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Sue Wilkinson's Blog (39)

FALLebration! Turn Your Yard into a Sensational Playground, and Watch Kids Have a Blast

Don't feel guilty about a yard full of leaves. Autumn turns your yard into a magnificent "therapy" opportunity for your kids! Do you have kids that need to be calmed down, or even calmed up? Your yard is a sensory rich environment that can provide the sensory input your kids crave. Heavy work, movement and tactile…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on October 22, 2012 at 8:30am — 5 Comments

Gifting Grandparents: Give Toys That Help Kids Grow Skills

Play is the "work" of children. Are you the parent or grandparent of a child with special needs? Do you wonder if the gift you're giving will become that child's favorite? Luckily, many of the toys you grew up with are classic skill-builders and…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on November 22, 2011 at 8:00am — 3 Comments

Celebrate Crawling! 8 Reasons Crawling Creates Capable Kids

Did you know that this generation of kids is less likely to crawl than any generation in the history of toddlers? That is, if you live in the U.S. or the U.K. We have embraced the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) "Back To Sleep" program which trains new Moms to place their babies on their backs to minimize suffocation risk. Gratefully, there has been a decrease in SIDS. We've just forgotten the second part of the message..."Tummy Time for PLAY." Why care… Continue

Added by Sue Wilkinson on September 29, 2011 at 12:30pm — 6 Comments

Roll N Ride..."Bump-Up" All the Sensory Input You Can Get!

Oh, I bet you can remember this one! A long staircase with all of its carpeted beauty...and you on

your bottom...sliding down....bumpity-bumpity, bumpity-bump! And why do generations and generations of kids crave this input? What's the sensory value? And where can kids get more of this valuable input?…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on September 23, 2011 at 8:00am — 6 Comments

4 Therapy Time Savers for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) on your side, yes it is!  It is, at least, when you have some reliable short cuts that allow you to find the best sensory solutions for your kids. As a traveling (itinerant) occupational therapist, I learned there are a lot of struggling students. My caseload was such that I felt I was an advocate for my students. My job was to find out what the student needed, and which adult was most invested in that child's success. Sometimes it was a teacher, a… Continue

Added by Sue Wilkinson on September 17, 2011 at 7:30pm — 1 Comment

Move-To-Learn: How to Use the School Morning Telecast to "Activate" Young Minds

Some schools are really shakin' up the school year! My friend (who is a speech pathologist), and I are excited about what her elementary school is doing this year. The school's morning telecast, using the talented and deserving fifth graders, has added a new action…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on September 9, 2011 at 9:00am — 4 Comments

Child-Sized BackPack OR Physical Therapy?

I was embarrassed. I hadn't seen my grandson in six weeks and found out that his physician had recommended physical therapy for back problems. My grandson is such a nice, likeable boy and a good student. (I am being totally unbiased here, too!) Both of his parents work, and I asked them what the physician and physical therapist said. My grandson had been having back pain, neck pain and headaches. They were not sure what the cause was and felt a short course of physical therapy would… Continue

Added by Sue Wilkinson on September 2, 2011 at 8:30am — 5 Comments

Organizing the "Homework Zone"... 11 Tips for Middle and High School Kids with Attentional Issues

Before the back-to-school rush, consider engaging your kids in creating a "homework zone."

Those of you who work in an office KNOW exactly what kind of work space works for you. Engage your teen in creating the space that allows them to be successful this year. Shop together for an inspirational or motivational poster that resonates with your child. Having a positive message nearby is encouraging. Then evaluate the potential space in your home. A…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on August 13, 2011 at 2:00am — 1 Comment

The Home Schooling Dream...Or, Is It A Nightmare For A Child With Special Needs?

  I'm lucky. In my small world, I can list a 100% satisfaction rate for the moms that chose to home school their child with learning differences, autism spectrum disorder or attention deficit disorder.


I say "moms" because in my…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on August 2, 2011 at 8:00am — 3 Comments

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! All Children with Autism, and NOT Autistic Children...

Okay, I am a PFL user. The people I work with are PFL users, too. For 18 years, we have educated ALL employees to be PFL users. PFL means "people first language." As therapists that adore children...and their families, it is our mission for the whole planet to become PFL users, too!



Added by Sue Wilkinson on July 15, 2011 at 8:00pm — 10 Comments

Games That Make A "Splash"...No Pool Needed

Don't have a pool? Looking for a way to cool off? Jump into some action games, and have a therapeutic blast!

  • King Penguin Parade: Tie on a beach towel "robe," slide on scuba fins and march through the sprinkler! Walk penguin style. Great for balance, motor…

Added by Sue Wilkinson on July 5, 2011 at 2:30am — No Comments

Dream Chairs...Are Dreeeeeeamy!

Okay, so it could be the chair of the decade for me! My friend has a clinic in Orlando, and she begged me to help her with her waiting room. She is an OT that specializes in "difficult" children. Many of the children she and her staff treat have seen up to 11 professionals(!) and have been on…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on June 25, 2011 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Are All Kids With Autism Ready For Hippotherapy?

I was just enjoying Tobi Isaacs' blog Hippotherapy In Your Summer Plans? and the memories it evoked made me laugh. Picture a scrumptious, worried, quiet 8-year-old boy, labeled severely autistic, and loving, dedicated single mother. NO summer programs would accept Todd. Layers of hoods, long sleeves, long pants in the scorching Florida summer heat were just one of the… Continue

Added by Sue Wilkinson on June 20, 2011 at 1:30pm — 5 Comments

When It Comes To Seating...Think Outside the Box!

Teachers and therapists are creative when it comes to knowing what kids need to learn best! For one preK teacher of children with special needs, she really thought outside the box. OR, inside the box if the box is a…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on May 16, 2011 at 2:30am — 2 Comments

Deep Pressure. DEEP WHAT?!

So, I was flying back from the American Occupational Therapy Association national conference totally floating from being surrounded by occupational therapists that totally LOVE and “get” kids! The guy in the seat next to me, turns to his wife, points to a photo in SkyMall shopping magazine and says, “Look, a dog in a straight jacket. It says it keeps dogs calm.” Then, he TURNS THE PAGE. Not even a seat belt could restrain ME. “You’re right,” I say. “It does… Continue

Added by Sue Wilkinson on April 22, 2011 at 5:30pm — 11 Comments

Slumber...It's NO Party. Tips for Kids With SPD, and/or ADHD

Feel like Sleepy, Dopey or Grumpy? Your child's sleep issues impact the WHOLE family.

If the thought that your child might go to…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on March 5, 2011 at 12:30am — 3 Comments

Celebrate Calm: Use P.R.E.V.E.N.T. With Tantrums

Kicking and screaming BE GONE! If only we could wiggle our nose and magically stop a child that's in the middle of a tantrum. Tantrums often occur because a child is over-stimulated and can’t express their frustration. Although tantrums are normal in children ages 3-6 years, some children are prone to tantrums due to neurological inefficiencies found…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on December 31, 2010 at 8:30am — 3 Comments

Ode to Empathetic Teachers EVERYWHERE


Apple_With_Heart_9842.jpg Apple with heart image by AlexanderAssociates   David has many gifts. He wrote an essay thanking his third grade teacher for understanding what he needed when he was in third grade. I find it a poignant reminder of all the fantastic educators I have met. Teachers that don't insist 'this is my class, and students need to do as they are told.' The essay is about teachers that allow children to learn in the way that is best for them, whether it is standing at…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on December 24, 2010 at 8:30am — No Comments

And, the children were nestled all SNUG in their beds...Sensory diet had calmed their holiday heads!

They're coming! My grandchildren and nieces and nephews will be with me for the holidays. I am joyful...and a little nervous! Many of the kids staying over are bringing gifts. Many of them are gifted intellectually. Some of them have the gifts of ADD, and some ADHD. Throw in some SPD and sprinkle with a speech delay...and we have lots of gifts!…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on December 10, 2010 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Wiggle Rooms ...WORK! Looks like "play." Gets RESULTS

Who knew what looks like an indoor playground, actually has movement and sensory tools that improve classwork?

Whether it is called Wiggle Room, Move-To-Learn, Sensory Motor Room, S.P.A. (Sensory Processing, For Academics), Hang Time, or Chill Out Space…the…


Added by Sue Wilkinson on November 27, 2010 at 3:30pm — 3 Comments

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