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
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!
Toddlers are notorious for requesting a toy and then fussing about it. They aren’t being manipulative. They are being toddlers. Sometimes they can’t decide what to do with the toy (build a tower, build a house, etc.) and sometimes they find receiving a toy isn’t instant joy, but they expected it anyway (toddlers are rather…… Continue reading Toddler Whining, Not Playing? Try Showing Them a Good Time
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
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!
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!
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?
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 How to Help Toddlers 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!
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?
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