on.

Doing so can also open you up to additional funding, services, or support depending on where you live, what's available in your area, and what other diagnoses your child might receive.

So even if you don't pursue a professional identification for your child, it's important to monitor your child for signs of other forms of neurodivergence. Then seek a referral and assessment when appropriate, keeping in mind that lengthy wait lists may hinder a timely diagnosis.

To Recap...

Whether or not you should pursue an official "diagnosis" really depends on a lot of factors, as you can see. So here's a quick summary of what was discussed:

  • Unsure? Want someone to confirm your suspicions? Suspect something else might be going on and have concerns about their development? Have few barriers? Need official confirmation for funding or services? ➡ Go for an assessment.
  • Too many barriers? Have minimal concerns about their development? Don't require an official diagnosis for support, funding, or services?  ➡  Go with self-diagnosis and keep your eyes open for signs of other forms of neurodivergence.

Identifying hyperlexia: when to go for an assessment and when to self-diagnose

If you've decided to pursue an official "diagnosis," then you might want to know more about what's involved. You can read more about how hyperlexia is identified here.

Other Hyperlexia Resources You'll Love

Understanding the Hyperlexia "Diagnosis"

I Think My Child is Hyperlexic...Now What?

How to Diagnose Hyperlexia

A look at whether or not you should get hyperlexia officially identified in your child

Continue reading "Should You Get Hyperlexia Officially Identified?"