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
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
ADHD and Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can increase a child’s bedwetting at any age. When you think about it, this make a lot of sense. So…let’s think about it. ADHD: Kids with ADHD often struggle to settle down for the night. They still have to get up for school at the same time in the…… Continue reading Two Causes of Bedwetting Your Pediatrician Might NOT be Mentioning
There is a simple answer: you train when you train, and not a minute before that. But you can train too late, and there are hidden consequences that should no longer remain hidden. In the current tide of emotions on social media, there is plenty of mom-shaming and blaming going around. Just stop all of…… Continue reading Are You Potty Training TOO LATE?
The “Holy Grail” for most parents of physically disabled kids is their child being able to walk around independently. This includes walking while in school. Most schools are not fully ADA accessible, making walking an easier choice many times. The oldest schools and the poorest districts frequently have the biggest problems and the least access…… Continue reading Is Independent Walking in the Classroom Overrated?
Since becoming a certified sleep therapist I am now helping an OT client with their struggle to fall asleep. The child is taking stimulant medication as well as an anti-anxiety medication. Both drugs contributing to his difficultly falling asleep in the evening. The side effect profiles of these drugs are not surprising. The ASD…… Continue reading Screens, Sleep, and the Special Needs Child
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?
This happens all the time; the drug that is supposed to be metabolized doing the day can still disrupt sleep at night. One of my clients is begging his father to make his brain “turn off” so he can sleep at 11:30PM! It only has a half-life of 12 hours folks. It is still…… Continue reading Sleepless ADHD/ASD Kid Taking Stimulants? A Drug-Free Solution
No, the cup isn’t deforming the positioning of their teeth. But that is a good guess. Most therapists know that the prolonged use of these covered cups slow down learning the mouth and jaw control needed to drink from an open cup. So that is a terrific reason to ditch the Sippy cup as soon…… Continue reading Why That Sippy Cup Could Damage Your Child’s Teeth (Hint: its not what you think!)
No parent wants to think about this subject. Not one. But it is essential to realize that abuse happens. The statistics are concerning. The majority of abuse continues to happen in the same locations as for neurotypical kids: the child’s home, relative’s homes, and the homes of family friends. But because autistic children also…… Continue reading Reduce Your Autistic Child’s Chances of Being Sexually Abused by Toilet Training Them
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
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
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
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