Category Archives: Teachers’ resources

TUCK – Advancing Better Sleep

TUCK – Advancing Better Sleep

If you’ve not come across this site I urge you to check it out! The quality of our sleep has such a profound effect on all of us, children and adults alike.

As I get older I have experienced various sleep issues myself, and my autistic son has recently completed a sleep programme with Cerebra to reprogram his sleep cycle. This website is probably the most comprehensive one I’ve come across in all my ‘sleep research’ for easy to understand information around sleep problems and resources which may help.

The link to the site is as follows:

The site also includes an interesting section on bedtime stories, with a selection of useful suggestions for parents.


In between current personal and professional projects I am always trying to read more, so I was interested in this guest Blog post by Lucy Adams.   Reading has always been part of my life –  an enjoyable habit, but recently I have set myself the task of reading for research and this post has some useful pointers.  I also find myself trying to encourage my teenage son to read a small amount of pages daily, whilst not making it too much of a chore, and I am always on the look out for good teen fiction.

If you find this article useful you can follow the link at the end to read more from Lucy.  


Why Should You Read a Book a Week?        By Lucy Adams

In the middle of the last century, a young man named Earl Nightingale got inspired to change his life after reading one of the Napoleon Hill’s books. He decided to devote himself to self-development and enthusiastically began to study all the available material on this and related topics. However, he was sure that by studying an hour a day, in three years one can become one of the best specialists in the field, in five years – an expert of a national scale, and in seven years – one of the leading professional in the niche.

What results has he achieved? Well, Nightingale is now called “the dean of personal development.”

Later, this reading practice was followed and popularized by Brian Tracy, even before he became one of the best consultants for self-development and management. Was the “1 book per week” system a key ingredient in the recipe for success? It’s hard to say because usually, such recipes consist of several ingredients. At the same time, Brian Tracy highly appreciates the role of this reading strategy.

In 1992, the idea to read a book per week was taken by Steve Pavlina, one of the most popular American bloggers, an expert in the field of personal development. In 2005, he published a report on ten years of following this advice with the intention to show “what lies beyond the habit.” He’s not talking about the impact of this technique on his career and success but rather shares his vision on how reading changes, disciplines and teaches to think productively. According to S. Pavlina, the main advantage of reading a book per week is that the person receives new information and becomes an expert in the field, as well as that the brain gets used to the constant load.

And it’s hard to disagree. When you read one book a week, you train your brain to process new information. Your thinking becomes fresh and sharp. Your brain analyzes new ideas and compares them with the already accumulated knowledge. Every day your brain systematizes new information and lays it out on the shelves in your internal database. Systematic reading provokes the activity of your brain even when you’re not reading!

But the big question arises: Is it possible for an average person whose abilities are much more modest than Tracy’s and Pavlin’s, and who need time for work, family, and leisure?

As practice shows, such fears are always with us, but for someone who has clearly set a goal and planned it properly, there’s nothing impossible. Not to say it’s easy, especially if you don’t read regularly, but the goal is achievable, even not taking into account the methods of speed reading!

And, what’s more important, this way of reading was many times applied to practice. The love of people to different kind of contests made “a book per week” something akin to a call. Many authors and public figures, including Claire Diaz Ortiz, J. Smith, and A. von der Heydt share their experience, while on such websites as Goodreads and Read52booksin52weeks, you can find a lot of stories from “ordinary” followers of the idea.

How to Read 50 Books in 50 Weeks?

#1 Find a Reason

Find a good reason; in other words, answer the question: Why am I doing this?

Maybe, you want to increase your knowledge in a particular field or just test yourself. Recall this reason every time you want to quit. It will be the best motivation.

After all, it’s not so difficult to find a motive. A much more complicated task is to convince yourself do it every day. The desire to quit will be great, but on the other hand, such an ambitious target can change you for the better.

#2 Read More than You Need

An average book contains 250-300 pages. Therefore, to cope with it, you need to read about 50 pages a day. Not too much, right? But that’s not the point. To train yourself and be disciplined, at first, you should read these pages at once, without breaking reading into a few stages. Later, you’ll have enough experience to split the volume and combine it as you wish.


#3 Make Reading a Habit

Make reading not an obligation but a physical habit, like waking up in the morning. Daily reading should become a ritual. Read wherever the opportunity arises – in a subway, in a queue, during the lunch break, etc.

#4 Put Aside Uninteresting Books

It happens that the book seems too boring. In this case, you mustn’t torture yourself – just skip it and start reading the next one. Finally, you can always return to it later.

I wish you best of luck in your reading endeavors!


Lucy Adams is an outsourcer from She prefers topics on literature, writing, and education, but from time to time, puts them aside and switches to other intriguing areas. Frankly speaking, Lucy is a generalist. You can always share your ideas with this diligent blogger and get at least one high-quality post in return.


Time for Bed Little Ted App Review

Check out Touch Autism’s recent review of ‘Time For Bed Little Ted’:

Time for Bed Little Ted is a sweet and helpful interactive bedtime story for tucking in your kids. It offers a calming and cute bear that has to get ready for bed. The child will help the bear as he puts his toys away, gets his pajamas on, and brushes his teeth. As he works through the steps of a bedtime routine, the interactive activities are simple and engaging to the story. As bedtime can be a challenging task each night for many young children, this app can help as a social story schedule and to better support a typical nightly routine. It also is very calming and perfect as a bedtime story.

The beautiful story was written by Kryssy Hurley. You can read more about her journey on creating this app on her website, Time for Bed Little Ted. She talks a little about being a parent of a child with ASD and her focus on finding a story that can support all children. She also talks about how this sweet story evolved into an Ebook and now an app that is available on an Android and the iPad. The hand drawn illustrations are done by Monika Suska. Other contributors for music, narration, and development include: Dan Budd, Jasmine Hyde, Antenna Studios, Alejandra Labraga Arbelo, and

They also have some fantastic apps on their site to support children with autism.  I have recently downloaded ‘Staying Safe and Safer Strangers’, an app which teaches about stranger-danger.  It uses social stories to break down social and behavioural skills into smaller steps that are simple and easy for a child to understand. “Talking about getting lost and teaching about community safety can be a scary, or daunting task. These two social stories teach what to do to stay safe in the community with simple descriptive language and fun illustrations. These social stories provide a vocabulary for you to talk about these important skills.”

I am also intending to download ‘Visual Timer’ and ‘Calm Counter’, both resources which I think would work well with my son.

Gold Mom’s Choice Award achieved!

5077 Moms Choice Certificate-04th February 2016

We are delighted to have achieved the Gold Mom’s Choice Award.

The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for children, families and educators. The program is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. The organization is based in the United States and has reviewed thousands of items from more than 55 countries.

Around the world, parents, educators, retailers and members of the media look for the MCA mother-and-child Honoring Excellence seal of approval when selecting quality products and services for children and families.

Is your computer keeping you awake? f.lux: Change the colour of your computer screen depending on time of day

f.lux software site asks us if we’ve ever noticed how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow about them!

Perhaps you wake up ready to write down your Next Great Idea but get blinded by your computer screen?

f.lux explains:

“During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun.


f.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

It’s even possible that you’re staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better.”

I have already downloaded this on all our laptops.  I am researching gaming glasses for my son to use when on the XBox.  Any recommendations in this area would be welcome!

Great new website for existing and aspiring teachers!



tobecomeateacher is a new site which offers educators an easy to navigate platform, from which to learn more about teaching careers, training opportunities and specific resources.

The site is user friendly and contains a wealth of information for both aspiring and existing teachers.  Particularly helpful, in my opinion, is the fact that there is a panel of educators to impart teaching tips and career guidance.  A super resource – I’m sure this will prove valuable to many!

Why Reading Picture Books Matters

Another great post by Natasha Biebow:

Natasha explains what the brains of three to five year-olds do when they read a picture book.  Their neurons do a kind of brain gym that develops their ability to experience things from other people’s perspectives..

This is because, at this age, children are acquiring a theory-of-mind – an understanding that other people have thoughts, beliefs, and desires that may be different from their own.

Follow the link to read more!


NPR and 2015 Predictions for Education

TEACHERS WITH APPS  comment on NPR’s predictions for 2015

Look’s like some really interesting stuff is coming our way!  As a teacher I like the customizable game platforms.  I’m already using some simplified versions of this but can’t wait to see what else is coming out.


Also, check out the special needs apps recommended by TEACHERS WITH APPS.  I have recently purchased, ‘STORIES ABOUT ME’, by Limited Cue.  There is so much out there now for children with autism, that it’s useful to have a site that reviews in such a thorough and detailed way.