Technology Initiative:

Just published this week on the American Speech-Language Association website:

The Healthy Communication and Popular Technology Initiative is an effort led by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to safeguard healthy communication in a technology-driven world. We’re a force for moderate tech use that encourages conversation, human interaction and practicing safe listening.

JOIN US

THE SITUATION

We are texting, emailing and posting more than ever – but are we truly communicating?

person-woman-hand-smartphone
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

The technology we use every day has helped us accomplish great things, but it’s also had a profound impact on how we communicate. If current habits continue, experts are concerned overuse of popular technology could lead to diminished speech, language and hearing abilities”.

I agree. 

Within the context of home care intervention, I may walk into a family’s home with a child who has a diagnosis of receptive and expressive language delay. Apparent are different scenarios related to this phenomenon

*****I am not trying to be critical of any parent or parenting style, but merely pointing out what has been observed

  • a parent on the phone and a child pulling at their clothes, but the parent ignores them.
  • the parent is on the phone and the child is playing on a tablet or phone and neither acknowledges each other or after opening the door – a newcomer in the home.
  • While speaking to a parent all of a sudden Elmo across the room starts to dance.  When asking how that happened, the parent pointed out that their daughter had learned to push a red button on a cell phone that then activates Elmo.  That’s what happened.  Inquiring as to whether or not the child could actually manipulate the toy and make that happen or request help in doing so, you could feel the tension in the room.  I never got the answer.

You get the idea……

Perhaps consider this article published today  https://blog.asha.org/2020/01/17/asha-president-is-parents-smartphone-use-the-new-secondhand-smoke/ 

and this

Adapted from The Gap: The Science of What Separates Us From Other Animals by Thomas Suddendorf, out now from Basic Books.

Like many a scholar before and since, Bertrand Russell confidently asserts that certain traits—“speech, fire, agriculture, writing, tools, and large-scale cooperation”—set humans apart from animals. Although we appear to excel in many domains, such claims are not typically founded in any thorough comparison. In fact, if you set the bar low, you can conclude that parrots can speak, ants have agriculture, crows make tools, and bees cooperate on a large scale. We need to dig deeper to understand to what we owe our unique success—what separates us from other animals in the domains of language, mental time travel, the theory of mind, intelligence, culture, and morality. In each domain, various nonhuman species have competences, but the human ability is special in some respects—and they have much in common.

Only time will tell if this continues to be the case.

Continue reading

How Does Assistive Technology Assist People With Communication Need? — Autism Connect

The frustration of not able to communicate or express their wants can have a negative effect on individuals with autism. They may tend to stay aloof, throw tantrum and indulge in negative behavior For autism, assistive technology can benefit individuals (of all age groups) in promoting communication and social interactions. Assistive technology refers to hand-held gadgets such […]

via How Does Assistive Technology Assist People With Communication Need? — Autism Connect

For school aged children, a caregiver can request the school district for an AAC assessment through the IEP process. Here is an example of how to request through DREF.org
https://dredf.org/…/uploads/2016/02/AT-AAC-Assessment.doc

 

Types of Language

alphabet letter text on black background
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Functional language is exactly that.  Functional language is the communication that is used in order to effectively obtain what you want or need.  It is purposeful.  Without its use, language has no true meaning so this is a goal that we want to see achieved in anyone who is learning to speak one fluently. If you were to learn a foreign language in an online course, here is an idea of how it might be taught and learned.  https://www.netlanguages.com/blog/index.php/2017/08/28/what-is-functional-language/

Scripted Language may not be as familiar a term to you:

Scripting is a parent-directed way of teaching children to use functional language to meet their needs and wants.  It may be used in children who are diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing (CAPD).  Here is a link to give you examples of how this works and as well, how you could use this as a teaching tool for your child at home who is diagnosed with this deficit.  https://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2014/05/13/building-speech-language-practice-into-your-childs-day/

Scripted language can manifest itself in the repetition of words, phrases, intonation, or sounds of the speech of others, sometimes taken from movies, but also sometimes taken from other sources such as favorite books or something someone else has said. 

People with Autism often display scripting in the process of learning to talk and I mention it because if you are a parent who is reading this or a professional interacting with a person who is “scripting” you want to understand it and not necessarily become neither irritated nor confused by this type of behavior. There are different types of scripting: echolalic and social.  Consider the following resource: http://www.thespeechmama.com/2011/10/07/how-to-teach-a-child-with-autism-to-talk/

Memory and Autism

photo of girl sitting near christmas tree
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

For those who see that all in their child with Autism is bleak – please see a light of strength that they may possess.  The challenge to consider is how to use this productively:

“Visual memory for some types of material has been found to be an area of strength for children with autism but complexity of the stimuli appears to affect memory function in this modality as well. Interestingly, the right hemisphere may compensate for Visual memory for some types of material that has been found to be an area of strength for children with autism but the complexity of the stimuli appears to affect memory function”  (Prior & Chen, 1976).

With this knowledge – take a look at the text and alphabet letters that were duplicated from memory by an autistic individual who had viewed this page in the book Chicka Chicka Boom https://www.amazon.com/Chicka-Boom-Board-Book/dp/1442450703 Book/dp/1442450703    Hayden Gonzales posted this to Facebook on December 26, 2019. Thank you for bringing this to light!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is an easy story whose words are marvelous for teaching young children the alphabet. In fact, the following link provides some information about how the book can be used to elicit language development http://doodlebugshomeschool.blogspot.com/2011/08/chicka-chicka-boom-boom-with-l

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https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/neu-20121.pdf   “memory in autism appears to be organized differently than in normal individuals — reflecting differences in the development of brain connections with the frontal cortex”.

The post brought to mind my first cousin. Jerry was diagnosed with autism at a very young age and at a point when not much was known about the disorder.  He would memorize calendars and could tell you what day of the week you were born on, for example, four or even five years ago.  How remarkable, I thought. I wondered why – perhaps research now is answering that question.

What Is Declarative Memory? This is an area of strength in those who are autistic.  \

Your ability to recall addresses, locations of parking garages, intersection names, phone numbers, and an experience that you had at a restaurant are all a part of declarative memory. Declarative memory, also referred to as explicit memory, is the memory of facts, data, and events. For example, let’s say that you know that your favorite restaurant is only open until 6 PM on Sundays. The time that the restaurant closes is stored as a declarative memory. We can consciously recall declarative memory. Declarative memory is a type of long-term memory.  Here is a functional strategy that may be useful for daily activities that require this:

http://autism.sesamestreet.org/daily-routine-cards/?fbclid=IwAR0VKcWb_ZAHzheWdgT7ekqhwG_NuW8JLOMtCHZyT4PnolRXeyq6oeXxLSw

Declarative memory seems to help individuals with autism compensate for social deficits by memorizing scripts for navigating social situations. It supports the learning of strategies to overcome language or reading difficulties not only in autism, but also in SLI and dyslexia. And it appears to help people with OCD or Tourette syndrome learn to control compulsions and tics.

black and white blackboard business chalkboard
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

References:

https://study.com/academy/lesson/declarative-memory-definition-examples-quiz.html

https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2006/01/autism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism_and_memory

Read the journal article

Prior MR, Chen CS. Short-term and serial memory in autistic, retarded, and normal children. Journal of Autism and Childhood Schizophrenia. 1976;6:121–131. [PubMed[]

http://www.judyendow.com/sensory-solutions/autism-and-the-sensory-system-part-6-of-8/

 
 
 

  Lindsay Strachan Fofana Thank you for this! My almost 4 year old son is receptive and expressive language delayed but loves to learn and seemingly has photographic memory. Yesterday he spelled his name backwards. I explained to him what he had done and he was tickled! It’s very promising and always exciting.

A Decade of Changed Communication

pexels-photo-769525
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

Welcome to a new decade!   Where have you been and where you will go this year. I hope my readers will be able to increase their connectivity to others and opportunities to engage with those in many different venues.  As you do so- pause and think about how we are doing so. My question to you is where did talking face-to-face vs. FaceTime go?

Changes Over a Decade in How We Talk:  

Absolutely fascinating how it seems that social media has taken over so much of our means of communicating with one another! Take a look at the statistics https://www.oberlo.com/blog/social-media-marketing-statistics and recall that social media only became a phenomenon of the late 1900s.  Remember the movie “Social Network” and how famous Mark Zuckerberg became as a result?

Now he has new plans https://time.com/facebook-world-plan/

Cell phone usage has changed us too.  At the very bottom of this post, there is a link noting the evolution of this type of communication.

July 14, 2015, the following was published http://attentiv.com/we-dont-speak/  Text messaging leads to abbreviated speech. We can avoid faces by merely looking at a screen.  Fewer verbal productions are heard, and the duration of these discussions is shorter.  The way in which we “talk” has changed  and is different cross-generational groups October 17, 2016, the following was published:  https://www.languagetrainers.co.uk/blog/2016/10/17/with-texting-and-social-media-are-people-really-speaking-less/

August 24, 2018, an article was published indicating that ADHD as a diagnosis may not be linked to technology use.  I learned that as I was writing this post and was surprised by the finding.  https://www.psychcongress.com/article/has-easy-access-technology-increased-rates-adhd  Why?  I’ve seen it in my travels at work – children looking into computer screens-not acknowledging parents, becoming highly active with the rush of adrenalin-fueled by the use of the screen.   Digging further, I found this video    https://www.wsj.com/video/silicon-valley-renegades-take-on-tech-obsession/2D3A120C-C88F-4C81-A005-1439E464A507.html

What Can We Do Right Now to Positively Use Technology?In this upcoming second week of school vacation (at least in NYC, NY) there are some very useful apps that may be of help to use with your child.  When used, please consider the fact that you will want to implement their use under your supervision and guidance.https://ilslearningcorner.com/2015-09-15-kids-apps-for-learning-disabilities/?fbclid=IwAR2PGx4WLPViOnmxB6vFbCmpdtirsR293kzBThNHWy5ap7TvkHfmlo0cHu8

As well, you might want to include the use of age-appropriate school workbooks https://www.highlights.com/store/workbooks?gclid=CjwKCAiAuqHwBRAQEiwAD-zr3Zbarrj_KcVvfduGbsezrdoCgGZTzB2ARwgB-hm0_3Gc3040nL-75RoCIOEQAvD_BwEandr

and reading materials from the local library.

I’ve posted other potential activities that do not involve screen time so please scroll back for those and please don’t forget to look up at each other and look!

activity adult adventure backpacking
Photo by VisionPic .net on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sensory Friendly Holiday

Changes in routine can affect children and think about how it affects you as well. All the excitement of the upcoming weeks is upon us and perhaps an overlooked thought is how to deal with your special needs family member.  Maybe it is foremost in your mind. It may be in that of your child as school holiday gatherings occur this or next week before school vacations.

PRE-PLANNING:  With credit to the Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support Group which can be reached at the link below, I noted that although labeled for Xmas that many of the ideas could be adapted to suit your own family’s holiday celebrations.

The following is from https://sensoryprocessingdisorderparentsupport.com/tips-for-a-more-successful-sensory-christmas.php

Tips For A More Successful Sensory Christmas!  

 

1. Keep a routine as much as possible. Using visual schedules can be helpful so they know what is next. 


2. Enjoy short and simple activities.


3. It’s ok to have a personal family only Christmas.


4. If you do go out for Christmas, explain sensory challenges to everyone ahead of time.


5. Have a quiet room or space for your child to be alone when they get overwhelmed.


6. Take your child’s weighted blanket and sensory tools.


7. While you are out remember that it’s ok to leave early; watch your child’s signs.  


8. Shopping for children with SPD can be unbearable. Try to shop without them if possible or shop in smaller shops with less people.


9. Try to make Christmas day last for days or a week, not everything all on one day.


10. Most areas have a sensory Santa, it’s better to schedule a time as a visit to Santa can be too much for children with SPD.


11. If you are going out to dinner bring your child’s choice foods because most will not eat what is served for Christmas dinner.


12. Read social stories to prepare your child for Christmas events.


13. When you notice your child is coping well, praise them as much as possible.


14. Stick to your child’s sensory diet as much as possible during the holidays to keep them regulated. 

15. Allow time for scheduled sensory breaks and exercise.


16. Don’t forget your child’s noise-canceling headphones.


17. Bringing an IPad if they use one will be helpful to keep them busy or they could listen to earphones to avoid most noise.


18. Lower expectations as most children with SPD will have meltdowns during holiday events and dinners as they get overwhelmed.


19. If your child has several gifts, open them gradually so they don’t get overwhelmed.

(a few a day)


20. Include your child with decorating the tree but remember flashing lights or musical decorations can be too much for a child with SPD.


21. Keep Christmas decorations on the walls and in doorways limited and simple. Gradually add them to your home.


22. If your child doesn’t want to open gifts in front of others, try to respect that.


23. I know as a parent that you want your child to enjoy Christmas events but how everyone else enjoys it will be different from how your child enjoys it.


24. Before attending events, make a signal or sign that your child can use to let you know when it’s too much for them.


25. Don’t be afraid to say no to having visitors over. If you do have visitors it’s ok to have a time limit.


26. Don’t force the Christmas on your child that you want to have.


27. Let your child run, jump, spin or swing as much as they need too during the holidays.


28. Think of the human senses. Smells at Christmas can be strong, sounds can be too loud and lights can be too bright.

29. Less can be best. Too much of anything is usually going to be overwhelming.

30. Enjoy yourself! Have a glass of wine and have a Christmas that works for your family, it doesn’t need to work for everyone else!

If you are having a child over for Christmas dinner that has SPD or plan to attend an event with a child who has SPD….. PLEASE be understanding.

 

Toy Selection:  

A few posts ago, I wrote about some ideas for toy selection.  An article in my e-mail box is something to consider in terms of guidelines for teens and tweens especially with (NAON TECH) toys in mind

https://blog.asha.org/2016/11/29/10-non-tech-holiday-gift-ideas-to-promote-kids-language-learning/

The speech-language pathologist in me ran across a video in an e-journal disseminated to professional members of the national organization regarding the noise-factor produced by some of those toys that you might select

 

GIFT WRAPPING: 

The advantage of a sensory-friendly gift packaging with a novel and eco-friendly packaging options.  

  1.  The sound of wrapping paper may be noxious to some.  I searched for eco-friendly fabric gift bags and found these holiday-specific and general gift wrap ideas https://www.etsy.com/listing/254960158/custom-hanukkah-gift-bags-party-favor?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=fabric+gift+wrap+bags&ref=sr_gallery-1-28&pro=1

https://www.etsy.com/listing/717961454/christmas-fabric-gift-bag-in-traditional?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=fabric+gift+wrap+bags&ref=sr_gallery-1-21&cns=1

https://www.etsy.com/listing/707127055/fab-gift-bag?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=fabric+kwanza+gift+wrap+bags&ref=sc_gallery-1-13&plkey=146e719b1b76c2698fc21d6373933564e0af18c9%3A707127055&frs=1

For those who love textures and need stimulating gift wrap, Amazon had an idea when i searched there.  If you type the following:  textured+wrapping+holiday+paper+for+kids

Another idea would be to wrap gifts in colored bubble wrap.  Search online for your desired color.  If you have a gift that could fit into a bubble mailing envelope, that would be another alternative.

uBoxes, Red Bubble Small 3/16" Wrap x 12" Wide (30-Feet)  https://www.amazon.com/Red-Bubble-Small-Wrap-Wide/dp/B019ZU3KDO/ref=asc_df_B019ZU3KDO/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198080987010&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17620725630839429984&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9060354&hvtargid=pla-386417161357&psc=1

or blue:

https://www.amazon.com/Offitecture-Cushioning-Perforated-Stickers-Included/dp/B07TD4KB61/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=blue+bubble+wrap&qid=1576084346&s=office-products&sr=1-5l

Grass textured gift bags are another option

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CAFA_enUS777US777&sxsrf=ACYBGNSvzZH2LSijBOSblXAT6JgQk0W1pA:1576085470957&q=grass+texture+gift+bag&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjQ24b1j67mAhWOxFkKHf0wDfQQsAR6BAgIEAE&biw=1920&bih=888#imgrc=f9GOl9r39Q3fvM

Instead of a bow, put a card so that you know who the gift is from into a sensory bag such as this pencil case which may provide some sensory input afterwards

https://www.playtherapysupply.com/sensory/discreet-fidgets/sensory-bag?gclid=CjwKCAiAxMLvBRBNEiwAKhr-nGvVe6B0VlxQOmpUoks2BsrXQLnxq7p_Gb7tpht956lJUqBHYWkG2RoCCYwQAvD_BwE

If you want to use traditional gift wrap, perhaps attack a colorful squishy bag with a label indicating from whom the gift is

https://www.etsy.com/listing/725352973/colorful-squishy-bag-sensory-bag-texture?gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_low-low_e-toys_and_games-toys-learning_and_school&utm_custom1=27272a7c-2672-4036-b680-03b8c430baf0&utm_content=go_6721326207_78232985694_388251268231_pla-352859725646_c__725352973&gclid=CjwKCAiAxMLvBRBNEiwAKhr-nLl5St30w4VJOqQTK7hxTIO7bQ640JoBdVtA-CuChOp3TjF778uBKxoCH10QAvD_BwE

I think that this gives you a fair amount of food for thought.  If you want to make a sensory bag, just search for that online. Etsy has some nice ideas for these.

Most of all – have a lovely time!

Feeding Senses

 

Continuing from the theme of earlier this week in terms of preparing for the holidays, part of doing so is to think about meals and what will be served, how many people are coming, what ingredients you will need and then cooking.  If you have a child who can’t tolerate eating different foods then YOU have an additional layer that is so emotionally ridden.  If you have a child who cannot tolerate the smell of foods cooking or the site of those which you have on the counter how will you prepare them?  Food is such a basic thing that we need for every day.  Working with parents each week with children who have feeding challenges reminds me of the emotional influence that problems in this area pose to families. Having taken Dr. Toomey’s training this past fall, I became aware of information that might be able to help you and I have already found its benefit during my daily practice. It is known as a sensory-based feeding therapy approach, building on each of them.  http://autism.sesamestreet.org/daily-routine-cards/?fbclid=IwAR0VKcWb_ZAHzheWdgT7ekqhwG_NuW8JLOMtCHZyT4PnolRXeyq6oeXxLSw

“The SOS Approach to Feeding program was developed by and copyrighted by Dr. Kay Toomey.  Please note, all materials, documents and forms taken from the SOS Approach to Feeding program are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced in any form without the written permission of Dr. Kay Toomey. For more information on the SOS Approach to Feeding program, please visit www.sosapproach.com.”     

This article can describe what can be done When-Children-Wont-Eat-Understanding-the-Whys-and-How-to-Help.pdf

and in her blog post, a parent relates how her child benefitted from its use https://singingthroughtherain.net/2013/03/tips-for-children-with-feeding-disorders.html

The SOS Feeding approach is appropriate for children that are “problem feeders” and not “picky eaters”, which can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between. Picky eaters are those that have a limited variety of foods and will not easily eat, but they often will reluctantly touch or taste a new food. Picky eaters do not need SOS feeding therapy. A problem feeder, however, has an even more restricted variety of foods with more severe reactions to interacting with non-preferred foods and is a candidate for SOS feeding therapy. Here are some questions to consider if you are concerned about your child’s eating:

  • Does your child have a decreased range or variety of foods (less than 20)?
  • If your child gets “burned out” on food and takes a break from it, will they refuse that food still, after the break?
  • Does your child refuse entire categories of food groups (proteins, vegetables, etc.) or texture groups (hard foods, soft cubes, puree textures)?
  • Does your child almost always eat different foods at a meal than the rest of the family?
  • Have you reported concerns about your child’s feeding across multiple well-child check-ups?
  • If you answered “yes” to several of the above questions, talk to your child’s pediatrician about a referral for an evaluation to determine if feeding therapy would be warranted for your child.

Please note, the term “problem feeder” is used by the SOS Feeding approach program to delineate children who are outside the normal range of age-appropriate feeding behaviors, i.e. only being a “picky eater”.

Is your child a red flag for a referral?  Know that in this season of giving that you can be given the hope of improved ability to help your child enjoy eating!

Red-Flags-w-logo

Halloween with a Special Needs Child

Halloween is tomorrow! Are you ready??

Typically families with young children may be approaching them with excitement. In my experience, families with children who have disabilities may have apprehensions. How can you proactively approach Halloween? How can your family prepare for dealing with stimulating settings and create a more meaningful/less stressful day in this Halloween week? Here are some resources that may be of help. Firstly:

Here is a wonderful blog post with suggestions for reducing stimulation, creating costumes and preparing for the big day www.familyeducation.com .

Do you want to have a party indoors with snacks and decorations. Perhaps kids movies www.halloweenmoviesforkid would be a nice activity

Literacy is an area of interest to those of us in the area of speech-language pathology. Here is a link to some books with the Halloween theme https://www.google.com/search?q=halloween+books&rlz=1C1CAFA_enUS777US777&oq=halloween+books&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.2855j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

The best of all may be arts and crafts that are thematic for the holiday so that you can spend face time with eachother and be creative. Here is a link for some quick and easy activities to give you some ideas https://crazylittleprojects.com/halloween-crafts-for-kids/

Have fun!

SPD Awareness Month

 

This month is another “Awareness” month. We not only become aware of ADHD but one of the concomitant conditions: Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

The need to have an understanding of the sameness and difference between the conditions is very important as it can have an impact on planning for treatment and perhaps the type of testing that needs to be done. According to the STAR Institute

“many of these kids have both disorders. A national stratified sample of children suggests that 40% of children with ADHD also have SPD (Ahn, Miller et. … Causes: In very simple terms, ADHD and SPD are both disorders that impact the brain. “.

STAR Institute doesn’t talk about adults, but I cannot imagine that there is not a large population of adults who have ADHD + SPD as well…

The discrete differences according to the STAR Institute are found at https://www.spdstar.org/node/1114

Being empowered with knowledge and having that increased awareness about individual differences will only help us as individuals -neuro-typical or not to interact with one another. That I believe is the goal of awareness months- so it behooves us all to take a look.

How to Recognize a Sensory Processing Disorder in Your Child | ilslearningcorner.com #sensoryprocessing #sensoryplay

Taken from the below-noted website, you can both read more about SPD and obtain this “sensory processing chart without cost:

https://ilslearningcorner.com/2015-10-how-to-recognize-a-sensory-processing-disorder-in-your-child/?fbclid=IwAR2pUGvV3vYYIbYqtt3zY68GocZPbEKSsEfKzV8fFN6i0-lDLxyZLZo-NAg

SPD Awareness Month

 

A Journey in the Understanding of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Well… this is ADHD awareness month. I had no idea! In acknowledgement of this fact I am structuring this post with videos embedded and links. I narrowed this post down into four sections with resources in each category and there is one closing section. i tried to include resources for both adults and children My hope is that this blog post will give you some basic strategies for functioning during the day and maintaining health:

  • SYMPTOMS
  • STRATEGIES TO HELP WITH ORGANIZATION: ROUTINES
  • MAINTAINING FOCUS AND SELF SOOTHING
  • SLEEP ISSUES AND RESOURCES THAT MAY HELP
  • CLOSING STATEMENT

SYMPTOMS

ADDITUDE MAGAZINE is published on a regular basis throughout the year. A link to the signs and symptoms of this disorder are found. This particular article is quite detailed and the magazine extremely informative.

https://www.additudemag.com/what-are-the-symptoms-of-adhd/?gclid=CjwKCAjwlovtBRBrEiwAG3XJ-yPMIrV5H1w1cnI0Id297yfLAJjIP283Vj0LztNQpX1dhGtQKNi0wRoClUIQAvD_BwE

ORGANIZE KIDS AND ADULTS EACH DAY

Finding out that a family member has ADHD or ADD depending on the type is overwhelming as it is challenging to find out to whom you can turn to get help. For starters you can do something at home


Create routines! Consistency and predictability is helpful http://Kid Routine Printables- http://girlinthegarage.net/2014/08/ki…

Are you an adult who suspects that you have the symptoms or perhaps a known diagnosis of ADHD or ADD. Organizational strategies are imperative for you as well. Take a look at this blog post https://psychcentral.com/blog/9-tips-for-creating-a-routine-for-adults-with-adhd/

MAINTAINING FOCUS AND SELF SOOTHING

Problems at home getting your child or you as an adult having trouble calming yourself down to focus. Help is available with some resources available at this link https://www.amazon.com/s?k=fidget+items+for+adhd&gclid=CjwKCAjwlovtBRBrEiwAG3XJ-0Me8Bqv5d4H_ybXopbLbd3fDDQVTuFuuiBdbvW-6Ns4tqhoQHcWYxoCF58QAvD_BwE&hvadid=213954863905&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9067609&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t2&hvqmt=e&hvrand=14588173531033197546&hvtargid=kwd-295234017326&hydadcr=4120_9338763&tag=googhydr-20&ref=pd_sl_ldzonec9t_e

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SLEEP HYGIENE: KIDS AND ADULTS

MEDITATION:

Some may complain that they do not have the patience to listen to them; but guided meditation apps abound as an aid to get to sleep – for adults and kids. Here are kid friendly scripts that can be loaded at no charge https://www.greenchildmagazine.com/free-meditation-guided-relaxation-scripts-kids/

For adults and children: you can try a free app url=https://www.calm.com/&utm_medium=paid&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=1603556317+61837906998+378906119265&utm_term=calm%20app&utm_content=CjwKCAjwlovtBRBrEiwAG3XJ-yd86OQDr3R6uCveBMjQjm5KP22M4p2cjdLo18M_KjqoYvjL8BNuDhoC_VsQAvD_BwE&gclid=CjwKCAjwlovtBRBrEiwAG3XJ-yd86OQDr3R6uCveBMjQjm5KP22M4p2cjdLo18M_KjqoYvjL8BNuDhoC_VsQAvD_BwE

Taken from https://www.tuck.com/sleep-resources/ here is a list of materials that may be of help

Sleep Health and Wellness

Sleep Medicine

Sleep Products

Mattress Guides

CLOSING RESOURCE

In closing: The organization CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD http://www.chadd,org provides a wealth of information including support groups – local chapters around the country which are amazingly helpful. Good luck!

Teaching Emotions to Those Who May Not Express Them Easily

There is a valued importance for social learning. “Social Interaction surrounds us as we move through our lives. Even when we aren’t actively engaged in interactions, we’re still exposed to it” according to Anna Vagin, PhD in her a book (see link at the bottom of this post) which outlines a curriculum that she developed using online videos to help teach social learning. Highly recommended for clinicians, teachers and even parents. It’s outline is written in very straight forward and presented in non- clinical terms

https://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/lego-and-emotions/

Almost every child falls in love with Thomas the Tank Engine. With Black Friday coming next month and holiday shopping – you may want to consider adding this to the list if you have a child unable to do so. Research shows that the first emotions to develop are “happy”, “sad” and “mad” . Look at just this one character and the link below to a Thomas book that may be useful as a part of your home library

SAD

HAPPY

MAD

https://ttte.fandom.com/wiki/How_do_You_Feel,_Thomas%3F?file=HowDoYouFeel,Thomas%3F.png

In her text (see link below), Dr. Vagin lists these as helpful resources to help children learn about emotions

Emoti Plush toys are dolls with moveable facial features (mouth, eyebrows) that allow children to be shown and themselves demonstrates changing feelings www.emoti-plush.com

Kimochis-characters that can be used as a playful way to help children identify and express feelings www.kimochis.com

For older children-why not act out more lengthy scenarios with materials from those described at this link https://www.smartfelttoys.com/ . The house may be a particularly good one for acting out a scene that may be of meaning for your individual family.

Reference

Anna Vagin Ph.D text: YouCue Feelings:Using Online Videos for Social Learning:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=youcue+feelings&i=stripbooks&gclid=CjwKCAjwxOvsBRAjEiwAuY7L8uy2mC8MOJL6o2am_o69lw8oQq04qSWVYkH_sRWZMkaMTCz1n6izmBoCYUQQAvD_BwE&hvadid=241626664073&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9067609&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=3578291734155525261&hvtargid=kwd-263732575109&hydadcr=20777_10173310&tag=googhydr-20&ref=pd_sl_6hadcfm4ei_e

How Do you Define and Describe Sensory Processing Deficits in a Meaningful Way, What Can You Do About Them and How Do You Help Others to Understand?:

I personally have a dislike of labels being put on people, but on some level, they do enable us to understand what we see or experience ourselves. The area of Sensory Processing Disorder is not that commonplace of a condition and not as familiar as the “flu” or “stomach virus” for example. So the importance of understanding and then conveying to others that which you know about the condition has meaning. It allows for the potential of gaining the understanding of others around you and empowers others to be more empathic of the needs of those with SPD.

The below five systems are typically those that we learned about in school… keep reading – there are additional ones:

Image result for sensory systems
In addition to these five, we have proprioception (sensation of muscles and joints of the body), vestibular (sense of head movement), interoception (these provide the sensations that tell us how we feel-hungry, tired, need to feel the bathroom and the following link explains this new sensory system in more detail) https://www.facebook.com/STARInstituteforSPD/videos/1540367686031185/

In a visual manner, we can take a look at the neuroanatomy of the disorder which adds greater understanding of the fact that there is a REAL reason for why the behaviors exist and what may cause disturbances in self-regulation.

***Many thanks to Bill Nasen who is the author of a book being published in October 2019 https://www.amazon.com/Autism-Discussion-Anxiety-Shutdowns-Meltdowns/dp/178592804X/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=bill+nason&qid=1553451610&s=gateway&sr=8-3&fbclid=IwAR2SU44pGAPb3sZLBqTGrNWJbNXKIs0tSToC1C9aPPLxnLJgAlkPzXzCFg0 for providing these valuable photos on Facebook’s The Autism Discussion Page @AutismDiscussionPage there is a book series and a wealth of information on this topic. there.

There are also resources available that may be of assistance for adults or children:

For Children With SPD:

The book called The Out of Sync Child helps identify strategies to help children. Potentially, strategies can be useful are related in this book, https://www.amazon.com/Out-Sync-Child-Recognizing-Processing/dp/0399531653

The STAR Institute gives both professionals and parents a number of resources such as home activities and books connected with the topic of SPD. Another helpful resource if you navigate here is one about how to handle dental visits! https://www.spdstar.org/basic/resources-for-parents-and-professionals

Checklist of symptoms in children who have SPD https://www.spdstar.org/basic/symptoms-checklist

Sensory Items that may be helpful https://inyardproducts.com/blogs/blog/117708293-15-amazing-sensory-products-for-your-child There are many more available online.

Issues at school? If these are potentially going to come up or are reported in the upcoming school conferences in your child’s fall meeting consider navigation to this site beforehand https://childmind.org/article/school-success-kit-kids-sensory-processing-issues/

Adults with SPD:

Knowledge and awareness don’t stop after you grow up. To help others find resources the guide at this link might be helpful. http://www.sensoryprocessing.info/books-adults.html

Sensory items that may be helpful :https://harkla.co/blogs/special-needs/sensory-products-adults

Assistance is available at the STAR INSTITUTE as well as resources pertaining to treatment https://www.spdstar.org/landing-page/treatment and readings connected with this condition are available for adults if you peruse this link https://www.spdstar.org/basic/resources-for-parents-and-professionals

Children or Adults with SPD

** this above link to me appears to be related to anyone with sensory issues and not just with the ASD or SPD diagnoses

Self Regulation
https://funandfunction.com/goals/sensory-regulation.html?fun_age=58%2C1478&utm_medium=search&fbclid=IwAR0x_jcpBP6aaY66IH4doN-X1qVMriGZUKwJM_WyfJnvKlRsgYffQlWpsSA
*this link has toys and other items to use in self regulation

What Can You Do When the Screen Goes Off??”

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The blog post https://blog.asha.org/2019/05/13/the-best-toys-for-slps-are-the-toys-that-do-nothing/ that recently appeared in the ASHA Leader resonates with me. I put individual links to which the author refers at the bottom of this post, So does the book “If You Give a Mouse an iPhone (of course available on Amazon in print). Here is a link to the story being read https://youtu.be/S3nVxt6_lAc If you can’t get it otherwise and are not familiar with it – the mouse is given an iPhone.. he uses it (viewing something that is not defined) and is unaware of his surroundings on a trip. The battery of the phone runs out and the result is a tantrum.

With the new American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines for Family Media Plans that i talked about in a recent post, I really did not give any suggestions for the way to redirect your child when the screen is not visible. That led to this post and the awareness that there are so many things that you can do together. Indeed as my colleague wrote you can really be “the best toy!”.

First of all… TURN THEM OFF.  

New research according to a report on CNN reveals significant differences in brain development

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/04/health/screen-time-lower-brain-development-preschoolers-wellness/index.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=fbCNN&utm_content=2019-11-04T22%3A00%3A09&utm_term=link&fbclid=IwAR2kl7JF5e1BDeY6-j-BGQiGqpT1t5BA4dVM4yVIpZsbSpNZ7pZRuopXkQ0

This video is presented to parents with children on the Autism Spectrum but these principles can apply to so many of us that i wanted to share it with you

https://youtu.be/JPJg5XUrCgk
 
 

Here are some fun seasonal activities that you can do at home that will be enjoyable and something to do with your family, especially as the days get shorter.

SEASONAL FUN:

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Carving a pumpkin-adapting the activity for your child based on their abilities an differences in managing textures in a child-friendly way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX6OIhqFZ8o

Write a story about carving the pumpkin, use educational workbooks that are consistent with your child’s age https://elemental.medium.com/bring-back-handwriting-its-good-for-your-brain-fe22fe6c81d2

Read stories (actual books) together. For adults look at the book The Reading Brain https://elemental.medium.com/bring-back-handwriting-its-good-for-your-brain-fe22fe6c81d2 which gives you documentation of how doing so, as opposed to reading books electronically with your children can affect your brain!

 

 

RAINY DAY/WEEKEND OR VACATION DAYS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4tJV078Qbw

Instead of going out for a Halloween costume try to make it yourself. Here is something that i found that might be of help in terms of suggestions: https://www.mother.ly/child/no-sew-diy-kids-halloween-costumes?rebelltitem=9#rebelltitem9

 

Here is a youtube video to consider: Paper-Mache

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfmF9D4i8Tg&feature=youtu.be

SUNNY/FUN DAYS: STEP OUTSIDE YOUR DOOR:

In NYC https://www.nybg.org/learn/kids-teens/childrens-gardening-program/ and in other cities there are most likely similar types of activities. Novel – if this is not the case is using an avocado seed, allowing it to sprout roots by soaking it in water and allowing it to grow in a pot with dirt. Plant peas from the pods or use others from fruits.

INEXPENSIVE AND SPECIFIC FOR THOSE WITH SENSORY CHALLENGES:

https://www.fatbraintoys.com/special_needs/sensory_integration_disorder.cfm

Leisure time and family functioning in families living with autism spectrum disorder (Autism, August 2019, Vol. 23 Iss. 6)

https://definingtess.com/top-5-things-to-do-after-your-child-is-diagnosed-with-autism/

Additional Resources from Emily Ferjencik May 13, 2019 ASHA LEADER article which I put a link to at the beginning of this post are worth a look!


WOW: THE BIG DIFFERENCE A TINY TOY CAN MAKE
INEXPENSIVE, READILY AVAILABLE OBJECTS CAN TURN TREATMENT INTO A FLOOD OF SENSORY EXPERIENCES FOR THE YOUNGEST OF CLIENTS.
TACKLE FOUNDATIONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS—NOT JUST LANGUAGE SKILLS—BY INFUSING FUN AND SILLINESS INTO SESSIONS.

Preparation for Schooling After EI, If not Done Already

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Parents tell me that in one moment the services are all in your home and you have a coordinator keeping very close touch with you who will organize everything. Parents are being required to research schools that may be available to children when they prepare to research appropriate programs for their child. Now it is all up to you and it is “so overwhelming. This appears to be the biggest cooncern during the transition period. I’l hear from parents that “I am so stressed about this right now…how will I ever find a school?”

GET INVOLVED: CONCERNING HEALTH ISSUES

Some parents have found schools but now the laws – at least in NY State and I believe others have changed. You are being required to have your child vaccinated; but are choosing not to do so – for any of a number of reasons. Here is what the law indicates https://www.cdc.gov/phlp/publications/topic/vaccinations.html

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/preschool/program-list-nyc-region.html

As a result of not vaccinating your child and for those in the NYC area this is a youtube video that may help you understand how to get home schooling for your child. I found it on youtube – searching for home schooling in my city and you may be able to find this for your locale.

.

Maybe your child is starting or has started already. They HAVE been vaccinated.

Here are sometips .

Please do not rely on the school system to have uploaded all of the information about your child into their computer system. NYS Education Department has its own requirements and must be both FERPA (Family Education and Rights Privacy Act) and IDEA (Individuals With Disabilities Act) for their maintenance. Familiarize yourself with what they should have on file, but keep a record of them on your own at home. It is in your interests to have these on file from the very beginning of your child’s education and transition to CPSE or Kindergarten

http://www.acces.nysed.gov/bpss/schools/requirements-organization-student-records-provided-department

  • Go to school and introduce yourself, bringing the IEP in person and any of the other paperwork that they should have there, based on what you read from the above link.
  • Connect and get to know your special education supervisor, your child’s teacher and related service providers. In my experience – those who do so are those whose children get the most out of the school experience.
  • You may be given a packet of information- a welcome letter on that first day. Recognize that there are ways to get involved and stay connected with the educational team, as well as the administrative staff.
  • Joining a parents group at school is a great idea.
  • Home activities are a great thing to get ahold of from each professional as you can support yor child’s work and perhaps even praise them for their school accomplishments. Request them!
  • If your schedule allows for it you may want to volunteer to act as a chaperone for school trips.

Enjoy the experience! Recognize that you are now your child’s advocate! It’s great to become their cheerleader now.

Finally – just a fun idea: A colleague posted this and I could not resist sharing it with you. You may want to consider sending this snac k to school, especially on day one: They look great! https://www.romper.com/p/rice-krispies-sensory-love-notes-is-making-love-more-accessible-brb-i-need-tissues-18648897

Fussy Eating

by Claire Gillespie shared from The Week and via Fussy Eating — Pediatric Feeding News

The Truth about Fussy Eating by by Claire Gillespie shared from The Week It’s no big secret that a lot of kids don’t like vegetables. Or they think they don’t like them, because they don’t really know — they won’t try them. Another non-secret is that one of the most exhausting aspects of parenting isKeep…

 

 

There are serious sensory components to eating and these are illustrated through another remarkable post that was recently featured; well worth a look.  For example, the sensation for some may be illustrated with the following image.  https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/77902889/posts/2550462747

Play and Holidays

IMAGE |  EDIT

top view photography of toddler playing with toy

 

Parents ask – what can I get for my special needs child for the holidays.  The gift of sharing time and allowing for this experience is probably one of the most important.  This is well documented in the literature and even pediatricians have weighed in on the subject of play with children.

Play is important for communication development as the below blog author illustrates http://www.playingwithwords365.com/the-importance-of-play-for-speech-and-language-development/   and as you step into the shopping mall on Black Friday or you are selecting toys online consider these developmental stages in play development https://pathways.org/kids-learn-play-6-stages-play-development/.   The reason to consider this would be to make sure that your child can actually benefit from the toy being purchased,

Recognize that for children – anything can become a toy.  The box collection (by age) of 52 quick and creative idea cards is great for easy ones which can be a guide for fun activities.  If money is an issue for you – take a look. All the materials can be found at home:

If it is hard financially to purchase toys, you may wish to contact The Salvation Army for assistance.

TRADITIONAL TOYS:

To me, a traditional toy is one that is not battery operated.  I remember using these as a child. For example lincoln logs, building blocks, board puzzles, board games such as Monopoly, CandyLand, Pick Up Sticks or numerous doll teal parties with a tea set, balls, frisbees. There are many others and this site offers

https://funandfunction.com/  

https://www.target.com/s/non+battery+toys?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=Toys_Dolls%2BPuppets%2BPlush%2BAction+Figures&adgroup=Animal+Figures_3&LID=700000001171643&LNM=non+battery+toys&MT=b&network=g&device=c&location=9067609&targetid=kwd-302805841827&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1248099&gclid=Cj0KCQiAt_PuBRDcARIsAMNlBdpoEMMECWDQDfTaVdTipJsGvkDwed41JpN0uX-c9KZSZ5mCPxmFoLYaAuqgEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

The value of a traditional toy cannot be underestimated because the use o f these involves that of imagination expansion.  Here is some foood for additional thought https://www.greenchildmagazine.com/no-battery-gifts/

https://www.target.com/s/non+battery+toys?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=Toys_Dolls%2BPuppets%2BPlush%2BAction+Figures&adgroup=Animal+Figures_3&LID=700000001171643&LNM=non+battery+toys&MT=b&network=g&device=c&location=9067609&targetid=kwd-302805841827&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1248099&gclid=Cj0KCQiAt_PuBRDcARIsAMNlBdpoEMMECWDQDfTaVdTipJsGvkDwed41JpN0uX-c9KZSZ5mCPxmFoLYaAuqgEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

BATTERY OPERATED, ELECTRONIC OR TRADITIONAL TOYS:

One of my favorites is Melissa and Doug toys because they are very sturdy, last a long time and can be used in so many different ways as children grow.  A number are available on their website and here are some links on the site for those who want them toys for upcoming vacations with packing limitations: https://www.melissaanddoug.com/search/?q=puzzles%20for%20toddlers   or https://www.melissaanddoug.com/search/?q=puzzles+in+a+box&lang=default   

Other toys through Melissa and Doug are Sensory Friendly toys      as well as on these sites:

https://www.specialneedstoys.com/usa/holiday-gift-guide

Whichever toy you may choose to purchase, have fun!  Without realizing it you will be building memories that will last a lifetime!