Therapy Tips

Much more than Walking: How to Prep Your Child for Advanced Gross Motor Skills

Do you remember watching your child take those first steps of independent walking? In this moment, he or she has suddenly begun to move like you and I do: on two feet! The days of holding on to couches or coffee tables to get from point A to point B will soon be behind him. This is quite magical for us as Physical Therapists.
But what happens
after she walks unassisted? Does the process end there? Many of us know that, in our adult lives, walking a short distance across the living room is just a starting point for movement wellness. And as we age, we find it challenging to walk up stairs and down hills. This shouldn’t surprise us. Our world of desks, chairs, and couches does little to encourage running, jumping, and scaling outdoor terrain. That’s why it’s important to encourage any child to achieve advanced motor milestones after walking those first steps.

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Making Friends

We all know firsthand the value of friendships, and although there are aspects in life that can lead to difficulties in making friends for all of us at times, it can be even more difficult for children with autism. Often, children with autism find it difficult to have conversations with others, play with children their own age, talk about things that interest someone else or tolerate changes in routines without becoming frustrated. We can think of these things as “people skills” and often children with autism need support to learn these people skills.

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Creating Communication Opportunities

Did you know that two hours of speech therapy per week is only 2% of the waking hours of a one-year old? That means parents and caregivers need to create a lot of opportunities for their children to mand (i.e., request) outside of therapy! Mand is the term used in Verbal Behavior (B.F. Skinner) for the language function of requesting. Read more to learn about creating opportunities for your child to mand, as well as some helpful information when picking first words.

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Positive Scanning – And How It Can Increase Behaviors You Want To See!

Have you ever noticed that you tend to see things that you actually look for? It’s true! Similarly, when you’re having a bad day and are just looking for what else could go wrong, there always seems to be something new.  This is due to positive scanning.  The idea that when you look for something in particular on a consistent, conscious basis – you will find it! However, just as you can use it to find undesirable things, you can also scan for things you want to see!
 
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Sensory Play At Home

Sensory Play at Home
Sensory toys you can use and make at home!
 
Since day one, children do their best to make sense of their world via sensory input.  Through sensory exploration and play, they develop and refine the neurological pathways associated with each of their senses. Sensory play can also help develop socialization, language, problem solving skills, and more – especially when parents join in and make it an interactive experience. 


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Therapy Tip

Part I: Toilet Training for Individuals with Development Disabilities

Deciding upon when a child with special needs is ready to begin toilet training can be challenging for both parents and therapists alike. There are many factors to consider when deciding if your child is ready to begin the process, such as your child’s awareness level, physiological factors, as well as your ability to stick with a toileting schedule.
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Therapy Tip

Helping Your Child’s Speech Development

As children begin to develop speech and language skills it is critical to reinforce their communicative attempts. This can present a challenge for parents of children who often have unintelligible speech utterances. How do we respond to our child when we can’t understand what they are saying? Below are a few strategies that I use during moments when I can’t understand a child’s speech:
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Therapy Tip

Is your child a late talker? If your child is slow at developing expressive vocabulary or slow to put words together, then he/she may be a late talker.

A child may be considered a late talker if:

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    Good Night

    We all know the value and health benefits of a good night sleep. However as parents we often find ourselves falling asleep in our child’s beds and then waking in the wee hours of the night, stumbling back to our own beds only to find ourselves unable to fall back to sleep.

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    How to be Your Child’s Play Coach

    With summer here, it is a great opportunity to arrange play dates for your child as they offer great opportunities to develop social skills. However just inviting friends over likely won’t be enough, and therefore you must know how to take an active role in guiding your child’s play with other children. Read More...

    Therapy Tip

    Do you want to know a few simple, yet effective strategies to build you child’s expressive language skills? Read More...

    Famous People With Autism

    What is Autism

    A video essay made with love Read More...

    I Want to Say

    Video from Autism Speaks. Read More...