When Your Child’s Defiance is Coming From Being Neurologically Disorganized

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

How to Handle Your Family’s Reactions to Your Gifted Kid’s Comments

We already know that it is common for a gifted child to challenge their teacher’s patience Why Gifted Children Aren’t Their Teacher’s Favorite Students…. .  But what about their extended family?  Do they take everything that comes out of a gifted child’s mouth in stride? Nope.   The same reasons that teachers find gifted students less-than-adorable… Continue reading How to Handle Your Family’s Reactions to Your Gifted Kid’s Comments

Use Dry Runs With Autistic Kids During Potty Training (Wait; what’s a Dry Run?)

I am working hard on my next book “The Practical Guide To Toilet Training The Autistic Child:  Sensory-Motor Secrets For Success”.  I got to the chapter on safety and balance, and decided that I couldn’t wait until it is published to put out another post on why “dry runs” are one of the magical strategies… Continue reading Use Dry Runs With Autistic Kids During Potty Training (Wait; what’s a Dry Run?)

How to Pick The Best Toilet Paper For Potty Training

Before I wrote my first book, “The Practical Guide To Toilet Training Your Child With Low Muscle Tone”, I took out every book on potty training my regional library system would share with me.  While I did determine that the best book for neurotypical kids was “Oh Crap Potty Training”, I didn’t see a lot mentioned… Continue reading How to Pick The Best Toilet Paper For Potty Training

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 adults.… Continue reading Why Your Kid With hEDS Doesn’t Seem to Know They Need the Potty… Right Now!

How To Speak With Your Autistic Child During Potty Training to Get The Best Results!

Without knowing how to communicate effectively with an autistic child, you will find potty training a nightmare.  And so will they.   I know, I know.   You thought that developing their language skills would be an extremely important readiness skill.  And to an extent, it is.  Children need about an 18-month age equivalent for… Continue reading How To Speak With Your Autistic Child During Potty Training to Get The Best Results!

Finally… A Desk Chair For Your Hypermobile Kid, And it Has a Footrest!

The SitRite chair might be for you. After sending parents to the Stokke website for years, it became clear that this chair wasn’t “all that” for every kid.  No armrests, a really hard seat, and once a child pushed away from the table or desk, they needed an adult to help them get closer to… Continue reading Finally… A Desk Chair For Your Hypermobile Kid, And it Has a Footrest!

Why Building Dressing Skills is Essential to Potty Train Autistic Kids

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 exclusively… Continue reading Why Building Dressing Skills is Essential to Potty Train Autistic Kids

How To Help Your Gifted Child Handle Frustration

Does your gifted child explode over things that seem minor? Will your child collapse if they get one wrong answer? Does it seem that perfectionism and self-criticism rule their day? Well, none of this is unusual for gifted people.  Gifted kids aren’t always happy little geniuses, proofing theorems and inventing new ways to save humanity.… Continue reading How To Help Your Gifted Child Handle Frustration

What’s So Different About Potty Training An Autistic Child?

In many ways, kids with ASD are much the same as all children.  They laugh, they play, and they need to learn basic self-care skills.  They push your limits, and they warm your heart. Toilet training isn’t one of those warm-your-heart events. Potty training, all the way to full independence (where you don’t tell them… Continue reading What’s So Different About Potty Training An Autistic Child?

Try This When Your Child Refuses To Use The Toilet

I get a few calls every year from parents who have a neurotypical child between 4 and 5 that has said, very clearly, in words, that they refuse to use the toilet.  Often, it is pooping in the potty, not peeing.  Hesitancy is one thing.  Adamant refusal in words, clear words, is another thing.  The… Continue reading Try This When Your Child Refuses To Use The Toilet

Why Haircuts Inspire Fear in Sensitive 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 Why Haircuts Inspire Fear in Sensitive Kids

Potty Training Your Child With CP

Author’s note:  These strategies will be most successful for children with a cognitive age of at least 36 months, and receptive language skills of at least 30 months. Children with severe quadriplegic CP most likely will always need physical assistance for toileting, even if they can direct their caregiver’s actions.  That will be another blog… Continue reading Potty Training Your Child With CP

When Your Child Refuses To “Go Potty”(but is fully trained)

  “I don’t need to” “I won’t” “You can’t make me” or the tried-and-true response:  ignoring you. When a child doesn’t respond to your instruction to use the toilet, and it is clearly evident that they need to (crossing legs, holding their penis, wiggling madly, etc.) you know that there are only a few explanations:… Continue reading When Your Child Refuses To “Go Potty”(but is fully trained)

What Happens When Adults Don’t Teach Handwriting

This is not a post about the developing world, where getting a full meal supersedes writing a full sentence. It is about allowing errors to go ignored because a child “tried their best, and we don’t want them to get discouraged”. Handwriting is not intuitive.  Walking appears to be a skill that we are programmed… Continue reading What Happens When Adults Don’t Teach Handwriting

How To Start Toilet Training..Today

Many parents believe that their special needs child isn’t ready to train, and might not be for years. They have doctors and teachers who agree. That is a shame, because they can begin the process right away. Today. Regardless of whether a child has the neurological maturation or the receptive language to do “boot camp”… Continue reading How To Start Toilet Training..Today

The Easiest Way To Trigger Interoceptive Calming In Your Child

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

3 Hidden Causes of Handwriting Errors

Lined paper.  Pencil grips.  Easels.  Tutoring. All of these solutions can help a child who has illegible handwriting.  There are more handwriting devices and strategies than pencils in my desk drawer.  But three contributors to poorly legible writing are often easily forgotten:   Room temperature.  Children that are chilly or too toasty will be fidgety.… Continue reading 3 Hidden Causes of Handwriting Errors

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