As parents approach the end of school, you may also experience sadness due to expectations that were not met. Are you asking: 1. Why did my child not progress as much as I thought he would? 2. What should I have done differently? 3. Why did the teacher not push harder? 4. Why did the long hours of homework, therapy, and frustration not “pay off”? Making a list of your child’s accomplishments for this semester may help you see his progress! Try to focus on even little things as they do indicate that your child has moved forward. Though it may appear that struggles outweigh progress, focus on the accomplishments and praise your child. He needs your praise and encouragement to keep trying! Please seek professional […]
As summer rapidly approaches, your child may experience joy about the end of school mixed with sadness. Promotion to the next grade level is exciting but may cause anxiety about the new teacher and new classmates as well as leaving the familiar teacher. Be aware of these mixed emotions and help your child work through the anxiety. Anxiety can look like sadness, irritability, acting out in school. Some things to think about doing before school is out: Visit the new grade level and look at the classrooms, meet the teachers. Help your child write a story about this year’s good and bad times. Then add his expectations about next year. For younger children, have them tell you the story. Note fears and help your child […]
If you do decide to take a break from tutoring/therapy during the summer, its important to do the following: Ask your therapist/tutor for her opinion. Consult your doctor if there is a medical condition that requires ongoing therapy. If they agree, then together decide on activities that will help with the goals you all have decided on. Choose fun, realistic ones. Make a commitment to set aside a specific time during the summer days to continue to work on the above activities. Some children lose what they have learned unless reinforced. Have a specific date to begin therapy/tutoring again. If you don’t, it will be easy to not start again. Make it clear to the therapist/tutor what your plans are for the school year. Will […]
Every parent and therapist has high expectations for the summer months. Considered “free months”, we tend to forget about vacations, camps, Vacation Bible School, etc. that fill up those “free months” very quickly. As your summer is unfolding and you are dealing with priorities of yours, your children, and the therapist, its important to talk with your therapist/tutor to determine what the goals are for the summer months and how these goals will be achieved. Make sure the goals are realistic for your family and your child. Have FUN activities that will encourage those goals when you go on your trips. It might be writing daily in a journal to help with handwriting. Reading maps or signs along the way to help improve reading skills. […]
Often summer is a time of guilt for families with children who have learning differences, even mild ones. Some of the questions I hear as a therapist include: How should we juggle vacation, camps, therapy/tutoring? Should I let my child drop tutoring for the summer because he needs a break from so much school work? If I do, will he fall further behind or lose all he learned this past year? What about my other children? They need a “normal” summer with activities focused on them for a change! What about me? I have worked hard all year trying to keep things running smoothly! Guilt: What to do with it? Do you have suggestions?
Jessica Hunt OTRL in her seminar Sensory Processing Made Simple reminded us parents and therapists that if we take a sensory behaviour away that we need to replace it with another behavior of the same intensity. For example, if your child is chewing on his shirt, you may try replacing that behavior with chewing gum. However, the gum must be difficult enough to chew to match the intensity of chewing on his shirt or it won’t work. Think Bazooka Bubble Gum not Trident! Try Beef Jerky for chewing! There are also chewable jewelry and pencil tops at Fun and Function’s website and also at the Ark Therapeutics website.