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Cooking with Children

As OTs, we consider cooking an occupation, specifically an Instrumental Activity of Daily Living (IADL). Cooking is a multi-sensory task that, when broken down into a task analysis, can involve sensory integration, fine motor skills, bilateral coordination, hand and upper body strength, motor planning, reading, math, problem-solving, impulse control, sequencing & more! Regardless of your child’s age or skill level, there’s a benefit to involving your child in the kitchen. You can involve your child using your discretion to address skill areas, but most importantly to spend time together, continue or create new traditions, and make memories together.

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What is Proprioception?

Many people consider proprioception our “sixth sense”. Proprioception allows us to sense our body’s movements and actions. It helps us determine how much force to use when holding, pushing, pulling, or lifting objects. Proprioceptive input is received throughout our muscles and joints that tells us about our movement and body position. Another way to describe proprioceptive input is heavy work. Proprioceptive input can be regulating and organizing for many children, and provide them with movement that their body is craving! This movement can help them calm their bodies down and potentially allow them to better focus on tasks.

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Fun Eye Exercises for kids!

Are you looking for fun activities to improve your child’s ocular motor skills? Convergence, smooth pursuits, and saccades are important skills for your child to engage in functional activities, including handwriting, activities of daily living, and sports. Keep on reading to see what activities you guys can do at home to work on these skills!

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With the fall season in full-swing, there are so many ways to get your child engaged in a variety of sensory experiences. This season brings about so many changes; from the weather, falling leaves, fresh harvests, warmer clothing, to the time that the sun sets. Allowing children to explore the elements of their surroundings helps them = engage each of their senses, which in turn helps them process and make sense of the world around them. Understanding the differences that come along with each season will help your child learn about change over the course of the year.

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Say Yes to the Mess

A child’s job is to play and, guess what? They LEARN through play. Learning through play does not only mean playing with toys. It means allowing your child to play with food, too. Why is this important? It is important because eating is one of the most complex activities we do as humans. It involves ALL of our senses-sight, smell, touch, sound, and taste and even our “hidden sense” of proprioception as we grade how much force to use when grasping food. There are 2 other “hidden senses” in addition to proprioception (vestibular, interoceptive) that are also involved, but we can save talking about those in more detail for another day. By allowing your child opportunities to play with and explore a variety of foods, the more you are EXPOSING them to the sensory aspects of the food. Over time, EXPOSURE leads to ACCEPTANCE.

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DIR- Developmental, Individual-differences, and Relationship-based Model of OT

DIR. The Developmental, Individual-differences, and Relationship-based model (DIR) is a framework used in occupational therapy practice to enhance child development through forming connections with their caregiver. This model places emphasis on each child’s differences, both developmental and perceptual, and how relationships with caregivers can be used to promote efficient development. Collaboration between all three factors of the framework, D, I, and R, is used to build a foundation for child prosperity throughout the course of their lifespan. Participating in treatment that follows this model works toward broadening the child’s communication style, learning to self-regulate, and enhancing their social/emotional thinking.

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Fine Motor Activities for SUMMER

Summer is here! Overcome the summer slide and create fun learning experiences for kids by incorporating sensory and fine motor play. I listed a few of my favorite summer activities that I have incorporated into my OT sessions. Ice painting, paper towel tie dye, and spray bottle painting!

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Gross Motor Activities for SUMMER

School’s out for summer! You might be wondering how to find balance between work and your

child’s free time. Here are some physical activities to burn that unused energy while addressing

your child’s motor planning, bilateral coordination, body awareness, and safety awareness!

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Tips and Tricks for Summer with kids who have Sensory Processing difficulties

For many kids summertime is full of exciting experiences from the sand on the beach to the

fireworks on the fourth of July however certain summertime experiences can be challenging for

kids with sensory processing difficulties. A messy ice cream cone, a loud amusement park, or an

unfamiliar playground could be overwhelming to a child who may have certain sensitives to

sensory stimuli. With some preparation and planning, you can help make summertime enjoyable

and fun for your child with sensory processing difficulties.

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Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a condition that affects how your brain processes sensory stimuli. Children with SPD will either overreact or under-react to sensory stimuli. There are 3 major patterns of SPD including Sensory Modulation Disorder (SMD), Sensory-Based Motor Disorder (SBMD), and Sensory Discrimination Disorder (SDD).

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