I have worked with so many toddlers who terrify their parents with a tendency to bang their heads on the floor when frustrated. Their parent’s first question is almost always “Do you think he could be autistic?”. Sometimes the answer is yes, but it isn’t because of the head banging. It turns out that head…… Continue reading Why Head Banging Doesn’t Mean Your Toddler Is Autistic
Children on the spectrum who scream instead of “using their words” are often perceived as manipulative, on sensory overload, or incapable of better behavior until they learn more language. Try using Dr. Karp’s Fast Food Rule and watch your screaming toddler miraculously find his words. In minutes… or less. This isn’t a guarantee, but…… Continue reading Children with Autism Stop Screaming When You Use The Fast Food Rule to Communicate
Tummy time is terrific, but your baby cannot stay in that position forever, no matter how entertaining you make it, nor how hard he works to lift his head. Side lying is another great position for a young infant, one that is well-known by occupational therapists to give babies unique opportunities for head control, eye-hand…… Continue reading Beyond Tummy Time: The Magic of Side Lying Play for Balance and Vision
This question is the one I have heard repeatedly from parents and birth educators. Here are the facts as I know them: Hunger is natural, hunger is strong in most infants, and hunger is more powerful than the swaddle. In fact, a great way to know if your fussy newborn is hungry or just fussy…… Continue reading Will Swaddling Make it Harder to See Baby’s Hunger Cues?
Now that you know what issues your child have that made toothbrushing difficult, and you have made brush and paste/rinse choices, it is time to think about the influence of timing, the environment, and the approach to the task. I often recommend that families practice skills outside of their natural timing. Let’s face it; running…… Continue reading Special Needs Kids and Toothbrushing, Part 3; The Sensory-Motor Experience and the Behavioral Strategies that Support Success
Once you have recognized the issues that contribute to your child’s difficulties, it is time to think about what brushes and toothpastes you are using. The choices you make could improve or aggravate your situation. Toothbrushes come in a wide range of styles and designs. Motorized toothbrushes frighten some kids but enchant others. Sensory…… Continue reading Special Needs Kids and Toothbrushing, Part 2: Selecting Your Tools for Success
Brushing your child’s teeth and/or teaching them to brush can seem overwhelming. Toddlers with special needs are even more likely than typically developing kids to throw monumental fits when the toothbrush comes out. Parents can tell themselves that this isn’t the issue to battle over tonight. Or the next night. Or tomorrow morning. It can…… Continue reading Kids With Sensory Differences and Toothbrushing, Part 1: What You Need to Know
Handwriting seems like first important fine motor skill a child learns. Maybe not. There is a reason that every preschool fine motor evaluation includes the ability to use a scissor. This skill is indicative of a wide range of visual-motor milestones. The list starts with the ability to move both hands effectively while centered around…… Continue reading Why Learning to Cut With Scissors Matters