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What is “self-talk”?

In Speech-Language Pathology, “self-talk” is a technique to promote your child’s speech and language development.  To use “self-talk” at home, narrate what your child is seeing, hearing, touching, or doing out loud.  Speak to your child’s level (keep it simple!), and don’t expect your child to reply.  For example, as your child is making and eating breakfast “pour milk” or “mmmm, eating cereal”.  If you want to learn more, contact Cogwheel Clinic today! Email us at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-7000.

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Beads: A Surprisingly Dynamic Activity

Beading is a great way to warm up the fingers for fine motor exercises! Beading can be graded to fit the individual, whether that be easy (large wooden beads on a pipe cleaner), to difficult (small plastic beads on a thread). This activity not only requires pincer grasp, manual manipulation, and motor planning – but hand eye coordination as well! If you want to learn more, contact Cogwheel Clinic today! Email us at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-7000!

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Sensory games don’t have to be messy

Like any Occupational Therapist worth their salt in this digital age, I follow quite a few OT blogs. I like to keep up on the latest DIY projects to offer parents a way to replicate some of the activities that their child engages in while at the clinic. The most recent projects that have been popping on my various news feeds have been DIY Sensory Walks. This involves acquiring a variety of textured items and creating a walkway. This picture (found on Pinterest), is a great example of how everyday items can be turned into a sensory storm! This type of sensory input can be done with hands or feet and is a great way to encourage exploration. One of the most fun ways to receive sensory input is to create “Sensory Twister”. This was discovered on theinspiredtreehouse.com and is a great example of how to make sensory play fun without the mess! If you want to learn more, contact Cogwheel Clinic today! Email us at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-7000.

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Sensory Savvy – Kinetic Sand

Also known as “moon sand”, kinetic sand is material that looks like sand, but sticks together like snow! This is a great sensory tool to work on tactile integration, manual manipulation, and fine motor skills. It’s a cost effective and fun tool to use in a variety of ways. Interesting in learning how Cogwheel Clinic uses this? Email us today at contact@cogwheelclinic.com or give us a call at (425)-748-7000.

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Sensory Savvy – Chewies

Chewies are a funny name for a great oral motor/sensory tool. Chewies are typically silicon based (FDA medicalar grade approved and BPA free), and come in a variety of shapes, colors, and textures. They are an alternative for those who mouth toys, chew on clothing, or require significant sensory input. Chewies come in different resistances to provide the most beneficial sensory feedback.  Chewies can look as simple as a tube, or as complex as a bracelet or necklace. Your occupational therapist is best suited to assess your child’s possible need for a chewie and what kind they would benefit from the most. For more information about this great tool, feel free to contact us!

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New Spring Groups!

The Cogwheel Clinic for Neurodevelopment in Bellevue has several new groups starting in April, as well as additional social skills groups by popular demand. Call the clinic at 425.748.7000 more information and to reserve your spot!  Current offerings include social skills groups for several age groups and feeding groups for picky eaters!  All groups get matched by developmental ability.

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The importance of Nutrition in Children on the Autism Spectrum

Nutrition is an often overlooked, but vital part in the care of Autism, as many children with autism tend to demonstrate increased digestive issues,  food sensitivities, and an  imbalance in gut flora.  While many foods can worsen  autistic symptoms, research indicates that the most common symptom-increasing foods are:

-Dairy Products
– Citrus Fruits
– Peanuts
– Tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and peppers.
– Preservatives, colors, food additives, insecticides, pesticides and heavy metals

These foods can cause intestinal cramping and severe pain, which can often stop even the most motivated child from being successful at more traditional therapies such as ABA. In addition to taking out offending foods, there are many digestive aids that can help children who suffer from digestive issues.  Ginger and Pepper have long been know to help digestive issues and to promote absorption of nutrients.

Children on the Autism Spectrum often suffer from many food sensitivities due to weakened digestive systems, which then causes improper digestion of food and malabsorption of essential nutrients.  If food is not properly digested, partially digested food can move into the bloodstream, causing an autoimmune attack and a response similar to an allergic reaction.  One of the children in our clinic used to have stomach pain and severe sinus congestion coming out of his nose as if he had a horrible long-standing cold or virus. The nutritionists suggested trying a gluten-free diet, and his sinus and stomach problems disappeared.  The family tried going back on gluten several times, but the difference in this child’s health and behavior was so stark that he has been on a  gluten-free diet ever since.  No longer in pain and fighting through congestion, he has had much more success in working on emotional and impulse control.

One of our favorite recommendations for Autism nutrition is the use of Probiotics, it makes a huge difference in so many kids! Join us next week on the blog for a discussion of Probiotics, and how they work.

Curious about what may work for your child?  Come and meet with out nutritionists Haleh Olsen for a free introductory session!  We are offering several open house sessions where you can meet with our in-house nutritionist to ask questions about neurodevelopment nutrition and how it can change your child’s functioning.  Sign up for a free 15 minute slot for a private one-on-one session!

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  • Monday July 13th
  • Wednesday July 15th

Neurodevelopmental Nutrition Haleh Olsen

 

 

Inspired by her background in human biology and her passion for cooking, Haleh offers a refreshing connection  between gut health and  brain/mental development health using the healing power of whole foods, especially in early childhood. Known for her warmth and nutritional expertise, Haleh believes that every individual is unique and she tailors her nutritional approach to each client’s personal goals and comfort level.

Equipped with her Master’s degree in research and her involved work in nutritional counseling related to autoimmune disorders over the past several years, Haleh has the skill set  to create a stress-free and realistic plan to help families embark upon a path to a manageable diet. She believes that in order for a nutrition therapy plan to be successful, it should be suitable to the whole family.

Haleh received her Master’s of Science from Bastyr University and is a Certified Nutritionist in the State of Washington. She is bilingual and speaks both English and Farsi. When she is not working with clients, Haleh splits her time in the kitchen preparing gourmet Iranian food and fresh pastries for her family, teaching tricks to her dog, traveling the world and gathering the best recipes.