8 Tips To Help Kids with Autism Cope With Holiday Stress

Along with the holiday season comes bright lights, loud noises, large gatherings, and much excitement.  Routines are often disrupted to attend special events and winter vacation from school.  Home, school, and most places change in appearance with festive decorations.  Streets, stores, and neighborhoods are adorned with bright, colorful lights to celebrate this jubilant time of year.  Children who thrive on structure and routine may find all the change quite overwhelming.  Not to mention the sensory challenges that the holidays may bring.This post is about how to reduce holiday stress and meltdowns in children with autism, ADHD,  anxiety disorder, executive functioning, and sensory issues.  Therapists and educators, please share this post with your parents!

How to Create a Sensory Smart Classroom or Home

When teachers and/or parents think of how they can support the sensory needs of their students or child, they often have ideas of elaborate sensory rooms that boast expensive fancy equipment. I am here to tell you that while this is a fantastic option, it is not the only option!  You can provide meaningful sensory experiences using regular household and or classroom stuff. In this post, I will explain how to create a sensory smart classroom or home.

Sensory Processing Disorder Unveiled and Explained

In this post, I will explain what sensory processing disorder (SPD) is in simple, everyday terms. My hope is to bring insight and understanding to this very complex, often confusing, condition that many children have. About 1 in 20 children have SPD.

How To Teach Grade-Schoolers Organizational Skills…Starting With the Disorganized Desk

Having a disorganized desk can make school hard to manage.  When the teacher asks his or her students to take out their science books and turn to page 57, the child who is lost in their desk trying to find the book often can not remember the page number once it is found. Many times this student will remain lost in the lesson because of their fraught start.  Tasks that should be simple become overwhelming and time- consuming often leading to stress and frustration.  Organization can be an elusive skill that many kids struggle to acquire.  The fact of the matter is there’s a lot that goes into being organized.  Organization is part of a set of skills called executive functions.  Keeping a desk organized requires more than just putting things away.  Managing school materials requires planning, prioritizing, decision making, sequencing, task initiation, and following through with those tasks to completion.  Some kids need extra help to set up and maintain an organized desk space at school.  This post will focus on how to provide grade-schoolers with the support they need to establish and sustain a functional workspace at school.

9 Strategies to Increase Attention and On-Task Behavior

Above all, the most important thing needed for a child to progress with anything is focus.  When presenting a child with a task, particularly a novel task, you must establish  meaningful engagement with the child in other words where the child can focus on the task. What exactly does focus mean?  The ability to sustain selective attention or concentration on the task at hand while ignoring or filtering out the non-relevant or distracting information in one’s environment.  This is the level of attention that yields steady results on a task over time.  For some children, this can be a great challenge.