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7 Ways to Prepare for School

Summer is winding down and many of you are preparing for your children to start school again in a few days or weeks. Aside from digging out that backpack and lunchbox, what should you be doing to help your child adjust to their new fall schedule? Here are some Floortime tips to help your family thrive in their new fall routine:  1. Pull out some school-related toys (school bus, school house, play children) and allow your child to play out their feelings about returning to school. You may want to model this first by pretending to be a child who is nervous about starting school, and see how they respond. 2. Pay attention to  bedtime.  Have your children been staying up later to enjoy the summer sun? Now is the time to start slowing making bedtime earlier, so that they will be well rested for school. Keep your routine the same (ex. bath, book, bed) but start half an hour earlier and continue to move up as needed. 3. Do a school visit. Go with your child to their school (even
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Learning to Play

I'll never forget how tired I was after my first full week of doing Floortime therapy. Not only was I physically tired, I was mentally exhausted! The amount of energy and effort that it took to remember  how to play  was astounding and a little bit sad. But the truth was, I had forgotten how to play.  Parents, I am guessing some, or maybe most, of you feel the same way. Somewhere along the path to adulthood you have forgotten how to play. And now you have little people in your home who are eager to play with you, and maybe they are struggling with it as well.  This post is meant to be a crash course on play, a refresher on some common play theme ideas to help you and your children get started.  What are some general things I should know about playing with my child? Get down on their eye level, or sit at a table so you are at the same level Start with their interests and expand from there.   Don't be afraid to be silly :)  You can either use  toys  and

All About Sleep

Ahh...sleep. I bet this word didn't carry the weight it does now before you became a parent. Sometimes I can remember the coziness of sleeping in on the weekends, or the carefree sensation of falling asleep with the assurance that nothing will interrupt your night's rest. But mostly, these days sleep is something to be wrestled with. I will say right here that I am not an expert on sleep. My toddler mostly sleeps through the night but it took a very long time, and it doesn't take much (teething, colds, travel) for the sleep routine to implode. This article probably will not make your son or daughter sleep through the night. But hopefully my knowledge of the sensory systems will help you learn a few more tricks to make your night-time, or nap-time, routine a little less stressful. Sleep can be especially tricky when your child has special needs, so I am going to focus on a few things that may contribute to the special needs child having difficulty sleeping. But fir

All About Toys

Let's be can be a bit overwhelming to choose toys for your child, especially when you are trying to find ones that will best support your child's developmental level and engagement. Often as parents we defer to what our children are attracted to—and end up with a house full of noise-making, electronic toys that captivate their attention but seem to demand very little actual imagination or engagement in return. My son (age 2) is a prime example of choosing toys that entertain him, rather than challenge him. When we meander through the toy section at a store, he is drawn to the toys that have buttons and make noise. I'm sure the store managers tense up when they see us coming, because pretty soon the entire aisle is a cacophony of songs and lights and noise. Initially, I was delighted by his delight and I allowed some of these toys into our home. I soon saw that these toys were not worth the cash, because children should be learning, engaging, and growing thr

Decoding Therapy "Lingo"

Do you ever feel like there is a secret "Floortime" code that your therapist is using to describe your child's development? Maybe you are reading a report, or chatting during session, and your therapist starts rambling off lingo that makes your eyes glaze over. As much as we try to avoid this, there are certain words and phrases that come up in the world of DIR/Floortime, and sensory integration, that do not get as much traction in our daily conversations. Well, I'm here to break the code. Here are some commonly used phrases decrypted for you: Circles of Communication: You hear this one a LOT. Opening and closing circles of communication is probably one of your child's goals. Basically we are looking at how many times you can keep up a verbal or gestural exchange with your child where you are all sharing the same idea. We count circles as back and forth exchanges, until someone is not responsive or  non-contingent ( a fancy way of saying off-topic)

All About Bathtime

B athtime is one of the best times to integrate your therapy goals into daily life, especially when it comes to sensory integration and having some sweet, face-to-face time with your children. There are so many different ways to make bath time engaging and fun! I decided to break down my suggestions into different sections. * As always, please consult your individual therapist to make sure these ideas fit your child's developmental level and individual differences.  3 Ways to Bring Floortime into Bath-time: 1. Grab a stool and sit down next to your child so you are at eye level. 2. Practice back and forth communication with songs. Leave out words for your child to fill in, or model hand gestures and signs and wait for them to try to copy you. Even if they are just watching, this is a great time to expose them to new words, gestures, and melodies.   3. Throw in some waterproof symbolic toys and play with them!  If your child is very concrete in their thinking, start wit

Welcome Parents!

W elcome parents! If you are here it is likely because your child is receiving DIR/Floortime therapy. My hope is that this blog becomes a place for you to gather some quick tips and activity ideas to help you spice up your Floortime sessions with your child at home! Wait, I'm supposed to be doing Floortime on my own? Yes! In order for your child to get the most out of the Floortime approach, it is essential that you carry over the techniques in your daily life. Aim for two, 20-minute sessions per day with your child. Where do I start? Well, that's sort of the purpose of this blog... to help parents like you figure out how to be an "engaging parent" during your normal, daily routine. I am a parent of a toddler, so I understand that finding time to add something extra into your life can feel impossible. So each post will be tailored to help you fit Floortime moments into activities you have already been doing—bath time, meal times, bed times, etc. Not only