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Reading a Newspaper

Newletter

Stay up-to date with news and resources in the Quarterly newsletter

Read the current newsletter below or visit the Newsletter Archive

Volume 6. Issue 3. July 1, 2024

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What's New?

  • Summer is barely underway, but back-to-school is actually right around the corner (at least based on the back-to-school section at Target!). Please answer any emails from Scheduling promptly so that any adjustments based on changes in your availability will be ready when school starts!

  • A clinic refresh is underway! With lots of activity in the clinic everyday it is inevitable that some things will break, get dirty, etc. We’ve already painted the lobby and more changes are on the way!

  • Don't forget to create your CentralReach Parent Portal account! Check your child's progress and graphs, communicate with your therapy team, and more!  GO NOW!

    • Having trouble creating the account? We can help. Call the office at 571-297-4308 or email Tamera at tmcrae@greenboxaba.com

 

Blog. Is My Child Ready to Learn Social Skills? Here's How to Find Out.

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In this blog post, I'll share how you can determine if your child is ready to learn social skills in a structured setting, such as school or a social skills group. You’ll also learn the typical order and ages when kids develop some key skills. With this information in hand, you can make better informed choices about how best to support your child's precious early years.

Read More

Tips For SummerTime Success

Summer with a child with autism can indeed present unique challenges. The allure of screens is strong, and finding ways to engage your child in other activities while providing the support they need requires careful planning and creativity. Here are some strategies to help manage screen time and introduce a variety of enriching activities:

Establish a Balanced Routine

Creating a predictable daily routine helps children with autism feel secure. Set specific times for screen use and balance them with a variety of other activities. Visual schedules can be particularly effective, providing clear expectations and reducing anxiety.

Introduce Engaging Alternatives

Provide a range of activities that cater to your child’s interests and sensory needs. Sensory play, arts and crafts, nature exploration, and physical activities can all be great alternatives. Find activities that capture your child's attention and gradually reduce screen time by increasing engagement in these alternatives.

Involve Your Child in Planning

Give your child some control over their schedule by involving them in the planning process. Offer choices within a structured framework to empower them and make transitions easier. For example, let them choose between a nature walk or a craft project for the afternoon.

Create Sensory-Friendly Environments

Make sure your child has access to sensory-friendly spaces and activities that help them feel calm and engaged. This could include a sensory bin, a quiet reading nook, or a designated area for art projects. Tailoring environments to their sensory preferences can make non-screen activities more appealing.

Set Clear Boundaries and Limits

Clearly define and consistently enforce rules around screen time. Use timers or visual aids to indicate when screen time is over and transition to other activities. Establishing and maintaining boundaries helps manage expectations and reduce conflicts.

Incorporate Social Opportunities

Arrange playdates or small group activities that provide social interaction in a controlled environment. Structured activities can help your child practice social skills and build relationships, offering a valuable break from screen time.

Be Patient and Flexible

Understand that changes won’t happen overnight. Be patient and flexible, adjusting your approach based on your child’s responses and needs. Celebrate small victories and progress, no matter how gradual.

Seek Support and Resources

Connect with other parents, support groups, and professionals for advice and resources. Sharing experiences and strategies can provide valuable insights and support.

Focus on Fun and Enjoyment

Remember that summer should be enjoyable for both you and your child. Focus on activities that bring joy and relaxation, creating positive memories together. Balancing structured activities with downtime ensures a fun and fulfilling summer experience.

Want some suggestions? Try:

Sensory Play:

  • Water Play: Set up a water table, sprinkler, or small pool for splashing, pouring, and floating toys.

  • Sand Play: Create a sandbox with kinetic sand, regular sand, or other sensory materials like rice or beans.

Arts and Crafts:

  • Painting and Drawing: Provide a variety of materials like watercolors, crayons, markers, and chalk.

  • Craft Projects: Engage in activities like bead threading, clay modeling, or making collages with different textures.

Physical Activities:

  • Obstacle Courses: Set up a simple obstacle course in your yard or home using pillows, chairs, and tunnels.

  • Biking or Scootering: Encourage outdoor play with bikes, tricycles, or scooters.

Nature Exploration:

  • Gardening: Plant flowers, vegetables, or herbs together. Digging, planting, and watering can be soothing and educational.

  • Nature Walks: Explore local parks or nature trails, observing plants, animals, and insects.

Quiet Indoor Activities:

  • Puzzles and Board Games: Choose games that match your child’s interests and skill level.

  • Reading: Create a cozy reading nook with a variety of books that cater to your child's interests.

Social Interaction:

  • Playdates: Arrange small, supervised playdates with familiar peers, focusing on structured activities.

  • Group Activities: Enroll in small group classes or community programs designed for children with autism.

Creative Expression:

  • Music: Play musical instruments, sing songs, or have a dance party at home.

  • Storytelling: Create stories together using puppets, dolls, or action figures.

Sensory-Friendly Activities:

  • Sensory Bins: Fill bins with rice, beans, or water beads and add small toys for exploration.

  • Fidget Toys: Provide fidget spinners, stress balls, or other sensory tools to keep hands busy.

Learning and Education:

  • Educational Kits: Use science kits, building blocks, or math manipulatives for hands-on learning.

  • Cooking: Involve your child in simple cooking or baking activities, which can help with following directions and fine motor skills.

Mindfulness and Relaxation:

  • Yoga: Practice simple yoga poses and stretches together.

  • Deep Breathing: Teach deep breathing exercises or guided meditation to help with relaxation.

By incorporating these alternatives into your child's routine, you can provide a balanced range of activities that support their development and reduce reliance on screen time.

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