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Getting Ready for School – 5 Strategies to Prepare Your Child

Posted By: Lisa Cooseman on Apr 27, 2015   Category: Articles, Resources  

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Whether your child is beginning preschool or Kindergarten, it is no doubt a HUGE transition for you and your child. Preparation for this big change can lessen stress and anxiety for each of you. Here are 5 strategies to help your child:

1. Pretend Play

Playing school with your child will help them to understand the expectations of their school day and gain a better understanding of the concept of school. Have your child engage in the activities they will experience during their school day. Try sitting down for circle time, eating a snack out of a lunch box or snack bag, and reading a story at “nap time” to replicate the classroom they will be going to. You can be the teacher to model and then let your child give it a try.

2. Working on Independence

Promote independence with your child’s self-care skills. Teaching kids to clean up when they get toys out, put their plates in the sink after mealtime and getting dressed on their own are recommended skills to facilitate independence. They may not complete them perfectly, but praise them for their attempt.

3. READ, READ, READ!!

Check out your local library or book store for books about preschool and Kindergarten. Here are a few:
• The Night Before Preschool by Natasha Wing
• Maisy Goes to Preschool by Lucy Cousins
• D.W.’s Guide to Preschool by Marc Brown
• On My Very First Day of School I Met… by Norman Stiles
• The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
• Kindergarten Rocks by Katie Davis
• Curious George’s First Day of School by H.A. Rey
• Off to Kindergarten by Tony Johnston

4. Fieldtrips

Schedule a time to visit your child’s school. Visit the playground, their future classroom, or just walk around the hallway. Let your child get acquainted with their teacher. You may also want to think about taking pictures on your visit and make an album out of them. This will allow your child to really get to know the people and places around their school.

5. Fun with Friends

Working on turn taking, sharing, and playing cooperatively can help your child begin to know how to navigate social situations in school. Your child will continue to develop these skills throughout their childhood, but giving them opportunities to socialize with peers can help give them confidence in handling these situations.

You are invited to attend our FREE Parent Seminar on May 7, 2015 at 7:30PM:

Getting Ready for School

Leaps and Bounds also offers the following groups to help your child prepare for their school transition:

Preschool Prep and Play (Ages 3-5 years)

Tuesdays and Thursdays June 2nd-August 6th 9:00-10:30 a.m.

Ready, Set, Kindergarten (Ages 4-6 years)

Mondays and Wednesdays June 1st-August 5th 9:00-10:30 a.m.

Call the office at 636-928-5327(LEAP) for more information or to register your child.


FREE Developmental Screenings

Posted By: Lisa Cooseman on Apr 1, 2015   Category: Articles, Resources  

Is your child 5 years of age or younger?
Do you have concerns about your child’s development?

Leaps and Bounds is offering FREE developmental screenings

Screenings are for children ages birth to 5 years of age.
Both the parents and the child should be present at the screening.
The screening will include both standardized testing and therapist observation.
An occupational therapist will conduct the screening and consult with the parents to review results.

Call our office to schedule an appointment at 636-928-LEAP(5327)

Areas to be addressed include:

* Sensory processing
* Communication
* Gross motor
* Fine motor
* Problem solving
* Social emotional


Light It Up Blue

Posted By: Leaps & Bounds on Mar 30, 2015   Category: Articles, Resources  

Imagine this: It’s 10:00 am on a weekday, and you’re sitting in a neurologist’s office with your husband and sixteen month old son. You’ve noticed that your son doesn’t often respond to his name, point to things, or do other things that sixteen month olds are doing, but up until now, you had no idea what that means. In less than an hour, you hear from the doctor a word that will change the lives of your son and your family forever: autism.

Suddenly, you are (more…)


Picky Eaters

Posted By: Lisa Cooseman on Feb 9, 2015   Category: Articles, Resources  

Brayden

Mealtime!

Does that word start to evoke some anxiety for you as a parent? You might find yourself anticipating the crying, gagging, and battling that occurs so frequently around meals. You may even find yourself avoiding the battle and serving things that will yield a more peaceful dinner time.

Eating is actually a very complex activity and is rich with sensory experiences. When the food is on the plate in front of our child, he is required to process and interpret the smell (olfactory), how it looks (visual), how it feels in his hand or mouth (tactile), getting the food to his mouth (coordination/ fine motor), maintaining a seated position (vestibular/ proprioception), biting/chewing (proprioception/ motor planning), and then swallowing the food (oral motor strength/ coordination). Whew!!

For children with sensory processing deficits, this can be too stressful to even begin. (more…)


Teaching Sign Language to Babies

Posted By: Leaps & Bounds on Jan 8, 2015   Category: Articles, Groups, Programs, Resources  

What are the benefits of teaching my baby signs?

• Reduces frustration, tantrums and tears of both child and parent
• Improves parent-baby bonding
• Makes learning to talk easier
• Stimulates cognitive, social-emotional, and language development
• Boosts self-esteem and self-confidence
• Increases communication by allowing a preverbal infant to express his basic wants and needs

Babies naturally begin to use their hands to communicate before, and in accompaniment with, the development of their first words. These gestures typically develop between (more…)


Sensory Toy & Game List

Posted By: Carrie Salyer on Dec 4, 2014   Category: Articles, Resources  

Below is a great list of toys and games that would be appropriate for your child based on their therapeutic needs. If you would like to read more on what makes a “perfect gift, click here “Perfect” Gifts. (more…)


What Makes a “Perfect” Gift for Kids?

Posted By: Carrie Salyer on Dec 4, 2014   Category: Articles, Resources  

Looking for the perfect gift for that special child in your life? What IS the perfect gift? If you ask the therapists at Leaps and Bounds, we will tell you that the gift should be a toy or game that will encourage the use of the senses, promote motor skill development, and facilitate language skills. While that may not sound like fun, that is what makes it a perfect gift. It provides opportunities for learning and development, while a child will simply see the toy as fun, unadulterated play. So, what is this toy you ask? Well, (more…)


Helping Your Sensory Kids (and you) Survive the Holidays

Posted By: Leaps & Bounds on Nov 4, 2014   Category: Archive, Articles, Resources   Tags:

Holidays are fun, joyful times with family and friends! AND they are overwhelming, over-stimulating, and exhausting for nearly all of us. Imagine being a sensory kid who is overwhelmed by stimulation on a daily basis, or a sensory kid who needs more, more, more….more movement, more touch, more everything! Holiday gatherings can prove to be very challenging for any type of sensory kid.

Before you head off to ten different family gatherings, make a plan to help your child be successful and ease your stress. First, consider (more…)


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Posted By: Leaps & Bounds on Oct 6, 2014   Category: Articles, Resources  

Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls….scary for any kid at Halloween! For kids with sensory processing concerns, Halloween can be scary for more than the obvious reasons. An unexpected “boo!”, flashing ghoulish lights, sticky/gooey pumpkin guts, costumes, masks, and lots of stimulation can easily lead to a meltdown for a child with sensory processing concerns.

Please see the attached article from AOTA for suggestions for a successful Halloween experience. Halloween Tips for Sensory Kids

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!


April is OT Month

Posted By: Carrie Salyer on Apr 10, 2014   Category: Articles, Resources  

Some people may wonder “Why would a child need occupational therapy? Kids do not have jobs.” A child actually has many jobs throughout his day, including: playing, interacting with peers and adults, following directions, sitting down and paying attention, completing school work, completing self-help tasks (bathing, dressing, eating, managing belongings), engaging in fine motor and gross motor activities, and regulating emotions. When a child has a challenge in one or more of these areas, then he may benefit from occupational therapy. At Leaps and Bounds, we assess a child to determine the underlying causes of the challenges and we provide fun, play-based therapy to improve skills. Please refer to our Development Checklist (Does My Child Need Help?) or call our office for a free consultation if you have concerns about your child.