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
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
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 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
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
One of the common questions children will ask me when I am working with them on handwriting is “Why is your “6” different from my book’s “6”? , or why is your ” M” different from my book’s “M” ? This is an EXCELLENT question. Here is the answer: because a computer made those numbers… Continue reading How To Write Numbers And Letters To Avoid Confusing Young Children
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!
Although I work in pediatrics now, I spent the first 10 years of my career in adult ortho-neuro rehab. This means that I worked with many young adults facing issues from RA, MS, Lupus, spinal cord injuries, and more. They were just getting started with jobs, raising children, and making an adult life, but they… Continue reading Book Review By An OTR: Life, Disrupted; Getting Real About Chronic Illness in Your Twenties and Thirties
If you are a teen with JRA, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, MD, paraplegia, or any of the many conditions that create daily challenges in your life, you need to read this book. If you are the parent of a teen or tween with these medical conditions, you REALLY need to read this book. Dr. Miriam Kaufman wrote… Continue reading Book Review From an OTR: Easy For You To Say Q and A’s for Teens Living with Chronic Illness or Disability
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
The New York Times ran a ridiculous piece today about the effects of the pandemic on early learning. It had quotes from staff at programs for music class about the amazing motor and cognitive benefits of clapping in time to a song and imitating animal sounds. It had quotes from parents in wealthy NY suburbs,… Continue reading How The Pandemic is Affecting A Toddler’s Learning
One of my posts, Why Gifted Children Aren’t Their Teacher’s Favorite Students…. gets a lot of interest. Parents are surprised that having a gifted child doesn’t reap enthusiasm from the average educator. The general characteristics of a gifted person (intensity, drive, and complexity) can be downright disruptive in a general classroom. It often isn’t any… Continue reading Is Your Child Bright or Gifted? Spot the Differences
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
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 if I copied my name in Mandarin. I would… Continue reading How to Help Toddlers Prepare to Write
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
I just watched a Google tech guy try to explain why digital education is so great. Maybe it is, for older kids and college students, and kids in rural parts of the world. But for the youngest children, and for kids with special needs of all types, digital instruction has proven to be lacking in… Continue reading Why Your Kid Still Needs To Be Able to Write With A Pencil