Siblings of children with special needs have their own challenges. People who grow up with a sibling with special needs are often equipped with amazing qualities like patience, kindness, empathy for others, and loyalty, all amazing traits for anyone to have. Here are some terrific books to check out if you love a sibling of a child with special needs.
*Click on the desired book cover for more information*
For Younger Kiddos:
For the entire family:
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is combined array (a.k.a. spectrum) of disorders which were formally diagnosed separately as Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).
People with ASD may have difficulty in the areas of social skills, communication, self-care, sensory integration, fine/gross motor skills, and behavior. These difficulties can range from mild to severe A person on the spectrum might be non-verbal and unresponsive to their name or speak eloquently and possess an extensive vocabulary and early literacy. Knowing the signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the first step to early identification.
Some of the most noticeable symptoms of ASD, according to the CDC are:
The first step is always to write down a list of your concerns to discuss them with your pediatrician. When you visit with your pediatrician about your concerns they most likely will have you complete the M-CHAT, a screening tool designed to identify children who may benefit from a more thorough Autism evaluation. If your pediatrician deems it necessary they may refer you to a specialist that is trained to administer the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2). Usually these specialists are a child neurologist, developmental pediatrician, an educational psychologist, an Autism Specialist, or a speech-language pathologist. The ADOS-2 is a testing instrument utilized for diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder.
After identification of symptoms or a diagnosis, intervention is KEY.
There are many falsely advertised “cures” to Autism and it is vital to discuss any and all treatment options with your family doctor. Currently, there is NO cure for Autism. Typically, people diagnosed with ASD enroll in speech-language therapy and occupational therapy. ABA therapy may also be recommended for children with extreme behavioral issues. Speech-language and occupational therapies address issues from social skills (interacting with others), receptive language skills (understanding others), expressive language skills ( communicating wants and needs, verbally or non-verbally using a communication device), narrative language, self-care needs (grooming, brushing teeth, feeding skills), sensory processing skills (responding to sensory experiences such as through touch, taste, sound, and movement), executive functioning skills, and behavior. If you have concerns about Autism it is important to share those concerns with your family doctor, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, or neurologist.
Well, friends...it's about that time of year...to start planning for the summer months! We all know what that means...SUMMER CAMPS! It's often a challenge to find reliable and vetted summer programs for our special little ones...fortunately for us, our friends at AISD did the leg work for us! Click the photo below to download your copy. As always, if you have ANY questions feel free to email, call, or visit with me.
All of us at TCOB are heartbroken to hear of the ongoing events in Austin (and Schertz) with the explosive devices. We have a safety protocol that was established prior to these events and we will continue to honor those safeguards. There is no direct threat to our facility; however, we ask our families and our community to remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Please report any suspicious activity or packages/items to authorities immediately by calling 911. As these events continue to occur it is important that we educate our children and also find ways to talk to them about what is happening while not traumatizing them and making them fearful to step outside of their home. Our friends at The National Child Traumatic Stress Network published the following (unedited) document on how to talk to children about bombings. We though it was a good time to share with our families and those beyond our walls. Sending love to all those victimized.
Talking to Children about the Bombings
The recent bombings evoke many emotions — shock, fear, anger, helplessness, anxiety, grief, and sadness. Children struggling with their thoughts and feelings about the stories and images of the bombings will turn to adults for comfort and answers. Children need to hear that their parents/caregivers will keep them safe.
• Start the conversation. Talk about the bombings with your child. Silence suggests that the event is too horrible even to speak about. With social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, text messages, newsbreaks on favorite radio and TV stations, and others), most likely your children and teenagers have heard about this.
Guess how many jelly beans are in the jar and WIN this awesome Easter basket! The person that gets closest to the actual number will WIN!
We will announce the winner on our Facebook page 03/27/2018.
This basket is packed full of classic books, sidewalk chalk, bunny popper ball, Easter straw, bubbles, egg dye kit, and much more (NO CANDY)! To enter: Like us on FB, Share the post, and post your guess on the original post!
What are you waiting for???...Get guessing!
Dr. Seuss Day is the perfect day to remind us that any activity with our children can teach them so many things and target their language development.
One Fish, Two Fish, Three Fish, Blue Fish –Targets Pronouns and adjectives
Hop On Pop –Targets propositions (aka spatial concepts)
The Cat In The Hat –Targets verbs
March is Trisomy awareness month, so it’s a perfect time to explain “what is trisomy?” Most people have 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46 chromosomes total. Trisomy is a genetic disorder in which an individual has an extra chromosome (partial or whole). Early identification is important in order to best evaluate, treat, and monitor for any possible developmental deficits or possible medical complications. Educating others of trisomy is important to not only provide a better understanding of the syndromes but to reinforce the notion that early intervention is vital for academic and social success.
Most common Trisomy disorders:
Trisomy 21, more commonly known as Down syndrome, occurs in 1 in 691 live births in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People with Down syndrome usually have mild-to-moderate intellectual and developmental disability (IDD), heart abnormalities, and are at risk for hearing and vision loss and a number of other health conditions. Learn more about Down syndrome on the NICHD Down Syndrome: Condition Information webpage.
Klinefelter Syndrome, also called XXY Trisomy, occurs in about 1 in 500-1,000 newborn males. Most variants of Klinefelter Syndrome are much more rare, occurring in 1 in 50,000 or fewer. Affected individuals typically have small testes that do not produce as much testosterone as usual. Testosterone is the hormone that directs male sexual development before birth and during puberty. A shortage of testosterone can lead to delayed or incomplete puberty, breast enlargement (gynecomastia), reduced facial and body hair, and an inability to have biological children (infertility). Some affected individuals also have genital differences including undescended testes (cryptorchidism), the opening of the urethra on the underside of the penis (hypospadias), or an unusually small penis (micropenis). Children with Klinefelter syndrome may have learning disabilities and delayed speech and language development. They tend to be quiet, sensitive, and unassertive, but personality characteristics vary among affected individuals. Learn more about Klinefelter Syndrom at https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/8705/klinefelter-syndrome .
Triple X Syndrome occurs in about 1 in 1,000 newborn females. Five to ten girls with Triple X are born in the United States each day. Triple X syndrome is associated with an increased risk of learning disabilities and delayed development of speech and language skills. Delayed development of motor skills (such as sitting and walking), weak muscle tone (hypotonia), and behavioral and emotional difficulties are also possible, but these characteristics vary widely among affected girls and women. Seizures or kidney abnormalities occur in about 10 percent of affected females. Learn more about Triple X Syndrome at https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/trisomy-x/.
Trisomy 18, also called Edwards syndrome, occurs in about 1 in 5,000 live births each year in the United States. Individuals with trisomy 18 often have slow growth before birth (intrauterine growth retardation) and a low birth weight. Affected individuals may have heart defects and abnormalities of other organs that develop before birth. Other features of trisomy 18 include a small, abnormally shaped head; a small jaw and mouth; and clenched fists with overlapping fingers. Due to the presence of several life-threatening medical problems, many individuals with trisomy 18 die before birth or within their first month. Five to 10 percent of children with this condition live past their first year, and these children often have severe intellectual disability. Learn more about Trisomy 18 at Genetics Home Reference Trisomy 18 webpage.
Trisomy 13, also called Patau syndrome, occurs in about 1 in 10,000 to 16,000 live births each year worldwide. Trisomy 13 is associated with severe intellectual disability and physical abnormalities in many parts of the body. Individuals with trisomy 13 often have heart defects, brain or spinal cord abnormalities, very small or poorly developed eyes (microphthalmia), extra fingers or toes, an opening in the lip (a cleft lip) with or without an opening in the roof of the mouth (a cleft palate), and weak muscle tone (hypotonia). Due to the presence of several life-threatening medical problems, many infants with trisomy 13 die within their first days or weeks of life. Only five percent to 10 percent of children with this condition live past their first year.. Learn more about Trisomy 13 on the Genetic Home Reference Trisomy 13 webpage.
Narrative language skills are vital to a person’s ability to not only have successful social relationships but also impact academic work (e.g., written language). Narrative skills are the ability to use language to tell a story. These skills begin to develop at the young age of 2 years! As a child’s narrative language skills develop they will begin to follow rules of storytelling (e.g., sequencing events, including characters, having an event/dialogue/solution, and an ending). Narratives may be fiction or non-fiction.
What should your child be doing? Check out this chart of narrative development.
Chart adapted from Hutson-Nechkash, Peg. (2001), Ripley, K., 2012
If you are concerned about your child’s narrative language, discuss it with your pediatrician or give us a call to see if we can help.
The term “stutter” is terribly outdated and oftentimes negatively viewed, rather I like the term “disfluent speech.” It is important to remember that we all have moments of disfluent speech, that doesn’t necessarily mean we all need speech-language therapy to address it. The line that we draw to determine if therapy is recommended is the impact the disfluent moment have on one’s life, the severity/ frequency/duration of disfluent moments, and the accompanying tension with the disfluent moments.
Some of the most common types of disfluent speech include:
For many children with Dysgraphia, just holding a pencil and organizing letters on a line is extremely challenging. Many struggle with spelling and putting thoughts on paper. It is important that we remember Dysgraphia is not “laziness” or “sloppiness,” using these terms in from of your child with Dysgraphia can negatively impact their self-esteem and increase their anxiety resulting in refusal to write. Many children diagnosed or suspected of having Dyslexia also exhibit symptoms of Dysgraphia. Symptoms of Dysgraphia include:
Pragmatic language; also known as social skills, is the ability to understand and adequately maneuver daily interactions with other people. This includes what we say (and don’t say), how we say it, and body language that accompanies our words.
Here are some examples of pragmatic language skills:
Sometimes people with pragmatic language impairments gravitate towards very young children or only adults. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder typically have difficulty with pragmatic language skills; however, it is important to remember a person may have pragmatic language difficulties and not be on the Autism Spectrum.
If you want to learn more about pragmatic language skills or suspect your child has difficulty with pragmatic language talk to your pediatrician or contact us to see if we can help!
Sometimes I get the questions “why isn’t she talking yet” or “will he ever talk?” In these moments it’s important to explain the communication pyramid. The skills at the bottom of the pyramid (purple and blue) must be acquired before the skills at the top can be. This is why we have to address play skills and receptive language before we can expect them to use sentences or master a conversation.
Do you have your tickets to the Day Out With Thomas yet? Don't worry, we have you covered! We have TWO tickets to this awesome event we will give away this Friday (September 29, 2017) at noon. Want to throw your name in the drawing? All you have to do is write a review for TCOB on Google, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. Each review that gets posted gets entered to win (This means you can be entered several times if you post on different sites)!
DAY OUT WITH THOMAS TICKET includes a scheduled 25 minute train ride (October 1, 2017 at 11am) behind Thomas the Tank Engine, all day admission to the Day Out With Thomas events at the Burnet Community Center, and the following activities:
**The winner will be announced via our Facebook page and the winner MUST pick up their prize by 6pm Friday September 29, 2017 at our office location (photo identification MUST match the name of the person shown online as the reviewer).**
Don't we all want to give a synopsis of our kiddos for their teacher/s at the beginning of the school year? Basically give them a resume of likes/dislikes/what works and doesn't? Well, you are NOT alone! We made this handy PDF to fill in the blanks and even add a photo of your child. When you meet the teacher/s, aides, therapists, or even babysitters just hand them this "All About Me" page so they are sure to know all about your kiddo. Download is available for FREE, just click the Download File button below and start filling in the blanks!
Therapy Center of Buda Summer Fun Theme Weeks
Summer has come and the staff at Therapy Center of Buda is ready to celebrate! Each week in July will be a theme week, where therapy activities will revolve around a summertime theme.
Themes for the month include:
July 3rd- 7th – 4th Of July Celebration
July 10th- 14th – Ocean Adventures
July 17th-21st – Amusement Park Fun
July 24th-28th – Summer Fun Activities
The first week will kick off with a bang on July 3rd- with a 4th of July themed celebration. During this week the therapy gym will be decked out in red, white, and blue for a fun 4th of July Scavenger Hunt. Come and enjoy other activities such as making your own confetti poppers, painting fireworks, Pop Rock Goop, and much more! We can’t wait to celebrate summer fun with you all month long!
Meet the newest addition to my therapy room… WATER BEADS! They are squishy, bouncy, and great for playful learning. There are so many ways to use water beads in order to develop speech and language. I created a sensory bin with my water beads and I wanted to share my ideas with you!
1. Place your child’s favorite toys in the sensory bin to target requesting, spatial concepts, following directions, identifying, answering questions, and labeling. “Can you find the cow? Where does a cow live? What does a cow say? Can you put the cow at the bottom?”
2. It is so easy to target articulation goals with a sensory bin. Place laminated flashcards inside and have children say the word using their “good sounds” when they find it. This is much more fun than sitting at a table and doing boring homework. :-)
3. Let your child explore! Teach verbs (digging, pouring, mixing), adjectives (slimy, bouncy, squishy, wet), colors, and sizes. Use kitchen utensils for pretend play. Get creative and have fun!
I purchased a package of water beads on Amazon, a container from Dollar Tree, and used flashcards and toys we have around the clinic. This is an inexpensive project that can make targeting speech and language goals more fun and engaging. I hope you enjoy the water beads as much as I do!
Meagan Milligan, B.S., SLP-A
Amy Grant is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Certified Autism Specialist and Clinic Director of Therapy Center of Buda.
Family Corner Blog
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