I spent almost 10 years working in adult rehab before I transitioned to pediatrics. I still teach joint protection, but I teach it differently to hypermobile kids and their parents. Kids rarely have JRA, or joint damage in general. What they have in spades are serious degrees of hypermobility. And the methods to use joint…… Continue reading Why Joint Protection Solutions for Hypermobility Aren’t Your Granny’s Joint Protection Strategies
Parents of hypermobile kids are taught early on not to pull on limbs while dressing them or picking them up. It is less common to teach children how to protect their own joints. In fact, parents may be encouraged by their child’s doctors to let them be “as active as they want to be,…… Continue reading Joint Protection And Hypermobility: Investing in Your Child’s Future
Yes, I said the word transform. I know that hyperbole isn’t always appropriate when you are a therapist (we try to hedge our bets with predictions), but I am willing to go out on a limb in this instance and say that learning this single Happiest Toddler on the Block technique will make a difference with…… Continue reading How Using Dr. Karp’s Fast Food Rule Transforms Kids With Special Needs
My first book, The Practical Guide to Toilet Training Your Child With Low Muscle Tone, was a wonderful experience to write and share. The number of daily hits on one of my most popular blog posts Hypermobility and Proprioception: Why Loose Joints Create Sensory Processing Problems for Children helped me figure out what my next e-book…… Continue reading The JointSmart Child Series: Parents of Young Hypermobile Children Can Feel More Empowered and Confident Today!
Therapists always try hard to be optimistic when discussing their pediatric client’s future. Why not? Kids have amazing potential, and we aren’t fortune tellers; there are so many things that can go right. As therapists, we also should share the reality of how bad choices create unfortunate consequences. Among them are the long-term…… Continue reading Safety Awareness With Your Hypermobile Child? Its Not a Big Thing, Its the Biggest Thing
I know that some of you don’t even realize that such a thing exists: a toilet sized for preschoolers and kindergarteners! Well, you won’t find it in Lowe’s or Home Depot on the showroom floor, but you can buy them online, and it is an option to consider. Here are the reasons you might put…… Continue reading Should You Install a Child-Sized Potty for Your Special Needs Child?
I finally did it; I got my CAPS certification! I know, you are asking yourself “What does a pediatric occupational therapist want with an Aging-In-Place certificate?” Well, as it turns out, many of the barriers and home access problems that require redesign or better design for older adults are also issues with children dealing with…… Continue reading How An Aging-In-Place Specialist Can Help You Design an Accessible Home for Your Child
Hypermobile children end up in some impressively awkward positions. It can feel uncomfortable just to look at the way their arms or legs are bent. It can be an awkward position with any part of the body; shoulders that allow an arm to fold under the body and the child lies on top of…… Continue reading Is Your Hypermobile Child Sitting In An Awkward Position? No, She Really DOESN’T Feel Any Pain From it
Bathtime is usually a fun experience for young children. Toys, splashing, bubbles. But it’s not always fun for parents. If your child has issues with sensory sensitivity, sensory seeking or hypermobility, you can feel like a one-armed paperhanger; juggling toys, washcloth and child! One solution is to use a bath seat. A word of common…… Continue reading Tub Safety For Special Needs Children
Parents anxiously wait for their special needs infants to sit up, crawl and walk. That last skill can take extra months or years. Everyone, and I mean everyone, uses walking as a benchmark for maturity and independence. They shouldn’t. A child with poor safety awareness isn’t safer when they acquire mobility skills. Sometimes they are…… Continue reading Teaching Safety Awareness To Special Needs Toddlers
Carrying and holding kids is such a natural thing to do. But when your child has hypermobility due to low muscle tone, joint issues or a connective tissue disorder, how you accomplish these simple tasks makes a difference. Your actions can do more than get them from one position or location to another: they can…… Continue reading Have a Child With Low Tone or a Hypermobile Baby? Pay More Attention to How You Pick Your Little One Up
Whether you live in the city or the ‘burbs, you almost certainly use a stroller for your infant or toddler. Even parents who use slings or carriers for “baby wearing” find themselves needing a stroller at some point. Why are strollers a problem for children with low muscle tone? The answer is simple: sling seats…… Continue reading Kids With Low Muscle Tone: The Hidden Problems With Strollers
Welcome to the world of faster (and faster) movement! After mastering walking and possibly running, kids are often eager to jump on a ride-on toy and get moving. If a child has had motor delays and has had to wait to develop the strength and balance needed to use a bike, they may be a…… Continue reading Picking The Best Bikes, Scooters, Etc. For Kids With Low Tone and Hypermobility
One of the greatest horrors of the Larry Nasser story is that parents were often mere feet away from these girls while they were being molested. The people most invested in a child’s safety had no idea that anything violent was occurring, and these girls did not reveal their discomfort at the time. These…… Continue reading How Parents Can Teach Healthy Body Boundaries To Young Children
Everyone knows that sleep is important. Research in sleep science (yes, this is a thing) tells us that our brains are working to digest the day’s learning, the immune system is active during sleep, and our bodies are repairing and renewing tissues and organs while we slumber. As much as we need sleep, kids need…… Continue reading Hypermobile Kids, Sleep, And The Hidden Problems With Blankets
It is back-to-school season here in the US. One of the items on shopping lists is a new backpack. But for kids with low muscle tone or hypermobility, backpacks can be more than a way to carry books and water bottles. They can be a source of pain, headaches, even numbness in hands and fingers.…… Continue reading Should Hypermobile Kids Use Backpacks?
Do you pick up your toddler and feel that shoulder or those wrist bones moving a lot under your touch? Does your child do a “downward dog” and her elbows look like they are bending backward? Does it seem that his ankles are rolling over toward the floor when he stands up? That is…… Continue reading Hypermobile Toddlers: It’s What Not To Do That Matters Most
After a child scoops with a spoon and pierces food with a fork, time seems to stand still. No one wants to hand a young child a knife. But they should (sort of). Here are some ideas to safely explore knife skills without holding your breath or end up still buttering their toast when they…… Continue reading How to Teach Your Child to Cut Food With a Knife…Safely!