The Hidden Foundations For Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills can be defined as the skilled coordination and movement of the small muscles of the hands, fingers, tongue and mouth. Oftentimes parents and teachers can identify difficulties with functional outcomes such as handwriting or self-feeding with a spoon. An occupational therapist can help a parent understand and identify the hidden foundational skill areas that are impacting the child’s growth.

When to seek Speech Therapy for Your Child

Many parents ask the question, “How do I know if my child needs speech therapy?” While a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) has many areas of expertise, (fluency/stuttering, social language, overall language development including grammar, vocabulary, understanding concepts, following directions, etc.), the concept of articulation, or sound production, may warrant the most questions for parents of school-aged children.

Using the Work of RDI® to Create an Unstoppable School Team

In the first part of our “Making this your child’s best year yet!” series, we discussed the importance of using the principles of Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®) to establish a strong, secure relational foundation moving into the new school year. In part two of the series, we focus on how to use those same principles to form strong, meaningful, collaborative relationships with school staff to work together towards jointly-written goals which take into account the needs and desires of both the teachers, parents and student.

Feeling Nervous About The Challenges of a New School Year?

Parents all over the world toss and turn with the start of a new school year. Parents of children with special needs have additional fears about the quality of their school, the appropriateness of their child’s placement and the endless worry about making sure their child is able to enjoy meaningful, authentic relationships. The great news is that by using the principles of Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®)

The Importance of the Guided Participation Relationship

May 31, 2016

Think back to a special childhood moment when you were able to achieve a difficult goal.  Maybe you caught your first fish, successfully mastered a two-wheeler or baked your first batch of cookies. Thinking back to those moments, for many, something very special made that achievement possible. Since the beginning of time and observed in every culture in the world, is the Guided Participation Relationship (GPR).

Finding Balance

April 26, 2016

In our busy, dynamic world, it’s easy to feel like you’re being tossed from one obligation to another without any real sense of control or purpose.  While trying to provide the best care for your child with special needs, you may also be busy with personal research, meeting with professionals, driving to miscellaneous therapies, involvement in school and extra-curricular activities and many more things may occupy the day until you find yourself collapsing into bed totally exhausted and confused wondering where the day (and all your lofty goals) went.

Believing in a Second Chance

April 1, 2016

At the heart of the Relationship Development Intervention program is belief in change. Even before scientific findings confirmed it, Dr. Gutstein and his wife Dr. Sheely believed that the brain of a child on the autism spectrum had a great capacity for change. While looking at the current state of autism therapy, they wondered if this was the best available. They wondered if there could be such a thing as a second chance. They wondered if there would be a therapy that would not only change the observable behavior of a child on the spectrum, but something that could actually change the brain. They wanted to develop a therapy that would allow a child to have access to the most important and meaningful joy in life- guiding relationships.

Teaching Strategies for the Messy, Imperfect, Dynamic World of Real Life

February 19, 2016

Everyone has heard the saying “repetition is the mother of all learning,” but new research suggests that for individuals on the autism spectrum, repetitive learning styles may actually impede the ability to learn and generalize new information.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University recruited adults diagnosed with high- functioning autism for a study to determine their ability to adapt to new information. Participant’s processing time for a computerized task was measured against the processing time of a neurotypical control group.

Learn More about Our Peer Match Programs!

September 28, 2015

Peer matches

This program is facilitated by an RDI® trained extender and supervised by a consultant (RDI® consultant or Occupational Therapist). Two to three clients that appear to be a good fit are matched for peer interaction. Carefully selected structured activities are provided to promote play, communication, and overall interaction. The focus is on supporting the participants to engage with each other in natural and authentic ways.

Learning More about Self-Regulation

August 25, 2015

Self-regulation refers to the child’s ability to develop his or her own strategies to develop attention, to self-soothe when upset, to inhibit impulses, and to organize his/her behavior for the task at hand. The child learns to gradually develop self-regulation strategies since birth, initially through the actions of the primary caregiver, and later on by himself.