The benefits of compression garments for your sensory kid…

 

*This is a sponsored post, which means I was compensated to write it- but all opinions are my own, and I never write a sponsored post unless that product is AWESOME! 

“I finally got all the kids ready to walk out the door, and I turn around, and she’s in her bathing suit!

The exasperated mom pulled the scarf from her neck. It was December. Definitely not appropriate weather for bathing suits.

Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were wide with concern. “Her behavior makes absolutely no sense!”

Patty was a mom of four kids who had brought her 6-year-old daughter Emma into the sensory gym for an Occupational Therapy Evaluation. For years, she had assumed that Emma was just “acting up” when she pulled these behaviors. But her sister, a special ed teacher, had been telling her about Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

Patty was at her wit’s end. “I need to do something”, she said.

Going over her daughter’s evaluation was very enlightening. Patty thought that her daughter was simply being “quirky” or misbehaving by putting on her bathing suit as the family was leaving for a party.

The truth was that Emily was actively seeking sensory input. Bathing suits and leotards are tight, which can be comforting to children who experience sensory processing difficulties.

(You know how swaddling a baby makes them calm and comfortable? This is because it provides them with a soft pressure over their whole body.)

In the school system, Occupational Therapists often recommend “compression vests” to help children who seek pressure from tight clothing, hugs, or other forms of “deep pressure” or “tactile” input.

The list of Benefits of Compression Garments for kids

  • Compression vests have helped many children who seek even pressure over their body.
  • It helps kids achieve a sense of calm
  • Increases focus
  • Decrease other sensory seeking behaviors

The drawbacks of popular compression vests

But, there are a few drawbacks to the “typical” compression vests you see out there.

    • Compression vests or weighted vests can “look different” than typical clothing, making socially aware children self-conscious.
    • The neoprene fabric of standard pressure vests can also be very stifling and hot. Children may be adverse to wearing them, even though the sensory input that it would provide would make them feel better.

benefits compression garments

Kind of like when your kid doesn’t want to take their medicine because they’re too sick.

In instances like these, I love to recommend pressure garments that can be worn UNDER a child’s clothing. Rather than putting a child’s sensory needs on display, compression garments similar to undergarments are just like an undershirt.

benefits of compression garments

What’s so different about an undershirt?

Nothing.
Except that this undershirt, the “Compresso-T “by SmartKnitKIDS®, provides a “sensory kid” with the input they need throughout the day WITHOUT announcing it to the world.

Recent research shows the use of sensory and adaptive approaches, such as wearing a pressure garment,  increases attention and promotes adaptive behaviors (Polatajko
& Cantin, 2010; Haar, 1998; Olson & Moulton, 2004). This type of external sensory support is often used by parents and service providers for calming the child and reducing anxiety to prepare them for learning and task engagement.

A recent study explored parental perceptions of their child’s behavior while wearing a seamless pressure garment during daily life activities. The caregiver survey indicated that caregivers support and are more satisfied with wearing of pressure garments in all occupation areas, especially during play, community outings, and learning experiences. It is believed that increased sensory inputs are available during play and community outings, which supports the positive perceived survey responses.

SmartknitsKIDS® is the same company who invented the fabulous seamless sock for kids to help children who struggle with getting dressed. The seams and the bunching of typical socks make getting dressed each day a chore.

Imagine if you had to get up every day and put on your itchiest prickly sweater? 

 Wouldn’t that be the WORST?!

That’s how children with tactile defensiveness and other sensory issue feel every day. 

Can you blame them for putting on their bathing suit? That’s the equivalent of us (as grown-ups) taking off our uncomfortable clothes and shoes at the end of a long day, and putting on our most comfy fuzzy socks and robe.

The Compresso-T is just one product in a line of wonderful, seamless and soft compression garments from SmartKnitKIDS®.   Made with seamless, super soft and breathable material, the Compresso-T is the ultimate in comfort for sensory challenged kids.  It’s breathable but also contains moisture wicking yarns to help pull moisture away from the skin and help keep the wearer cool.  Seamless finishing eliminates uncomfortable pressure points.

FINALLY NO MORE SCRATCHY TAGS! 

When I went over Emma’s sensory Profile with her Mom, it became very clear that Emma avoided certain sensory input.  Certain clothes, costumes, face paint, tags and even an unexpected tap on the shoulder really bothered Emma.  When her Mom saw it spelled out like that – it became obvious.

Emma craved pressure, dislikes certain materials/fabrics, and is super sensitive to tags.

The Compresso-T was the perfect place to start.  Emma was a bright girl and didn’t want anything “different” from her girlfriends.

Wearing a compression garment under her clothes provided an extra source of sensory input that helped Emma feel secure and calm.  This made transition times (leaving the house, getting ready for school, etc.) and overwhelming situations (crowds, parties, etc.) more bearable.

After a few weeks, Emma’s mom also decided to try out SmartknitKIDS ® undies and socks, too.   Before, Emma would insist on wearing a particular kind of socks and underwear.  Her mom, Patty,  would have to make sure that that exact pair of socks or underwear was clean – which was tricky because Emma was always wearing them!

Wearing SmartknitKIDS seamless clothing underneath her regular school clothes helped make the family routine much easier.   Emma was able to get dressed on her own and didn’t put up a fuss about “scratchy” socks and “itchy” underwear.   Patty reported that Emma still struggled with tactile sensitivities.  But wearing compression garments was a big help.

Would your child benefit from compression garments?  

If your child demonstrates any of these behaviors, you may want to consider trying pressure garments.

Melting down in the  morning about clothing choices

Displaying an extreme preference for certain textures or articles of clothing

Preferring tight clothing like bathing suits, old clothes that are too small, tight leggings or leotards.

References:

1. Polatajko, H. J., & Cantin, N. (2010). Exploring the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions, other than the sensory integration approach, with children and adolescents experiencing difficulty processing and integrating sensory information. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(3), 415-29. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/503270117?accountid=143111

2. Olson, L. J., & Moulton, H. J. (2004). Occupational therapists’ reported experiences using weighted vests with children with specific developmental disorders. Occupational Therapy International, 11(1), 52-66. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/71879068?accountid=143111

Don’t Forget!  Get 20% off the entire line of SmartKnitKIDS® products until May 31st with the promo code: MISSJAIMEOT

Other Smartknit Kids Products:

The benefits of the Compression clothing

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Seamless Socks

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Bralette

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Happy Mat and “Making Mealtime EZPZ” Giveaway!

May’s Theme on Miss Jaime, O.T. is Sensory Processing!

I’m so excited to announce my next giveaway!

We have a Happy Mat from EZPZ AND a copy of the book “Making Mealtime EZPZ”

EZPZ

*This post contains affiliate links

ENTER HERE TO WIN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

EZPZ has offered to raffle off a Happy Mat and a AND a copy of the book “Making Mealtime EZPZ”   *See the raffle details below 

Want to know more?

ABOUT EZPZ and Happy Mats

ezpz products are different than anything else on the market.

Each product is an all-in-one placemat + plate/bowl made from high-quality silicone. What else? The mat SUCTIONS directly to the table, making it difficult for tiny hands to tip over.

Other special features:

  • Placemat + plate captures most of the mess
  • 3-4 Happy Mats can be stacked and carried with food
  • Promotes self-feeding and develops fine motor skills
  • Easy to clean with warm soapy water (silicone doesn’t support the growth of fungus, mold or bacteria)
  • Dishwasher, microwave and oven safe
  • Made from 100% silicone that is BPA, BPS, PVC and phthalate free
  • Easy to store (place in utensil drawer or cabinet)
  • Built to last (silicone is bendable and flexible and doesn’t fade, corrode or deteriorate)

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

Check out the EZPZ website online or on Facebook!

To see the amazing variety of products, fabrics, and designs that are available.  Here are just a few:

EZPZ EZPZ EZPZ
 EZPZ  EZPZ  EZPZ

The EZPZ GiveAway Details:

    • Raffle starts May 10, 2018  and runs until May 17th at 4 pm EST.
    • The winner of the Happy Mat and book will be picked randomly and announced Thursday night, May 17th, on Miss Jaime, O.T.’s Facebook Live video.
    • The winner will also be notified via email.
    • The winner will get a Happy Mat and a copy of the book “Making Mealtime EZPZ”

Don’t want to wait?   You don’t have to!

EZPZ is offering 10% off the entire store!

Click this link– NO PROMO CODE NEEDED

Offer ends May 31st, 2018

Weighted Lap Pad Giveaway!

May’s Theme on Miss Jaime, O.T. is Sensory Processing!

To kick off the month with a bang, I’m so excited to announce a giveaway!

We have a handmade custom weighted lap pad, valued at $40, up for grabs!

ENTER HERE TO WIN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

KP Designs Shop has offered to raffle off a custom-made lap pad- You get to pick the fabric!    *See the raffle details below in regards to choosing your fabric. 

Does your child love princesses?  Fish?  Trains?  No problem!  KP Designs Shop provides fabrics according to your personal preferences, offering emotional and physical comfort to kids and adults who hadn’t found it.  When you order from KP Designs Shop, you can choose from hundreds of different fabrics and patterns.

Want to know more?

Weighted Lap Pad Giveaway

Click the Image to Enter!

ABOUT WEIGHTED LAP PADS AND BLANKETS

Weighted blankets and lap pads are often recommended for individuals with sensory integration disorder, Autism, anxiety, ADHD, Rett Syndrome, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome, and many other conditions.  They provide the body with proprioceptive input which can cause the brain to release neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.  These neurotransmitters released by the brain have natural calming effects.   This can help people to calm down, sleep, and relax when they normally wouldn’t be able to.

ABOUT KP DESIGNS Shop Custom Made Weighted Products 

KP Designs Shop is run by a pediatric Occupational Therapist.  Each order is custom-made, which makes every order special.  Customers get to choose their fabric and pick their product.  Then KP Designs Shop customizes your purchase according to your weight and fabric preference.

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

Check out Kp Designs Shop ‘s website  online or on Facebook!

To see the amazing variety of products, fabrics, and designs that are available.  Here are just a few:

The Weighted Lap pad GiveAway Details:

    • Raffle starts April 30th, 2018  6 pm and runs until May 7th at 12 am EST.
    • The winner of the weighted lap pad will be picked randomly and announced Monday night, May 7th, on Miss Jaime, O.T.’s Facebook Live video.
    • The winner will also be notified via email.
    • The winner can choose from a variety of fabrics available specifically for this giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t want to wait?   You don’t have to!

Kp Designs Shop is offering 15% off weighted lap pads and blankets with the promo code “MISSJAIMEOT”  till the end of the month!

Offer ends May 31st, 2018

How to Determine the Frequency and Duration of School-based Occupational Therapy Services

Determining Frequency and Duration of School-based Occupational Therapy Service

“I just don’t know what to do!”

The Occupational Therapist was upset and frustrated.  Her desk was covered in papers, folders, and notebooks.   She ran her fingers through her unkempt hair and sighed.  I understood. I’d been there, too.

“This child’s scores OT scores are really low, but the teacher doesn’t see any functional difficulties in the classroom.  I can’t recommend OT if there’s nothing functional to work on!”

Occupational Therapists and Committees on Special Education (CSEs) are often in a dilemma when it comes to determining the amount of services to recommend for a child.

Continue reading

9 BEST SPRINGTIME DOLLAR STORE FINDS

Spring is in the air!

That means nice weather, flowers blooming, and best of all, fun new stuff at the Dollar Store!

By this time of the year, I’m a little sick of all my toys and games. I’m ready for something different and fresh to keep my kids focused and having fun during therapy. BUT – I already spent my OT budget, so I need to keep the costs down.

Like a true budget diva, I head straight to the Dollar Store. Spring is a great time to stock up on cheap supplies that are only available at this time of the year, BUT, you can use them all year long.

I’ve made a quick list for you – along with ideas to for how to use them!

9 Best Springtime Dollar Store Supplies FOR OTs

1). Pool noodles – super cheap and easy to cut to different sizes. You can turn your pool noodle into a bat to hit balloons, use it to help position a child, or use it as a resistive material to stick buttons in. Now is the time to stock up!ot, dollar store supplies, classroom pool noodles, best springtime dollar store supplies

2) Buttons – speaking of buttons, my dollar store (dollar tree) has lots of cute buttons in spring colors. These are perfect for working on manipulation, categorizing by size or sorting by color, and of course, buttoning!

3) Garden “Kneeling pads” – these are great to use as markers for “where” kids should sit during circle time. You can also use them as a visual cue during yoga or core strength activities. My #1 favorite way to use them is to actually have kids kneel. This makes working on a vertical surface fun, or can be a fun “alternative” writing position. You can also use them as a resistive material to stick things (golf tees?) in. They are pretty big, so they last a while.

4) Balloons – Balloons are available all year long, but by now I’ve always run out. Balloons can be used with tennis rackets, pool noodle bats, or hanging on a string from the ceiling. Put your child on a therapy ball and have them cross midline to “swat the balloon”. Use them with the whole class by playing “keep it up” until the music stops. Then have the children hold their balloon and write a spelling word on it with a sharpie.

5) Ping pong balls – Where do I start? Use kitchen tongs to pick them up and cross midline to put them in a bowl. Write words on them and have the children read the words as they “grab” the ball with their tongs. Sort them in an egg carton using word families.

6) Plastic eggs – I love to write on my plastic eggs with a sharpie. Then I can work on rhyming, writing, or matching. Write a capital on one side and lowercase on the other. Putting them together and taking them apart is great for bilateral coordination, visual attention, and motor planning!

7) Jump rope- jumping rope is such a hard skill for some kids. You can also use jump ropes to teach shoe-tying to a whole class. Use them for group games, to make circles for jumping in and out, etc. Teach knot tying and untying. These are daily living skills that are really hard for some kids.

8) Egg dying kits – I love the little different colored baskets that come in the dollar store kit- I have the kids sort spring colored pom poms into the same color basket with clothespins.  The powdered dye can be used to color homemade play dough or to dye pasta for sensory activities.

9) Craft stuff – Check the craft section for all the spring colored pom poms, crafts sticks, buttons, pipe cleaners, and beads. These are perfect for Mother’s Day crafts!

I hope you found this list helpful! So tell me, what’s your favorite dollar store find?

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Get your Free Printable packet- A Classroom Sensory Strategy Toolkit

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Long Island Links: Timbernook Summer Camp

TimberNook Long Island is thrilled to announce that summer registration is NOW OPEN!

TimberNook Long Island is pleased to offer TimberNook programs this summer hosted at Brookhaven Country Day Camp in Yaphank. Our location is the perfect place for TimberNook experiences with plenty of wooded space for endless free play!

It can be a real struggle to help kids manage tricky sensory-related challenges.

Parents find it difficult to weed through all of the information and pull out what will work for their child.

Teachers may struggle with kids who fall out of their chairs, can’t focus, and feed off other students. They may feel compelled to help these students but lack resources, time, or tactics.

Therapists may search for fresh ideas that provide the right kind of sensory input and will be carried over at home and at school, all while fitting into the child’s occupational performance sweet spot.

Do one or more of the categories described above sound familiar?

Maybe you are trying sensory strategies, searching for information, and creating sensory diets that just aren’t working. You’re doing all of the right things, but struggle to meet the sensory needs of an individual child.

That’s where the FREE Outdoor Sensory Diet Cards and Sensory Challenge Cards come into play.

They are a FREE printable resource that encourages sensory diet strategies in the outdoors. In the printable packet, there are 90 outdoor sensory diet activities, 60 outdoor recess sensory diet activities, 30 blank sensory diet cards, and 6 sensory challenge cards. They can be used based on preference and interest of the child, encouraging motivation and carryover, all while providing much-needed sensory input.

Research tells us that outdoor play improves attention and provides an ideal environment for a calm and alert state, perfect for integration of sensory input. In fact, outdoor play provides input from all the senses, allows for movement in all planes, and provides a variety of strengthening components including eccentric, concentric, and isometric muscle contractions. The outdoors are a vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile, and overall sensory-enriched goldmine!

There’s more: Providing opportunities for sensory diet activities in the outdoors encourages open-ended play, imagination, creativity, body awareness, learning skills, self-confidence, gross and fine motor development, attention, and social-emotional skill development.

sensory processing, outdoor play

Get your FREE OUTDOOR SENSORY PLAY CARDS

As for Timbernook – this is the perfect opportunity to provide your child with a summer filled with outdoor play and sensory processing activities.  If two or more children from the same family are attending they will be eligible for a discount of $25 per child. Email Megan at megan.hansen@timbernook.com to apply for the discount.

TimberNook is not your typical nature program 

 TimberNook was designed to get children outdoors in a sensory-rich environment.  At our programs, children explore their surroundings, take risks, play, build and dive deep into their imaginations.  We strive to be the “living example” of what real, authentic play should look like. 

 If you are searching to give your child ample time to play this summer click on LINK to register and share the news with friends and family!

outdoor play, timbernook, long island

ABOUT THE OWNER:

Megan has been a pediatric occupational therapist for 17 years. She recently completed her doctorate in occupational therapy with a focus on outdoor free play. When Megan is not working she enjoys biking, hiking, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and son.

Sensory Theraplay Box

Do you know a child who just LOVES Sensory toys?  I mean gooey, flashy, squishy, squeezable and spinnable toys that stimulate their senses of sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing.

As a pediatric Occupational Therapist, I have to admit that I have a LOT of students who love sensory stimulation.  And I have a bunch of sensory toys that I use routinely in my therapy sessions.

But it’s very easy to get stuck in a rut. 

My kids get bored with the same toys over and over.  But I don’t have time to go scouring for new sensory toys all the time.  And the families that I work with aren’t sure what to get or where to get the perfect sensory toys for their children.

But there’s a solution!

Sensory toys, SPD, sensory processing,

I recently discovered Sensory Theraplay Box, a subscription sensory play box that’s delivered to your doorstep!  This is such a cool idea – a box full of new sensory toys specially hand picked by a pediatric Occupational Therapist delivered to your house during the first week of the month.

Each box is different! It’s filled with toys to help develop important sensory-motor skills & stimulate the senses.  These are perfect for getting your child to engage in sensory play!

Here are the details:

  • A variety of toys to engage your child in fun, silly sensory play!
  • Boxes ship out the first week of each month
  • Items are therapeutic & can be calming or help manage anxiety
  • Curated for children with autism/ sensory needs in mind, but suitable for children of all abilities
  • Each month’s box is carefully assembled by a licensed occupational therapist and includes a description card inside

You know when you are looking for the perfect gift and you just don’t know what to get?

It’s the worst.

This is the perfect gift for a child with Sensory Processing difficulties.  Or a child who thrives on engaging sensory play.  Actually, it’s the perfect gift for any child!

The Sensory Theraplay is a wonderful gift idea for birthdays, holidays, or other special occasions.   It’s an amazing way to get a child actively playing with sensory toys, using their imagination,  and learning how to self-regulate.

THE PERFECT GIFT FOR A CHILD WITH Sensory Needs, AUTISM OR ADHD

The Sensory Theraplay Box is filled with engaging, appropriate toys that encouraged children to functionally play and use their hands.   The boxes are designed for children who have sensory needs, but they are fun for any child!

I have to say, I am impressed with the quality and range of toys that were included in my box.   I brought them to school and my kids were psyched!

“Where did you get this?”

“Can I keep this?”   

The variety of toys included in my box appealed to all of my students.  Those who needed alerting activities were excited with the stimulating toys, and those who played with the calming activities showed improved self-regulation.

CHECK OUt Some Sensory Theraplay Boxes:

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