Saturday, February 10, 2018

Addressing Auditory Defensiveness

Auditory defensiveness is an over sensitivity to sounds in the environment.  Children with auditory defensiveness may present with some or all of the following symptoms:

* Seems unsettled or distressed in loud environments
* Frequently cover their ears to sounds that other children tolerate
* Are bothered by noises made by things like the vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, etc.
* Avoids activities that have loud environments such as parties, ballgames, and movies.
* Possible language difficulties

Here are several strategies to help children with auditory processing issues.

* Modify the environment by considering the acoustics
* Changing seating arrangements may be beneficial
* Limit extraneous noise from the hallway by closing the door or windows
* It may be necessary to cover the loud speaker with buffering material
* Having rugs or carpet on the floor will decrease echo and extraneous noises
* Whenever possible, children should be forewarned about bells, announcements, fire drills, etc.
* Have the child wear headphones or earmuffs that that cover the entire ear
* Play calming music such as Mozart in the headphones or as background music
* If concentration is an issue, the child should chew gum, suck on sour candies, and/or eat fruit roll ups, or crunchy snacks.
* Therapeutic Listening® is a program that may help a child with issues such as auditory defensiveness, hypersensitivities, sensory modulation, and general organization issues.
For more information, go to and click on parent info.
David Castillo Dominici@Freedigitialphotos

Friday, January 5, 2018

Free Visual Perceptual Skills Worksheets!

Visual perceptual skills are how the brain makes sense of the information the eyes take in and gives that information meaning (for example, finding a toy in a toybox). Visual perceptual skills are important for writing, reading, working math problems, and many other skills!  Enjoy these fun & free worksheets that will help your child work on her visual perceptual skills.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Developmental Milestone Chart: 18 to 24-Months

Your 18 to 24-month old baby is growing and learning new skills quickly. He is likely knows the meaning of simple objects, names items in a book, understands simple verbs.  The following developmental milestone chart will give you an idea of what do expect during the next few months.
 The project above was completed by Master of Occupational Therapy students at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Free Holiday Worksheets for Visual Perceptual Skills!

Here are 4 free holiday worksheets that address visual perceptual skills. Visual perceptual skills are the ability to efficiently process visual information. When a child has visual perceptual problems, it can lead to challenges with writing, eye-hand coordination tasks, memory and attending to task. Enjoy these free visual perceptual worksheets over the holidays!
Have fun!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Free Visual Perceptual Worksheets: Matching Shapes

Have fum with these free visual perceptual worksheets!

When toddlers explore their surroundings, they discover that certain things have similar characteristics while others are different. They eventually learn to sort items by particular characteristics, and after that, they learn how to match. Your toddler will find it easier to match actual concrete items first, and once she masters items, she will move on to matching pictures. These worksheets will help your child learn about colors and how to discriminate various shapes.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

6 Ways to Improve Your Little One’s Motor Skills While You Work Out

Photo Credit: By
Let’s face it: many parents have no choice but to become excellent multitaskers. If you can’t help with homework while also folding the laundry, for example, one of those things just doesn’t get done. All too often, the need to get the most out of every waking moment means making a sacrifice here and there – usually missing out on something we as parents would like to do (morning jog, I’m thinking of you).

If you are one of those people with a jam-packed day who would feel so much better about getting some exercise if it didn’t mean sacrificing quality time with your little one, despair no more. You can indeed multitask this portion of your life as well! There are also many benefits of exercise for kids, including developing their motor skills without them even realizing, so you get bonus points if you both get a workout.

Try out some of these simple ways to develop your little one’s motor skills while you squeeze in a workout. 

1. Try out some of the free “baby and me” workout videos that abound on YouTube. Many of these help develop hand-eye coordination for your baby while you do yoga, Pilates, cardio, strength training, or dance.
2. If your little one is a bit older, try some children’s exercise videos, also on YouTube (my preschooler loves the Cosmic Kids Yoga series), to help your child learn to balance, stretch, follow instructions, jump, and more while you actually get a fairly decent (if brief) workout.
3. Show your little one how to roll, do the army crawl, crab walk, somersault, and more. Demonstrating the activities gives you the chance to work your core and upper body while teaching your child how to move in different ways. If they’re old enough to try to copy you, they’ll be working on coordinating the motion of their arms and legs to try new postures.
4. Have a dance party. The vast majority of physical exercise I got when my son was 1 and 2 was in the form of dance parties. Raffi, BeyoncĂ©, whoever. You can make it aerobically intense for you while having your child dance, hop, twist, or play the (pot and pan) drums. “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and the good old “Hokie Pokie” have the added benefit of teaching body parts and additional skills while getting you both moving and grooving.
5. Jog with your little one in the stroller and attach activity-based toys to keep them busy. These include books, shakers, mirrors, and other items with ties, buttons, springs, rattles and more. They will be happily occupied playing while simultaneously learning about colors, textures, physics, sounds, and more.
6. Reserve some of your coolest motor activity-based toys for your workout times. While you exercise, your little one can have a blast exploring a special toy that they only get to use during your workouts. This toy should be something that has lots of possible ways it can be used, such as a set of blocks, yarn pegboards or a kid-friendly toolkit.

Finding motor skill-building activities and exercises for kids that they enjoy can be the key to fitting in a workout for you without relegating them to a seat in front of the TV. Best wishes for a dual-purpose workout, fellow multitaskers!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Developmental Milestone Chart: 12 to 15-Months

Your 12 to 15-month old baby is learning new skills at a rapid rate. He is likely pointing to get the attention of others, drinking from a cup and feeding himself a snack.  The following developmental milestone chart will give you a general idea of what do expect during the next few months.

Brill, A. (2017, March 16). Giant List of Self-Care Skills for Babies,Toddlers and Preschoolers. Retrieved from

Gross & Fine Motor Milestones. (n.d.). Retrieved August 08, 2017, from

Gross Motor Skills Milestones for Toddlers 12 - 24 Months | EIS. (2015, April 02). Retrieved from

Important Milestones: Your Child By Eighteen Months. (2016, August 15). Retrieved August 08, 2017, from

Physical Development of Toddlers From 12-18 months. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Toddlers' Social and Emotional Development From 12-18 Months. (n.d.). Retrieved from

The project above was completed by Master of Occupational Therapy students at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and posted with permission.