Advice on Special Education

Return Migration-Preparing for School to Start Again

The monarch butterfly is one example of a species that practices return migration. This process of revisiting a place that one has lived in before is also called homing, according to a Scholastic Science Exploration article. These animals use navigation strategies and prepare for their journey months in advance. Scientists are awed by the skill that these animals display in order to return to exactly the same location year after year.

Five Amazing Ways Music Therapy Can Help Children with Special Needs

Music therapy is a highly effective evidenced-based tool in the treatment of children and adolescents with special needs.  SINAI’s own board certified music therapist, Erika Svolos, shares five ways she sees Music Therapy support and help our SINAI students each day.

It's All About Perspective

Parenting is complicated. I remember how naive I was as a younger parent and less-experienced educator, thinking that it was simple—wondering how parents could do this or their children behave like that. Over time, though, I’ve grown to appreciate how nuanced parenting is and how many variables are at play. The typical complexity of parenting is only compounded further when there is disability at play. In general, it is acutely difficult to generalize good parenting advice, all the more so to share meaningful suggestions for parents of children with special needs.

Everyone Come and Gather Around the Table….But For How Long?

            The feelings leading up to Pesach---or any family and holiday meal---can bring either excitement or trepidation and fear, all depending on the lens you have and your particular cast of characters.

A Silver Linings Life - Speech Delivered by Ilana Chill at the 2017 SINAI Dinner

I have a silver linings kind of life.

We, as a family, grapple with some enormous challenges, sometimes on a daily basis. We constantly have to make allowances and adjustments and modifications that other families don't ever have to consider. But, because of all that, I think we're probably closer than most families.

I have a son who struggles in so many ways, but who approaches life with joy and wit and humor, and is capable of so much more than he lets on.

What’s in Your Gallery? Using Different Modalities to Teach Students with Various Learning Styles

It is widely known among educators that students learn through a variety of modalities. Some students’ learning styles are obvious to the observer taking a sneak peek into a classroom setting, while other styles take some creativity to unwrap and discover.  The most common modalities through which individuals best learn are: visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic. By determining the styles through which students best absorb content and skills, educators can tailor lessons to allow for optimal learning and success.

It’s Not About Cutting Bread

This article is modified from a speech introducing the SINAI Shalem boys’ performance of The Wizard of Oz on April 12, 2016. The students began preparation for the show in September, and spent months leading up to the single performance for their friends and family.


One of our famous mantras here at SINAI Shalem High School is the phrase, “It’s not about cutting bread.” These are 5 simple, comprehensible words that mean so much more. To us, they represent the philosophy by which we design every learning experience. It is about process, not product.

Transitions and the Chaos of September

With the start of the new school year and the approaching chagim, September is an exciting time. However, for parents—and particularly for parents of a child with special needs—it can also be uniquely challenging and daunting.

Inclusion Designed for the Individual Child

Let’s start with the fundamental belief that children with disabilities and special needs should be full members of a larger “mainstream” community.  Although the term “inclusion” means different things to different people, in its purest sense, this is what inclusion is all about.