- Mitigate the effects of bullying (Zhou, Liu, Niu, Sun, & Fan, 2016);
- Enhance focus in children with ADHD (Zhang et al., 2016);
- Reduce attention problems (Crescentini, Capurso, Furlan, & Fabbro, 2016);
- Improve mental health and wellbeing;
- Improve social skills when well taught and practiced with children and adolescents.
Mindfulness refers to paying attention to the present moment while still calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Because mindfulness requires you to quiet your mind it can be difficult for children and for adults. The practice is so vitally important because it is through mindfulness that you really get to know your own body and emotions. By simply ignoring these emotions you end up storing them inside but they find a way to make it to the surface anyways through your body. Your body reacts to the stress by causing stomach aches, headaches, and tension in the muscles in your body. Being stuck in your own thoughts prevents you from noticing the joy in every day moments. It can leave you dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. By practicing daily mindfulness it can help you live more in the present which can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. I can also help in your social life as well making you more emotionally resilient. Research has confirmed that for children, mindfulness can:
The following content was originally published by: The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).
This week is National Stuttering Awareness Week! Did you know that stuttering usually starts between 2 and 6 years of age? Many children go through normal periods of disfluency lasting less than 6 months. Stuttering that lasts longer may need treatment.
Talking to people can be hard if you stutter. You may get stuck on certain words or sounds. You may feel tense or uncomfortable. You might change words to avoid stuttering. Speech-language pathologists, or SLPs, can help.
It seems like we have a new reality for the foreseeable future. One of these realities is wearing face coverings (masks) to protect ourselves and those around us while outside our homes.
It is important to recognize that Autistics, those with sensory processing disorder, and other neuodiverse people may have a difficult time wearing masks for a variety of reasons. It is important that we avoid extreme dysregulation/ melt downs as they pertain to wearing masks. When meltdowns happen as a result of mask wearing it is alright to focus on the other avoidance techniques of social distancing and avoiding public places/ gatherings. Don't force mask wearing if that mean a melt down will happen, remember that we want to honor the communication from our littles even if the message is something we don't want to receive.
On March 18, 2020 Therapy Center of Buda made the difficult, yet necessary decision to close to the public to ensure we do our part to keep our community safe and avoid the spread of COVID-19 (i.e., Coronavirus). At the time we closed teletherapy was not an approved by the Texas Department of Licensing (TDLR) for speech-language pathologists and assistants. Nor was it reimbursable by Texas Medicaid (and MCOs) or private insurance policies. We relentlessly engaged with Governor Abbott, TDLR and Gov. Abbott in order to obtain approvals and coverage for our families and other Texan children. After a tireless fight, we obtained approval from TDLR and The Governor to allow our therapists to provide our services via teletherapy during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also have obtained approval from all forms of Medicaid and private insurance companies (with the exception of a few self-funded plans). Many of the private insurance companies have also agreed to waive patient portion of teletherapy visits. This was wonderful news for our families and other Texan children that required speech-language and occupational therapies.
You may be wondering…What IS teletherapy? How is it different than the therapy we already get? Is it “right” for my child? Let’s explore these questions together:
Due to the apparent longevity of our quarantine, we have been working around the clock to get teletherapy up and running and approved by your insurance companies. Below you will find a consent for treatment via teletherapy (PDF). We will need one of these completed for each patient being treated by our clinicians. I will be emailing families over the next couple of days, but if you want to preemptively complete the document (with signature) and email to us here.
It is important for us to note:
We have the Occupational Therapy department ready to treat starting next week via teletherapy (We will confirm appointments via text).
Speech-language department is a bit tricky at the moment because we are waiting on Governor Abbott to sign an executive order allowing the speech-language pathology assistants we all know and love (Katherine, Katie, Haylee, and Ashley) to be able to provide services via teletherapy with Amy's supervision and guidance. So, until we get this executive order or until we are able to find another solution our hands are tied on speech-language therapy. However, we are still preparing as though he will sign this executive order. If you have connections to Governor Abbott feel free to advocate on our behalf.
Please remain safe and quarantined.
Your TCOB Family
Here is an amazing resource for you! Click below to download and print this social story on the Coronavirus and about the need to quarantine. If you are having trouble explaining school closures, safety precautions, or the need to quarantine to someone you love, this is perfect!
Thank you everyone that came to see us at Boo-da this year! We had a blast!
It seems like our kids can’t wait for the summer break from school. I remember the excitement of NO SCHOOL! No waking up crazy early! No responsibilities!! Woo hoo! Well, now I am an adult and the summer is just another season that passes. When kiddos have a break from school it can be fun for them; but, challenging for caretakers. Here are some tips to keep your summer (and your kiddos) happy and tears at a minimum.
From time to time I meet people and they ask me HOW we are different than other clinics, well here are 8 of the things I explain to them. In all honesty, it was difficult for me to narrow it down to 8. I feel deep in my heart that we ARE different because we really do see TCOB as a family and we love each and every family that chooses TCOB.
Written by: Emily Swogger, OTR, MS
At Therapy Center of Buda we feel strongly about outdoor free play and providing our kiddos with a safe outdoor play space. Why are we so passionate about play? Because a child’s main occupation is to play. Play is how they learn new information in the most efficient manner. Yet in a world where children can spend up to 1200 per year on average in front of a screen, play time is rapidly being replaced with screen time. Time spent outside for children, research has shown, can be as little as 7 minutes per day! Time spent in play in general can be as low as 30 minutes per day. Play-based activities are being decreased for a variety of reasons. On the early education front, a societal emphasis on increasing test scores or meeting Common Core requirements has shifted the focus of early learning and preschool from social emotional skills to building math and reading skills. After-school the amount of play time is decreased due to lack of time to engage in play between longer work hours and the nightly routines of dinner, homework, and bath time. For some, lack of a safe place to play in neighborhood playgrounds and parks is also contributing factor to a decrease in outside play time.
So, why is the loss of unstructured play so important?
Diversity. We all know the obvious forms of diversity; race, nationality, gender, socioeconomic status, general background, etc. But, lately I find myself discussing a lesser known type of diversity; neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is the concept that neurological differences (e.g., Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, etc.) are respected as any other human variation. Therapy Center of Buda has always embraced diversity and we celebrate the diversity of our families. We don’t believe in “cures” and we don’t preach “looking normal.” In fact, suppressing the communicative efforts, including stims and non-verbal forms of communication have long been proven to be counterproductive to overall communicative and daily living success. Rather, listening to each individual and their wants, desires, requests, and rejections is a way to honor their communication styles.
Therapy Center of Buda started out as just a shared dream between a mother and daughter to help others; with compassion and respect. We supplied the shell of TCOB, but you all filled it with us. Together we filled it with love, understanding, compassion, support, acceptance, hard work, knowledge, tears, hugs, and empowering each other. Today we are honored and humble to celebrate 9 years of TCOB. Thank you for being a part of our journey and allowing us to be a part of yours. We are so excited to see what the future holds as we are always evolving and becoming a better version of TCOB with the support of our community. Stay tuned...we have so many more years ahead of us!
Amy and Deborah
BY LAUREN DROBNJAK
This Sensory Halloween Scavenger Hunt is the perfect way to keep kids calm if they’re nervous or overwhelmed by Trick or Treating.
For some kids, Halloween is the best holiday of the year — candy, anyone? For others, it’s a night of complete sensory overload. From itchy costumes to strange new sounds, this spooky October evening can be a nightmare for kids with sensory processing concerns or even for kids who just get overwhelmed easily.
We thought it would be fun to take our popular Sensory Motor Scavenger Hunt and twist it up…Halloween style!
Whether your kiddo just needs a little distraction from the scary chainsaw house in the cul-de-sac or she needs a way to take it all in from a distance, we think this Halloween scavenger hunt will fit the bill.
Original source: https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/sensory-halloween-scavenger-hunt/
I played the video game Fortnite the other day with my teen grandson. As an educator, I’ve worked with thousands of kids with ADHD, social skills issues and similar challenges. And I wanted to know more about how Fortnite might affect them.
Fortnite is an online, multiplayer shooter video game. It’s free and can be played on a computer, on a gaming system like the Xbox, or on a mobile device. The most popular game mode is Battle Royale, where 100 players drop onto an island, try to find construction materials and weapons, and fight each other to be the last person (or team of people) standing. Players can talk to one another, and each game lasts 20 minutes. To get a sense of what it’s like, imagine an arcade version of the film The Hunger Games.
Fortnite has taken the world by storm. An estimated 50 million people play. There are news reports of kids playing at all hours of the day, late at night, and even under their desks at school. And many experts have weighed in on whether the game is good for kids.
by Bonnie Landau | Advocacy, IEP, Infographic, Special Ed Law
The IEP Team is suppose to help support your child, but sometimes their approach can be misleading. Knowing the law is key when advocating for your child. In my book, Special Ed Mom Survival Guide, I spend considerable time helping you learn about the law and how to apply it. In attending many IEP meetings as a special education advocate, I realized that the schools don’t quote the law when the deny services. Their information is hidden in messages that sound legitimate.
Here are 12 phrases I often hear that are really the IEP Team’s way of skirting around their obligation to provide services.
Having a child with special needs can be an emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially draining on a family. When diagnosed with a significant impairment like a genetic syndrome (e.g., Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13, XXX Syndrome, Marfan Syndrome), a congenital anomaly (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cleft Lip/Palate, Encephalopathy, Spina Bifida, Encephalopathy), or an acquired syndrome (e.g., Traumatic Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Aphasia) parents are inundated with doctor appointments and recommendations for therapies, medications, follow-ups, etc. In a perfect world, insurance would pay for everything recommended by a medical professional and we wouldn’t worry about the rising costs of said care. But, unfortunately that isn’t our reality.
Do you ever wonder what happens inside your mouth when you speak or swallow? While we all take for granted that we have the ability to speak (and swallow) A LOT of work happens behind the curtain. Our mouth (aka oral cavity) is where the sounds we hear are fine tuned using numerous muscles and other anatomy of the oral and nasal cavities. For kiddos sometimes these muscles and articulators simply do not want to cooperate which is usually why adults are unable to understand them or why they have difficulty efficiently chewing and swallowing their food. Speech-language pathologists evaluate the functioning of the mechanisms needed to produce intelligible (clear) speech sounds and ensure safe chewing/swallowing. They also are highly trained to provide treatment when these mechanisms are not efficient. Check out this video to see what our mouth looks like while we speak, sing, playing instruments, and swallow!
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder. CAS is a relatively uncommon disorder (1-2 children per 1,000= 0.1-0.2%) and one of the lesser known disorders treated by Speech-Language Pathologists. There are some identified causes of CAS (e.g., stroke, trauma, chromosomal abnormalities) but we are not truly sure of all of the causes.
In a nutshell:
The child knows what he/she wants to say and the brain sends the message to the mouth (lips, jaw, and tongue) for appropriate placement to produce sounds, but the mouth doesn't cooperate.
Keep Reading for information on Symptoms, Testing, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Resources
Amy Grant is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Certified Autism Specialist and Clinic Director of Therapy Center of Buda.
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