That was a trick question: of course it can. The wrong adaptive equipment can create hazards as well as bad habits that are hard to break. And it happens all the time now, as parents and patients decide that they know exactly what is needed. It also happens when they aren’t provided with access to…… Continue reading Can Adaptive Equipment Be Dangerous to a 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?
Almost all young children are little natives; they often prefer to be naked or almost naked. Even when chilled, a lot of kids balk at putting on clothing. If your child has an ASD diagnosis or a sensory processing issue, their desire to stay undressed may not be just a preference. They may find the…… Continue reading Why Learning to Get Dressed Is Such a Challenge For Autistic and Sensory Kids
Families ask me to come to their homes and teach their autistic kid how to correctly brush and floss their teeth. As an occupational therapist, I know good tools can do half of my work for me (Shush: don’t tell anybody that it isn’t always my many years of training and experience that make the…… Continue reading Toothbrushing Tools For Autism That Work!
This post isn’t about babies or toddlers with hEDS (so few of them get diagnosed that the experience alone would be a post!). It is for the older kids with hEDS. The ones enrolled in school, the ones who no longer think there are monsters in the closet or hug a stuffy tight at…… Continue reading How a White Noise Machine Will Help Your Kid With hEDS
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
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
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
“I don’t need to” “I won’t” “You can’t make me” or the tried-and-true response: ignoring you. When a child doesn’t respond to your instruction to use the toilet, and it is clearly evident that they need to (crossing legs, holding their penis, wiggling madly, etc.) you know that there are only a few explanations: The…… Continue reading When Your Child Refuses To “Go Potty”(but is fully trained)
Many parents believe that their special needs child isn’t ready to train, and might not be for years. They have doctors and teachers who agree. That is a shame, because they can begin the process right away. Today. Regardless of whether a child has the neurological maturation or the receptive language to do “boot camp”…… Continue reading How To Start Toilet Training..Today
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!
I teach The Happiest Baby on the Block techniques to calm newborns because it is based in science. The science of neurology and early development. But babies grow. The 5 S’s, used all together, really don’t work much past 12 weeks of age. Nobody is swaddling a 6-month old, or jiggling an 8-month old. But…… Continue reading Should You Use White Noise With Toddlers?
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!
OK; this is a trick question. Using prepared dough is one of the easiest ways to introduce very young children (or special needs kids of any age that are functioning at the 18-36 month level) to food preparation. With the right mindset, it is the beginning of a wonderful way to share practical skills, build…… Continue reading Should You Use Pre-Mixed Dough to Bake With Your Toddler?
Since writing my first e-book, The Practical Guide to Toilet Training Your Child With Low Muscle Tone, I have fielded a ton of questions about the later stages of potty training. One stumbling block for most children appears to be “potty fatigue”. They lose the early excitement of mastery, and they get wrapped up in…… Continue reading Is Your Child With Low Tone “Too Busy” to Make it to the Potty?
My first Early Intervention home visit always involves seeing the child sitting in their high chair. I learn a few very important things. I learn how the child is handled by the parent or caregiver, including whether they use the available strapping to secure them. Many don’t, and don’t realize that it is part of…… Continue reading How To Pick A High Chair For Your Special Needs Child
I get a lot of questions about this issue, based on my experience as a pediatric OTR. Starting at 12 months, some children show a strong hand preference and never look back. Other kids are switching hand use long after 4. Without the existence of disorders that directly affect hand dominance such as orthopedic disorders, cerebral palsy,…… Continue reading Want Your Child to Show Hand Preference (Righty/Lefty?) Where You Place Their Spoon Matters