Cindy Ann's blog

From a patient with SPD

The following is from a previous patient of mine. I'm pleased to be able to share this with you.

I am working on a public service announcement to inform others about Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have made a video using both online tools and hand by hand stop motion.  It recalls both personal experience and lots of research. Part of the grade is to have proof that someone or company has used my project. I would really appreciate it if you were to show my video to others in any way you can. Thank you. 

Please click on the link to watch his video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byg2ll_rktTedU43Slo4OV9QRzg/view

Restricting TV & iPad Time: One Family's Success Story

Following on our recommendation of further reducing screen time, Danielle's family has seen tremendous gains in family relationships, the daily routine, and their therapy homework. 

Hi John,

We were allowing 1-2 cartoons a day in addition to weekend movies for our 6 year old.  Watching the iPad/TV became a slippery slope and it always turned into more time than I intended with constant begging for "1 more show."  We were able to stop watching all shows during the week and only allowing movie nights on Friday and Saturday nights.  We also allow for 1 cartoon on Saturday and Sunday.  Since we reduced screen time, we have seen great improvements.  Our 6 year old has fewer melt-downs and we have more time to work on reading, play games, do our therapy, and get to bed at a decent time.  Adding 1 show can push back reading practice and she was much to tired to practice after 7pm. 

10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12

Research has proven that handheld devices such as smart phones and tablets can have severe negative impacts on the well-being of children. The following article on the Huffington Post details ten reasons why technology should be limited in children, and offers technology use guidelines for children.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/10-reasons-why-handheld-devices-should-be-banned_b_4899218.html

The Gift of Spiritual Intervention

While I was at church today I had one of those little God insights and I would like to share this with you.  My mother, Mary Murray, prayed for me every day.  As I reflect on my life, I am living proof that my mother was consistently intervening on my behalf.  It is because of her praying diligently that I am able to write these words today.  What a blessing!  I encourage you to pray for your sons’/daughters’ as well as yourselves.   The families that I serve in therapy benefit from a number of various interventions and the spiritual intervention sometimes can be overlooked.  When people say “what can I do for you?” feel free to ask them to offer up prayers for you and your child.  It’s a wonderful gift.  There is a book, “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Stormie Omaritan which is a good resource.  I have attached a Prayer for Teenagers that my brother, Larry, sent me when our sons’ reached their teenage years.  It goes as follows….

“Should I Stay or Go"?

I would like to weigh in on a few feelings about a question I am often asked.  “Should I send them onto kindergarten?”  My first and foremost thought is… when in doubt keep them out. You (the parent) know your child best. 

My present rule of thumb is, if your son/daughter is born after May 1st, don’t send them to kindergarten.  It is better that they not be the youngest in the class for the rest of their 12 years of public education.  My opinion is driven from 2 factors.  The first, kindergarten in the 2010’s is really 1st grade.  I feel there is a case for what I call BN (Bad Neurology).  When your kindergartner is expected to be reading by December and writing 2-3 sentences before Christmas break, I feel this is out of sync with what the average nervous system can accomplish without undue stress at this age.   

Simple Classroom Exercise for Improving Behavior and Written Output

The school year is upon us and I feel compelled to share a simple/quick strategy to help teachers achieve 3 objectives:

  • improve on task behavior in the classroom
  • improve volume of written output
  • improve relations with your students’ parents

My rationale comes from a basic premise that is grossly overlooked by the folks legislating how you need to teach and obtain test scores for your job security.  The strategy is based on a number of factors including:  30+ years as a pediatric occupational therapist (including a # of years as a school OT), feedback from parents in treatment sessions as well as from the kids themselves (especially the smart ones), observing our own 3 sons’ (ages 13, 15 & 17) and John Wooden’s book on his coaching philosophy. 

Sensory Processing Disorder and the Early Years

The following arrived in an email from the SPD Foundation and STAR Center dated April 9, 2013, describing the symptoms and consequences of Sensory Processing Disorder in young children. It provides a good introduction to SPD, a topic that most parents, educators, and sometimes medical professionals are unaware of...

The Mini-Trampoline Victory

I have just recently had a huge "aha moment" with one of my favorite and most recommended therapy tools, the mini-trampoline.  I have been using this in the past for high quality, intense, and easily accessible proprioceptive input.  I have used it over the years to help kids potty train, cease chewing on their shirts, slow down crashing into everything, improve their ability to sit for meals, help with transitions, improve visual functions and lately improve their ability to sleep at night.

I have parents purchase a 42”-48” mini trampoline from a local sports store. I ask the parents to have their child jump for 60 seconds (longer if they desire) 3 times a day. First prior to eating breakfast or going to school, secondly prior to homework (if prior to dinner) for just 60 seconds, and the third time before bath/shower time (prior to bedtime); this last time I do not encourage going for more than 60 seconds.

The Sensory Smart Classroom

Excerpt from the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation Winter 2011 Newsletter

by Christina Sparker, MOT, MOTR/L and Tiffany Sparks-Keeney, MOT, OTR/L

Today's savvy teachers are aware of the importance of meeting students' sensory needs in the classroom and even know various strategies to address these needs. At the same time, these teachers can often have difficulty incorporating these strategies into their every day classroom routine. In actuality, it can be very easy to integrate sensory strategies in the daily schedule. Examining a day in the class of one fictitious 1st grade teacher, who is dedicated to running a sensory smart classroom for her 25 students, reveals relatively easy ways most teachers can begin to address their students' sensory needs in the context of the classroom.

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