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Problem Solving

Problem solving skills are important to learn from a young age. It helps us become more independent individuals and a functional member of any team! Having children become an active participant in the problem solving process rather than simply doing/solving the problem for them can increase their independence and cognitive skills. Try engaging children in a variety of situations where they need to help you solve! For example, “help me set the table for dinner”
-How many people will be eating? (how many of each item do we need!)
-What kinds of dinnerware do we need? (bowls or plates!)
-What kind of utensils do we need?
-Will we need napkins?
-Where should we set the dishes down? (location of dinner)

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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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Teaching kids how to Play

Not all children know how to play.  While neurotypical kiddos often learn about turn-taking, role-playing, and losing well, children on the Autism Spectrum or those with Nonverbal learning disorders often struggle with these ideas.  On this first part of a series on Teaching kids how to play, our OT Wendy Waterval points to a flyer from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) that breaks key points such as school recess and balanced nutrition into school years.  While children with special needs may not always have the ability to learn these skills only from their peers, appropriate exposure to them in school and social settings brings awareness to the forefront.  Further teaching, through aba therapy or social skills training depending on each child’s needs, can help children learn how to play with their peers and create social relationships more easily.  Check out our Current Class Offerings to see what social skills classes are available and might be appropriate for your child at Cogwheel Clinic.

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Autism times at Pacific Science Center

Here is a peek at what Exploration for All at the Pacific Science Center is like for kiddos with autism. What an incredible opportunity! ”

SEATTLE — The thing about “firsts” in your life is they stick with you. For a lifetime they can stick with you. We got to see some kids experience some “firsts: the other day at the Pacific Science Center. It’s all part of a program called “Exploration for All: Autism Early Open.”

“It’s cool these things I’ve never seen before,” said 15-year-old Carson Terrault. ”

For more on this article, click on the link: http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/seattle/2015/06/18/opening-doors-for-kids-with-autism/28954051/

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Communication help for Non-verbal Children

Cognitive writing Therapy at Cogwheel Clinic

Are you a parent of a non-verbal child looking to stimulate his or her mind this summer? Our personally tailored Cognitive Writing Therapy may be what you’re looking for!

We are SO excited about this program here at Cogwheel!  Our OT Tami has an amazing success rate at helping moderate to severely disabled children to write – which often means they learn how to communicate with their parents and others for the first time!  If your kiddo struggles to communicate, or needs to learn how to write, this is an amazing program.  Each child will get several individual sessions before they are placed in a group with peers.

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Animal Therapy

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At Cogwheel Clinic, we are firm believers in the power of animal companionship!

A great article form USA TodaY:

“For years, anxiety kept Zach Tucker from getting to sleep. As the Colorado Springs sixth-grader remembers, his voice shakes and he shields his eyes. Zach’s discomfort is Clyde’s cue. The chocolate Labrador springs to Zach’s side, nudging the boy with his paws. Zach’s voice calms, and he drops his hand to his devoted dog.

“That’s Clyde at work,” says Zach’s mother, Susy Tucker.

Smart, but suffering from social anxiety, Zach was 8 when doctors diagnosed him with high-functioning autism. Tucker sought animals to draw Zach out of his shell. A series of pets — a guinea pig, a rat and untrained dogs — followed, but they had little success. Then came Clyde.”  for more, jump to the article below!

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/05/16/pets-for-special-needs-kids/27362967/

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Social Skills classes this summer at Cogwheel!

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Social Skills and Pragmatic Language are notoriously difficult for children on the spectrum.  Our age and skill-based Social Skills groups and camps are a wonderful way to teach children these imperative skills, such as what things really are worth getting really upset about (and what things aren’t), how to engage with peers, how to read other’s social cues, and more.  The Cogwheel Clinic will be offering a “Superflex” summer program, which bases social skills in a curriculum featuring super heroes – perfect for our own superheroes at Cogwheel! These always book up fast, so call us now to book your child’s spot!

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Seattle Pacific Science Center: Autism Early Open

Did you know that once a month the Seattle Pacific Science Center opens early to accommodate children with autism? Exploration for All: Autism Early Open is going on now through December. Check out this link for more information!
http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/Eve…/exploration-for-all