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!
Category: occupational therapy
Can Your Autistic Child use the Potty in a Public Place Yet?
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?
Need to Pick a High Chair or do Tummy Time with Special Needs Infants? I Got You!
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!
The Special Needs Toileting Handout Pack That Will Make Life Easier is Finally Here!
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 The Special Needs Toileting Handout Pack That Will Make Life Easier is Finally Here!
Why Does Autism Create so Many Toilet Training Struggles for Kids (and Their Exhausted Parents)?
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)?
How The Parents of Medically Fragile or Complex Kids Can Cope Better Every Day
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
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 Pick The Best Toilet Paper For Potty Training
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
Why Your Kid With hEDS Doesn’t Seem to Know They Need the Potty… Right Now!
“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!
Why Teaching Dressing Skills is Essential to Potty Train Autistic Kids
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
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
Potty Training Your Child With CP
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
What Happens When Adults Don’t Teach Handwriting
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
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
3 Hidden Causes of Handwriting Errors
Lined paper. Pencil grips. Easels. Tutoring. All of these solutions can help a child who has illegible handwriting. There are more handwriting devices and strategies than pencils in my desk drawer. But three contributors to poorly legible writing are often easily forgotten: Room temperature. Children that are chilly or too toasty will be fidgety.…… Continue reading 3 Hidden Causes of Handwriting Errors
Fixing Circle Time For Preschoolers With Low Muscle Tone
School is starting again. For kids with hypotonia (low muscle tone), circle time isn’t always their best activity. All that sitting. In one spot. All that waiting for their turn with the special hat or toy. All that paying attention…while sitting and waiting. Occupational therapists are often asked to come in and stop the fidgeting,…… Continue reading Fixing Circle Time For Preschoolers With Low Muscle Tone
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
Diaper Sticker Shock? Train ‘Em Now!
The pandemic has created gaps in consumer staples and rising prices for everyday items. One of those staples is…diapers! Well, when things get harder, it is time to think out of the (diaper) box. If your child is over 18 months of age and has typical motor and cognitive development, there is a fair chance…… Continue reading Diaper Sticker Shock? Train ‘Em Now!