Hardly anyone finds public toilets a pleasant place when nature calls. But some kids (and adults!) react very poorly to the sounds of the public toilet. It might take some experience or some discussion to figure out that the sounds of the public toilet, specifically hand dryers and flushing, are what make them the most…… Continue reading Does Your Child Hate Hearing Hand Dryers and Flushing Toilets?
Later this month I will be speaking to a combined parent and staff group on special needs toilet training. This is a terrific opportunity to build bridges and help both groups learn more about my targeted sensory-motor approach. I am truly honored. Among the topics I have been asked to address is this one: how…… Continue reading How to Communicate with Your Child’s School During Toilet Training
I decided to write this post because there is so little out there for hypermobile teens who find being sexually active either painful or frightening. Volume III of the “JointSmart Child” series hasn’t been written yet; I have been too busy with other projects, personal and professional. Volumes I and II are available on Amazon…… Continue reading Teens, Hypermobility, and Intimacy
After writing volume II of my JointSmart series, Living and Thriving With Hypermobility: The School Years , I have decided to write a handout pack specifically on special needs handwriting. It is NOW available! I loved writing my book, and I will eventually write volume III for the tween and teen with hypermobility. But I…… Continue reading Handwriting Tricks for Kids with Low Muscle Tone
Pediatric therapists treat children with trauma histories and trauma disorders…all the time! Our NICU grads, kids with chronic medical conditions, and abuse survivors. They all can have trauma histories that make their treatment in OT, PT, and in speech therapy more challenging. I finally decided that I needed to share what I know about treating…… Continue reading Finally…A Handout Pack on Treating Trauma!
There are a lot of antsy kids out there. Some of them have ADHD. Not all of them get occupational therapy. Most of my work with these kids centers on sensory processing treatments that improve attention and emotional regulation. But some of my treatment strategies concern positioning. That is a therapy word for how…… Continue reading Attention and ADHD: Tell them to Fix Their Feet!
What does it take to get a child with autism to completely independently, and calmly, use the toilet in a public place? Solid skills at home, comfort with being in an unfamiliar bathroom, and no option of using a Pull-Up. Get your child so good at using the bathroom at home that they could…… Continue reading Can Your Autistic Child use the Potty in a Public Place Yet?
I just wrote a new set of handouts for Your Therapy Source. This time they are about going BEYOND Tummy Time, picking high chairs, booster seats, and getting baby wearing right when your child has special needs. These are great for therapists in Early Intervention, but parents can also buy them on the…… Continue reading Need to Pick a High Chair or do Tummy Time with Special Needs Infants? I Got You!
After writing The Practical Guide to Toilet Training the Autistic Child I got a lot of feedback on how great the book was. And how long. It seems that some professionals and a lot of parents are so crushed for time that they wanted a “Cliff Notes” version (showing my age, I guess…!) So I decided…… Continue reading Make Life Easier: The Special Needs Toileting Handout Pack is Finally Here!
It isn’t that parents and professionals think potty training an autistic child will be easy. They know it could be a challenge and it could take longer than training a neurotypical child. They simply don’t expect it to be so consistently tough and to have so many unexpected twists and turns. Some of them can…… Continue reading Why Does Autism Create so Many Toilet Training Struggles for Kids (and Their Exhausted Parents)?
When your child is medically fragile or medically complex, your old life really doesn’t exist any longer. But your new life screams for your attention. And you aren’t likely to have shrugged off any of the stressors from your old life; you still are likely to have a partner, other kids, a home, maybe a…… Continue reading How The Parents of Medically Fragile or Complex Kids Can Cope Better Every Day
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
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
Before I wrote my first book, “The Practical Guide To Toilet Training Your Child With Low Muscle Tone”, I took out every book on potty training my regional library system would share with me. While I did determine that the best book for neurotypical kids was “Oh Crap Potty Training”, I didn’t see a lot mentioned…… Continue reading How to Pick The Best Toilet Paper For Potty Training
“Daddy….I gotta go. Right NOWWWW!” No parent wants to hear this coming from the back seat of their car while driving down a freeway or on a rural road. But it happens. And it can happen to older kids with hypermobile Ehlers Danlos syndrome (hEDS), well past early childhood. It can happen to…… Continue reading Why Your Kid With hEDS Doesn’t Seem to Know They Need the Potty… Right Now!
Toilet training for kids with ASD is complex, and it can take a while. But while you are working on developing communication skills and increasing sensory tolerance, don’t forget to work on clothing management. WHY? Autistic children tend to have difficulty quickly and accurately sensing urgency. Unless you are glued to their side, and…… Continue reading Why Teaching Dressing Skills is Essential to Potty Train Autistic Kids
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
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
Author’s note: These strategies will be most successful for children with a cognitive age of at least 36 months, and receptive language skills of at least 30 months. Children with severe quadriplegic CP most likely will always need physical assistance for toileting, even if they can direct their caregiver’s actions. That will be another blog…… Continue reading Potty Training Your Child With CP
This is not a post about the developing world, where getting a full meal supersedes writing a full sentence. It is about allowing errors to go ignored because a child “tried their best, and we don’t want them to get discouraged”. Handwriting is not intuitive. Walking appears to be a skill that we are programmed…… Continue reading What Happens When Adults Don’t Teach Handwriting