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...
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.
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.
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...
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...
As you celebrate with loved ones, keep in mind that holiday meals are not the time to make progress in trying new foods. It is a time to maintain the skills and positive feelings about eating that have been gained in therapy. The holidays are a fun but often challenging time for picky eaters. Numerous factors can cause this stress:
Being with unfamiliar foods
Eating at different times, in different homes/places, and with different people than usual
Being served food by someone who doesn’t usually fix your child’s plate
Being around well-meaning family members who encourage and maybe push your child to eat new foods
Here are a few suggestions that may reduce the stress of eating holiday meals if your child is at a very picky stage or new to therapy and just making gains in trying foods and building confidence about eating.
Don’t let well-intended family members push your child about eating. He or she already has enough struggles with the challenges she feels about...
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...