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Picky Eaters

Posted By: Leaps & Bounds on Feb 9, 2015   Category: Articles, Parent Seminars, Resources  



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…)


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.

Having trouble with a Picky Eater?

Posted By: Lisa Cooseman on Jul 17, 2012   Category: Articles  

Leaps and Bounds, Inc. held a group in June that met 2 times/ week utilizing Dr. Kay Toomey’s S.O.S. Approach to Feeding. Our group was called Lunch Munch. The children in this group were 4-5 years of age. They entered the group with a strong aversion to mealtime and were classified by their parents as being “picky eaters.” Their diet consisted mostly of purees including baby food, mashed potatoes and some dry crunchy foods (crackers).

The group was led by a speech language pathologist and an occupational therapist. Another therapist also met with the parents each session to talk to them about the program and how to facilitate the program at home. The parents also watched several sessions via video from another room as a therapist described the process of the group.

The group was such a success! All of the kids met their goal of becoming more comfortable at mealtimes. During table time, they were engaged and positive. Each child was able to interact with the food each time it was presented by touching it, bringing it to their mouth, biting it, and even at times, swallowing the food. The children made progress with each session. Parents reported the following progress at home as well:
• Sitting at mealtime without difficulty
• Gagging decreased when food was presented
• Trying different foods
• Accepting new foods on their plate
• Touching foods that they previously could not tolerate in front of them

This program has been a great tool to use to navigate this difficult area. The process of getting a “picky eater” to eat takes time and patience, but this program has proven to be helpful.

How We Are Different

Posted By: Carrie Salyer on Oct 11, 2011   Category: Articles, Programs, Resources  

What makes Leaps and Bounds different from other therapy providers?

Leaps and Bounds was created to provide a unique therapy experience for children and their families. Our caring, well-trained professional staff provides one-of-a-kind, individualized therapy to meet the specific needs of each child and family. At Leaps and Bounds, many parents experience relief in finding professionals who understand their child and the unique struggles their family faces each day.

Each therapist at Leaps and Bounds is highly trained to provide top-quality therapy. Our therapists use a comprehensive approach to assess each child’s needs. We ensure that our therapists are trained in the latest, most up-to-date therapies, including but not limited to: Sensory Integration Therapy, The Listening Program, Therapeutic Listening, Handwriting Without Tears, Talk Tools, Beckman Oral-Motor Treatment, CranioSacral Therapy, and Myofascial Release.

We have found that children make the most progress when parents understand why their child is having difficulties. Therefore, we spend a significant amount of time educating parents about how sensory processing is impacting their child’s performance. We want parents to fully understand the underlying causes of their child’s difficulties, how therapy services would benefit their child, and strategies they can use at home, at school, and in the community.

Our center provides a safe environment for parents to express concerns, share their feelings and frustrations, and celebrate their child’s successes. Parents frequently call or stop by the center just to ask questions or to share stories. We are always ready with an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and a smile of support. We often start as a professional resource for families but remain friends long after therapy has ended.

It is our passion to provide children and families with a positive, memorable experience. We get to celebrate with families when their child can verbalize his requests, make it through a store without a meltdown, sit for a family meal, wear hair bows without tears, walk barefoot in the sand, and enjoy raindrops on her face. We can help your child succeed, and we can guarantee that you will not have a similar experience anywhere else!

Come experience the difference at Leaps and Bounds!

Signs and Symptoms Checklist

Posted By: Leaps & Bounds on Aug 3, 2009   Category: Articles, Programs, Resources  

Below you will find an abbreviated Signs and Symptoms Checklist that can help you determine if your child would benefit from an evaluation.  The following lists address Sensory Processing, Speech and Language, and Gross Motor Skills.

Sensory Processing

Signs that your child may not be efficiently processing visual information:

□ Sensitive to light (squints, blinks, covers eyes)
□ Poor reading, writing, and math skills
□ Distractible
□ Poor eye contact
□ Poor handwriting (more…)