Autism and Vaccines

For many of us who have a loved one with autism or work with children with autism, the vaccine debate is not something new.  It is one that has been on my mind more over the last couple of years as I have done research to help me make decisions about how and when to vaccinate my daughter.  It comes up frequently with parents of  some of the children that I work with as they recount their stories and I have also treated children with “medically accepted” vaccination injuries. Read more

Movement As A Tool: How We Can Learn Through Our Strengths

Reposted from Our Journey Thru Autism

Children with autism spectrum disorders often have movement as a strength. Perhaps the child cannot talk or doesn’t know how to initiate play with a peer, but they can typically walk down the block and climb the monkey bars. We’re not talking about the quality, variety, or skill level of movement because children with ASD often have significant deficits in these aspects of movement. We are so often focusing on what children with developmental disabilities can’t do and coming up with strategies to improve these areas. What if we flip it and and look at their strengths. If we have identified movement as a strength, then how can we USE that strength to help a child learn, have fun and engage in social interactions. Read more

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Therapeutic Play With Playdough

Playdough can be a great tool to strengthen the hands and for imaginary play.  It can also be a great tool for increasing sensory awareness of the feet.  It can also be used to challenge balance in standing like in this video, or it can be done in sitting too.  Have fun trying it out!

TMR TOTS: Week 1

Its been 3 work days since I came back from the TMR course. I’ve been trialing it out with many of my kiddos. Its definitely taking less time to do the assessment of the 7 positions and to determine which is the hard vs. easy side for each motion. I do get consistent improvement in mobility by doing the TMR method. I am still waiting to see the functional changes before I know whether this is going to be a new tool in my toolbox or not. I plan to do some videotaping in order to look at the subtle changes that may be occurring. Read more

Adventures in PT Land

I just came back from 2 long days at a course called TMR (total motion release) for TOTs. I have been looking into the TMR program since last year around this time, but had only read about it for adults. The creator is a marketing guru if you ask me. I wasn’t too attracted to it initially. Orthopedics is not my thing and I’ve never been good at taking ortho topics and applying it to the kids. I have felt for a long time though that there is a lot of knowledge in ortho land that could help the kids gain mobility- I just never knew how to access this information in a way that I could apply to the population that I work with. Read more

My Favorite Halloween Costume!

Check out this fantastic Fireman driving his Fire Truck!  Complete with flashing lights, a siren, and important tools in the truck.  Please share with me other creative Halloween costumes you made or saw this year!

It Takes Two To Tango

As promised here are some of my go-to strategies during therapy sessions.  This carries over to home activities as well as any time a child is learning something new or facing a challenge.  None of these strategies have anything to do with physical therapy, movement, or motor development, but without them I wouldn’t be able to guide my kiddos to reach their goals.  The bottom line is that it takes two to tango and if the kiddo isn’t dancing, you’re not getting anywhere! Read more

A Gaggle of Giggles Get No to Go

Today was a great reminder as to how far a little laughter can take you when working with a child to overcome a challenge. I was at the park with a little girl I treat in the early intervention program. She is almost 2 and had never been on a playground swing. She has unique medical needs that have limited her exposure to a lot of things outside her home, but today we were at the park and ready to give the swing a shot. She didn’t complain at all getting in. She has seen her older brother and sister on swings, so she definitely had the message that this was going to be FUN. Her mom put her in and started pushing her. Read more

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Toe-Walking (Updated October 2017)

Children toe-walk for various different reasons. Medical causes such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy must be ruled out.  Many children on the autism spectrum will also toe-walk.  Additionally, children without any other diagnoses have been called idiopathic toe walkers.  It is important to understand that toe-walking is a MOVEMENT problem, not just an ANKLE problem.  This is why toe-walking can be challenging to parents and therapists alike.  A whole body approach is needed to achieve great results!  Read more

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Learn To Move It, Move It

I just came from the house of an adorable 10 month old girl who I see through early intervention. She has been an amazing example of how quickly a child with an intact neurological system can learn new skills. This little girl had a rough start medically, but is now very healthy. With the medical concerns stabilized, her family was very concerned about her from a developmental perspective. When I started with her a couple of months ago she was barely sitting. Today she was crawling, cruising, and pulling to stand beautifully! She is now doing what other children her age are doing and is taking off. Read more