Category: Developmental Disability

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Your Sensory needs are essential for life

Meeting your child’s sensory needs is like giving your child a cup of water. It is essential to life. Their body relies on it to function. You can wait an hour to drink a cup of water, you can wait 2 hours, you can wait 6 hours. But sooner or later you will get to the point that you will fight for your life to get that water.
Children have sensory needs and they can often wait for an hour, some can wait for 2 hours, some children can even wait for 6 hours but at some point they will start fighting to get what their body needs. If you have ever experienced your child coming home from school exhausted and exploding now that they are in their safe place you will appreciate how their body will fight for an outlet to meet their sensory needs.
It is essential we meet our children’s sensory needs in a safe, appropriate way throughout the day. We can help our children grow to be able to self manage their sensory needs. We can support them by having communication systems that allow them to request their sensory tools, by having adults that understand and can allow them to access what they need and give them time to access their tools.
I challenge you: All children have sensory needs. Each child needs movement, touch, taste, visual, auditory and deep pressure experiences. Some children move away from experiences and seek others. Do you know which sensory tools help your child to remain calm and alert? Can your child request these tools or activities? Do they have safe access to options throughout their day in the different environments they are in? Can they access any sensory tools safely themselves?
Every child is different, if you need some support to meet your child’s sensory needs you can discuss with your occupational therapist.

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Play Groups – Lithgow

We spent a lovely time this morning with the Galloping Gumnut Playgroup in Lithgow and these supported playgroups are a wonderful way for children to develop their play skills in a social group! Thank you to Galloping Gumnut for permission to share their playgroup information

Quick update: I just received this update from LINC:

LINC Community and Kids, we noticed your post regarding local Playgroups, the information on the LINC run groups is out of date, we no longer run Parenting young or the Wallerawang group.

Our schedule is, Monday 9.30am Portland central school Tuesday, 10am to 11.30am we run an Early Learners group at Cooerwull Primary hall, this group is for children with Speech and or OT needs, in partnership with the Speech Therapists and OT from Lithgow Hospital. Wednesday Supported Playgroup at Fatima Hall Bowefells 10am to 12pm. Thursday Supported Playgroup at Cooerwull Primary Hall 9.30 to 11.30 am. All our groups are free to attend. Families are asked to bring a piece of fruit for morning tea. Thanks so much for your support.IMG_20160801_0002

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Thirsty for Sensory Experiences

Meeting your child’s sensory needs is like giving your child a cup of water. It is essential to life. Their body relies on it to function. You can wait an hour to drink a cup of water, you can wait 2 hours, you can wait 6 hours. But sooner or later you will get to the point that you will fight for your life to get that water.

Children have sensory needs and they can often wait for an hour, some can wait for 2 hours, some children can even wait for 6 hours but at some point they will start fighting to get what their body needs. If you have ever experienced your child coming home from school exhausted and exploding now that they are in their safe place you will appreciate how their body will fight for an outlet to meet their sensory needs.

It is essential we meet our children’s sensory needs in a safe, appropriate way throughout the day. We can help our children grow to be able to self manage their sensory needs. We can support them by having communication systems that allow them to request their sensory tools, by having adults that understand and can allow them to access what they need and give them time to access their tools.

I challenge you: All children have sensory needs. Each child needs movement, touch, taste, visual, auditory and deep pressure experiences. Some children move away from experiences and seek others. Do you know which sensory tools help your child to remain calm and alert? Can your child request these tools or activities? Do they have safe access to options throughout their day in the different environments they are in? Can they access any sensory tools safely themselves?

Every child is different, if you need some support to meet your child’s sensory needs you can discuss with your occupational therapist

Developmental Milestones diagram

Developmental Milestones

It’s challenging to set goals. Having a clear idea of where your child is up to will also be helpful when discussing their progress and your goals with your child’s therapist and teachers.

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set your goals

Goal setting

You have probably heard the acronym “SMART Goals”

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Time-bound

When a parent or therapist is creating goals for a child these goals should be child centred and wherever possible the child should be enabled to set their own goals.

In a school context an Individual Education Plans (IEP) is created by a team. In some instances the child will attend the meeting and will be able to contribute to the development of their education goals. Goals should always be meaningful to the child and should make a difference in their lives.

Goals must be functional and they must be measurable. O’Neill and Harris (1982) propose goals should include the following:

Who

Will do what

Under what conditions

How well

By when

Applying this to an IEP:

Who – The student’s name

Will do what – For example will sit on the carpet for 20 minutes during circle time in the classroom.

Under what conditions – Sitting on a move n’ sit cushion, with access to fiddle toy of their choice with Learning Support Assistant (LSA) seated behind the child.

How well – Student will remain seated without verbal prompting in 9/ 10 instances

By When – by the end of the first month (or give dates).

Now we’ve set the goals..

It is very important when considering goals to take into consideration “So What?” What does achieving this goal mean for the child?  What will this goal actually enable the child to be able to do? Is achieving this goal actually going to produce any meaningful change anything for the student?
In the above example: Our goal is for the child to be able to use sensory supports to enable them to participate in circle time in the classroom with their peers for 20 minutes at a time. Our “So what?” for this goal: This will enable the child to have access to the curriculum being taught at this time.

This allows the child to be with their peers in class (by reducing distracting behavior, or by reducing running from class or other applicable change).

This allows the child to be more independent by reducing reliance on the LSA to be with their class in a meaningful way.

This actively encourages the LSA to reduce their prompts to the child.

Enabling the student to self select or manage a sensory tool can be included in a separate goal in their IEP if relevant.

Reference:

O’Neill DL, Harris SR. Developing goals and objectives for handicapped children. Phys Ther.1982 ;62:295–298.