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.
When: April 3, 2014 7:30pm-9:00pm
Where: Leaps and Bounds
This seminar defines sensory processing and its impact on a child’s attention, learning, behavior, motor skills, feeding skills, social skills and emotional development. An occupational therapist will share strategies and offer insight into behaviors resulting from sensory processing difficulties.
**There will be no cost for this seminar. Seating is limited. Call or email to RSVP to reserve your spot. Please include your phone number if you register by email.**
Do you worry about your child’s or teen’s options after the high school years have ended? Would you like to speak with a therapist who specializes in helping young people with special needs transition successfully into adulthood?
Please join Leaps and Bounds on Thursday, March 6th at 7:30 for our FREE Parent Seminar, titled “Preparing for Life After Special Education”. This seminar will focus on ways to help your child lay a solid foundation for future success, and about options for assistance after the school years. Please reserve your spot by calling the office at 636-928-LEAP (5327) or email us at info@LeapsAndBoundsKids.com.
Do you ever compare your child’s speech development to his peers? Do you wonder if he is on target? Have you ever been told to just “wait and see” and not to worry about her speech and language development until she is older? Do you know that using sippy cups can have a negative effect on your child’s oral motor skill development, which can impact feeding and speech skills? As a parent with a young child, you are likely constantly looking at how your child’s speech is developing and become worried if he is not talking like other children his age. There is a large range of “normal development” in the area of speech and language development, and within that range there are milestones that are expected to be reached at a certain age.
If you are looking for ways to encourage speech and language development in your home, please join us for our next FREE parent seminar on February 6th at 7:30pm. You will learn the top 10 things your speech language pathologist wants you to know to encourage speech and language development in your home! Please reserve your spot by calling the office at 636-928-LEAP (5327) or email us at info@LeapsAndBoundsKids.com.
The holidays and snow days may have given you a lot of time at home with your children. After having many days at home, did you find it challenging to find ways to redirect negative behaviors? Children display behaviors for many reasons, and it is important to determine the cause of an undesirable behavior. Understanding why your child is acting out can influence how you react, and having many “tools” in your belt to direct your child can change the course of an interaction. Using some simple, positive strategies can alter your child’s response to a situation, and help you to feel successful with managing negative behaviors.
If you are looking for positive ways to influence your child’s behaviors, please join us for our next FREE parent seminar THIS Thursday, January 16th at 7:30pm.
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 all the people, the noise, the smells, the food, the visual stimulation, the confined spaces, the restrictions from touching all the tempting decorations, the transitions…….Think about how each of these things might affect your child, and how you can provide strategies to help him cope.
It is best to think about strategies to implement prior to, during, and after an event to help your child maintain organization and regulation. Here are some suggestions:
PRIOR TO THE EVENT
Prepare your child:
*Talk about the upcoming event. What will it be like? Who will you see? Always talk about things in a positive way.
*Make a social story about the events.
*Mark the calendar and provide regular reminders of the upcoming events.
*Use a picture schedule for the day of the event, including the event itself.
*Practice different scenarios that may be challenging, including exposure to foods that
may be served.
*Look at a photo album and talk about the relatives you might see.
*Look at pictures of previous holidays and discuss how things may be similar or different this year.
*Make a plan:
1) Allow your child to take a preferred activity and set up the guidelines for playing.
2) What are acceptable activities allowed at the particular location. Is running, jumping, yelling okay? Is going to play in a bedroom okay?
3) Allow your child to choose acceptable clothes to be more comfortable (may need to take a change of comfy clothes for later in the event).
4) Let your child know that it is okay to tell you that he needs a break!
5) Make a plan for your child to have a place to go if he needs a break.
DURING AN EVENT:
*Use a picture schedule to predict what will happen.
*Do calming strategies in the car on the way or prior to if at your home (calming music, chewing gum, weighted blanket or lap pad, etc.)
*Have an activity available for your child.
*Have a fidget available.
*Use oral motor strategies (gum, chewy snacks, drinking through a straw)
*Plan breaks to get away from the action BEFORE he needs it.
*Allow activities to get needed sensory input (allow a jumping break, a fidget break, a quiet blowing activity, etc.)
*Use a visual timer (Time Timer has an app) to provide preparation for the end of the visit.
AFTER AN EVENT:
*When you get in the car, keep talking to a minimum; may need to use calming music.
*Use same calming strategies as used on the way to the event (calming music, chewing gum, weighted blanket or lap pad, etc.)
*Allow down time afterward, and maybe even the next day…..use calming strategies to decompress…we all need that!
*Try to limit the expectations placed on the child.
*Try to limit the number of activities in a given day; allow for breaks between “stops”.
*Talk about all the things that went “right”; talk about the great job he did in certain situations.
*Take a deep breath……and Have Happy Holidays!!!
For many of us the holidays mean family, giving, memories and spending time together. However, for our kids they can also mean unpredictability, long days, travel, a lot of people, noisy environments, etc.
If you are looking for ways to ease the holiday stress or ideas to use when dealing with all of the sensory experiences that come along with the holidays, please join us for our FREE parent seminar
November 7th, from 7:30-9pm
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.
For ideas on how to make the upcoming holiday season successful for your sensory kid, please join us for our next FREE parent seminar on November 7, 2013 at 7:30pm: How to Survive the Holidays.
Sophie has meltdowns every time you enter a store. Jack refuses to engage in an activity and becomes aggressive. Olivia has a tantrum every night at dinner time. Why do kids act out? There are numerous factors that contribute to negative behaviors, including poor sensory processing, poor sleep patterns, and nutritional issues. It is critical to analyze a child’s problem behaviors to determine the root cause. By determining the underlying reason for negative behaviors, you will then be able to find the appropriate strategies to manage the behaviors, and to help your child be successful each day.
Please join us on Thursday, October 17th at 7:30 for our FREE Parent Seminar, titled “Is It Sensory? Unraveling the Mystery of Problem Behaviors”. This seminar will discuss several of the potential factors that cause negative behaviors, how to determine the factors for your child, and strategies to manage undesirable behaviors
Please call our office at 636-928-5327 to reserve your seat for this seminar.
September 18, 2013 is National School Backpack Awareness Day, sponsored by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Over 50% of children use unsafe backpack practices that can lead to back, neck, and shoulder injuries. AOTA wants to bring attention to the safety hazards of inappropriate use of backpacks, as pain and injury can impact a child’s ability to complete daily activities.
Leaps and Bounds is hosting a Backpack Safety Awareness event on September 18th, from 3-5:30pm. Children and parents will learn that a child’s backpack should weigh no more than 10% of his body weight. Backpacks will be weighed and the child’s usage will be assessed. Additional backpack tips and education will be provided. All participants will be entered into a drawing for fun prizes!
Please call Leaps and Bounds at 636-928-LEAP (5327) to reserve a time for your child, or to get more information about the awareness event.
Backpack Facts: What’s All the Flap About?
Backpack Strategies for Parents and Students