Posted in Autism, Homeschooling, Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting, Therapies

Daily Life Therapy: An Autism Teaching Method

I recently came across a “new to me” idea for teaching kids with disabilities while searching educational methods that might help my daughter, Bethany, who is an autistic brain tumor survivor, learn better.

It’s called Daily Life Therapy, which is apparently an innovative, holistic approach to teaching autistic children and young adults!

It was first established in 1964 when Dr. Kiyo Kitahara began using her method to teach her kindergarten classes in Tokyo, Japan.

Her ideas quickly spread throughout Japan and then eventually made it all the wayacross the ocean to Boston in 1987.

The three key components or “pillars” of the Daily Life Therapy method are:

  • Building physical stamina: The theory is that vigorous exercise can help regulate biological rhythms thus benefiting physical health, mood, awareness of one’s surroundings, and one’s ability to concentrate.
  • Promoting emotional stability: Teachers form a tight emotional bond with their students which promotes trust and emotional soundness.
  • Providing intellectual stimulation: Students are provided with a broad based, age appropriate curriculum.

It seems to me that while good and effective on their own, most other methods of teaching children with autism focus solely on teaching academics and life skills.

Most do not even consider the importance and benefits of incorporating movement and exercise into a student’s educational program, despite the fact that Dr. Temple Grandin repeatedly stresses the importance of autistic kids getting enough physical exercise.

When Bethany was having so much trouble all those years with debilitating seizures, it was difficult, but not altogether impossible to ensure her emotional well being and keep her brain somewhat stimulated.

However, it was impossible for her to get  up off of the couch to do much of anything even remotely physical.

But, I can with all honestly and much enthusiasm attest to the fact that as soon as Bethany’s seizures were under better control and we were able to get her involved in all the fun fitness activities at Flash Club and the YMCA, not only did her physical stamina improve, but so did her emotional health and her ability to learn!

So to say that I am excited about a teaching approach that addresses the students emotional and physical well being, as well as academics and life skills is a huge understatement!

My only disappointment is that according to their website,  presently this approach is only being utilized in day programs or residential programs at just two campuses in the entire world: one being in Boston and the other being in Japan.

It would be awesome if they eventually make resources available for creating home programs using this method.

I plan to do a little more research into this exciting new autism educational method to see how I might incorporate some of its key ideas into Bethany’s homeschool program!

I’m going to start my research by rummaging around on their website: Boston Higashi School and visiting their Higashi Kids Wiki Space where they offer academic resources and games!

You might also be interested in:

4 Common Autism Teaching Methods
Autism Thinking Styles and Educational Thinking Styles
TEACCH Principals in Special Needs Homeschool Programs

*A version of this post was first published in March 2016.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

If you have a minute, please check out our Etsy Shop where you can purchase handcrafted junk journals, instantly download prints of vintage ephemera and copies of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

Adventures of an Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

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Posted in Autism, Special Needs Parenting, Therapies

5 Fascinating Sensory Gift Ideas

There is not a person alive who doesn’t process information through a whole bunch of sensory systems that our bodies are equipped with.

Each and every one of us has a different system to process what we see (visual); what we hear (auditory); what we smell (olfactory; what we taste (gustatory); what we feel (tactile); how our bodies move in space (vestibular);  how are bodies experience sensations from our muscles and joints (proprioceptive); and how we process what our internal organs are feeling like hunger, thirst, heart rate, respiration, elimination and our sense of well being (the oft neglected interoceptive system).

Some have no problems processing the information that comes through their sensory systems, but others don’t process that information very well and their bodies become confused.

We can become overloaded and overwhelmed by bombarding sensory information and need to calm down while others can’t seem to get enough sensory input and crave continuous stimulation of one kind or another!

Then following items are all what I would consider to have a calming effect on individuals who may need to retreat from constant sensory assaults.

On the other hand, however, they may also be stimulating for those who crave more visual and or auditory stimulation.

I think these items just might make a great addition to your  sensory room or the bedroom of an autistic individual.

Check out the videos and click the links or images below to get a more detailed look at each item!!

*(The following links are affiliate links.)

 

1) Deluxe Jelly fish Aquarium– On sale now for $69.99- offers all the beauty of a salt water aquarium without the care and feeding of animals!!
2)Indoor Waterfall Light Show

3) LED Volcano Lamp– Only $20.99- A calming visual item!

4) Laser Light & Music Show for $77.99 Create your own light up music show!

5) Twilight Turtle– On sale now for $32.95- This little guy projects a soothing and calming blue, green, and amber starry night light effect onto any ceiling! Click the image to check it out!

*(A version of this post was first published in November 2013.)

*Disclaimer
I am not a professional counselor, psychologist, therapist, or teacher. Therefore the information, recommendations, referrals, and/or advice contained within this blog are my own opinions and should not to be construed as professional recommendations, advice, or treatment or any kind.

I make no guarantees that any product or book  I recommend or advice that I may suggest will cure your child of any special need, disability, illness, or learning difference.

Always check with your doctor before embarking on new treatment plans or following suggestions from others. I will not be liable for any damages, deaths, injuries, or other mishaps that may result from following any advice contained within this blog.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at no extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

Adventures of an Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

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Posted in Autism, Bethany Moments, Childhood Brain Cancer Survivors, Disability Awareness, Homeschooling, Product Reviews, Special Needs Parenting, Therapies, Unschooling in Action

Wikki Stix for Occupational Therapy Fun!

Bethany has enjoyed playing and learning with Wikki Stix ever since her first occupational therapist suggested we get her a set 18 years ago!

(*This post contains affiliate links.)

For those of you that may not know what Wikki Stix  are, they creative, colorful, non-toxic pieces of yarn covered in a waxy, non-sticky coating.  

For us, Wikki Stix have stood the test of time as being one of Bethany’s favorite activities and as being a sturdy, durable and indestructible purchase well worth our modest investment!

Wikki Stix are perfect for working on Occupational therapy goals!

Bethany’s goals at this time are to:

  • Strengthen her left arm, hand, and fingers.
  • Encourage her to reach her arm and hand across mid-line. This is the imaginary line that starts at the top of your head and travels down the middle of your body, dividing it in half. Reaching your arm, hands, (and even feet) across this imaginary line means that both sides of your brain are working well together.  A person needs to be able to spontaneously cross the mid-line in order to use both hands (and feet) together effectively.

If you think Wikki Stix might be a good fit for your child, then I urge you to check out these durable, creative, no-mess, non-toxic, sets for tons of fun, creative learning activities sensory integration and tactile experiences!

  • Bethany is working with the Basic Shapes set in the video below. This tactile learning activity helps develop fine motor skills, plus it encourages good eye-hand coordination! Children will learn about shapes as they connect-the-dots using Wikki Stix. This set features ten, durable, laminated shape cards, 72 Wikki Stix, 2 work boards, and a large full color fold out instruction sheet.
  • The Alphabet Set contains 26 individual alphabet cards plus 36 Wikki Stix. Each letter card has directional arrows that will help guide your child in creating the proper handwriting “strokes” making for a perfectly fun pre-writing activity!
  • The Numbers and Counting Set will get your child working on developing  fine motor skills as well as learning about counting. Kids will have so much fun with this set that they won’t even realize they are learning!
  • The Wikki Stix Multi Sensory Resource Set  provides a perfect tactile and sensory experience for children. This set is great for  visually impaired individuals just like Bethany, who is blind on the right sides of both of her eyes. It also provides lots of creative kinesthetic learning, which makes it just the right choice when working with autistic individuals!  This set contains: 6 activity cards, 144 colored wikki stix, a resource manual, and a grid board, all included in a zip-up bonus bag. Not made for children under the age of 3 years old.
  • The Wikki Stix Traveler Play Set is perfect for taking along on your family vacation!  Your child will work on their therapy goals as well as their fine motor skills. They’ll also explore their feelings, make critters and creatures, make a Wikkidoodle, create funny faces, make 3-D creations, play travel games, spin and create in the Do-Wikki Game, decorate cans and bags, and design cards. This travel kit includes: 96 Wikki Stix Creatables Wooden shapes Feathers Pompoms 4 blank faces 2 greeting cards Do-Wikki Game Wikkidoodle sheets Travel Fun Book of ideas plus project sheet Colorful fish and a butterfly to decorate , and it all comes  in a convenient, sturdy carrying case!

For more information about crossing the mid-line and other occupational therapy concerns, ideas, and activities please visit OT Mom Learning Activities
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*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at no extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

Adventures of an Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Continue reading “Wikki Stix for Occupational Therapy Fun!”

Posted in Homeschooling, Special Needs Parenting, Therapies, Unschooling in Action

Dollar Tree Homeschooling For My Special Needs Teen

The start of the 2018/19 school year is coming up fast!

It’s sad to see summer go, but if you are a homeschooler now is the time to go through your school supplies inventory!

What do you already have that you can still use and what items will you need to purchase!

Believe it or not, Dollar Tree is one of my favorite places to shop for school supplies!

Of course, every time I go into that store, I never fail to leave without a few other handy gadgets and nifty thingamajigs that I never even knew I needed before!!

One can actually end up spending quite a bit of money at the Dollar Store, if you’re not paying attention, but it can be so very economical when shopping for school supplies and even curriculum!

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Since we are a one income special needs homeschooling family, I’m always on the look out for inexpensive items we can use in our homeschool special education program and our occupational therapy and speech therapy sessions.

Below are some of the excellent Dollar Tree homeschooling and therapy items I’ve found at Dollar Tree over the past ten years or so!!

  • Number and letter stickers
  • Foam alphabet and number puzzles
  • Sequencing cards
  • Go Together cards
  • Foam math Dice
  • Mini Color Dot Dominoes
  • Foam counting cubes
  • Alphabet beads
  • Mini chalk board and chalk
  • Worksheets
  • Workbooks
  • Kid’s educational books
  • Play Dough
  • Clay
  • Mini Connect Four game
  • Tiny Etch-a-Sketch
  • Mini MagnaDoodle
  • Miniature Rubik’s Cube
  • Wipe off white boards
  • Colored craft sticks
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Tissue paper squares
  • PomPoms
  • An assortment of school supplies
  • Drawing supplies
  • Bubbles
  • Glass gems
  • Ceramic painting craft kits
  • Plastic stained glass craft kits
  • Foam craft kits
  • Felt craft kits
  • Foam holiday crafts
  • Paint and color-by-number kits

Do you use Dollar Tree items in your homeschool? If so, tell me about your Dollar Tree Homeschooling finds in the comments!


If you are interested in the following items but can’t find them at your local Dollar Tree, you can find them through my Amazon Affiliate links below:

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*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at not extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

My Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Mommy's Health Updates, Therapies

First Physical Therapy After Hip Replacement

Before I ever even had my first hip replacement surgery I had already scheduled my first physical therapy appointment for two weeks post surgery, with my doctor’s permission of course!

After barely being able to walk and living with constant pain for about 10 years (because of several misdiagnoses), I was chomping at the bit to get going with therapy and start moving again!

Only, the day before my first appointment they called to reschedule it.

Can you believe they weren’t able to get me in again for a whole other month?!!!

The therapist was sick and then she was going on vacation!!!!!

Talk about major disappointment!

I actually cried!!

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purple divider - Copy - CopySince I didn’t think it wise to wait that long,  I called the only other physical therapy agency in our area to see if they could fit me in sooner.

I was thrilled that they had an appointment available the very next week!

Only, once again, can you believe they too eventually called to reschedule it for three weeks later?!!!!

Talk about a double whammy!

I was devastated and I’d had enough!

I decided to take matters into my own hands and embarked on an internet search for beginning exercises for hip replacement patients.

I also started doing a modified version of my Leslie Sansone walking DVDs again.

Of course, I was careful not to break any of the hip precautions I was warned about.

I took care not to twist and turn the wrong ways, I didn’t bend past 90 degrees or cross my legs and I didn’t jump or jog!!

So when I actually finally made it to my first PT appointment last week, the therapist was blown away at how well I was doing!

I guess all my hard work doing my homemade PT program is paying off!!

I even walked on the treadmill for about 15 minutes with the Bethany and the kids from her autism fitness club the other day!

I’ve never been on the treadmill in my entire life before!

I was surprised to find that I was dizzy when I got off!

The dizziness was a bit unnerving, but it didn’t last long!

It actually felt great to be able to move like that!

So, a few weeks of PT, working out at club, and walking with my DVDs should get me moving around pretty good!

Heck, the truth is, I was already in better shape than I have been in years the minute I got out of the operating room!!

Of course, I still need to get my other hip replaced.

Then I’ll really be in tip top shape!

I’m determined to stay active and not waste the gift of my new hips!

I’m very thankful for the technology available to us in this day and age that can stop pain and suffering and restore functioning to joints that have been destroyed by arthritis!

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*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at not extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

My Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Therapies

10 Creative Arts Therapy Ideas

The idea behind Creative Arts Therapy is that it can heal the mind, body and spirit.

Participants who might have a difficult time communicating how they feel with words can often express themselves easily through their art, be it drawing, painting, drama, writing, music or dance.

Evidence strongly suggests that involvement in Creative Arts Therapy can reduce stress and anxiety and calm fears.



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Sadly however, studies show that implementing art therapies to treat various physical and mental illnesses  is often overlooked when creating treatment plans for patients.

And that’s a shame, because art therapy has been proven effective in treating aids patients, those with chronic illness, mental illness, depression, sex addiction, grief, cancer, physical disabilities, autism, epilepsy, traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, abuse victims, and even compulsive gambling.

If you or someone you know could benefit from art therapy but it has not been prescribed by a doctor, your insurance won’t pay for it, or you can’t find a therapist nearby never fear, because all is not lost!

You can still reap some of the benefits of art therapy by creating your own at home art therapy plan!

Below are ten easy and inexpensive ideas for creating your own individualized art therapy program.

  1. Enroll in community art classes.

You can see in the photos below, my daughter Bethany enjoying her group art therapy class.

We are so grateful that our local art store offers individual and group art classes for people with autism.

2. Get involved in a local theater group.

3. Check out the internet for some creative writing ideas.

4. Purchase a bunch of art supplies and create something awesome!

5. Learn to play an instrument.

6. Buy an inexpensive Origami set.

7. Get yourself some adult coloring books and markers and color your worries away.

8. Take classes at your local craft shop!

9. Learn how to sew, crochet or knit.

10. Search Youtube for tutorials on the creative arts! You can learn how to do just about anything on Youtube! The possibilities are endless!

Last summer I stumbled upon junk journaling tutorials on Youtube and have been hooked ever since!

Creating beautiful journals to record my thoughts, feelings and what’s been going on in my life has become a very effective way for me to cope with depression and chronic pain!

Now, go and have fun creating!

*Disclaimer. I am not a licensed art therapist. I make no claims that participating in any of the above activities are a cure for any physical or mental illness or disability.


You might also be interested in Art Therapy Activities and Ideas to do at Home and Art Therapy for People With Special Needs
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*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at not extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog and You Tube channels below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

My Autistic Brain Tumor Survivor on Youtube

Crafty Old Lady on Youtube

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Posted in Therapies

Music and Movement For Individuals With Special Needs

I’m happy to announce that my post, Music and Movement for Children and Adults With Special Needs has been published over at The Firefly Community’s special needs blog!

For those of you who don’t know it, The Firefly Community! is a great place for families affected by special needs to connect and support on another!

Thanks so much if you decide to check out my post on how participating in music and movement activities can benefit and improve the lives of people with special needs!

While you’re there be sure to check out all the awesome resources available and the other great posts from the many special families who contribute there!

Keep reading because you’ll find a sneak peak excerpt from my music and movement post down below!

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music-and-movement

I began researching the benefits of music and movement for my own daughter whose physical condition had deteriorated after spending nearly twelve years unable to do much of anything because of her debilitating seizure disorder.

When she unexpectedly gained better seizure control, I wanted to help her build up her atrophied muscles and what better way to do that than through music and movement activities!

In my research, I discovered that music, movement, and creative self-expression can greatly enrich the lives of children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities in more ways than one!

Combining music with movement doesn’t just get the body moving!

It engages several areas of the brain and benefits people with disabilities in other great ways as well.
A recent study indicates that participating in musical experiences can have a favorable impact on speech and communication skills and in the social, emotional, behavioral, and motor development of children on the autism spectrum as well as children with other developmental disabilities (Srinivasan and Bhat, p.5, 15).

Please continue reading at Music and Movement for Children and Adults With Special Needs

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smiley poop shopLet us turn your crappy into happy! Visit our Smiley Face Poop Shop where you can purchase clothing, stickers, magnets, mugs, cups, water bottles, and bags- all with our adorable custom made smiley face poop and slogan printed on them! 100% of all sales go toward providing a better quality of life for Bethany!

 

 

Be sure to visit Bethany’s Business, our store full of special needs family products and special needs homeschooling resources! All commissions go toward providing a better quality of life for Bethany! Thanks!

 

 

 

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog by email and to our daily You Tube vlogs below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at not extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

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Posted in Homeschooling, Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting, Therapies

Art Therapy Activities and Ideas to do at Home

Participating in art therapy activities offers many benefits to kids with a variety special needs including children:

  • who have mental health illness
  • who are going through the grieving process
  • who have learning disabilities
  • who have emotional problems
  • who have cognitive delays
  • who have been through physical or sexual abuse
  • who have terminal or chronic illnesses
  • who suffer with PTSD

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Engaging in art therapy activities gives non-verbal and traumatized kids a way of expressing themselves without the need for spoken language.

It can help kids with trust issues develop close bonds with not only their therapist, but with their family and friends as well!

Participating in art therapy activities has even been known to help kids with special needs develop coping skills and can boost self confidence and sense of self worth!

Creative art therapy activities may also offer behavioral and emotional benefits to those who engage!

Art Therapy Activities and Ideas

  • make a collage
  • draw in sand
  • make a sand sculpture
  • make a clay or playdough sculpture
  • color in a coloring book
  • finger paint
  • draw or paint your emotions
  • draw or paint faces depicting different emotions
  • draw or paint a mountain and a valley
  • create an art journal
  • design a post card for someone your are upset with but never send it
  • attach a drawing and/or a message to a balloon and let it go
  • paint to music
  • draw with your eyes closed
  • glue tissue paper scraps to a canvas then decoupage it

 

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You Might also be interested in Art Therapy for People With Special Needs

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Posted in Special Needs Parenting, Therapies

How Speech Therapy Can Help Special Kids

How can speech therapy help children with special needs who have trouble speaking and communicating?

Speech therapy can help kids who have trouble pronouncing words and sounds.

Speech therapy
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Speech therapy can also help special needs kids develop language, communication skills and pragmatic (social communication) language skills!

After my daughter, Bethany’s brain tumor surgery and stroke, we tragically discovered that she could no longer speak!

She was only two when it happened so she hadn’t been talking a lot anyway, but still, she lost all the expressive language she had developed!

It became quite obvious that Bethany was going to need speech therapy

As soon as Bethany was released from the hospital we enrolled her in early intervention and she began receiving speech therapy services.

A speech therapist came to our home two days a week and helped Bethany develop speech skills in the following ways:

  • She played fun games with Bethany such as blowing whistles, bubbles, and cotton balls with a straw to help train her mouth muscles and position her tongue to produce sounds correctly and to strengthen her abdominal muscles to increase sustained speech.
  • She used all sorts of toys and art supplies like play dough, paints, puzzles, books, Legos, puppets, and our play kitchen set to entice Bethany to express herself and help her develop language and communication skills.
  • She got all our kids involved in Bethany’s speech therapy lessons by having them play board games,  house, store, library and other imagination games and also had them make, identify and mimic facial expressions to give Bethany’s social communication or pragmatic language skills a work out!
  • She taught Bethany and the rest of us some simple sign language so that she could have an alternative method of making her wants and needs known.
  • She lent us a couple of low tech speech devices, specifically, the Go Talk 9 and the Cheap Talk 8 to see if Bethany would be receptive to using them. However, Bethany ultimately chose sign language as her main way of communication until she was well into her fifth year, when she began talking again!

Some common signs that your child may need speech therapy.

  • Your 18 month old may need speech therapy if he or she consistently does not try to get your attention by using sounds or gestures,
    Look at people when they speak to him or her, or wave hello and bye-bye.
  • Your two year old may need speech therapy if he or she consistently does not use words or short phrases to get your attention, name common everyday objects in his or her environment, or engage in simple conversations.
  • Your 3 year old may need speech therapy if he or she consistently does not interact with others, acknowledge when others are speaking to him or her, use language for make believe, or make requests.
  • Your 5 year old may need speech therapy if he or she consistently does not use language to express his or her emotions, make indirect requests, or tell simple stories.

For more information about speech therapy, please go to American Speech Language Hearing Association
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*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at not extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

Posted in Special Needs Family Life, Special Needs Parenting, Therapies

Physical Therapy for the Special Needs Child

What can physical therapy do for children with special needs?

When most of us think about physical therapy, we picture a hospital setting where a physical therapist is working with an accident victim or someone with a brain injury to help restore impaired mobility and their ability to perform other essential activities of daily living.

Physical Therapy
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But improving gross motor movement is not the only way in which physical therapy can help children with special needs!

In addition to helping children with mobility issues, physical therapy can also help improve balance, motor coordination, and stabilize posture.

In the educational setting, physical therapy can help:

  • Improve fine motor movement
  • Develop reciprocal play skills
  • Improve motor imitation skills
  • Improve language skills
  • Increase fitness and stamina
  • Develop or improve body and safety awareness
  • Help kids establish or improve participation in regular routines!

Physical therapists can also incorporate PT goals and objectives that have been developed specifically for children with autism into their treatment plans!

After my daughter, Bethany underwent brain tumor surgery she suffered a stroke which ultimately affected her left side.

She was unable to sit up, stand, walk, talk, or feed herself anymore, so physical therapy was ordered to help restore her ability to perform those activities.

Her gross and fine motor muscles needed to be strengthened and reminded how to function properly.

Because Bethany’s tumor was in her cerebellum, her balance and coordination was also severely impaired.

Bethany’s  physical therapist, my husband and I worked with her for several years on goals such as:

Sitting: Bethany needed to strengthen her trunk muscles before she could sit up again, so we did a lot of wheel barrow races, back bends (with a lot of support), crawling through tunnels, sitting with support on a therapy ball, and rolling on a peanut ball.

Standing and Walking: My husband, Malcolm built tiny little parallel bars for her to hold onto while she was trying to learn how to stand and walk again. We broke our backs, bending over and holding her hands so she could walk! Bethany was also trained to use the cutest and tiniest special needs walker that I had ever seen! She scooted around all over the place with that for quite a while before she began walking unassisted!

Balance and coordination: The therapy and peanut balls did double duty and helped Bethany with her balance and coordination issues as well as strengthening her trunk. She also enjoyed walking on a balance beam and an obstacle course set up with river stones, Step N Stones, and cones. Other activities that helped improve her balance and coordination were playing catch, kick ball, jumping on one leg and on the trampoline!

As I mentioned earlier, Bethany worked on her physical therapy goals for quite a few years before she was released from PT!

When she could successfully out run her dad and I and climb to the top of the highest slide at the park all by herself, it was determined that she no longer needed physical therapy!

However, thanks to the YMCA and activities at Flash Club, Bethany continues to strengthen and train her muscles and maintain the PT goals and objectives that she has worked so hard to achieve!

For more information about pediatric strokes, hemiplegia, and physical therapy please visit: The Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association
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smiley face poop shopLet us turn your crappy into happy! Visit our Smiley Face Poop Shop where you can purchase clothing, stickers, magnets, mugs, cups, water bottles, and bags- all with our adorable custom made smiley face poop and slogan printed on them! 100% of all sales go toward providing a better quality of life for Bethany!

 

 

Be sure to visit Bethany’s Business, our store full of special needs family products and special needs homeschooling resources! All commissions go toward providing a better quality of life for Bethany! Thanks!

 

 

 

Special Needs Family Link ShareBe sure to join us every weekend at the Special Needs Family Link Share: The safe place for those affected by special needs to share, support, and encourage one another!

 

 

 

We’d love for you to join our big, happy, family!! Please Subscribe to our blog by email and to our daily You Tube vlogs below and please consider sharing this post on your other social media accounts!! Thanks!!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at not extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!