3 Easy Ways to Build Language Skills Every Day!

Taking time to sit and read with your child is highly recommended by all the current research. Reading to your child improves cognitive and language skills while also strengthening social, emotional and character development.

Children also learn from watching, listening and engaging with others throughout the day. Scheduling time to read and engage with your child is crucial, but don’t miss out on these easy ways to support your child’s learning and language skills during everyday activities. Research shows that simply talking and listening to your child is vital to development of language and cognitive skills.

Incorporating these strategies takes a bit of focused effort at first, but with time you’ll discover it’s easy to take advantage of these “teachable moments” and notice your child’s language improving as well as your relationship!   

  1. MEAL TIME: Have your child in the room with you while you are preparing meals so they can watch and participate in the activities. Use this time for conversation and focused language practice: . 
  • RECEPTIVE LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES: Depending on your child’s age and ability level, they can work on following directions when you ask them to get out certain items (for example: “get out your green cup”, “put the napkin on the table”) or you can give 2-step directions such as “get the green cup and put it on the table”.  If your child is younger, you can hand him/her the napkin and help them put it on the table while you are telling them the directions.  
  • VOCABULARY ACTIVITIES: While you are working in the kitchen and preparing meals, talk to your child as much as you can.  Explain what you are doing, label the items/foods/actions you are doing while you are doing them, talk about colors and sizes of things you are using, and work on sequencing by talking through the steps you are taking to prepare the meal.  
  • EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES: Ask your child questions while you are working in the kitchen.  You can ask him/her to label items, ask him/her to tell you where things go, given him/her an object and have him/her tell you about it (size, color, etc), or ask your child to tell you what you are doing as you do things (washing, cutting, cooking, etc). 

 

2.  BATH TIME: This is another great time to get some language and conversation going with your child.  As with the meal time ideas, you can work on vocabulary by labeling objects, actions and the steps to getting bathed (before, during and after).  You can ask questions to work on that expressive language at whatever stage your child is at (labeling, combining 2-3 words, producing sentences).  Receptive language can be addressed by asking your child to point to body parts, follow 1-2 step directions (ie., give me the blue toy, put the toy in the cup and give it to me, etc), or asking your child questions about what you are doing.  This is also a great time to sing songs and have your child help you by filling in the words/phrases he/she knows in the songs.  

3. MORNING AND NIGHTTIME ROUTINES: These routines are a great source of language and interactions for you and your child.  This is another time where you can work on vocabulary related to the routine, sequencing the steps you take to get ready, asking who/where/when questions about the routine and objects involved (“Where do you keep your toothbrush?”, “Who should brush their teeth first?”, “When do we put on our pajamas?”) or asking your child about their day.  Encourage expression by asking for specifics such as “Tell me something you had fun doing today” instead of asking “what did you do today?” Remember that listening to your child is as important as speaking to your child! 

Tammy Masciola, Speech Therapist

Sometimes as parents we get caught up in “getting through” the daily routines and all of the things we have to do that we forget that these are opportunities for quality time with our children.  We can make these times more enjoyable for ourselves as parents and help our children develop many skills as they participate in or watch the routines we go through during our day. Be creative, have fun and enjoy your time with your child as they learn and communicate with you! ~ Tammy Masciola, MA, CCC-SLP/L

Tips for IEP Review Time

It’s that time of year when we look forward to the coming of warmer weather and signs of spring.  For some, it’s that time of year for the annual IEP review,  which you may not be looking forward to.  Meeting with school staff, hearing updates on progress and reviewing the written plan can be a daunting process for parents. Here are a few tips to help you navigate through it and be sure your child’s needs are being met.

 Mother and child drawing together1.  Prior to the meeting, review your child’s progress over the last 6 months to a year.  Make notes about skills he’s improved in and what skills need to be addressed.  Not sure about skills? Just look at performance and behaviors.  Is homework easier to complete, with less crying or frustration? Is her handwriting more legible? Does he seem happier heading off to school or are mornings difficult at home because he doesn’t want to go?  Write these things down and bring the list, good and bad, to the meeting.

2.  If you notice positive changes and improvements, tell the staff!  Parents often head into a school meeting armed and ready to fight for their child’s needs and rightly so. You are going to spend a lot of time at this meeting working on problems.  Try to identify an area where your child is doing well and has shown improvements. Educational staff want to hear about your child’s strengths, too. They also want to know when their efforts are working.  Notice that a teacher has spent extra time with him to advance reading skills? Tell them you appreciate that effort.

3.   If there are many issues on your mind, choose one or two to focus on for this meeting.   Sometimes a child’s needs are many. Where to start is overwhelming and it’s difficult to address all the needs at once. It can be more productive to focus on the most crucial need first which can then indirectly address other needs.  Look at your list (see #1) and decide which area is of most concern to you. This allows the team to focus on solutions for the problem that will have the greatest impact on you, your child and your family.  Issues not addressed at this meeting can be tackled at another time.

4.  Take notes or bring a scribe along with you.   It’s always important that you write down your understanding of what is agreed on at the meeting.  Listen to the reports being presented and make notes of your questions for later.  Ask for clarification of actions to be taken or follow up needed and write down the responses.  If it is too much for you to take notes while listening and talking, bring along someone who will be able to do that for you.   There is always a lot of information offered up at an IEP review, especially if it happens to be a three year re-evaluation.  Taking notes means you don’t have to try to remember all that is said and will help you organize your thoughts later.

5.  Ask questions, share your ideas.  You are a part of your child’s educational team. While it often seems like a room full of people telling you all about your child, the IEP process is a team event and that team includes you, the parent.  Your role is not just to receive the information from the staff but to give them information that will help them help your child.  By sharing your concerns and helping them understand your child you help the teachers and support staff better meed your child’s needs.  By asking questions about school performance you may find a way to do things better at home.

6.  Make a connection with one or two members of your child’s team.  Sometimes a child’s team may include just a few people but sometimes there are as many as 10 professionals and paraprofessionals supporting your child’s needs.  While it is hard to be in regular contact with everyone, you can reach out to one or two people who may have the best connection with your child or who are in a position to help the most.  This may be the classroom teacher but may also include the special education case coordinator, the speech therapist, OT or social worker (or other staff member) depending on your child’s needs. As a parent you will have a sense of who connects with your child, that staff person who really understands.  Reach out to this person and stay in contact with them after the meeting.  They can help you advocate for your child to the whole team.

 

 

NEW! Story Time Language Group

Our newest group is now enrolling!

Designed for children who are in Pre-K or Kindergarten, the Story Time Language Group meets one time a month to help children develop language skills through reading and themed activities. Each month will include reading a story together and then completing social and craft activities related to the theme that help develop language skills such as phonological awareness (rhyming and sounds), sequencing, categorization, vocabulary,  following directions and more.

Story Time Language Group is led by Amy McDowell, MS, CCC-SLP/L, speech language pathologist. Amy has over three years experience working with children in clinic, home and school settings.  She has special interest in literacy and language skills as well augmentative communication. Amy provides speech therapy services at STEPS for Kids and also runs our social skills groups.

This group meets on Saturday mornings from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm (see full schedule below) and enrollment is available on a monthly basis. Sign up for one, two, four or all nine group meetings!

2014 Dates/Themes

September 20:  Fall Fun

October 25:  Halloween

November 22:  Thanksgiving

December 13: Christmas

2015 Dates/Themes

January 17:  Winter Fun

February 14: Valentine’s Day

March 14: St. Patrick’s Day

April 18:  Springtime Fun

May 16:  School’s Out for Summer

NOTE:  Children must be able to communicate their needs independently (with assistive device if needed) and must be able to attend to group activities without one-on-one supervision (unless parent stays for duration of the group meeting).  Group enrollment is 3 minimum (for each session to run) and 6 maximum.  No refunds are provided for missed sessions.  STEPS for Kids reserves the right to reschedule meeting dates/times due to therapist absence or extenuating circumstances such as inclement weather. 

Group Cost:  $20 per group meeting;  $160 for all nine sessions

Payment is due in full at time of registration.

Call the office at 630-552-9890 or email info@rightstepsforkids.com with the subject line “Story Time” to register for Story Time Language Group today!

Mother and child drawing together

“Write STEPS for Kids” Handwriting Camp

Looking for fun summer activities that support academic skills?  Our Write STEPS for Kids Handwriting Camp is just the thing!  Children enjoy group activities that include play, arts & crafts and music while developing skills to support handwriting.  Led by our Occupational Therapists, each section of camp consists of 8 one hour long sessions of fun and games that address foundational skills for written expression.  Starting at the end of July and finishing right before school starts, this is a great way to give your child a head start into the new school year!

In the age of technology, many children lack opportunities to develop handwriting skills. While learning the mechanics of forming letters and numbers is a basic step, many other skills act as foundations for the complex task of writing.  Children may struggle with any one or more of the underlying skills and so benefit from a comprehensive approach that addresses all the components. When underlying skills are not mastered, rote handwriting practice is frustrating and often counter-productive.  By weaving skill development into play based activities children learn and master the basics without the frustration!

Young children participate in gross motor play to develop body awareness, spatial awareness and perceptual skills to better understand direction of writing strokes, how writing goes on a page and improve postural control to support fine motor skills of holding a pencil. Older children learn how to position themselves properly, improve motor control and appreciate the importance of writing in daily life activities.  Each session includes home activity suggestions to carry over skill development and encourage your young writer.

What other parents are saying about our Handwriting Camps:

“A great program that promotes not only correct writing skills but teaches the parent how to strengthen and reinforce those skills..”                           Lisa W. 

“I learned ways to work with my child that are a lot more fun for him, making him much more willing to practice!”                                                              Ellen M. 

“My daughter looked forward to every session, learned a lot and had a lot of fun doing it.”                                                                                                        Jennifer P. 

“She has more confidence about writing letters…..The best thing was the smile on her face each morning of camp!”                                                         Susan N. 

Handwriting Camp sessions are divided into sections based on skill level and provide a mix of activities that are developmentally appropriate.  While age/grade levels are provided as guidelines, children are placed into groups based on cognitive abilities and current handwriting skills.  Contact us for a free screening if you are unsure which group is best suited for your child.

Please see full descriptions of Write STEPS for Kids Handwriting Camps for summer 2014 and contact us to register today!

For more information call 630-552-9890  or email us at  info@rightstepsforkids.com

 

 

 

 

 

Kids at Work: What OT for kids is all about

April is National Occupational Therapy Month; a time to raise awareness of what OT is all about.  OTs work with persons with disabilities to improve functional skills and participation in daily tasks.  Pediatric occupational therapy is a specialty area of practice that addresses child development, activity participation and performance skills so that children with disabilities can achieve their highest level of independence and success in daily activities.

Occupational Therapy derived its name from the use of “occupation” to refer to the roles, routines and activities that we engage in.   A child’s primary occupations include those of family member (son/daughter, sibling, etc), student or learner, friend and player.  A child may also have occupations such as athlete, musician, artist, caregiver for a pet, babysitter and so forth.  Occupational therapists evaluate a child’s developmental skills and assess strengths/impairments related to their ability to participate in daily activities.  Treatment is designed to help develop skills, adapt the environment, educate caregivers and improve participation in daily activities through the use of purposeful activities that are related to the occupations of the child.  The goal of OT is to help the child progress developmentally and participate in daily occupations to their highest potential.

To the casual observer, a child engaged in occupational therapy may appear to be doing nothing more than playing.  This is because a child’s primary occupation is that of “player.” It is through play that young children learn about their world and develop skills for living.   An OT session might involve use of gross motor play like navigating through an obstacle course of climbing, crawling, jumping, swinging and rolling.  Play activities are chosen to address the needs of the child and could include fine motor activities (handling small game pieces), visual motor activities (doing puzzles, drawing), or social interaction (turn taking in a game, compromising to choose play activities).  An OT is trained to analyze tasks or activities and choose those that will be motivating to the client, can be adapted to the “just right challenge” and meet therapy goals for improving skills and function.

OT includes using treatment activities to improve skills, teaching family and other caregivers about the child’s needs, educating others about environmental modifications or task adaptations to support the child’s participation and empowering the child and family toward self-advocacy for future needs.  Therapy goals are always directed toward increasing independence not only in a specific task but in the child and family being able to meet their own needs when direct treatment is over.  Treatment in a clinic setting should always be focused on helping the child to attain a level of function where they are able to participate in home and community activities in a more effective manner so that natural developmental processes can take over.

While children may receive OT services in the school setting under an IEP or 504 Plan, it is important to note the differences between OT in an educational setting versus a clinical setting.  In the school, OT is provided to support the child’s participation in school related tasks and all services must relate directly to the child’s needs in the educational setting. Services in the school are likely to target specific skills such as handwriting or producing written work or regulating behaviors and social skills in the classroom.  This is in contrast to clinic based or “private” OT services which are not limited in the same manner. Many children receive school based services but also require additional OT services to address all of their needs.

At STEPS for Kids, our occupational therapists specialize in providing comprehensive developmental services focusing on a child’s strengths to support their skill development in other areas.   Focusing on functional outcomes as identified during the evaluation through assessment and parent interview, our OT staff uses developmentally appropriate activities to engage children in motivating play that encourages active participation and skill acquisition.  We provide parent education and support for understanding the child’s needs, accessing resources and empowering families for the future.

Wondering whether your child may benefit from occupational therapy? STEPS for Kids offers free screenings that will help you know whether a full evaluation is needed.  Please contact us to schedule a screening or ask about our services.  We are happy to discuss your concerns any time.

Looking for more information? The American Occupational Therapy Association has more information about OT as well as tips for many aspects of child development and daily activities.

Sense-Able Strategies for Every Day

Join us on Wednesday April 2nd 2014, 7:00 pm at the clinic in Yorkville, IL for an evening filled with information and strategies to help you support your child at home, school and in the community.  Debra Johnson, OTR/L will be speaking about self-regulation and sensory processing, how sensory activities and experiences influence our behaviors, and how to implement a sensory diet.

We all use sensory based experiences to help us with self regulation throughout the day.  When your energy lags in the middle of a business meeting you might wiggle in your chair and reposition your body,  fidget with your pen or a paperclip or take a drink of cold water to rouse your energy level and increase your attentiveness.  When you are stressed after a long day you might choose to relax with soothing music, take a walk outdoors or enjoy your favorite food for dinner.   This, in essence, is a sensory diet. We choose different experiences throughout the day that help us regulate our responsiveness and allow us to complete daily tasks more efficiently.

We help young children learn how to use different strategies to calm themselves for sleep, to relax when worried, to focus attention for safety by modeling and redirecting them when necessary.  Some children will pick up on these strategies quickly, innately. You may see even a small child choose to briefly separate from others during play as if taking a rest break before returning to active play within a group.  Older children may choose to be either physically active after school or seek out quiet time for relaxation.  We as parents learn how to follow the rhythms of these needs and notice that one child needs “down time” while another requires more movement. For typically developing children we don’t think twice about this naturally occurring phenomena.

For children who have sensory processing disorders (SPD) the ability to regulate responses to sensory information is skewed. There may be over-responsiveness to some stimuli and under-responsiveness to other types of input.  The use of sensory strategies is not as clear cut or easily acquired during growing up. Children with SPD often benefit from increased structure and assistance in using sensory strategies, learning how their bodies respond and developing independence in using strategies effectively.  Used this way, a sensory diet is an invaluable tool that empowers parents and child.

Sense-Able Strategies for Every Day will provide you with tips, strategies and tools that you can put to use immediately to help your child (or yourself!) to manage daily activities and self-regulation.  We hope you can join us!  You can also print off a flyer to share this information with others.

Sense-Able Strategies for Every Day                                                                    Presented by Debra Johnson, MS, OTR/L

Wednesday April 2, 2014 at 7:00 pm

STEPS for Kids, 1555 Sycamore Rd. Yorkville, IL

Please call or email to reserve your space today. Registration is FREE but space is limited!

630-552-9890  OR  classes@rightstepsforkids.com

Snow Day? ‘Sno problem! (Tips and activities for when it’s cold outside)

The sun did not shine. It was too cold to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, snowy day (to paraphrase Dr. Seuss).  If you have read The Cat in the Hat, then you know how that day turned out! Don’t let your home get turned upside down when the weather doesn’t cooperate with heading outside.  Here are some suggestions for enjoying your forced retreat indoors.

Getting through the day

1.  If your child is accustomed to using schedules at home and school don’t forget to put one in place for an unexpected day at home.  A child who benefits from structure can need it even more on a day when everything is topsy turvy and the usual schedule doesn’t apply. Having the comfort of a picture schedule, the reassuring routines and familiar activities to rely on can make the difference between a meltdown and smooth transitions.

2.  If your child is able to handle a less structured atmosphere then let your routine relax a bit.  Stay in pajamas longer – or even make it a pajama day!  When snow days start piling up you can put some routine back in to the day. While an occasional lazy day with not much of a routine can be a mini stay-cation, too many days without routine can wear on everyone.  Just keeping a list of things that must be done every day can help keep enough structure to help some children stay on track.

3. When making a schedule for the day be sure to allow time for free play (child’s choice), parent time, family time and alone time. When everyone is cooped up together it’s important to remember that even the littlest ones need a little time to retreat and re-energize on their own.  Provide a list of “approved activities” for children to choose from or ask your kids what they want to do. You might be surprised with the ideas they come up with!

4. Relax your expectations for the day.  It’s perfectly fine if you spend the day playing and the laundry doesn’t get done or if your child just can’t focus on the homework due next week.  When there’s novelty in the air (or snow drifting past the window!) it can be hard to stick with what “should” be done.  Relax. It will get done tomorrow.

Activities for Indoor Fun With the Kids

1. Snuggle on the couch and watch a movie you’ve not had time for.

2. Read out loud, share picture books, listen to audio books together.

3. Put on music and sing, dance, jump and shout!  Share the music you grew up with, listen to different kinds of music, make your own music with homemade instruments or just bang on a pot, clang some pan lids or tap spoons together!

4. Write a silly story: One person starts with an opening sentence. Everyone takes turns adding a sentence until the story is complete. Do this out loud with Mom or Dad acting as scribe for the story. When it’s finished the kids can draw illustrations to go with the story!

5. Have an indoor picnic: Involve the kids in making a menu and packing the food up to take it to another part of the house for a picnic.  Pretend you are on a hike and walk around the whole house to find the perfect picnic spot. Spread a blanket and enjoy!

6. Make an obstacle course, play outdoor games indoors, do Olympic training.  Use furniture, cushions, painters tape on the floor, blankets over chairs or tables, to make an obstacle course for the kids to maneuver.  Use the tape to make hopscotch on the floor and use beanbags or checkers for stones. Do strength and balance training with some simple exercises or your video game console.

7. Build a fort! Use your chairs, blankets, clothespins or tape to create a tent. Add tunnels by putting chairs in a line.  If you plan ahead and save some big boxes you can cut out windows and let the kids decorate the boxes then put them together to build a hide out, connecting to make tunnels and separate rooms if you have enough boxes!

8. Make a craft.  Cut out snowflakes, make cards for each other, make placecards for the dinner table, make a collage picture,

9. Play a game. Go through the closet and pull out those board games you haven’t played in years or maybe haven’t opened. Teach your children a simple card game like War.  Show older children how to play old fashioned solitaire.

10. Involve the kids in meal preparation. Take time to let your children participate in making meals at whatever level they are able. Let them experiment in the kitchen; taste raw ingredients, use measuring tools, mix foods together, decorate baked goods, and sample finished products. Find a new recipe and make a new treat or meal.

11.  Play on the internet with new websites, games and activities. There are so many options, many of them free. Take a little time to find something new, research a topic your child is passionate about and find new resources, find the answer to one of your child’s tough questions or play a game together.

12. Skype! Use Skype to connect with family and friends when you can’t get there yourself! My children love to use Skype to chat with their friends and family, sharing conversation, showing things they have made and talking about not much of anything at all. The “face time” is great for staying connected when cold and/or distance keeps you apart.

Childhood Anxiety: Taking the right STEPS

Do you know a child who seems worried, struggles with perfectionism  or relies heavily on routines and rituals throughout the day?  These behaviors could be a sign of anxiety.  Anxiety is a normal part of child development and is typically present at different stages during a temporary phase (think of stranger anxiety or separation anxiety).  Knowing how to navigate these normal phases is hard for parents but the situation is even more difficult when the child suffers from an anxiety disorder.  Please join us on Wednesday November 13th at 7:00 pm to discuss this very important issue and learn how you can support your child through anxiety.

Veronica Lickfelt, LCSW will be at our clinic in Yorkville to talk about the signs and symptoms of anxiety, what constitutes a disorder and what treatments are available for children.  She will present her own approach of taking STEPS to Stop, Think, Evaluate, Plan and Solve the issue.  Veronica is the co-founder of Innovative Behavioral Health in Oswego and Naperville.  She works as a clinician with both children and adults and has an extensive background working with children and teens in both community and school based programs. Veronica’s approach incorporates interventions from a variety of sources and she tailors her services to meet the needs of the child and family.  Veronica understands the needs of children, including those with autism and sensory processing disorders or sensory sensitivities.

Childhood anxiety can be present in many different forms and understanding when troubling behaviors are signs of anxiety is the first step toward getting help for your child and for the family.  Children who suffer from anxiety struggle with participating in daily activities and their behaviors can be disruptive for the whole family.  Sorting out what behaviors might be the result of anxiety and what might be the cause of the anxiety are the first steps to finding workable solutions for coping with anxiety and related disorders. Once you understand how anxiety can be impacting your child then you can take the next steps to provide support and help your child be successful.  Veronica will help to sort through some of these questions and provide some guidelines for how you can help your child at home and school.

Please join us for this last Community Education program of the Fall 2013 series.  The program is FREE but registration is required.  Please contact us by phone (630-552-9890) or email (classes@rightstepsforkids.com) to reserve your spot today for this very important evening!

Community Education Series: Fall 2013

We have a great line-up of topics and speakers this fall that you won’t want to miss! FREE programs packed with information for you to put to use immediately with the children in your life!

Next week we are pleased to be hosting Crystal Hoffert, OD and Samantha Hoffert, OVT discussing Vision, Learning and Behaviors.  Dr. Hoffert will be explaining what a developmental vision examination includes, how motor control of the eyes and visual processing impact learning, motor skills and behaviors and what vision therapy is.  She and Ms. Hoffert (vision therapist) will be answering your questions about vision and how to determine whether visual problems may be contributing to your child’s difficulty at home or school.

October 8th we will be presenting our “Is It Sensory or Is It Behavior?” program, back by popular demand! This program presents an overview of sensory processing disorders, an introduction to “A Secret” that can help you address sensory processing issues during daily activities and challenge you to think about your child’s behavior from a new perspective.  Wondering if your child is having a tantrum or meltdown? This program is for you!

November 13th we are excited to host Veronica Lickfelt, LCSW presenting on Childhood Anxiety.  Ms. Lickfelt will be providing parents and professionals with an approach to Stop, Think, Evaluate, Plan and Solve the issue to help your child through difficult times.  If you suspect or know that your child struggles with anxiety you won’t want to miss this talk!

Contact us by phone (630-552-9890) or email (classes@rightstepsforkids.com) to reserve your spot today for these presentations!

If you know someone else who would benefit from this information forward a link to our website (rightstepsforkids.com), share our Facebook page (facebook/rightstepsforkids.com) or print off and share the flyer!

Nutrition, Behaviors, Learning and Health

Back in June we had the pleasure of hosting Heather DeGeorge, CHC/AADP, PMP at the clinic talking about how what we eat really does matter.  The information she shared with us brought new meaning to the old saying “you are what you eat.”  I am looking forward to having Heather back in the future to talk more about this topic but for those of you who missed her presentation, here is an overview of how nutrition can impact development, learning, behaviors and health.  I’ve used some of Heather’s information and added some from other sources.  This information is provided as an educational tool only and you should consult with your physician before making any dietary changes for you or your child.

1. FOOD MATTERS!

Physical growth, development, emotional balance and well-being are driven by what we eat.  How our body uses and responds to the food we ingest influences all aspects of our being.   Some people experience reactions to food that may or not be true allergies but influence our health significantly.  Food intolerance can trigger immune system responses and metabolic disorders or disruptions can result in the body’s inability to use food efficiently for energy and growth.  Sometimes our bodies are unable to handle the food substance but sometimes it is related to what has been added to the foods when processed.  Understanding how one’s body reacts to various foods or additives is imperative to understanding how to correct the issue.  Allergy testing may be inconclusive or inaccurate and is not typically recommended for young children.  Assessment through elimination diets can be helpful and other testing can be completed by your doctor.

2.  Nutrition issues can produce or contribute a wide variety of symptoms.

The following behavioral and developmental challenges are worth attempting to correct through modifications to diet or nutritional supports.  You should consult with your physician if you believe that any of these issues present in your child may be influenced by dietary concerns.

3.  Changes to dietary intake and nutritional supports can sometimes improve symptoms. (Always consult with your physician prior to making dietary changes)

  • Eliminate the problematic food ingredient, whether naturally occurring or added through processing.  The most common irritants are diary, soy, gluten and food preservatives and dyes.
  • Use dietary changes to balance blood sugar. Improve the balance of fats, carbohydrates and proteins in each meal (including snacks) for better metabolism and use of food energy.
  • Use dietary supplements when appropriate to address nutritional deficits.

When we are trying to determine how to support behavioral, learning and developmental challenges, it is important to consider the food we eat as one possibility influencing these areas.  While food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances are not always the answer for every case, they can be one part of the puzzle.  Often overlooked and underestimated, the impact of food should always be considered when assessing our children’s developmental challenges.  Changing diet and helping picky eaters is the next challenge. We’ll talk about that soon!