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Five Fun & Festive Ideas for a Happy Halloween!

10/28/2013

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Social Skills 1. Create a simple social story to define and explain what is expected during trick or treating. Ideas to include: People will be dressed in costumes that will cover their face- you may not know who people really are. People may try to scare you (scream, say boo, jump out at you), this is the "tricky" part of trick-or-treat When you ring the doorbell to trick-or-treat, you wait on the porch for the candy- you do not go into the person's home.  You accept the candy, whether you like it or not. You can always trade for a preferred candy when you return home. Always say thank you when someone offers you candy Do not eat anything until it is checked by an adult Initiate imaginative play schemes involving "trick-or-treating" the weeks before as a practice (a good reason to try out the costume!) 2. Review safety rules before leaving the house and consider putting the rules on a cue card to reference throughout the night. Stay with an adult Stay in a lit area Avoid cars and the street Do not eat anything until it is checked by an adult 3. Trick-or-treating at the mall has several benefits.  It keeps the distant short, removes the danger of darkness as well as the need for bulky clothes necessary to stay warm outside.  It's also a good way to control any unexpected events that can be accompanied with trick-or-treating in the dark.  Some towns have alternative options close by as well.  4. Remember, trick-or-treating may not be successful, but there are other fun Halloween options! Handing out the candy can be just as fun! Watching Halloween-themed movies is an option as well. Be positive and flexible! 5. Another alternative to trick-or-treating, try inviting a friend for a Halloween-themed play date, some options are: Make and decorate Halloween cookies Carve/Paint pumpkins A hayride and hot chocolate! Laser tag, roller skating or glow bowling Host a Halloween party with bobbing for apples, pin the tail on the cat, or Guess-that-Goop!

Managing Sensory Differences With Little Ghouls and Goblins

10/7/2013

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Occupational Therapy Many children demonstrate challenges processing sensory information, such as sight, sound, taste, touch input and perception of position and movement in space.  Holidays can magnify these challenges.  Here are some tips to address these challenges: Ensure costumes are not too scratchy, tight or stiff.  Make sure your child can move with ease or won't trip.  Consider whether they will be too hot or too cold in their costume.  Masks and face paint do not often work well with children with facial sensitivity. Try trick-or-treating on a quiet street early in the evening with more light. Practice the sequence of trick-or-treating and perhaps start with close family and friends. If this is too hard, have your child pass out candy instead!

Safety Tips For A Not-So-Spooky Halloween

10/1/2013

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ABA Services Our staff utilize evidence-based methodologies when working with children.  This means that we ground our work in procedures that have already been proven time and time again.  We document and show a child's growth through data, but most importantly through daily evidence of their increased engagement, communication and participation.   Did you know that we can teach your child lifelong safety skills using the principles of ABA?  Let me give you an example: In 2004, Bridget Taylor and her colleagues demonstrated that they could teach three teenagers with autism to seek assistance when lost using ABA principles.  The teenagers were taught to respond to a pager by finding an adult and giving them a communication card with their name, a statement of being lost and instructions to call the parent or teacher.  This skill was taught using modeling, prompting and reinforcement in a teaching setting to practice how to respond when the pager went off.  Once the students learned how to respond in the teaching setting, a generalization plan included practice in the natural setting.  Prompts to execute this skill were faded until the students consistently demonstrated how to respond.  The teaching teams then helped the parents follow through in the community with successful results.  Prompting, prompt fading, modeling, and reinforcement are some of the basic foundations of ABA. Other safety tips on Halloween: If your child is nonverbal, put an ID bracelet on them as a precautionary step Practice and wear glow bracelets or necklaces Put reflective tape on costumes, bags or props Stay in smaller, familiar neighborhood