Travel Tips: “My Child Needs To Move!”
Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Road trips with children are challenging. Road trips with children who seek movement can be even more challenging because they need to sit still and stay belted during the car ride. Use rest stops to your advantage. Whether you’re breaking to fill up on gas or to use the restroom, allow your child/ren to get out of the car and encourage them to move. Here are some movement ideas:
- Jogging around the building (if there is a sidewalk)
- Running in place to a fast-paced sound
- Jumping jacks
- Hop, skip or gallop back to the car
Consider making a pack of “Get up, get out and move” cards before your trip with funky movement activities, including yoga poses, animal walks, races and break dancing. Shuffle the deck of cards and let each child pick up 1 card per rest stop.
Submitted By: Aviva Goldwasser, MS, OTR/L, and Chaye Lamm Warburg, DPR, OTR/L
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Do Weighted Blankets Improve Sleep in Children and Teens with Autism?
Thursday, July 17th, 2014
In this article, Autism Speaks discusses a study recently published in the journal Pediatrics, that concludes that weighted blankets do not significantly impact in sleep in children with autism.
Here’s what we think!
A weighted blanket, like any isolated sensory strategy is not a magic pill. Difficulty falling asleep is often the result of over-responsiveness to sensation THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
Weighted blankets will only be truly effective as part of a comprehensive sensory diet. A sensory diet is proactive, and includes consistent sensory input throughout the day, not only at the time that the challenge arises (in this case, bed time). Think of a typical diet. Eating an apple for snack might be a healthy, nutritional choice, but you will only achieve a healthy lifestyle, and start to see a difference, if you choose healthy foods (and eliminate unhealthy foods) throughout the day. It would be silly to eat one apple in the evening, and potato chips the rest of the day, and then conclude that eating apples has no positive impact on weight loss.
So, don’t throw out your weighted blankets so quickly. If your child prefers it, this is a good sign that you chose an appropriate sensory diet activity for him/her. Work with your occupational therapist to combine it with additional sensory activities, such as Therapeutic Listening
and heavy work
, and you might start to see some real changes.
Infographic: Triggers for Kids with Autism and SPD
Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Check out our new infographic: Triggers for Kids with Autism and SPD
Sensory Friendly Dental Environments?
Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
For children with Sensory Integration challenges, going to the dentist is particularly daunting. However, research on “Sensory Adapted Dental Environments” may help soften the experience in the future. Click here to learn more.
While it is rare to find a pediatric dentist with a sensory friendly environment who is keenly attuned to the needs of children with SPD and those on the autistic spectrum, in Bergen County we are fortunate enough to have a dentist with an environment replete with spa music, nature sounds, smells and tactile toys to calm the senses of parents, employees and doctors. A shout out to Purnima Hernandez who has been an advocate, sensory star and recently became a BCBA. Check out her practice here: www.Bergenpediatricdentistry.com.
Is it Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or ADHD?
Thursday, April 17th, 2014
When parents inquire about how occupational therapy can help children with perplexing behavior, often their first question “Is it sensory, ADHD or behavior?” This question is critical, not just academic. An accurate diagnosis is the first step to effective treatment. The primary intervention for SPD is occupational therapy. For children with AHDH who have sensory processing challenges, occupational therapy is a critical intervention. But children with ADHD often require a team of professionals, which include neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, behavioral specialists and occupational therapists boost their behavior and skills. Carol Kranowitz, author of the Out of Sync Child, helps us distinguish between the symptoms of SPD and ADHD.
To read the complete article Click Here