Dr. Heather MacKenzie

Reaching and Teaching Children with Autism and other Special Needs


Here are some interesting ideas:

Test your sensitivity to different facial expressions. This is a site operated by Harvard University. Once you complete the test, you will see a summary of your performance and how you rated compared to others.  Try it here.


Thorkil Sonne has been a hero of mine for a while. He recognized strengths in people with autism and found ways to engage the strengths gainful employment for young people with autism. Have a read about his work in the New York Time magazine.


How education hijacked brain research

More on neural pseudoscience


Jean Nicol from Nova Scotia has developed a structured visual approach to improving eating habits and nutrition in children with special needs. She has elegantly combined information from the Canada Food Guide with visual meal planning. Check out Jean’s Eating Game


A nice compilation of iPad iPhone learning apps here  


Every day I read about, write about and mull over all sorts of issues. I will begin sharing some of them here.

1. Advice and things to ponder:

Boston establishing special needs register for first responders

Autism as described by people with ASD

Girls with ASD differ from boys

Gene expression changes with age of person with ASD

Processing information changes our brains

How children with ASD miss social cues

Sleep tool kit from Autism Speaks

Interviews and excerpts of a play by Kelly Jo Burke, mom of a boy with ASD.  Interviews are of Peter Szatmari and wonderfully wise Rita Jordan.

Interesting observations about face recognition in people with ASD 

Temple Grandin prompts us to help children on the spectrum ‘stretch’

7 Misconceptions about how students learn

The Power of Introverts – an Introversion preference is common in people on the autism spectrum

Boy on the spectrum interviews his mom (cartoon)

How exercise helps our bodies

Problems in labeling someone as “disabled”. Aimee Mullins talks about the problems with defining someone as “disabled” Take the time to view this video. It is powerful and should make us all think about what words can do to shape our thinking and perceptions.

2. Resources:

Comprehension monitoring and communicating with teacher

Human Spectrum Magazine

Tinkatolli.me is a virtual world for kids, created by parents to be a safe, fun and importantly a challenging place for young minds to start experiencing exploring and socialising online.

OT apps for iPad

Inside the World of Dinosaurs is an interactive encyclopaedia for iPad.

The Flat Stanley Project encourages children to learn about other cultures by writing to each other from schools all over the world.

Great resource for social stories and sharing experiences and ideas

Great educational apps

Videos to inspire young scientists

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