After writing The Practical Guide to Toilet Training the Autistic Child I got a lot of feedback on how great the book was. And how long. It seems that some professionals and a lot of parents are so crushed for time that they wanted a “Cliff Notes” version (showing my age, I guess…!) So I decided…… Continue reading The Special Needs Toileting Handout Pack That Will Make Life Easier is Finally Here!
Can You Prevent Pelvic Floor Issues in A Hypermobile Child?
So many hypermobile kids and adults develop pelvic floor problems. They surface as issues with bowel and bladder control, mobility problems, and when kids become sexually active, a host of sexual dysfunctions. Wouldn’t it be better to prevent problems than solve them? Of course it would. That was a rhetorical question, posed out of frustration…… Continue reading Can You Prevent Pelvic Floor Issues in A Hypermobile Child?
Why Your Kid With hEDS Doesn’t Seem to Know They Need the Potty… Right Now!
“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!
Fixing Circle Time For Preschoolers With Low Muscle Tone
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
Why Using a Chair Correctly is SO Difficult for Hypermobile Kids and Adults
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
A Fun Way to Help Kids With Low Tone Stand Up Straight: Stomp-Stomp!
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!
Toilet Training? Your Child Needs the Right Shorts!
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!
Helping Children With Low Muscle Tone Manage Summertime Heat
I write a version of this post every summer. Puzzled parents ask me about their child’s sometimes dramatic reactions to playing outside in the heat. Kids are melting like popsicles, tripping and whining. Time to explain the way low tone and heat interact to create less safety, less stability, and less cooperation. Yup, low tone…… Continue reading Helping Children With Low Muscle Tone Manage Summertime Heat
How Therapeutic Listening Enhances Motor Skills
My readers know that I am a huge fan of Quickshifts in treatment. I have had some amazing successes with Quickshifts for regulation and modulation. Their focus on combining binaural beat technology with instrumentation, rhythm, melody and tone makes these albums effective, and it eliminates the challenges of modulated music for very young or fragile…… Continue reading How Therapeutic Listening Enhances Motor Skills
A Practical Guide to Helping the Hypermobile School-Age Child Succeed
The JointSmart Child series started off in 2019 with Volume One: The Early Years. It is finally time for the school-age child to have their needs addressed! Volume Two: The School Years is available now on Amazon as an e-book, filled with information to make life at home and at school easier and safer. This…… Continue reading A Practical Guide to Helping the Hypermobile School-Age Child Succeed
How Using Dr. Karp’s Fast Food Rule Transforms Kids With Special Needs
Yes, I said the word transform. I know that hyperbole isn’t always appropriate when you are a therapist (we try to hedge our bets with predictions), but I am willing to go out on a limb in this instance and say that learning this single Happiest Toddler on the Block technique will make a difference with…… Continue reading How Using Dr. Karp’s Fast Food Rule Transforms Kids With Special Needs
The JointSmart Child Series: Parents of Young Hypermobile Children Can Feel More Empowered and Confident Today!
My first book, The Practical Guide to Toilet Training Your Child With Low Muscle Tone, was a wonderful experience to write and share. The number of daily hits on one of my most popular blog posts Hypermobility and Proprioception: Why Loose Joints Create Sensory Processing Problems for Children helped me figure out what my next e-book…… Continue reading The JointSmart Child Series: Parents of Young Hypermobile Children Can Feel More Empowered and Confident Today!
Pillowfort at Target: Should You Ask Your Child’s OT Before You Click “Buy”?
There are so many families out there that need great equipment for their sensory kids. Pillowfort materials are on sale at Target, one of my favorite big box stores. The items are affordable and stylish. But are they what you really need? In order to get the products that serve your child’s needs, you may…… Continue reading Pillowfort at Target: Should You Ask Your Child’s OT Before You Click “Buy”?
Is Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (BJHS) All That Benign?
Many of the children I treat every year have some degree of hypermobility. Some of them arrive on my caseload with diagnoses such as Prader-Willi syndrome or Down syndrome. Their low muscle tone is understandable, and their hypermobility has been easily observable since birth. Some of them are almost certainly going to be diagnosed…… Continue reading Is Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (BJHS) All That Benign?
Hypermobility Or Low Tone? Three Solutions to Mealtime Problems
Many young hypermobile kids, with and without low muscle tone, struggle at mealtimes. Even after they have received skilled feeding therapy and can chew and swallow safely, they may continue to slide off their chair, spill food on the table (and on their body!) and refuse to use utensils. It doesn’t have to…… Continue reading Hypermobility Or Low Tone? Three Solutions to Mealtime Problems
Could Your Pediatric Client Have a Heritable Disorder of Connective Tissue?
Therapists see lots of hypermobile kids in clinics and schools. I see hypermobile children every week in their homes for private sessions, consultations and ongoing treatment through Early Intervention. My estimate is that at least 25% of kids over 5 and almost 50% of the younger kids I have treated have some degree of…… Continue reading Could Your Pediatric Client Have a Heritable Disorder of Connective Tissue?
The Best Ride-On Toy For Younger (or Petite) Toddlers
As an occupational therapist, I have always found it difficult to recommend a toddler ride-on toy for younger or smaller kids with low muscle tone and hypermobility. Most of these toys have such a wide seat that children must propel themselves with their knees rotated out and pushing forward on their toes. Exactly the…… Continue reading The Best Ride-On Toy For Younger (or Petite) Toddlers
Tub Safety For Special Needs Children
Bathtime is usually a fun experience for young children. Toys, splashing, bubbles. But it’s not always fun for parents. If your child has issues with sensory sensitivity, sensory seeking or hypermobility, you can feel like a one-armed paperhanger; juggling toys, washcloth and child! One solution is to use a bath seat. A word of common…… Continue reading Tub Safety For Special Needs Children
Teaching Safety Awareness To Special Needs Toddlers
Parents anxiously wait for their special needs infants to sit up, crawl and walk. That last skill can take extra months or years. Everyone, and I mean everyone, uses walking as a benchmark for maturity and independence. They shouldn’t. A child with poor safety awareness isn’t safer when they acquire mobility skills. Sometimes they are…… Continue reading Teaching Safety Awareness To Special Needs Toddlers
Three Ways To Reduce W-Sitting (And Why It Matters)
Children who sit on the floor with their thighs rolled inward and their calves rotated out to the sides are told that they are “W-sitting”. Parents are told to reposition their kids immediately. There are even garments like Hip Helpers that make it nearly impossible to sit in this manner. Some therapists get practically apoplectic…… Continue reading Three Ways To Reduce W-Sitting (And Why It Matters)