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.
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/
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.
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*
April is Occupational Therapy month! We want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for our amazing occupational therapists and commend them for all they do! We also think this is a wonderful time to explain… What is Occupational Therapy?
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:
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.
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!
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:
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.
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!
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
About 54 million Americans, one out of every five people, have a disability. The language we use and the meanings we attach to those words mold the views of ourselves and others. Using a diagnosis as a defining characteristic is a form of prejudice and fuels negative attitudes towards differently abled individuals. People first language respectfully emphasizes the person before a diagnosis or disability. It eliminates stereotypes and generalizations by focusing on the person rather than the disability. Let’s lead by example and educate those who are unaware. What we say matters.
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.
Halloween is a really fun time…for most kiddos. But for those having difficulty with communicating, trick-or-treating can be very difficult task and so stressful that some will exclude themselves from enjoying such an activity. We truly believe that although we all may have differences these are simply that and we must find different ways to include all children that would like to participate. One of our therapists came up with this simple craft you can do at home WITH your child to help give him/her a voice to be included in trick-or-treating.
It’s no secret to my families that I am not a fan of sippy cups. I get that they are a matter of convenience, but there are reasons why we should just skip over the sippy and head straight to open and straw cups. Let’s check out the pros and cons from a speech-language pathologist’s (and oral cavity) perspective.
Amy Grant is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Certified Autism Specialist and Clinic Director of Therapy Center of Buda.
Family Corner Blog
Learn parenting tips, access credible resources on disabilities and find out how to bring therapy techniques home with you to make parenting a little bit easier. Legal Disclaimer