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Learning to Cut Your Food

Yes, this does sound scary-letting a child cut their own food! However, when done correctly it not only encourages independence with eating, but improves fine motor skills as well. Now I wouldn’t encourage the use of a knife initially, but I would encourage the use of a spoon and fork-both of which have edges (given that it’s not plastic) to cut through most soft food. Start with cutting pancakes, pasta, sausage, etc, and move on towards more dense food items that require more skill. Like most skills, this is best learned with demonstration, verbal praise, and repetition.  Want to learn more? Contact Cogwheel Clinic today! Reach us by email at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or by phone at (425)-748-7000

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Why categories are so important

Knowing a dog is an animal is a vital skill, but it can be difficult to access this information for those with a language impairment.  Categories are important for remembering linguistic information and organizing it in our brains.  The ability to categorize is developmental, but you can work on this important language skill with your child at home.  Try sorting items in your house and/or toys into different categories like “animals” or “food”.  Once items are sorted, talk about how you can divide them into smaller categories like “birds” or “fruit”.  Interested in learning more? Get in touch with Cogwheel Clinic today! You can reach us by email at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-7000.

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Behavior specific praise: Help them, help you

Praise is a great form of reinforcement to inform your child that you are proud of what they did. Some children love that form of attention from their parent. How is behavior specific praise different than praise? Behavior specific praise highlights the behavior that is being reinforced. For example, “I love how you closed the door behind you!” or “Amazing work completing your homework!” This is a strategy that is effective in indicating to your child the specific behavior was performed correctly. Use this strategy to increase appropriate behaviors as your child displays them. It may seem silly to constantly be rewarding “typical” behavior, but, if a behavior is never reinforced how should a child know they are doing something correct? Interested in learning more? Contact Cogwheel Clinic today! Email us at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-700.

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How to be more mindful

The simplest description of mindfulness is being fully aware of the present moment. While this may sound overwhelming, there are some easy ways to engage in mindfulness daily. Our world often requires that we respond to the loudest sound, action, or task. Try to slow down for one minute each day. Sit in a room by yourself and close your eyes. What do you hear? How do you feel? Can you smell anything? How do all of these factors impact you? Take a moment to be alone and connect with not only yourself, but the environment surrounding you. Interested in hearing more? Contact Cogwheel clinic today! Email us at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-700

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Should you scold your child?

It is an automatic human reaction to tell a child they are doing something wrong or bad, while the child is doing it. This is usually seen in the form of “stop doing that”, “quit it”, and “I told you not to”. This is a general reaction we all have to seeing something we do not want our children to do. However, some children purposely engage in this behavior to get a reaction out of you. This would be an example of a child maintained by attention. Their behaviors are reinforced by receiving a response out of you (i.e., they are getting what they want). This is not the case of every child and even every behavior shown by one child. It is something that you should just be mindful of the next time you go to scold you child. Instead try to praise them for any appropriate behavior you see them doing them. By flooding them with constant attention it reduces their want for your attention. For more information, email us at contact@cogwheelclinic.com, or give us a call at (425)-748-700

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