“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!
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
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
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
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
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
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!
As a pediatric occupational therapist, I would guess that every third IEP I have seen for preschool children includes some version of being able to cut with scissors. Understanding anatomy and neurology certainly help therapists understand why a child struggles. But when teaching a motor skill, it also helps to know what tools make a…… Continue reading Teaching Kids To Cut With Scissors? Don’t Use Cheap Paper
One of the common questions children will ask me when I am working with them on handwriting is “Why is your “6” different from my book’s “6”? , or why is your ” M” different from my book’s “M” ? This is an EXCELLENT question. Here is the answer: because a computer made those numbers…… Continue reading How To Write Numbers And Letters To Avoid Confusing Young Children
I spend a lot of time in telehealth with toddlers and young preschoolers doing pre-writing. It requires few tools, it is easy to demonstrate, and it is fun. But when parents tell their two year-old that they drew a circle after they scribbled in a circular pattern, I stop them. Why? After all, copying a…… Continue reading Why A Circular Scribble ISN’T a Circle
Wirecutter, owned by the New York Times, just did a piece on great gifts. The PURO BT2200 models were featured because they are child-sized NOISE-LIMITING headphones with a BUILT-IN MIC, which is great for virtual school participation. I am recommending them because they will not destroy your child’s hearing. They max out at 85 decibels.…… Continue reading Doing Quickshifts? Modulated Music? Therapeutic Listening? Get These Affordable, Comfortable, Kid-Size Bluetooth Headphones From PURO!
Although this is not officially an OT issue, I field questions about when and how to teach color recognition to young children. Like many of my other posts, I am writing this one so that I have something I can send parents; they can read about the concepts we discuss. There is so much going…… Continue reading The Three Stages of Color Recognition in Toddlers and Preschoolers
cco I have spent the first part of my career in pediatrics convincing parents, teachers, and other therapists that sensory processing is important for development, and that sensory processing disorders are a real “thing”. I am spending the latter part of my career trying to explain to the same groups that using a sensory-based activity…… Continue reading Is It Sensory Treatment…Or Sensory Stimulation? How To Know The Difference
Ian, Lila, and Tom aren’t writing. They are drawing! Contrary to the ideas of some preschool teachers, most three year olds don’t write their names. In truth, most young fours don’t either. I refuse to count the kids who “draw” their names like the photo above. That isn’t writing. That is drawing, the same as…… Continue reading Help Your Toddler Prepare to Write
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
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
As a pediatric occupational therapist, scissor use is something I assess but also something I teach. And I teach it early. I also teach safety early, and teach it with a focus on early success. What makes it easier to teach children to cut with scissors? Good timing. Typically-developing children have the visual-motor skills to…… Continue reading Teach Kids How to Cut With Scissors…The Easy Way
In my first e-book, The Practical Guide to Toilet Training Your Child With Low Muscle Tone, I wrote almost a full chapter just on clothing management. If your child needs you to pull clothing on and off, they are NOT fully trained. And if they have clothes that make it impossible for them to…… Continue reading Toilet Training? Your Child Needs the Right Shorts!