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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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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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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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ADHD Strategies: Nutrition

ADHD nutrition

What a great post that sheds light on the importance of nutrition in the lives of those affected by ADHD!

Here is an excerpt, for the whole article please go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-bertin-md/mindful-eating-adhd-and-n_b_7257190.html

Menu B: Nutritional Guidelines for ADHD

Here are Dr. Olivardia’s recommendations for people with ADHD for common nutritional issues:

Eat breakfast. Like the patient Dr. Olivardia described, many people with ADHD skip breakfast due to oversleeping and rushing. Hours later, they end up painfully hungry and grab whatever is nearby. Value breakfast, set yourself reminders about it, and plan ahead.

Get plenty of protein in your diet. Protein fuels your body for longer periods of time. There is even some suggestion that healthy, high-protein breakfasts help ease daytime ADHD symptoms. Avoid too much sugar and junk food, which tend to affect mood and exacerbate a cycle of increasing hunger over the day.

Eat throughout the day. Many people skip meals due to hyperfocus and losing track of time. This sets their body up to hold onto fat and increases cravings for fat and sugar. Extreme hunger also leads to impulsive decision-making. Again, set alarms if needed, and during breaks consider a healthy snack.

Work towards getting adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation lowers our body’s ability to burn fat. It also exacerbates ADHD and stress, and undermines our ability to stick to plans.

Most of all, get support.  Share tips and strategies with an ADHD buddy or a professional familiar with the field who understands how establishing a pattern of healthy eating can be hard.

 

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Learning how to Manage ADHD Strategies, the fun way

Summer is right around the corner which means school is winding down. If you are looking for ways to engage your child’s mind this summer, check out what is going on at the Cogwheel Clinic!

Kiddos that have an ADHD diagnosis can really benefit from learning strategies that help them organize and plan ahead.  We offer these strategies in a super fun filled way, so that they carry on over to the school year!

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