Archive for the ‘Sensory Processing Disorder’ 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

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

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Boardmaker Share: http://www.boardmakershare.com/Community/FriendsProfile/10916/Angela-Moorad

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

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.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

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Review & A Way To Give – Giveaway: The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children with Special Needs + Sound-Eaze & School-Eaze CD’s

Pocket OT & CD's a way to give giveaway

A perfect trio of products to celebrate April as National Occupational Therapy Month & Autism Awarness Month!

Product Description:  

The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children With Special Needs by Cara Koscinski

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub; 1 edition (December 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849059322
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849059329
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches

If you are unsure about what occupational therapy (OT) is and how it can help your child, this accessible overview is for you. Answering all of the common questions about the issues an occupational therapist might address with a child with special needs, including core muscle strength, feeding, fine motor skills, sensory sensitivities, transitions and life-skills, this book also offers simple activities to practice at home that are inexpensive, fun and, most-importantly, OT-approved.

This will be an illuminating and essential guide for parents and carers of children with physical and developmental disabilities or parents of children in rehabilitation from illness or injury. Professionals who want to learn more about the principles and practicalities of occupational therapy will also find it useful.

Table of Contents

TOC Pocket OT

See a fabulous review on Special Needs Book Review : http://www.specialneedsbookreview.com/2013/03/27/interview-cara-koscinski-mot-mom-of-children-with-special-needs-speaker-author-and-entrepreneur/

Here’s what I love about the book:

  • includes important details in a concise, easy to understand format that makes this book very parent-friendly. I’ve worked with lots of great OT’s over the past 23 years of being a SLP so I know quite a bit about what they do & why they do what they do. But even I learned some new things reading this book. Don’t let the small size fool you. This 144 page book is packed with loads of info!
  • explains “why” certain skills & activities are important.
  • explains “why” kids engage in certain behaviors.
  • lots of info about picky eating & food aversions
  • lots of info about sensory processing
  • great developmental checklists
  • large easy to read font
  • it’s filled with tons of great “Out of the Pocket Activities”….. these are the real gems in this book! I work with lots of kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders & Sensory Processing Disorders. The “Out of the Pocket Activities” will be great to incorporate into my therapy sessions & to share with parents.

Sound-Eaze CD

This CD was written by Cara Koscinski (an Occupational Therapist) and Kimberly Josephs (a Music Therapist) as a fun way for parents, teachers and therapists to help children with auditory sensitivity and fear of loud noises. It combines vocals and rhythm with sounds that can be upsetting to many children. The music and rhythm are eased out until only the sound remains. Allowing your child to adjust the volume may give the feeling that he/she is in control of the sound.

Encourage your child to begin at a low volume and gradually increase it. It is our goal that your child has fun while developing tolerance for loud noises.

Sounds included are: baby cry, vacuum cleaner, fireworks, dog bark, siren, phone ring, thunder, fire alarm, blender, hairdryer, lawnmower, toilet flush. Each is about 3-4 minutes long.

School-Eaze

This CD was written by Cara Koscinski (an Occupational Therapist) and Kimberly Josephs (a Music Therapist) as a fun way for parents, teachers and therapists to help children with auditory sensitivity and fear of loud noises. It combines rhythm with sounds that can be upsetting to many children. This unique collection gives children control of the sounds and lets them know exactly what to expect to hear at school!

Encourage your child to begin at a low volume and gradually increase it. It is our goal that your child has fun while developing tolerance for loud noises.

School-Eaze includes the following sounds: school fire drill, cafeteria, bus ride, gym class, changing class bell, swim meet, classroom noise/group of people talking, and field trips such as baseball game, restaurant, carnival, walking to school/construction site, parade, party, movies, and stock car race. Each is about 3-4 minutes long.

Here’s what I love about the CD’s:

  • love that each song is a new twist on a familiar tune. Building upon a familiar tune will help pair something a child may already enjoy with something that they are learning to tolerate.
  • many kids with ASD, SPD and other special needs are fearful of or sensitive to particular sounds. I love the concept of the child being in control of the volume so they can experience being in control of the sound.
  • love that each song starts out with just the tune & rythym. The sound that the child is learning to tolerate is gradually faded in. And then the tune/rhythm is gradually faded out until only the sound remains. This transition starts happening about halfway through each song.
  • The company is very clear that these CD’s are NOT part of a formal therapeutic listening program but rather are a fun way to help kids develop a tolerance for noises they may encounter in their lives at home & school.

Purchase: book publisher’s website: http://www.jkp.com/catalogue/book/9781849059329, CD’s: http://www.route2greatness.com/ & http://pocketoccupationaltherapist.com/Products.html (via PayPal)

Also available on Amazon:  book – http://www.amazon.com/Occupational-Therapist-Families-Children-Special/dp/1849059322; CD’s http://www.amazon.com/Autism–Sound-Sound-Children-Noises/dp/B000B5UIOW & http://www.amazon.com/Route-Greatness-School-Eaze-CD-Route2Greatness/dp/B000B5SYDY

Websites: http://pocketoccupationaltherapist.com/, http://www.route2greatness.com/. Also connect with them on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/PocketOT, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Route2Greatness-LLC/131330716891115; Twitter: https://twitter.com/pocketot; Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/pocketot/; Teachers Pay Teachers: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Special-Needs-Kidstore; Blog: http://route2greatness.wordpress.com/

Cara has two sons with special needs. See more about Cara’s story here: http://pocketoccupationaltherapist.com/Author_Info.html and on pages 30-31 in this e-magazine: http://somethingspecialmagazine.squarespace.com/spring-issue-savannah

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed are my own.Starting in 2013, a new component of reviews & giveaways hosted on OMazing Kids is that a review will be added on Amazon.com (for products sold on that site). See my Amazon profile at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A1JKVLELLSX7FD?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_aya_bb_pdp.

A Way to Give - Giveaway

How to enter the A Way to Give – Giveaway:

  • Required Entry Method: Enter via the “Giveaways” tab on the OMazing Kids – Contests & Giveaways Facebook page (http://a.pgtb.me/plpbTf) & mention why this book would be helpful to you. Also nominate a friend, relative, teacher, therapist, school, clinic, library, etc… it can be any individual (other than yourself) or setting that you feel could benefit from having the book + both CD’s & tell us why they would benefit from having them (details will count in selecting the winner) (comments must be in English; must include full first & last name; must use respectful people-first language, 1 entry per person).
  • Bonus Entry Option: Like all 4 of these Facebook pages: OMazing Kids, The Pocket Occupational TherapistRoute2Greatness, LLC & Special Education Resources from Jessica Kingsley Publishers (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did). Facebook fans of all 4 pages are then entitled to the following bonus entry options:
    1. Invite some friends to “like” the OMazing Kids Facebook page (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did)
    2. Share this review on Facebook & include a @OMazing Kids to tag my page – (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did)
    3. Tweet the #SpecialNeeds #Autism #giveaway on Twitter with a @amoorad link – (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did)
  • Helpful Info & Tips: I use the “Giveaways” tab because it saves me the step having to obtain your mailing address – the info you complete on the tab comes directly to me via an e-mail. FYI…. I use a free app from Shortstack for that tab and have no control over technical difficulties either on their end or on Facebook. The Facebook tab may not work on a cell phone. If you experience that, try again on a computer. Make sure you are logged in as yourself (not a page) when using the tab. In the event that you experience difficulties with the FB entry tab, please e-mail me specific details so I can attempt to fix it. E-mail to: amoorad1@juno.com . The entry deadline may be extended at the sole discretion of OMazing Kids in the event of prolonged entry tab problems

Entry Deadline: 11:59pm CST on April 15, 2013 .

Rules of Participation:

  • Must be 18 years or older with a valid e-mail address.
  • Only USA entries are being allowed for this particular giveaway.
  • Employees or family members of OMazing Kids, LLC or the product’s company are not eligible.
  • No purchase required.
  • Comments submitted via the Enter Giveaways Here…. tab on Facebook may be copied & pasted into the blog post.
  • Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  • The winner will be chosen via a drawing of valid entries on April 16, 2013.
  • The winner will receive one copy of the book. One copy of the book + both CD’s will also be sent to the person or place they nominated in their winning entry (I know this is a bit out-of-the box & different than most typical giveaways where the person who enters wins all the “stuff”.  This is the new “A Way To Give” portion of giveaways on OMazing Kids. I was inspired to make giveaways more meaningful after this experience. Think of it as a way to plant some seeds.)
  • The winners will be notified via e-mail, will be posted on the blog post & will be posted on the OMazing Kids Facebook page. The company offering the prize may also post the winner’s name on their website, blog, Facebook page and/or other social media sites at their discretion.
  • The winner’s address will be forwarded to the company and they will be mailing the prizes directly to the winners. Any questions about the prize should be directed to the company.
  • Prize Value: book: $19.95, CD’s: $16.99 each

Other Legal Stuff: I know it’s just a book & CD’s but just to be safe here is all the legal stuff…

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to OMazing Kids, LLC and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for our internal purposes in relation to the administration of the giveaway. Your information will NOT be sold to any outside parties.

Indemnification/Hold Harmless: By participating, entrants agree: (a) to the decisions of OMazing Kids, LLC, which shall be final in all respects; (b) to release, discharge, and hold harmless OMazing Kids, LLC and its respective representatives and agents from all liability, injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, possession, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in and/or entry into the Contest or any Contest-related activity and for acceptance, delivery, or use of any prize; (c) that the foregoing parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guaranty, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to any prize.

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

Speech-Language Pathologist

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

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

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

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.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

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Music to Promote Acceptance & Love for Kids of All Abilities

Love me for who I am

See the story behind “Love Me For Who I Am”….

videos on their website

“Like” Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could & Celebrate The Children School on Facebook.

Listen to & purchase their great music. This beautiful album honors kids of all abilities with themes that resonate particularly well for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders or Sensory Processing Disorder:

See the lyrics & artwork at: http://www.bradyrymer.com/grammy2011/interactive/

love me for wh I am lyrics

April is Autism Awareness & Acceptance Month. Inclusion, acceptance & love should be practiced every day…. but months like this are a good opportunity to raise awareness & then go beyond awareness to building programs, services & communities that support individuals of ALL abilities and needs ♥

Autism Acceptance

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

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

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

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.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

crayons divider

Review & Giveaway: Move With Me Adventure Skills Cards

Move with me adventure skills cards giveaway

One of the things I love most about the Move with Me™ Action Adventures DVD’s is the “Adventure Skills” they include in each story. As I watched each DVD, I remember thinking that having a card for each skill would be especially helpful for the kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, anxiety & other special needs that I work with as a Speech-Language Pathologist and even had the idea of taking “screenshots” off the DVD’s to make my own cards. Of course I never had the time to do that with my busy schedule. So imagine my pure delight when I saw that the company had come out with a flash card set!

Product Description: It is a 13 Flash Card Set that includes all the “Adventure Skills” (health lessons and self-regulation techniques) from the Scooter & Me video series

  • 5.5” x 8.5” cards with colorful illustrations on the front and directions on the back.
  • Easy-to-use visual aid to teach/reinforce the use of Adventure Skills to improve well-being, focus, learning, impulse control and emotional resilience and intelligence.
  • Effective teacher tool for behavior management.
  • Engaging activities that support social-emotional learning.
  • Adventure Skills are short exercises that help children relax and connect with inner strengths when frustrated, confused, angry, sad or scared. Each technique is simple to do, can decrease stress, contribute to increased focus, coordination and self-control and improve social skills and emotional intelligence. All movement and self-care techniques are inspired by yoga, creative movement, PE standards, mind-body research and Brain Gym.

I love that each card includes information about why, when & how to use the Adventure Skill. Eleven of the cards also include a short rhyming “chant”.

Here’s a “sneek peek” at the front & back of one of the cards:

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Short video overview of the Adventure Skill Cards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCT_ZIXGnWM.

Also see video overviews for:

Cost: $24.95. Purchase on their website: http://www.move-with-me.com/store/scooter-me-active-play-social-skills-program-9-yoga-movement-story-video-classes/adventure-skill-cards.

While you’re on their website, check out all the fabulous free printable Coloring & Activity Pages Parent / Teacher Guides! The Parent/Teacher Guides provide you with basic info about the connection between movement, the brain and learning, as well as activity suggestions and detailed information with pictures of all Adventure Skills.

Also connect with them on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MoveWithMeActionAdventures.Kids.Yoga.DVDs

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MwMAA

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/109474156345397290268

Twitter: https://twitter.com/move_with_me

body-mind-heart series

Adventure Skills Coloring - body series

Adventure Skills Coloring - mind series

Adventure Skills Coloring - heart series

There are also full-page size coloring pages for each of the Action Adventure Skills

buzzing bee breath

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed are my own.Starting in 2013, a new component of reviews & giveaways hosted on OMazing Kids is that a review will be added on Amazon.com (for products sold on that site). See my Amazon profile at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A1JKVLELLSX7FD?ie=UTF8&ref_=cm_aya_bb_pdp.

How to enter the giveaway:

  • Required Entry Method: Enter via the “Giveaways” tab on the OMazing Kids – Contests & Giveaways Facebook page (http://a.pgtb.me/plpbTf) & mention why these cards would be helpful to you (details will count in selecting the winners) (comments must be in English; must include full first & last name; must use respectful people-first language, 1 entry per person).
  • Bonus Entry Option: Like both the Move With Me  & the OMazing Kids Facebook page (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did). Facebook fans of both pages are then entitled to the following bonus entry options:
    1. Share this review on Facebook & include a @OMazing Kids to tag my page – (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did)
    2. Tweet the #kidsyoga #giveaway on Twitter with @amoorad & @Move_with_Me links – (comment here on this blog post to let me know you did)
  • Helpful Info & Tips: I use the “Giveaways” tab because it saves me the step having to obtain your mailing address – the info you complete on the tab comes directly to me via an e-mail. FYI…. I use a free app from Shortstack for that tab and have no control over technical difficulties either on their end or on Facebook. The Facebook tab may not work on a cell phone. If you experience that, try again on a computer. In the event that you experience difficulties with the FB entry tab, please e-mail me specific details so I can attempt to fix it. E-mail to: amoorad1@juno.com . The entry deadline may be extended at the sole discretion of OMazing Kids in the event of prolonged entry tab problems

Entry Deadline: Enter by any of the methods listed above by 11:59pm CST on March 19, 2013 .

Rules of Participation:

  • Must be 18 years or older with a valid e-mail address.
  • Only USA entries are being allowed for this particular giveaway.
  • Employees or family members of OMazing Kids, LLC or the product’s company are not eligible.
  • No purchase required.
  • Comments submitted via the Enter Giveaways Here…. tab on Facebook or e-mail may be copied & pasted into the blog post.
  • Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  • Two (2) winner will be chosen via a drawing of valid entries on March 20, 2013.
  • The winner will each receive one (1) set of the Move With Me Adventure Skills Cards.
  • The winners will be notified via e-mail, will be posted on the blog post & will be posted on the OMazing Kids Facebook page. The company offering the prize may also post the winner’s name on their website, blog, Facebook page and/or other social media sites at their discretion.
  • The winner’s address will be forwarded to the company and they will be mailing the prizes directly to the winners. Any questions about the prize should be directed to the company.
  • Prize Value: $24.95

Other Legal Stuff: I know it’s just a set of cards but just to be safe here is all the legal stuff…

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to OMazing Kids, LLC and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for our internal purposes in relation to the administration of the giveaway. Your information will NOT be sold to any outside parties.

Indemnification/Hold Harmless: By participating, entrants agree: (a) to the decisions of OMazing Kids, LLC, which shall be final in all respects; (b) to release, discharge, and hold harmless OMazing Kids, LLC and its respective representatives and agents from all liability, injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, possession, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in and/or entry into the Contest or any Contest-related activity and for acceptance, delivery, or use of any prize; (c) that the foregoing parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guaranty, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to any prize.

polka dots VHC

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

Speech-Language Pathologist

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

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

Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/#omazing-kids-yoga

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/110305433538768736741

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

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.

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the crayons divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

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Review & Giveaway: This is Gabriel: Making Sense of School – 2nd Edition: A Book about Sensory Processing Disorder

This is Gabriel: Making Sense of School – 2nd Edition: A Book about Sensory Processing Disorder

I love that this book is written from the perspective of a child with Sensory Processing Disorder and describes each of the senses in a way that most kids, parents, teachers & therapists can understand. It is a great intro to SPD and would be a great way to explain SPD to a parent & child who is newly diagnosed, provide info a teacher who will be having a child with SPD in her/his classroom, etc…. This book does a great job of providing a brief easy to understand overview of SPD and provides links at the end where readers can find more in-depth info and resources.

Product Description:

This is Gabriel Making Sense of School provides an insight into the challenges children with sensory issues face every day at school. This beautifully illustrated picture book gives us all a better understanding of our eight senses, how they are affected, and what kids of accommodations are necessary to help children become learning sensations!
  • Publication Date: May 1, 2012
  • Reading level: Ages 7 and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Sensory World; Second Edition, Revised edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935567349
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935567349
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.2 x 0.3 inches
Back Cover:
A sneek-peek inside the book. Each of the 8 senses is shown on a 2-page spread. None of the websites selling the book gave any “preview” inside the book. Since I always like to see a preview before I decide to purchase a book online I took a couple of pics:

Price at the time of this post: $12.95 list price (several great deals online…. do a search on Google to find the best price in your area. Too many deals to list here.) 

Where to purchase the book:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/This-Gabriel-Edition-Processing-Disorder/dp/1935567349/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/this-is-gabriel-making-sense-of-school-hartley-steiner/1110931730

Walmart: http://www.walmart.com/ip/17685059  [I’m not a big fan of Wallyworld but it was cool to see that they are offering this book on their website…… the more people who have access to info about SPD the better 🙂 ]

Publisher Sensory World’s website: http://www.sensoryworld.com/OurProducts/tabid/210/product/91/Default.aspx (Sensory World & Future Horizons on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sensory-World/293890725713 & http://www.facebook.com/futurehorizons)

There are many other places to purchase it online. Do a Google search to find the best deal in you area….. my advice is to stick with websites that you have used before or are well-known/trusted. You could also check with your local independent bookstore to see if they have this book or could order it for you. The 2nd edition of this book was just released in May so it may be too new to be available in your public library…. but it’s worth looking for 🙂

More info:

Author’s Blog: http://www.hartleysboys.com/p/this-is-gabriel-making-sense-of-school.htmlFacebook:  http://www.facebook.com/hartleysboys & Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ParentingSPD  (@ParentingSPD)

She is also the Founder/Editor of the SPD Blogger Network: http://www.spdbloggernetwork.com/, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SPDBN & Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/spdbn (@spdbn).

8 Sensory Systems (info from the SPD Blogger Network – http://www.spdbloggernetwork.com/the-8-senses/)

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product to facilitate my review.  Opinions expressed are my own.

How to enter the giveaway:

  1. Enter via the “Giveaways” tab on the OMazing Kids FB page (http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga?v=app_197602066931325) & mention how you would be using this book.  (comments must be in English; must include full first & last name; 1 entry per Facebook account).
  2. For one additional entry, leave a comment on this blog post. Must mention how you would be using this book. If you only enter via blog post comment, you must also send me an e-mail with your mailing address (send to amoorad1@juno.comYou will not need to do this if you also entered via the Enter Giveaways Here…. tab on Facebook since your address will be provided on that entry (comments must be in English; 1 entry per person; must have a valid e-mail address)
  3. Helpful Info & Tips: You increase your odds of winning by entering via both methods. Entering via the “Giveaways” tab will save you the step of e-mailing me your mailing address – the info you complete on the tab comes directly to me via an e-mail. FYI…. I use a free app from Shortstack for that tab and have no control over technical difficulties either on their end or on Facebook. In the event that you experience difficulties with the tab you can submit an entry via e-mail providing your full name, e-mail address, mailing address, how you would be using the book. E-mail to: amoorad1@juno.com. Unfortunately Facebook rules prohibit me from accepting entries directly from posts or comments on Facebook.

Entry Deadline: Enter by any of the methods listed above by 11:59pm CST on July 8, 2012.

Rules of Participation:

  • Must be 18 years or older with a valid e-mail address.
  • Only USA entries are being allowed for this particular giveaway.
  • Employees or family members of OMazing Kids, LLC or the product’s company are not eligible.
  • No purchase required.
  • Comments submitted via the Enter Giveaways Here…. tab on Facebook or e-mail may be copied & pasted into the blog post.
  • Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  • One (1) winner will be chosen via a random drawing of valid entries on July 9, 2012.
  • The winner will receive one (1) copy of the book.
  • The winner will be notified via e-mail and will be posted on the blog post.
  • The winner’s address will be forwarded to the publishing company and they will be mailing the prize directly to the winner.
  • Prize Value: $12.95

Other Legal Stuff: I know it’s just a book but just to be safe here is all the legal stuff…

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to OMazing Kids, LLC and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for our internal purposes in relation to the administration of the giveaway. Your information will NOT be sold to any outside parties.

Indemnification/Hold Harmless: By participating, entrants agree: (a) to the decisions of OMazing Kids, LLC, which shall be final in all respects; (b) to release, discharge, and hold harmless OMazing Kids, LLC and its respective representatives and agents from all liability, injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, possession, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in and/or entry into the Contest or any Contest-related activity and for acceptance, delivery, or use of any prize; (c) that the foregoing parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guaranty, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to any prize.

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

Speech-Language Pathologist

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

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/amoorad

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the wavy divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

Tips for Working with Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Working with kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders is my passion & area of expertise as a Speech-Language Pathologist. I have had several folks contact me recently via Facebook and e-mail asking for a few tips.

The most important thing when working with kids, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorders or any other special needs, is to get info about the kids and get to know them as individuals. I have been a SLP for 22 years and have worked with hundreds of kids with ASD ranging from infants (pre-diagnosis) to 21 years of age….. and the saying is definitely true “when you have met one person with Autism, you have met ONE person with Autism”. Every child is a unique individual….. like each of us is a unique individual. But there are also some general things that are helpful to know if you are considering working with kids with ASD so here are a few general tips:

* use visual supports (see several posts: https://omazingkidsllc.com/?s=visual+supports).

* have a predictable routine.

* be mindful of the sensory issues of each individual child (many are easily overstimulated by smells, lights, extra props, music, noises, etc…). Be mindful of this when picking yoga mats to use. Avoid ones with a strong odor, over-stimulating colors and/or distracting designs or patterns. Kids with ASD can take things very literally so if you have a yoga mat with a certain animal or pose on it they may think that is the only pose they can do on that mat. Non-toxic, eco-friendly yoga mats in solid, calming shades of blues & greens are my typical recommendation. There is actually some research about kids with special needs reactions to certain colors and many individuals with ASD were drawn to blues & greens and I have found this to be true in my personal practice as well.

* be aware that many individuals with ASD have difficulty making and maintaining eye contact. Many teens and adults with ASD have described eye contact as an overwhelming and sometimes painful sensory experience. Many have also described that eye contact can be so overwhelming that to look and listen at the same time is too much sensory information. In my work as a SLP, I have found it helpful to teach kids how to “approximate” eye contact by periodically looking at something in the facial region (ex: eyebrows, nose, chin, rim of eye glasses) of the conversational partner as a way to be socially engaging while still respecting their own sensory needs. I have seen way too many kids with ASD in my career where direct, unatural eye contact was overemphasized and the results are not usually good.

* don’t be too quick to judge whether or not a child with ASD is “enjoying” yoga or any other activity….. I have seen many kids initially be resistant or ambivalent to yoga and other activities end up loving it when given the opportunity to experience it on their own terms & at their own pace.

* be mindful of group dynamics & group size… many kids with ASD are overwhelmed in large groups.

* be mindful of the sensory aspects of the poses and breathing activities. Kids with ASD often have very significant Sensory Processing problems and can be very sensitive to poses that require balance or inversion. In general, poses that provide “flexion” tend to be calming, poses that provide “extension” tend to be alerting & energizing and poses that use both sides of the body and/or cross midline tend to promote focusing.

* many kids with ASD have “high interest” areas….. with some kids these make good theme choices to get them interested.

* many kids with ASD have poor motor planning skills and auditory processing problems so you may need to modify/simplify poses and use very simple instructions (one step at a time). You may need to wait a few seconds to allow the child to process verbal information. It is also helpful to provide a consistent cue before giving instructions and pairing verbal instructions with simple sign language/gestures and visual supports.

* always ask the child’s permission before touching or offering help with a pose & get info ahead of time about how that child reacts to touch. As a general rule of thumb more of them tolerate deep/firm pressure better than light touch…. but this can vary greatly from child to child.

Here is a link to a presentation I did at the Oklahoma Autism Conference: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2011/11/20/omazing-kids-yoga-therapeutic-yoga-for-kids-and-teens-with-autism-handouts-links-for-presentation-at-the-oklahoma-autism-conference-11-19-11/. It includes links to lots of great resources, video clips and research articles.

And a post I did about inclusion: https://omazingkidsllc.com/2012/01/16/universal-design-for-inclusive-kids-yoga-inclusion-is-belonging/

There are lots of great folks out there doing adapted yoga for kids with ASD. Here are links to a few of my faves:

 

Bodylogique: http://www.bodylogique.com/http://www.facebook.com/BodyLogique, blog: http://bodylogique.blogspot.com/. Check out the interview Barbara did last April: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yoga-in-my-school/2011/04/06/yoga-for-autism-with-barbara-gini. She also did a webinar “Yoga for Children with Autism” earlier this month with Donna Freeman at Yoga In My School (available for purchase: http://yogainmyschool.com/store/webinars/).

 

ZensationalKids:  http://zensationalkids.com/http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zensational-Kids-LLC/201943263172877Allison  is a licensed occupational therapist, a Registered Yoga Teacher and is a trainer with Radiant Child Yoga. She co-teaches their specialty course “Yoga for Differently-Abled Children: Working With ADHD, Autism and Sensory Processing Issues”. 

 

S.T.O.P. and Relax:  http://www.stopandrelax.net/http://www.facebook.com/stopandrelax.net

 

A great post on the Spirit of Autism blog: http://spiritofautism.org/2011/11/10/7-benefits-of-yoga-for-autism/

 

A great book isYoga Therapy for Every Special Child – Meeting Needs in a Natural Setting” by Nancy Williams. It’s a “must-have” for anyone doing adapted or therapeutic yoga. Nancy is a Speech-Language Pathologist &  Registered Yoga Teacher. http://yogatherapy4children.com/index.htmlhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Yoga-Therapy-4-Every-Special-Child/151568364912636.

Hope this helps!

You can also reach me at amoorad1@juno.com if you ever want to chat via e-mail 🙂

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

Speech-Language Pathologist

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

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

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the wavy divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

Review & Giveaway: The Swingset Mamas CD’s

Check out the fun, energetic & interactive music from the Swingset Mamas!

I first fell in love with the Swingset Mamas’ music when I found the song “Colors of the Rainbow” last year as I was looking for a song to encourage kids to try healthy foods in my work as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Love the calypso beat of that song and it is my fave on their 1st CD.

Hear mp3 samples at: http://www.amazon.com/Music-for-the-Whole-Family/dp/B0012MB1U8/ref=tmm_msc_title_0#mp3TrackPlayer

Then when I heard their song “Take a Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes” and heard the story behind the song I was totally hooked!

Watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ3LnuQ-nE0

I love that Lizzie Swan and Marlowe Bechmann, the Swingset Mamas, have a strong commitment to using music as a way to spread the message of inclusion and acceptance of differences for all children and adults of all abilities. Their song “Take A Walk In Someone Else’s Shoes” was inspired by Marlowe’s family and their journey with Autism.  

As the mother of a child with autism, Marlowe values and utilizes music to communicate with her daughter.  See this page on their website for tips on making music with your family, Autism Awareness and more: http://www.swingsetmamas.com/wordpress/?page_id=26

Transitions and daily routines are often a challenge for parents of kids with special abilities. Try Downloading “Dressed” (free), and turn your morning dressing routine from a power struggle into a game! Or put on “Buckle Up” (also free) for an easy way to get the kids loaded up into the car.

I received free copies of their 2nd CD “Dance Around the House” and 3rd CD “Mamamorphosis” to try out with the kids I work with both as a SLP & in OMazing Kids. I love their unique music that has a strong beat but is not too fast or overstimulating. Here are my favorite tracks on each CD:

 

Dance Around the House: My favorite tracks are:

  • Knock Knock Blues – would be fun to use in introductions in any kids group activity, including social skill groups, kids yoga groups, etc….
  • Sunscreen Dance – will be fun to use in my summer beach-themed groups & would help any parent who has a battle getting their child to wear sunscreen. Check out this fun printable to go with the song: http://www.aolcdn.com/ch_kids/swingset-mamas-sun-printable.gif
  • Dressed – any parent who has a battle with their child getting dressed has to hear this song…. Getting dressed to this song would be FUN!
  • Dance Around the House – fun to use during any movement activity, including yoga freeze dance.
  • Books – would be fun to use as a transition song for storytime or going to the library.
  • Buckle Up – ever had a battle getting your kids to wear their seatbelt? This song will make that fun too.
  • Bugs – LOVE this song & can’t wait to use this the next time I do a bug-themed yoga class! See the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-E0X5-vi1WM
  • Rain & Thunder (two separate tracks) – We are planning a free event around the book “Rain Talk” for Better Hearing & Speech Month at the JD McCarty Center and these will be perfect to use! Would also be cool to use as a way to desensitize kids who are frightened of rain & thunder.
  • 5 More Minutes & See Ya Later Alligator (two separate tracks) – would work great to help in transitions when it’s time to wrap up an activity and get ready to go. See the See Ya Later Alligator video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbeYhYPRpqc
  • Hear mp3 samples at: http://www.amazon.com/Dance-Around-the-House/dp/B0012KRG9A/ref=tmm_msc_title_0#mp3TrackPlayer

Mamamorphosis: My favorite tracks are:

  • Love Makes A Family – Love the lyrics about movement, affirmation & acceptance of differences and beat of this song!
  • Dancing Pants – fun to use during any movement activity, including yoga freeze dance.
  • Great to Be Me – awesome affirmation song.
  • Water Safety Rules – fun way to teach water safety this summer. Many kids with special needs are attracted to water so it is imperative that we teach ALL kids about water safety.
  • Ralph and Rosie (Metamorphosis) – it would be fun to do a whole frog & butterfly metamorphosis themed kids yoga class around this song 🙂
  • If I Became President – LOVE the message of peace & taking care of our planet in this song. See the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRtUFQ7hIyM
  • Time & Counting (two separate tracks) – adding music to concepts that can be challenging to learn.
  • Off Center – does a great job of describing what it might feel like if you had sensory processing difficulties.
  • Take A Walk In Someone Else’s Shoes – An AWESOME song with a wonderful message of inclusion & acceptance!
  • Hear mp3 samples at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MY3X4K/ref=dm_att_alb1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335640836&sr=8-3-ent#mp3TrackPlayer

 Website: http://www.swingsetmamas.com/wordpress/

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

 YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Swingsetmamas/videos

Available for purchase at: http://www.swingsetmamas.com/wordpress/?page_id=89 – website includes direct links to downloads on iTunes, Amazon & CD Baby.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this product to facilitate my review. Opinions expressed are my own.

 

How to enter the giveaway:

  1. Enter via the “Giveaways” tab on the OMazing Kids FB page (http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga?v=app_197602066931325) & mention how you would be using the music with your child or the children you work with AND which CD you want if you win. (comments must be in English; must include full first & last name; 1 entry per Facebook account).
  2. For one additional entry, leave a comment on this blog post. Must mention how you would be using the music with your child or the children you work with AND which CD you want if you win. (comments must be in English; 1 entry per person; must have a valid e-mail address)
  3. Tips: You increase your odds of winning by entering via both methods. Entering via the “Giveaways” tab will save me the step of having to obtain your mailing address – the info you complete on the tab comes directly to me via an e-mail.

Entry Deadline: Enter by any of the methods listed above by 11:59pm CST on April 30, 2012.

Rules of Participation:

  • Must be 18 years or older with a valid e-mail address.
  • Only USA entries are being allowed for this particular giveaway.
  • Employees or family members of OMazing Kids, LLC or the product’s company are not eligible.
  • No purchase required.
  • Comments submitted via the Enter Giveaways Here…. tab on Facebook may be copied & pasted into the blog post.
  • Odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received.
  • Two (2) winners will be chosen via a random drawing of valid entries on May 1, 2012.
  • Each winner will be sent one (1) copy of the CD they selected in their entry.
  • The winners will be notified via e-mail and will be posted on the blog post.
  • If a winner only entered via blog post, their mailing address will be obtained via e-mail.
  • In the event that a winner does not respond within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected via a random drawing.
  • The winner’s address will be forwarded to the company and they will be mailing the CD directly to the winner.
  • Prize Value: retail price up to $14.00 depending on the CD selected

Other Legal Stuff: I know it’s just kids music CD’s but just to be safe here is all the legal stuff…

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to OMazing Kids, LLC and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for our internal purposes in relation to the administration of the giveaway. Your information will NOT be sold to any outside parties.

Indemnification/Hold Harmless: By participating, entrants agree: (a) to the decisions of OMazing Kids, LLC, which shall be final in all respects; (b) to release, discharge, and hold harmless OMazing Kids, LLC and its respective representatives and agents from all liability, injuries, losses or damages of any kind to persons or property resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from the acceptance, possession, misuse or use of a prize, or from participation in and/or entry into the Contest or any Contest-related activity and for acceptance, delivery, or use of any prize; (c) that the foregoing parties have neither made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation or guaranty, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relating to any prize.

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

Speech-Language Pathologist

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

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

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/OMazingKids/

Blog: http://omazingkidsllc.com

NOTE: Please ignore any ads that appear below the wavy divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

 

Using Visual Supports in Yoga Groups for Kids & Teens – being inclusive of learning styles

Looking for ways to include kids & teens with different learning styles in your yoga groups? Want to use positive ways to support participation and reduce problematic behaviors? Then you might want to consider using “visual supports”.

Many of the kids I work with in OMazing Kids Yoga have difficulty understanding & following verbal instructions. This can be due to a difference in learning style (visual vs. auditory learner), difficulty maintaining attention (ex: ADD/ADHD), difficulty tuning out extra sensory input to be able to attend (ex: Sensory Processing Disorders), focusing in too much on an area of high interest to the point that the child has difficulty attending to other information (ex: Autism Spectrum Disorders), specific learning disabilities, etc…

Regardless of “why” the child is having difficulty understanding & following instructions, this will make it difficult for them to participate in a meaningful way in activities, including a kids yoga class.

Adding “visual supports” (ex: pictures of the poses, pictures to depict the sequence of activities that will occur in the group, pictures to show the “steps” within an activity, showing “first ____ / then _______”, etc…) can make a BIG difference for many kids.

Here are a few examples of visual supports I created to use in OMazing Kids Yoga:

Some kids do well with a “Social Story” describing the expected behavior and how that makes other feel:

Some kids do well with a left-to-right schedule showing what will happen in the group (other kids do better with a top-to-bottom type schedule):

(this file is saved out on Boardmaker Share at: http://www.boardmakerachieve.com/Activity/1865866)

Some kids need extra visual cues to help them understand concepts:

(Note: These are just a few examples of the many different visual supports I use. Every child is unique so I often modify things or make new visual supports to meet those unique needs. Some kids do better with photos, black & white symbols or just words.)

Looking for PDF printable versions of some visual supports?  Here are a few: yoga breathing visual support (flower and candle), Social Story “Good Behavior in Yoga Group” with picture symbols, Peace Tree – guided visualization.

 How Do I Make These Visual Supports?  I use a combination of Boardmaker, MS Word, MS Paint, Google Images and the “snipping tool” in Windows 7. Boardmaker is a software program commonly used by Special Education teachers, Speech-Language Pathologists and other therapists to make communication boards, educational materials & visual supports for kids with special needs. Mayer Johnson offers a 30-day free trial of the program (http://www.mayer-johnson.com/downloads/trials/) and free online trainings on how to use it (http://www.mayer-johnson.com/training/recorded/details/id/2189/).

More About Visual Supports

Visual supports help many children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other special needs understand their world better.

Just as many adults need calendars, to-do lists, shopping lists and planners to remind them of their activities for the day, many children need visual schedules and other visual supports.

Visual supports enhance understanding of what is going to happen and clarify expectations during that specific time period or activity.

In addition, visual supports often help the child move from one activity to the next with less frustration and reduced behavioral outbursts because the symbols turn the unknown into something the child understands.

The consistency provided by a visual support is crucial in establishing an atmosphere of trust and
security. Visual supports can also provide motivation for the child to work through a less preferred activity knowing a preferred/reinforcing activity is coming soon.

The type of symbols used, number of activities and amount of time shown on a visual schedule depend on the individual child’s needs.

If you want even more info about “visual supports”, check out these websites:

http://www.autism4teachers.com/autism4teachers_028.htm

http://www.autism4teachers.com/autism4teachers_020.htm

http://cdd.unm.edu/swan/autism_course/modules/environ/visualschedule/index.htm

http://card.ufl.edu/content/visual.html

http://www.polyxo.com/visualsupport/

http://autismpdc.fpg.unc.edu/content/visual-supports

http://www.usevisualstrategies.com/VisualStrategiesInformation.aspx

http://visualaidsforlearning.com/

http://www.spectronicsinoz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/visual-supports.pdf 

NOTE:  Please ignore any ads that appear below the blue divider bar. This is a free blog site & I have no control over ads appearing here.

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2
Speech-Language Pathologist
Founder of OMazing Kids Yoga, LLC – inclusive yoga for kids & teens of all abilities in Norman, Oklahoma
Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2
E-mail: amoorad1@juno.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsYoga
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/amoorad1
Blog: https://omazingkidsyoga.wordpress.com

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