Metro Therapy Special Children's Center

Summer 2015 Newsletter

Does your child experience summer dead brain?

Over the summer, children lose months of reading and math skills, according to several studies. When they return to school in the fall, teachers dedicate five or six weeks to review, rather than pushing students to explore new challenges. Here are 3 easy and fun games to play with them in order to prevent the dreaded lapse of knowledge! Check out Emily Jupiter SLP-CCC, blog from June 4, 2015 for more information.

Alphabet game

  • How to play: Start by looking for a word on a sign or billboard that starts with “A”… Once you find a word that starts with “A,” look for one that starts with “B”—go through the entire alphabet!Warning: This game can become quite competitive if you have a “race” to the end of the alphabet.
  • Extra challenge: To make it even harder, make a rule that all players must use an original word—no repeats!
  • Why it works: It’s not an overwhelming amount to read and it still targets articulation sounds and letter identification. It really is so much fun!

I spy

  • Why it works: Through this game you can work on describing, word-retrieval strategies and listening skills while still having a stress-free, enjoyable time!
  • Extra language twist: Work on “wh-questions” by encouraging players to ask questions to get more information about the object. Also, you may want to limit the objects to certain categories to target categorical thinking. For added structure, remind your child to describe by category, how you use it, what it looks like and where you find it.

Heads up

  • How to play: This is both an app and a board game. In this game, a player has a word on his or her head, and other players describe it. The players continue to describe the word until it is guessed correctly.
  • Why it works: This game targets describing, which helps children express their ideas in a specific, clear and effective way. Additionally, this is a great game for listening skills and gathering information!

Summer Travel Tips for Children with SPD

Whether you are traveling via plane, train or automobile these travel tips will come in handy during your summer vacation.

  1. Phone first: Call the travel provider and find out how they can accommodate your child’s special needs.
  2. Squirrel away snacks: Children often have a hard time waiting or do not like the food options that are available. Avoid meltdowns by bringing familiar foods with.
  3. Study the route: plan your stops to meet your child’s needs, as well as your own. Many children with SPD challenges cannot sit for long periods of time and need a break. Plan these into your travel route.
  4. Quiet the noise, quiet the spirit: Many children with SPD challenges have issues with loud noises. Try earphones or an iPod. They can provide calming music or familiar noises to distract your child.
  5. Utilize pretend play to prepare your child: act out situations that you will encounter on a trip. For example, if you are flying, have family members pretend to be a flight attendant and pilot while your child is the passenger. Remember, if you’re planning on using a car seat, be sure it’s FAA approved or it won’t be allowed on board.
  6. Know your rights: – be careful if you buy tickets to an event that may push your child into sensory overload. Find out if you can get a refund or what special accommodations they are willing to make for you. Visit specialneeds.about.com for more resources and links.
  7. Don’t get discouraged: It’s very upsetting when you have purchased tickets to a live production and you can’t even get your child into the theater, or you can’t get them to wear a life jacket for a boat ride. Accept it as an investment in working towards overcoming their sensory issues.

Carr Farladeau, C. (2009, November 4). Travel Tips for Parents of Children with Sensory Integration Issues – Parenting Special Needs Magazine. Retrieved June 3, 2015, from http://parentingspecialneeds.org/article/travel-tips-for-parents-of-children-with-sensory-integration-issues/

Navigating Autism at MSP Are you flying this summer?

Navigating Autism teamed up with the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), Fraser and the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM) to help children with autism and other special needs prepare for their trip. Children will practice entering the airport, obtain a security pass, go through screening at a TSA security checkpoint and walk through the airport to a boarding gate. To culminate their experience, children and their families will board an aircraft and find their seats. Please note that the aircraft will remain on the ground. Registration is required and space is limited. Summer 2015 schedule: July 11 and August 1 For more information visit: https://www.ausm.org/navigating-autism.html or https://www.mspairport.com/passenger-services/Navigating-Autism.aspx

Metro Therapy in the Community

Metro Therapy will be at Convoy for Hope this year! Located at Spring Lake Park High School on August 1st beginning at 10AM. “We serve guests of honor–in dozens of communities throughout the world–by providing them with free groceries, health and dental screenings, haircuts, family portraits, meals and much more at our community events. Hope Starts Here” Stop by our table and say hi!

Metro Therapy Staff Continuing Education

Jessica Limborg COTA/L attended “Therapeutic Listening, Listening with the Whole Body”. Veronica Clark MA, OTR/L SIPTC attended “Rhythmic Movement Training” a Reflex Integration course. Sarah Hetz MS, CCC-SLP has been recognized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association with an Award for Continuing Education (ACE). She joins a select group of individuals who have made a concerted, personal effort to continue professional learning beyond an academic degree.

New Team Member

Katy Fischer COTA Katy recently received her Occupational Therapy Assistant degree from Anoka Technical College in May of 2015. Katy has also received her Bachelor Degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato in December of 2012. She has always been passionate about helping and teaching children. She has many years of experience as a nanny and has most recently worked as a Lead Teacher at a daycare center. Katy is a motivated individual who is eager to help the Metro Therapy team and collaborate with the children and parents. Student Clinicians Two graduate students will be completing clinical practicums and field work at Metro Therapy this summer. Kalin Stenhaug is a graduate student in the speech-language pathology program at the University of Minnesota. Christine Peters is a graduate student in the occupational therapy program at the College of St. Scholastica. We are looking forward to mentoring and having these student clinicians as part of our team this summer.

Newer post August 18, 2015 Older post

Interested in more?

If you think your child might need therapeutic help, you can check out our services or we have a handy list of things you may need in getting starting with us.

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