Sometimes our brains get overwhelmed by anxiety, anger, or sadness. This can be a very confusing experience for children. If we help them understand what is happening in their brain, they can find the power to make better choices in those situations. Such knowledge about the brain can be equally as powerful for parents, helping you understand how to respond when your child needs your help.
Tying shoes is a complex skill requiring postural stability, motor planning, fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor integration, and bilateral hand use. A deficit in any of these areas can create challenges and delays in a child’s ability to successfully learn how to tie their shoes. Here are some initial strategies and modifications to help your child overcome the challenge and master this important life skill.
The shoulder girdle. Heard of it? Kind of an obscure term if you aren't in the world of human anatomy often. It refers to the bones of the appendicular skeleton that attach to the arm on both sides; the scapula and clavicle. Stability in the muscles attached to these two bones is essential for coordination, postural stability, and fine motor skill development. Read on for how to tell if your child's shoulder girdle is weak, and 6 ways to help strengthen it.
Sensory play, or activities that stimulate your child's senses, is crucial to brain development. It facilitates play, exploration, creativity, and curiosity. Sensory play also allows children to refine their thresholds for different sensory input, helping their brain create stronger connections to process and respond appropriately to sensory information. With summer fast approaching, here are 21 must-try sensory activities to keep your kiddo growing, engaged, and learning all summer long!
Today's society imparts the feeling that a child's motor skills must advance as quickly as possible. Doctors prescribe tummy time before a child can roll to their belly; we "walk" our children by holding their hands above their heads before they stand on their own; we carry babies in an upright position before they can hold their head atop a straight back. Here is why I think we should take a moment to consider an alternative to this conventional wisdom.
Many kids are hyper-sensitive to sound, ranging from extraneous background noise in the classroom to low frequency sounds like the vacuum cleaner or public toilet. This is known as auditory defensiveness, a condition in which a child's nervous system interprets noise as being too loud, too high pitched, or too difficult to tolerate.
Doctors and pediatric healthcare professionals debate on how bad - or not so bad - W-sitting is for a child's anatomy and development. As a pediatric occupational therapist who specializes in teaching children how to use their bodies better, here is my take.
I remember a powerful tool in my gymnastics and dance career being imagination: visualizing myself doing every kick, leap, turn, jump, release, and flip. Slowing down and picturing exactly how I wanted to move my body, what I wanted to look liked, and what the sequence of moves were. Turns out, that actually had invaluable power!
Board games are a fun and exciting way to spend time together as a family. They help us set aside technology and be in the present with each other. While this alone is a great reason to pick up a board game or two to play together, there are many other reasons to think about. Board games can offer development in mental skills, social skills, physical skills, and problem solving skills. The ones I have listed below are my top 10 favorites that work these different skills all at once.
We all know excessive screen time is probably not good for young developing brains. The immediate visual feedback, the glowing bright light, the flood of constant stimuli. Then, the want for more and more, the negotiation about how much is allowed, and the agitation when it is taken away. So how bad is it?
meet the blogger
Austen is a pediatric occupational therapist with experience in schools, early intervention, and private clinic settings. She now runs her own private practice in Portland, OR specializing in movement based learning techniques. This blog's mission is to educate and empower parents and children by sharing insights into the complexities of learning and development.