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BATON ROUGE

18268 Petroleum Drive

Baton Rouge, La 70809

LIVINGSTON

28975 South Satsuma Road Ste. F Livingston, La 70754

Tel: 225-292-4138

Fax: 225-292-4142

E-mail: helpingkids@abilitiesinfo.com

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February 26, 2019

Is that normal? Do other children act like this? What should I do when he acts like this?! 

Parents, how often have these thoughts run through your mind? If you are anything like me, or the parents I work with every day- then you are no stranger to this feeling of bewilderment about your child! To help you navigate these land mines of parenting- we have compiled our Top 5 Strategies for modifying your child's most challenging or embarrassing behaviors...

  • Ignore Unwanted Behaviors!

This can be the most challenging strategy of all- but arguably the most important! Children LOVE attention- some even love negative attention. Often times, unwanted behaviors are unintentionally reinforced through this recurrent loop of giving your child attention when they are engaging in unwanted behaviors. So, remember- unless your child is hurting themselves or someone else- ignore, ignore, and then ignore some more!

Most children also suffer from a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Paren...

January 15, 2019

Teaching typically developing children how to use the toilet is difficult enough- but what about our children who have developmental delays, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, and communication challenges? Here are a few considerations and strategies to use when toilet training your child with special needs.

Sensory Challenges

If your child is sensitive or upset by the sensory aspects of going to the toilet, try controlling your child's sensory experience during toileting.

  • Get your child familiar with sitting on the toilet by practicing for a few minutes every day.

  • Make him comfortable- consider letting your child wear socks, warm the temperature of the room, provide a foot stool for better support, consider a toilet seat reducer/insert to decrease fear of falling in the toilet, use warm flushable wipes, and try noise canceling headphones or background music to block out upsetting background noises.

Strategies for children with ASD

Children with ASD generally display the...

Melting down, throwing a tantrum, having a fit... just a few ways to describe that bright and shiny moment in your day when your child transforms from a little angel into a tyrant at the drop of a hat.  While we all knew going into this parenting thing that meltdowns and tantrums were par for the course, it's still a difficult scenario to manage- especially if you feel like you can't quite figure out what's setting your child off!

Over the last several years, the concept of sensory overload and resulting “sensory meltdowns" have spread like wild fire across parenting blogs. But what does sensory overload look like? Are we just "explaining away" our child's bad behavior? These are difficult questions to answer, and often times the answer is different for each child and each family. First, it is important to know that the feeling of being overloaded with sensory input doesn't only happen to individuals with sensory modulation disorders. In truth, we ALL succumb to sensory overlo...

Parents, beach time is here- and it’s no secret that you are longing for the care-free, laid-back atmosphere of your beach vacation! We also know that you may be dreading the long drive there as traveling with your little ones can be quite a daunting task! So, to help you maintain your sanity- we compiled a list of some great activities to keep your children occupied and happy!

This great idea comes from greyhouseharbor.com. Making a simple visual of your destination and how close you are to being there helps curb the inevitable question…”Are we there yet?!” 

Try this great free printable for a Road Trip Scavenger Hunt. Aside from you and your children having fun, your occupational therapist will be very happy that you are practicing visual discrimination and visual scanning skills while on the road! Turn up the excitement by allowing the winner to choose where you stop for lunch!

Reach into your cabinets and grab a cookie sheet for hours of travel fun! You can use it to play ma...

I'm sure many of you have experienced it...

Your cell phone rings, you look down at your phone to see it's your daycare calling. Your heart sinks thinking that something might be wrong with your little one. Apprehensively you answer your phone and are immediately informed that your child has bitten a classmate. For many, embarrassment creeps over them and they begin to profusely apologize, stressing to the director that they will address this behavior with their child- confidently assuring them that it won't happen again.  A week later, another phone call from the daycare, it's happened again, and this time you can sense the frustration in the director's voice...

Unfortunately for many parent's this is an all too familiar cycle. A cycle that can provoke feelings of frustration, embarrassment, anger, and despair. But what is a parent to do?

First, as I always stress, it is important to have realistic expectations for your child. This starts with know...

February 27, 2018

Handwriting can be a tricky skill for children to learn and those pesky U's and NI's on report cards for handwriting can worry a parent! Here are some simple tips and tricks for lessening your worry and helping your child become a more confident and legible writer.

1. Make sure you have age appropriate expectations for your child.

Unfortunately, I have noticed a trend of pre-school and kindergarten aged children being held to developmentally inappropriate standards. I can't tell you how often I hear a parent tell me that their pre-K student is expected to write from memory both upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet and that their Kindergarten students are expected to compose multiple sentences regarding a given topic. Let's pump the brakes here guys! A child's ability to form an oblique line (like in the letter A) doesn't fully develop until about 4 and a half years of age and a true hand dominance is not expected to be fully developed until 6 years of age.  With tha...

December 4, 2017

Teaching any child how to resist their impulses and stay on task is a difficult feat, but teaching a child with executive functioning difficulties how to inhibit their impulses can make even the most patient parent want to run for the hills! Here at Abilities, we can help children with Autism and ADHD stay on task and independently complete daily routines by implementing some pretty simple strategies.  A therapist favorite for promoting on task behavior is the Time Timer! This tool is a great way to teach children the concept of time as a system of measurement. Showing time disappear helps to teach children how to pace themselves as they work. It also functions as a motivational tool, encouraging your child to stay on task as they can see that break time is nearing!

Visual schedules are another useful tool for helping to keep your child on task and to ease difficult transitions. Visual schedules serve as an external reminder to complete specific tasks,...

September 29, 2017

The concept of sensory processing and sensory processing disorder has rocked the pediatric world over the last few years. Many of us are left scratching our head and asking…. “What does Sensory Processing mean?” “Does my child have a disorder?” “How will therapy help my child?”

First, it helps to have a general understanding of what is meant by the term sensory processing. Basically, sensory processing refers to a person’s ability to register, attend, assign a meaning to, and respond to our basic senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. On top of processing all that incoming input, there are also internal sensations that we must respond to which detect changes in our body position or our need for nourishment and voiding of our bowel/bladder. The term sensory processing refers to this entire process. When talking about Sensory Processing Disorder, we break this process down further into what we call sensory modulation and sensory discrimination.  Sensory modulation refers to a pers...

September 5, 2017

Social stories are short narratives aimed at describing the social rules and expected behaviors of various situations. They have been a valuable tool for helping children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other social-emotional disorders. These carefully worded stories provide children with specific strategies for success in different social situations. Social stories can also be used to help children prepare for upcoming life transitions (starting school, moving to a new town/city). Here at Abilities, we use social stories frequently to help our children overcome challenging situations. While it may take a little prep work, generating a quick social story for a child that is struggling to be successful with transitions or social exchanges is definitely worth the extra effort. Below is an example of a social story about an upcoming life transition and the new social expectations that come along with it.

John Meets New People!

Now that I am a big boy, I will be going...

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