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.
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.
Have you heard that we are EXEMPT from the mandated Superior/COFK program?!
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*
TRUTH. Our words matter; chose them wisely.
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).
Autistic individuals may have weaknesses in the areas of social skills, communication, self-care, sensory integration, fine/gross motor skills, masking, and self advocacy. Autistics can range from non-verbal to 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 and self empowerment.
Some of the most noticeable symptoms of ASD, according to the CDC are:
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.
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:
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:
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!
Talking to our kiddos about their day at school is important. “Did you have a good day?” seems to be the automatic question we all ask, but it is important as parents to elicit more of a response. We want kiddos to learn to tell us about things, not just answer questions with one word (close ended questions). Let’s find some open ended questions that get our kids communicating with us!
Read on for some sample questions.
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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