Archive for the ‘seating’ Category

{Review & Thanks} Therapeutic uses for Bumpidoodle cushions

bumpidoodle thank you

Huge “thanks” to bumpidoodle for their generous donation of 11 of their floor cushions to the Jd McCarty Center for Children With Developmental Disabilities! They sent two of each of the following: Dillon Dog, Ellie Elephant, Leonard Lion, Mason Monkey & Parker Pig plus one Olive Owl. The JD McCarty Center, where I work full time as a SLP, is a non-profit pediatric rehab hospital for kids ages 0-21 years with developmental disabilities. Budgets are usually tight so we really appreciate donations of items that can help our kids!

We look forward to using these in our adapted Storytime Group, OMazing Kids yoga, OT/PT/SLP therapy sessions, as a special “thinking” spot for kids to take a break, etc…. I will be adding more pics to this album on Facebook:

click pic to go to bumpidoodle album on the OMazing Kids Facebook page

Here’s how I have used my Bumpidoodle cushion along with an  “I am feeling…. I will…..” visual support to assist kids in telling how they are feeling and to help them learn self-calming strategies:

Many of the kids I work with have severe behavioral and self-regulation issues and having a Bumpidoodle cushion recently worked wonders with one of my 6 year old inpatients who has a TBI as a result of severe physical abuse. He learned how to take a break & choose a self-calming activity (his faves are deep breaths/blow away the “grumpies”, squeezing a sensory ball & hugging a pillow). A huge breakthrough was when he was able to also show me where he was on a behavior thermometer & let me know when he was ready continue working. The smile on his face was priceless & it made my heart smile to see him experience the power of self-regulation. ♥

  • A large Bumpidoodle Olive Owl floor cushion (Owl’s Thinking Spot) was placed in the corner of the room along with the “I am feeling…. I will…..” visual support, squeeze balls & a pillow. The feeling cards and self-calming choices were customized to fit this child’s interests, developmental level & needs.

visual support + bumpidoodle

I love the Olive Owl Bumpidoodle for the following reasons:

  • calming blue color
  • soft cozy texture
  • the tie-in with the concept of owls thinking and making wise choices
  • Since it is unlike any cushion or beanbag chair a child has seen before, it is novel and doesn’t come with any previous feelings or experiences attached to it.
  • It also has a removeable cover that is machine-washable and is easier to get in/out of than a beanbag chair.
  • Since the cover is removeable, you could also add extra “fluff” or even beanbag filling if you wanted to change how much support it gives as a seating option.

I got a great deal on mine in the clearance section at Target (only $14.98) but have also seen them on Amazon.com.

  • I introduce the visual support & the Owl’s Thinking Spot during sessions where they are exhibiting a good mood & positive behavior. This “pre-teaching is critical”. None of us learn something new very well in the middle of stress or a behavior meltdown.
  • During the “pre-teaching” sessions, this child verbalized interest in these items (“cool”, “I like that”).
  • During subsequent sessions, the child said “I need a break”, sat down on “Owl’s Thinking Spot” and looked through the emotion pictures. He usually chose “mad” or “frustrated” and then on his own chose what he wanted to do about it (usually chose “squeeze a ball”, “hug a pillow” and/or “take deep breaths”). After a brief break he usually said “I’m ready” or “I’m ok now” and returned to the therapy table to continue working.
  • This special “thinking spot” should be talked about in a positive manner and never used as a punishment or as “time out”. The child should be praised for successfully taking a break & using self-calming strategies. Refrain from asking the child “why” they are feeling a particular emotion (“why” questions are really difficult & during a meltdown is not the time to ask this). Instead, allow them time to express how they are feeling and to pick what they would like to “do” as a self-calming activity.

Have Boardmaker? Get a copy of the visual support on my page on Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Activity/1817562/Behavior-Thermometer-I-am-feeling-I-will-with-f. Then you will be able to customize it to meet your kids individual needs. This is a visual support I made many years ago for a Social Skills summer camp we did at JDMC. Many of the kids at that camp had Asperger’s and liked very detailed & specific language. So that’s why there are so many feeling choices. But that many choices was too many for the 6 year old I described above. After a few sessions of getting to know him, we started with 10 feeling choices. Some kids may need to start with even less than that. You can always add more as you teach them.

Don’t have Boardmaker? Here is a PDF of the simplified version of this visual support: Behavior Thermometer, I am feeling…. I will…… with feelings and self-calming choices (with kids yoga & Bumpidoodle cushion)

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Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist at the JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities (http://www.jdmc.org/)

Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

E-Mail: amoorad1@juno.com

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OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.

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Product Review: EnviroKid™ cushion – a non-toxic, eco-friendly, sensory-friendly seating option for kids of all abilities

 

Looking for a non-toxic, eco-friendly, sensory-friendly seating option for kids of all abilities?

Then the EnviroKid™ cushion would be a great option to consider!

 

We have been trying out two of the EnviroKid™ cushions at the JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities in OMazing Kids Yoga, in a Storytime group and as an adapted seating option.

 

Key features of the cushion:

  • PVC-Free and Phthalate-Free EnviroKid™ Cushion is available in a variety of soothing colors.
  • The outer covering is EnviroLeather, PVC-Free Synthetic Leather® which is engineered to:
    • adjust to your child’s body temperature quickly
    • stand up to even the most “active” of children
    • be cleaned easily
  • 26”x 26” dimensions.

 

The uses for the EnviroKid™ cushion in a kids yoga studio setting are wonderfully described in a post by Childlight Yoga (http://www.thekidsyogaresource.com/2011/08/envirokid-cushions-a-zafu-for-kids-and-a-whole-lot-more.html). So rather that duplicate that information, I am focusing my review on the additional therapeutic uses for this cushion.

 

The unique properties of the EnviroKid™ cushion are difficult to describe….. but after sitting on it you will see what makes it very different from any other cushion or bean bag chair. You gently sink in and the beads in the cushion conform around you and then remain in place to provide a nice feeling of support. The non-toxic, eco-friendly aspects of the cushion are especially important when working with kids with special needs as they tend to be more sensitive or susceptible to environmental toxins.

 

Brittany H., one of our Physical Therapists, was amazed at how well the EnviroKid™ cushion supported one of her patients… “A child I see frequently has been working on trunk control. He has spastic quadriplegia and requires maximal assistance to maintain an upright position at the edge of a mat table with his feet supported on a bench.  He loses his sitting balance after only a few seconds when manual support is removed. I have been using the EnviroKid™ cushion during our last few sessions. The cushion provides enough support to allow him to sit independently for 1-2 minutes at a time while still challenging his trunk control. He was able to use his dominant hand to play with a toy while sitting independently. I love the way the cushion forms around his pelvis, giving just enough support to provide independence while still requiring trunk righting responses and engaging core muscles for strengthening and control”.

 

One of our Speech-Language Pathologists used the cushion with a patient whose disabilities are secondary to Shaken Baby Syndrome. His grandmother was so excited about how well he sat in the EnviroKid™  cushion that she indicated she is going to see if his school will order one so he can sit on the floor with the other kids.

 

Given my observations of kids reactions to the EnviroKid™ cushion, it is likely that kids with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) would enjoy sitting on the cushion because it conforms around you, has a soft suede-like surface, is lower to the ground than a typical beanbag chair & is odor-free (no chemical-like odor like many beanbag chairs have).

 

One of the EnviroKid™ cushions has been out for general use in our very busy rehab treatment area and after several weeks of use has not shown any signs of wear…. A good sign since the kids we work with can tend to be tough on stuff.

 

The price of the EnviroKid™ cushion ($57.95) may be a little high if folks think it is just an eco-friendly pillow or beanbag chair alternative…. but it’s a good price compared to yoga zafu cushions or when compared to therapeutic adapted seating options.

 

The EnviroKid™ cushion is available for ordering on their website: http://myenvirokid.com/envirokid-cushion/

 

For more info about the dangers of PVC, BPA, Phthalates, etc…. read this: http://myenvirokid.com/why-pvc-free-phthalate-free/

 

 

A YouTube video about the Info about the EnviroLeather material used to make the  EnviroKid™ cushions:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSUDI24wn-8

 

Disclaimer: I received two free EnviroKid™ cushions to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed are my own based on direct observations and feedback that I received regarding their use.

 

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist with 21 years of pediatric experience

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

Founder of OMazing Kids Yoga – inclusive yoga for kids & teens of all abilities

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga

JDMC Website: www.jdmc.org