How Occupational Therapy Helps Kids With Complex Medical Histories Heal From PTSD

Occupational therapists have been treating children with complex medical conditions for a very long time.  In acute care, in outpatient clinics, and at home.  It is only recently that their unique constellation of cognitive, sensory, and social/emotional reactions have been formally recognized as PTSD. Occupational therapists can help these kids and their families in ways…… Continue reading How Occupational Therapy Helps Kids With Complex Medical Histories Heal From PTSD

When Your Child’s Defiance is Coming From Being Neurologically Disorganized

Over a few decades of being a homecare OTR, I have seen a lot of different reactions from parents.  And received a lot of different requests.  The most honest ones are from parents who think their child is constantly defying them.  They would like some pointers so they can stop wishing they were on a…… Continue reading When Your Child’s Defiance is Coming From Being Neurologically Disorganized

How to Handle Your Family’s Reactions to Your Gifted Kid’s Comments

We already know that it is common for a gifted child to challenge their teacher’s patience Why Gifted Children Aren’t Their Teacher’s Favorite Students…. .  But what about their extended family?  Do they take everything that comes out of a gifted child’s mouth in stride? Nope.   The same reasons that teachers find gifted students less-than-adorable…… Continue reading How to Handle Your Family’s Reactions to Your Gifted Kid’s Comments

How To Help Your Gifted Child Handle Frustration

Does your gifted child explode over things that seem minor? Will your child collapse if they get one wrong answer? Does it seem that perfectionism and self-criticism rule their day? Well, none of this is unusual for gifted people.  Gifted kids aren’t always happy little geniuses, proofing theorems and inventing new ways to save humanity.…… Continue reading How To Help Your Gifted Child Handle Frustration

Try This Simple Strategy When Your Child Refuses To Use The Toilet

I get a few calls every year from parents who have a neurotypical child between 4 and 5 that has said, very clearly, in words, that they refuse to use the toilet.  Often, it is pooping in the potty, not peeing.  Hesitancy is one thing.  Adamant refusal in words, clear words, is another thing.  The…… Continue reading Try This Simple Strategy When Your Child Refuses To Use The Toilet

How To Help Sensory and Autistic Kids Cope With Haircuts

Most toddlers getting their first haircut are known to fidget and squirm around.   Some cry.  But they grow up, and out, of their fear and distress. If your child has sensory sensitivities or sensory modulation issues, haircuts stay difficult-to-torturous for a much longer time! Confusion, fear of strangers, and stubbornness don’t elicit the same…… Continue reading How To Help Sensory and Autistic Kids Cope With Haircuts

The Easiest Way To Trigger Interoceptive Calming In Your Child

Interoception.  The eighth?? sense?  The key to calming? If there was a way to produce therapist catnip, it has to be by mentioning “interoception”!    We are all buzzing about this.  But understanding how the ability to sense internal homeostasis (that is what interoception is) makes kids happier is harder to convey in practical, non-medical…… Continue reading The Easiest Way To Trigger Interoceptive Calming In Your Child

Low Tone In The Summertime Heat? 4 Reasons To Hydrate

Here in the northeast, we are simmering all day, every day.  The little ones on my caseload with low muscle tone are getting floppier and crabbier with each week at camp or daycare. We know why. The effects of heat on muscles is a big part of the problem.  Bring them indoors in the A/C,…… Continue reading Low Tone In The Summertime Heat? 4 Reasons To Hydrate

Is Your Child Jumpy, Distracted, Or Controlling? Sound Sensitivity Could Be The Problem

  M.E. couldn’t pay attention to her homework.  The landscapers had arrived, and the muffled sounds of their equipment had her looking around and running to the window every few minutes.  Her brother sat on the floor with his LEGOs, oblivious to it all.  He was four years younger, but his behavior was easier to…… Continue reading Is Your Child Jumpy, Distracted, Or Controlling? Sound Sensitivity Could Be The Problem

Toddler Whining, Not Playing? Try Showing Them a Good Time

Toddlers are notorious for requesting a toy and then fussing about it.  They aren’t being manipulative.  They are being toddlers.  Sometimes they can’t decide what to do with the toy (build a tower, build a house, etc.) and sometimes they find receiving a toy isn’t instant joy, but they expected it anyway (toddlers are rather…… Continue reading Toddler Whining, Not Playing? Try Showing Them a Good Time

Remote Learning Strategies for Special Needs Students

Remote learning isn’t easy.  Helping a special needs student navigate it isn’t easy either. Here are some strategies to improve outcomes and reduce everyone’s stress about it: If your child’s OT has created a sensory diet for them, this is the time to use it.  A sensory diet is a series of activities and actions…… Continue reading Remote Learning Strategies for Special Needs Students

How To Remember to Do A Sensory Diet With Your Child

A “sensory diet” is the cornerstone of managing a child’s sensory processing issues.  Every therapist knows that without a good home program that only addressing a child’s needs in a session, we aren’t going to see much progress.  Treatment sessions are spent half playing catch-up:  trying to increase postural activation, calming them down, or waking…… Continue reading How To Remember to Do A Sensory Diet With Your Child

Got a Whining Child Under 5? Here Is Why They Whine, And What To Do About It

A lot of my youngest clients have started to whine.  That cute toddler has turned into a whiny young preschooler.  The pandemic isn’t helping them avoid it, or help their stressed parents handle it. But I can help both parties.  I cannot make these kids grow up any faster, but understanding many of the reasons…… Continue reading Got a Whining Child Under 5? Here Is Why They Whine, And What To Do About It

How To Respond to Your Child’s Aggressive or Defiant Acts To Get Results That Last

Throwing toys.  Screaming “NO!!!!!”  Dumping a plate of food on the floor while they look right at you in defiance. Kids can go from cute to aggressive in the blink of an eye. Is it annoying?  Sure.  Is it dangerous?  Not all the time.  Should you completely ignore it?  Not unless you’d like to see…… Continue reading How To Respond to Your Child’s Aggressive or Defiant Acts To Get Results That Last

Helping Children With Low Muscle Tone Manage Summertime Heat

I write a version of this post every summer.  Puzzled parents ask me about their child’s sometimes dramatic reactions to playing outside in the heat.  Kids are melting like popsicles, tripping and whining.  Time to explain the way low tone and heat interact to create less safety, less stability, and less cooperation. Yup, low tone…… Continue reading Helping Children With Low Muscle Tone Manage Summertime Heat

Want Better Self-Regulation in Young Children? Help Them Manage Aggression

You might think as a pediatric OTR, I would be writing a post about sensory-based treatment for self-regulation.  And I have in the past.  Not today. But I have been an OTR for decades, and what I know about today’s children is that agitated and dysregulated kids often need help managing aggressive impulses and negative…… Continue reading Want Better Self-Regulation in Young Children? Help Them Manage Aggression

Is Your Child With Low Tone “Too Busy” to Make it to the Potty?

Since writing my first e-book, The Practical Guide to Toilet Training Your Child With Low Muscle Tone, I have fielded a ton of questions about the later stages of potty training.  One stumbling block for most children appears to be “potty fatigue”.  They lose the early excitement of mastery, and they get wrapped up in…… Continue reading Is Your Child With Low Tone “Too Busy” to Make it to the Potty?

Gifted Child? Try “How Does Your Engine Run” For Sensory Processing

I love working with gifted children. OTs get referrals to work with gifted kids, whether or not they have been tested by a psychologist.  Some have motor delays amplified by the asynchronous development, but many are sloppy at handwriting because their motor skill cannot keep up with their language skill.  Some are sensory avoiders or…… Continue reading Gifted Child? Try “How Does Your Engine Run” For Sensory Processing

Does Your Gifted Child Interrupt You Constantly? Respond This Way For Better Results

Gifted kids of all ages like to ask questions.  Most of the time, they have an intensity that means they frequently interrupt people.  It is one reason why they like books and online media.  They can turn the page, scroll fast, and toggle back and forth without waiting for you! As understandable as this behavior…… Continue reading Does Your Gifted Child Interrupt You Constantly? Respond This Way For Better Results

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