SENSORY STRATEGIES:

The Sensory Bounce Therapy Blog:
Sensory Processing, Motor and Social Skills Resources
for Parents of Special Needs Children

WELCOME TO SENSORY STRATEGIES,

YOUR SOURCE FOR INFORMATION AND ADVICE

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Welcome to the Sensory Bounce Therapy blog! 
My name is Miriam Skydell and I’m an occupational therapist with 30 years experience helping make a positive difference in the lives of special needs children and their families. My goal is to help you build your own backpack of sensory strategies to use in everyday situations.

I’ll be posting articles to help you strengthen your child’s motor and social skills development. This blog will be full of tips and tricks, strategies and modifications, to help your sensory children not just function, but succeed, in all aspects of daily life.

Who will benefit from reading the Sensory Bounce Therapy blog?
Parents, educational, and medical personnel involved with children with:

  • Sensory processing, motor and social skills difficulties
  • Autistic spectrum disorders
  • ADHD
  • Learning disabilities
  • Genetic disorders
  • Developmental delays
  • Behavioral challenges

What exactly does sensory processing mean?
Sensory processing is the way in which our brain acquires information from our senses and arranges it in order to produce a functional, productive response. Efficient sensory processing is necessary for a child to navigate successfully in daily academic, home and social life.

Can poor sensory processing affect how my child functions?
Poor sensory processing can hinder a child’s ability to develop motor, academic, social/ emotional, language and self-care skills. This makes it hard for him or her to learn, cope with ordinary situations and build peer relationships.

What abilities can I help my child build?
Sensory motor skills are fundamental. Your child needs to develop his/her:

  • Balance
  • Body in space awareness
  • Core control coordination
  • Bilateral integration
  • Motor planning

Social skills are vital too. You can help your child acquire:

  • Eye contact
  • Language
  • Turn taking
  • Frustration tolerance
  • Impulse control
  • Sportsmanship
  • Team building

What will this blog include?
My aim is to discuss everything that can help you help your child, from new ideas in research to practical ways to get your child to eat. We’ll examine different approaches to improvement, such as adapting to his/her environment, easing transitions, foods, calming activities, sensory and therapeutic activities, engaging your child, and much more. Autism and other sensory processing disorders don’t just affect a single child; they affect the entire family. We’ll explore ways to mitigate the stress put on the family.

I will share and summarize recent studies and articles on everyday problems that you may struggle with, to help you keep current with theories on everything from feeding, dressing and transitioning to managing everyone’s expectations (including your own!).

What should I know?
If you’re new to the sensory processing world, I’ll help you make sense of all the unfamiliar — and, perhaps, overwhelming — terminology that may be coming at you.

And if you’re a veteran, I’ll keep you up to date on new resources, ideas, research and studies constantly becoming available. Progress is being made now that autism and other sensory processing disorders are receiving more attention and research funding.

A few of the issues I plan to examine and offer “tips and tricks” for:

  • How developing sensory processing, gross motor and social skills can be fun
  • The role of an occupational therapist in your child’s life
  • Why school-based occupational therapy isn’t enough
  • Why ABA alone won’t help your child develop skills
  • The process of sensory integration
  • Integrating goal-oriented therapy and play
  • Including special needs children in the same areas as their typically developing peers
  • Whom to enlist on your child’s team
  • Incorporating behavior plans and strategies to achieve success
  • Easing transitions
  • Dealing with change
  • Managing meltdowns
  • Helping your child focus
  • Fostering independence
  • Developing self-care skills
  • Learning to take turns
  • Coping with food and smell aversions
  • Getting your picky eater to try new foods
  • Minimizing sensitivity to clothes and touch
  • Hand flapping, eye contact
  • The most effective ways to lessen symptoms
  • Carving out time for yourself
  • What to do when your family isn’t supportive
  • How to keep your cool when people think your child is just difficult
  • How a sensory child affects siblings and how you can promote family harmony
  • Keeping your marriage and your relationship strong
  • The importance of parent support groups

Before I close
I’d really like to cover topics you have a particular interest in — please let me know via email or in the comments section what you would like to discuss and/or hear more about.

Also, feel free to share or quote anything from this blog (with attribution, please, and if possible, a link), and to repost on social media.

I look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,
Miriam

About Miriam:
Miriam Skydell MS, OTR/L is a pediatric OT with 30 years experience and a strong commitment to empowering every child and every family with the skills, confidence and emotional stability necessary for a meaningful, independent life. In addition to her Masters degree from NYU (1986) and membership in the AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association), Miriam is a licensed Interactive Metronome®,  HWT (Handwriting Without Tears®), and TLP (The Listening Program®) provider.

Miriam performs preschool screenings, contracts experienced OTs, PTs and STs to schools, helped implement the HWT curriculum, and lectures extensively for parent and support groups and at teacher conferences for public and private schools throughout New Jersey. Through her private practice in Fair Lawn, Miriam Skydell and Associates, established in 1995, Miriam has helped countless children with a wide range of diagnoses improve functional living skills, manage the impact of sensory processing dysfunction, and meet their individual potentials.

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