Fall 2015 Newsletter
Tips for completing homework with less stress!
- Set up a work station at home that is designated for homework. The station should be clear of clutter and extraneous noises such as TV, video games, and radio. This structured area limits distractions and provides a well-organized environment for work.
- Encourage your child to sit in a firm chair with his or her feet planted on the ground or on a foot rest. Consider using an office chair in order to adjust the chair height. The child’s back should be supported against the backrest. Encourage your child to take a stretch break from sitting every 20 minutes.
- Include sensory diet activities that are alternated with more sedentary activities such homework and computer tasks. Carefully placed homework breaks reduce fatigue and support students’ attention and concentration. Talk to your occupational therapist if you do not have a sensory diet already implemented.
- Keep an eye on your child’s level of frustration and amount of time necessary to complete assignments. Seek advice when appropriate from school personnel, including occupational therapy practitioners, about your child’s performance in school. Work as a team to support his or her academic and emotional needs.
- Develop a homework plan that best meets the needs of your child. Consider sensory needs or distractions, like hunger fatigue or noise, as well as habits and preferences to determine the best times to complete homework assignments. Some children work best before dinner time, and others need a rest break after school before completing homework assignments.
- When using a computer, encourage the child to work comfortably and shift position often. If your child uses a notebook computer, set it up with a separate keyboard and mouse and adjust the notebook to be used only as a monitor.
These tips were provided by occupational therapy practitioners who work with America’s school children every day in conjunction with the American Occupational Therapy Association
Metro Therapy has recent openings in our feeding program utilizing the SOS Approach to Feeding and Beckman Oral Motor! Call our front office at (763) 450-9400 to get started with a feeding evaluation today!
Feeding Red Flags
- Ongoing poor weight gain or weight loss
- Ongoing choking, gagging or coughing during meals. Ongoing problems with vomiting
- History of eating and breathing coordination problems, with ongoing respiratory issues
- Parents reporting child as being “picky” at 2 or more well-child checks
- Inability to transition or difficulty transitioning from purees to solids or bottle to cup.
- Has not weaned off baby foods by 16 months of age
- Aversion or avoidance of all foods in specific texture or nutrition group
- Food range of less than 20 foods, especially if foods are being dropped over time with no new foods replacing those lost
- An infant who cries and/or arches at most meals
- Family is fighting about food and feeding (ie. Meals are battles)
- Parent repeatedly reports that the child is difficult for everyone to feed
With the school year getting underway, school-based therapy services will also be starting back up for many children. School districts provide valuable therapy services to students to help them achieve their educational goals. Parents, caregivers, and others involved in a child’s life may wonder about the relationship between those school services and those provided at Metro Therapy. Here are some answers to some common questions:
Q: My child was evaluated through the school district and they said he/she didn’t qualify for speech and/or occupational therapy. Will we qualify for services through the clinic?
A: School districts have very specific criteria that must be met for students to qualify for special services. For example, they must score a certain amount below average on a standardized test, or sometimes in multiple areas. Sometimes kids don’t meet that criteria but still have areas of need. At our clinic, the eligibility criteria services is different, so we may be able to provide services to children who didn’t qualify in the school.
Q: My child does get services through the schools, why might we need more than that?
A: Supplementing your child’s school therapy services with additional treatment through our clinic can help them achieve their goals faster and generalize their progress through increased frequency and duration of treatment. Additionally, we are able to help with areas that may be more relevant to their home and community life, as well as impact their ability to learn in school.
Q: Will you collaborate with my child’s school team?
A: As long as we have parents’ permission to share information, we do our best to stay in touch with school therapists regarding our shared clients. We take into consideration a child’s current IEP goals as we develop our treatment plans and try to support and enhance the work that is being done in school.
Is my preschooler stuttering?
It is normal for young children to go through a period of speech disfluency due to rapid growth in language development and increasing complexity of vocabulary and grammar. Normal disfluencies include interjections such as “um” or “uh”, repetitions of words and phrases (“I want, I want, I want the green one), and going back and starting a sentence over again. These disfluencies are free of tension and often go unnoticed by the child. Other types of disfluencies that are more indicative of stuttering include prolongation of sounds (Mmmmmy ball), blocks in which it appears the child is trying to speak, but nothing is coming out, and repetitions of sounds or parts of words (b-b-b-ball). If you have concerns about stuttering, an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist can determine whether intervention is warranted.
Metro Therapy Staff Continuing Education:
Jen Biehn, OTD, OTR/L is attending SOS Feeding, Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders Jessica Paredes, COTA/L is attending SOS Feeding, Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders Kelsey Olson, COTA/L is attending SOS Feeding, Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders Brittany Ahsklog, M.S. CCC-SLP, attended Early Speech-Language Development: Taking Theory to the Floor.
Metro Therapy Team Anniversaries:
Sarah Hetz is celebrating 4 years. Veronica Clark is celebrating 3 years. Jessica Paredes is celebrating 2 years. Connie Ramsey is celebrating 2 years. Cheryl Johnson is celebrating 2 years. Metro Therapy will be closed November 26th for Thanksgiving.