Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Scooter Board Activities for the Home

scoot1When people come over to our house for the first time, they are usually a little surprised. Our family room looks like a crazy Romper Room, filled with swings, (including a net swingpogo stick swing, and tire swings), and the kids’ favorites: the trapezeballs, and a mini trampoline. My family owns many, many pieces of therapy equipment. Since our children’s occupational therapist is three hours away, she sets up a program for us and we come home and try to replicate all the exercises. This has necessitated that we purchase much in the way of therapy equipment.
We also have many pieces of smaller, less expensive equipment, and of these, I would have to say our scooter boards are the favorites, hands down.
Scooter board are relatively inexpensive, typically under $35, and they are easily stored and transported. Plus, they offer all kinds of therapeutic benefits. Scooter boards are great for building kids’ core muscles, they provide good vestibular and proprioceptive input, and they are really, really fun.
There are so many fun activities you can do with scooter boards. Here are some of my kids’ favorite  games:
  • Races. We have three scooter boards and often have races in the kitchen (where there is no carpeting and plenty of space). The kids often race each other for some imaginary prize, but they like it the best when one of us parents join in the fun.
  • Ski Run. The kids use toilet plungers—ones that we bought exclusively for therapy—like ski poles to pull themselves around the floor while they sit cross-legged on the scooter boards. This is much more difficult than it sounds. We sometimes have them scoot to one side of the room, pick up an object and bring it back, all while “skiing” with the plungers.
  • Bungee Scooting. We hook bungee cords on our kitchen cabinet handles on either side of the room. You could also install hooks on the walls that you could attach the cords to. The kids pull on the bungee cord while they are sitting on the scooter board so that when they let go, they will go racing across the room. They can do this activity while sitting or while lying on their stomachs. Either way, it is a great core strengthener.
  • Tower Crash. Have your child sit on his bottom and use his feet to push the scooter board. When they get to the end of the room, take a big cardboard block or a ball and put it between his legs and then scoot to the other side of the room. Take the blocks and stack them up and after several times, the child can then fly into the tower of blocks, knocking them over.
  • Scooting. Have your child use the scooter board to get around from one place to another or one station in an obstacle course to another. Kids can sit on the scooter and use their feet to propel them, or they can lie on their stomachs and use their hands to scoot. Regardless, it’s a fun way to get around!
Note: Many of these ideas came from Occupational Therapist Linda Kramer of Children’s Therapy Services.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

No Longer a Secret book review

No Longer a Secret: Unique Common Sense Strategies for Children with Sensory or Motor Challenges by Doreit Bialer and Lucy Jane Miller is an invaluable resource for those looking for on-the-spot, practical and cheap solutions and tips for kids with sensory issues.

The book starts out with a chapter dedicated to the eight sensory systems, Sensory Processing, and SPD.  The authors then move on to reveal their "secret" to intervention which they explain as a "process of devising strategies that work to support your child at times when he or she is experiencing sensory challenges."

The method walks you through various causes of the issue you are looking to fix.  For example, is it an attention problem, a sensation issue, or environmental.  Once you ascertain what cause underlies the problem (and the authors provide a handy chart to help you do so) you move on to the chapters which offer practical solutions to try with your child.

The authors provide games and activities for issues like self-regulation, sensory over and/or under-responsivity, among others. 

This is a really valuable resource for anyone who has, or works with, a child with sensory issues.  It provides fun, practical and cheap activity ideas that will help kids develop sensory regulation!

If you would like to borrow a copy of this book and you live in Illinois, please contact Family Matters at 866-436-7842.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

3 Signs It’s Time to Talk With Your Child’s Teacher

When to Contact Your Child's Teachers: 3 Signs It's Time to Speak Up
originally posted on the National Center for Learning Disabilities

At a Glance
  • Frequent homework issues could be a sign of trouble at school.
  • A change in your child’s attitude about school could be another telltale sign.
  • Communicating your concerns early can sometimes head off bigger problems.

Have you ever wanted to call or email your child’s teacher but were afraid of being a bother? Don’t worry! Gone are the days of waiting for a parent-teacher conference, a PTA meeting or a chance meeting in the school hallway to touch base with the teacher.

School websites, social networks, email and texting have made it easier to stay in contact. And communicating early can sometimes head off bigger problems and enable you to build a solid relationship with the school.

Here are three situations when it’s wise to reach out:

  1. Your child’s attitude changes.

    Maybe your child—who used to like school—now throws a tantrum before getting on the bus. Or maybe he’s been expressing negative feelings about school in other ways. He might be having trouble academically or socially. The teacher can be your eyes and ears at school and help identify what’s going on.

    If the new behavior is evident at school, you and the teacher can talk about whether it happens at certain times of day or during certain subjects. Knowing this mightgive you deeper insight into why your child’s attitude has changed. The teacher can also ask other faculty and staff to keep an eye out.
Click here to read more.....

Monday, November 3, 2014

Child Find: What is it???

Child Find is an ongoing process through which all children, from birth through 21 (through the day before the student’s 22nd birthday), or who may be eligible for early intervention, or who may be in need of special education services are identified, located and evaluated.
Each school district is responsible for actively locating, identifying and evaluating all children who live within the district boundaries who may qualify to receive special education and/or related services.

To read more visit:

If you have questions about your child, contact Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center at 866-436-7842, and speak to one of our Information Specialist!!!

Book and CD giveaway!

Enter our give away to win this book Alex: The Fathering of a Preemie.  If you win, you will also win a copy of a Music Therapy for Children cd.


There are a few different ways to enter the contest. You are able to get up to four entries per person!

~~One entry for leaving a comment here.  Please be sure to include your email address so we can get a hold of you if you win!

~~One entry for liking us on Facebook:!/FamilyMattersPTIC?fref=ts
Just click on that link and hit the 'Like' button.
  (Please mention in a comment on this post that you have liked our FB pageor else I won't know to give you an entry).

~~One entry for blogging about our giveaway. Share your link here in the comments.

~~One entry for sharing this post on Facebook. Share the link in the comments.

***Due to shipping expenses, this giveaway is only for residents of the US.

The give away ends on November 10th at midnight.