Hello. My name is Robin Kahn. I am a speech-language pathologist currently providing telehealth services in NY, NJ, Florida, and areas abroad that allow for me to do so. I have been working in this industry for over thirty years, treating those on the Autism Spectrum, who have feeding challenges, and learning/language/cognitive concerns, and consequently have a variety of specialized training.
Specialized training includes
SOS Feeding Therapy
Prompt Level 1 and 2 training
Floortime Therapy FEDC 1-4 certification is pending
NYS Department of Health approved Early Intervention Program provider
SPEAK OUT! Therapy
Some further background:
For many years, I provided home-based services; but the pandemic changed me. Telehealth is a venue that allows for greater involvement of those in need, and greater flexibility in scheduling. I also find that there seems to be a much greater commitment to the therapeutic process for both children and adults who need help. If you are ready to do so, feel free to inquire. I look forward to speaking with you!
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?
Regardless of how it has affected us, the use of technology has changed communication, the way that we think and live our lives each day. There are positive ways in which we can use technology at home and the guidelines posted by the American Academy of Pediatrics indicate that the key is to use it in moderation and with parental supervision.
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…
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 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
The advantage of a sensory-friendly gift packaging with a novel and eco-friendly packaging options.
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.
The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds Author: Kenneth R. Ginsburg Publication: Pediatrics
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:
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
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 http://www.sosapproach.com.”
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 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!
There are good and unfortunate impacts that technology has had to date based on a variety of sources. Think about the last time that you tried to talk to someone to find that they could not answerer you. They had earbuds in their ears, were not looking up at you – just at a machine and appeared to be in an entirely non-face-to face world. The effect on communication in this century is both astounding and profoundly changing us.
The good news is that there are positive things that we can use computers for, as noted in an example of a few resources below. There are others if you search by grade level which yields similar listings so look at those as well.
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 movieswww.halloweenmoviesforkid would be a nice activity
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…
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.
Taken from the below-noted website, you can both read more about SPD and obtain this “sensory processing chart without cost:
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
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
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.
Anna Vagin Ph.D text: YouCue Feelings:Using Online Videos for Social Learning: