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?
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
I spend a fair amount of time teaching hypermobile people of all ages how their sitting position affects their ability to write, keyboard, or do just about anything. And of course, we want hypermobile people to have a stronger core while sitting. But their chair can help them. It is not a crutch. Yup. Use…… Continue reading Why Using a Chair Correctly is SO Difficult for Hypermobile Kids and Adults
My post on the classic Cube Chair The Cube Chair: Your Special Needs Toddler’s New Favorite Seat! has been popular, but it isn’t always a great choice for the smaller toddler that was a preemie (they tend to stay smaller in size). So…enter the next choice for toddlers that need some back support and need…… Continue reading Like The Cube Chair? Here Is a Table and Chairs Set For Younger Toddlers!
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!
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
Remote learning isn’t easy. Helping a special needs student navigate it isn’t easy either. Here are some strategies to improve outcomes and reduce everyone’s stress about it: If your child’s OT has created a sensory diet for them, this is the time to use it. A sensory diet is a series of activities and actions…… Continue reading Remote Learning Strategies for Special Needs Students
A “sensory diet” is the cornerstone of managing a child’s sensory processing issues. Every therapist knows that without a good home program that only addressing a child’s needs in a session, we aren’t going to see much progress. Treatment sessions are spent half playing catch-up: trying to increase postural activation, calming them down, or waking…… Continue reading How To Remember to Do A Sensory Diet With Your Child
Kids with hypermobility or low tone are often found standing in the most dysfunctional of positions. Toes pointing in, feet rolled in or out, feet on top of each other: take your pick, because these kids will alternate between these wobbly choices and more! Read How To Improve Posture In Children With Low Muscle Tone… Without…… Continue reading A Fun Way to Help Kids With Low Tone Stand Up Straight: Stomp-Stomp!
I spent almost 10 years working in adult rehab before I transitioned to pediatrics. I still teach joint protection, but I teach it differently to hypermobile kids and their parents. Kids rarely have JRA, or joint damage in general. What they have in spades are serious degrees of hypermobility. And the methods to use joint…… Continue reading Why Joint Protection Solutions for Hypermobility Aren’t Your Granny’s Joint Protection Strategies
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!
You might think as a pediatric OTR, I would be writing a post about sensory-based treatment for self-regulation. And I have in the past. Not today. But I have been an OTR for decades, and what I know about today’s children is that agitated and dysregulated kids often need help managing aggressive impulses and negative…… Continue reading Want Better Self-Regulation in Young Children? Help Them Manage Aggression