The 10 Best Sensory Products for Kids with Autism
Adapt & Learn | Occupational Therapy & Assistive Technology
by Alescia Ford-Lanza
1y ago
In 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that 1 in 68 school-aged children were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A more recent parent survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics puts that number much higher, reporting 1 in 45 children aged 3 and older have autism. The STAR institute estimates, based on their research, that 75% of children with autism have “significant symptoms of sensory processing disorder.” Given that high correlation and comorbidity rate, a multi-sensory approach to therapy and teaching for children with autism is a likely approach ..read more
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All About Social Stories for Kids with Autism
Adapt & Learn | Occupational Therapy & Assistive Technology
by Alescia Ford-Lanza
1y ago
Social Skills and Autism If you were to read the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder, the first deficits identified are those in social communication and social interactions. If you're reading this article and your child did not meet the other criteria for an autism diagnosis, you may be researching social skills related to a diagnosis of Social Communication Disorder. Both diagnoses, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), highlight persistent social communication and interaction deficits. Difficulties with social-emotional reciprocit ..read more
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Arts and Crafts Activities to Build Skills for Kids with Autism
Adapt & Learn | Occupational Therapy & Assistive Technology
by Alescia Ford-Lanza
1y ago
Occupational therapists are skilled at turning fun arts and crafts projects into skill-building opportunities. They naturally assess all of the language, motor, and cognitive processes needed by combining their professional task analysis skills with a whole lot of fun! What OTs know is that skills are developed through meaningful occupation, and for children, that occupation is play. When children are engaged in play, they are learning and developing critical fine motor, visual motor, and sensory motor skills that are often the focus of "therapy." Parents at home can promote their child's dev ..read more
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How to Travel Stress-Free When Your Child Has Autism
Adapt & Learn | Occupational Therapy & Assistive Technology
by Alescia Ford-Lanza
1y ago
This holiday season will find many families traveling near and far. Whether you're traveling for the holidays or for fun, whether by air or car, these trips can be exhausting and anxiety-producing. There's a lot to consider as it is - weather, traffic, connecting flights, packing, and normal preparations. For some families, the prospect of traveling also means considering how to make the journey less stressful for your child with autism or sensory needs. ,Car rides with kids with autism Sensory supports for a road trip are essential! Be sure to pack a portable sensory tool box of tricks that ..read more
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The Go-To Guide to Surviving the Holidays When Your Child has Autism
Adapt & Learn | Occupational Therapy & Assistive Technology
by Alescia Ford-Lanza
1y ago
,Tips for handling holiday stress when your child has autism,, It seems like the holiday marketing pitches start earlier every year -- this year, some stores were decking the halls before kids had celebrated Halloween! While we all love to share the holidays’ cheer, these not-so-subtle changes in our environments and daily routines can put adults and kids alike into a holiday frenzy. With the advent of tinsel, sleigh bells, and festive music, comes the stress of finding the just-right gift, visiting with family near and far, and negotiating bustling store crowds and holiday parties. Holiday st ..read more
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Encouraging Independence
Adapt & Learn | Occupational Therapy & Assistive Technology
by Alescia Ford-Lanza
1y ago
When a person has a disability, a range of skills can be affected and limit one’s ability to be independent. Sometimes these skills can be accommodated for with assistive technology tools and strategies, or remediated with direct services from a qualified clinician. Other times, solutions can be found by modifying the tasks or environments to better meet the needs of the person with a disability. Regardless of whether you’re a child with cerebral palsy, an adult with autism, or a high schooler with learning disabilities, immeasurable value is found in maximizing, restoring, and enabling indep ..read more
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The Go-To Guide for Getting Your Child the Right Special Education Plan
Adapt & Learn | Occupational Therapy & Assistive Technology
by Alescia Ford-Lanza
1y ago
The months of August and September bring a lot of excitement to the bus stop when children board the school buses to begin a new school year! Every parent experiences joy at seeing his/her child move on to the next grade level because it’s a milestone that means new skills, challenges, and growth. But when your child has special needs, there are additional considerations that accompany the transition to a new grade, classroom, teacher, school, or district. Whether you’re navigating this world for the first time, or as a seasoned parent of a child with special needs, there is much to know! As ..read more
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Do Special Chairs Help Children with Autism?
Adapt & Learn | Occupational Therapy & Assistive Technology
by Alescia Ford-Lanza
1y ago
When looking at seating options for children with autism, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Some seats offer sensory input and mobility in the form of wiggling, bouncing, or rocking. Others provide more stability that support a student with appropriate positioning, armrests, lateral supports, or adjusted backrests based on the level of support needed. When shopping for a chair for your child with autism, it’s important to ask yourself if you want it to provide more support or more opportunity for movement. From there, you’ll have to think about where or when your child will need ..read more
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Do Weighted Vests Work for ADHD?
Adapt & Learn | Occupational Therapy & Assistive Technology
by Alescia Ford-Lanza
1y ago
What is a Weighted Vest? A weighted vest is just that: a vest-like garment that is worn over clothing, with some additional weight either sewn into pockets or embedded in the fabric lining. The theory behind weighted vests is to provide the child with sustained deep pressure input to his/her muscles and joints (proprioception) as this type of sensory input is known to be calming and organizing. Occupational therapists often recommend these wearables as part of a comprehensive sensory diet to help children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) who have sensory processing disorder or self-regu ..read more
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How Do Weighted Vests Benefit Children?
Adapt & Learn | Occupational Therapy & Assistive Technology
by Alescia Ford-Lanza
1y ago
What is a Weighted Vest? A weighted vest is just that: a vest-like garment that is worn over clothing, with some additional weight either sewn into pockets or embedded in the fabric lining. The vest is weighted based on the wearer’s total body weight - a concept similar to a weighted lap pad or weighted blanket. Weighted Vests and Deep Touch Pressure A weighted vest provides deep touch pressure (DTP) or proprioceptive input which has a calming, organizing effect on the child. If your child sees an occupational therapist, he/she may have recommended the wearables as part of a comprehensive sen ..read more
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