Articles

(2016) On the Emotions of the Out-of-Sync Tween and Teen

Published May 31, on Boston Parents’ Paper

At recess, Emma, 9, refuses to participate in jump-rope or four-square games. Emma is over-responsive to movement sensations, which terrify her. She tells her friends, “I’m no good at that.”

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(2016) The ‘Sensational’ Tot: Recognizing and Dealing with Sensory Processing Disorder

Published May 24, on Mother.ly

Envision two unique babies.  Benjy has been on the go since Day 1. Constantly active, frequently fretful, easily startled, and a fitful sleeper, he sure keeps his parents on their toes. Speaking of toes, he skipped crawling and walked on tiptoes at nine months! Mom and Dad are exhausted—but that’s just how it is with an infant, they guess.

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(2012) Moving Experiences that Will Last a Lifetime

Co-authored with Joye Newman in “Exchange: The Early Childhood Leaders’ Magazine Since 1978,” Vol. 34, Issue 1, No. 203, January/February

It’s 50 degrees and raining outside. The playground is all mud and puddles. The morning has just begun, and the preschoolers are full of energy. You, like most early childhood educators, want to give your young students a leg up and a head start in reading and other academic endeavors. So, how do you use this time? Do you:

  1. Set up your four-year-olds at the computers to play the latest ‘educational’ video games?
  2. Conduct a longer-than-usual Circle Time?
  3. Bring out the flashcards and try to entice the kids to call out quick answers?
  4. Take your children outside to splash in the puddles?

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(2012) The In-Sync Homeschooler

Co-authored with Joye Newman and published in July on the blog of Home-Educating Family 

No matter what their ages, children learn best when they move. Pediatricians, teachers and other specialists now recognize that motor skills are vital to a child’s physical, emotional, academic, and overall success. Yet, some educators and parents believe that sitting still is the best way to absorb information. We know that just the opposite is true.

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(2000) Music and Movement Bring Together Children of Differing Abilities

Published in Child Care Information Exchange magazine (May 2000), and in Curriculum: Art, Music, Movement, Drama – A Beginnings Workshop Book (Exchange Press, 2006)

Typically-developing children are usually adaptable. They sing and dance, play rhythm instruments, and willingly try traditional preschool experiences. Children with special needs, however, may prefer sticking to the same-old-same-old activities that make them feel successful.

Whatever the skill level of your preschoolers, a variety of sensory-motor activities in your curriculum can satisfy most children’s needs. Music and movement activities, with their flexible structure, can foster every child’s creativity and competence.

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(2004) In Praise of Mud

Published in S.I. Focus (Winter issue), and adapted from a 1990 article originally in Carol’s column, “Gentle Reminders,” in Parent and Child magazine

A child comes to school on a soggy day. Tentatively approaching a puddle, she sticks in one spotless boot, watching with interest as her foot sinks into the mud. She puts in the other boot. She is entranced. Looking up, she says to her teacher, “Is this mud? It’s fun! Is it okay?”

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(2005) Indoor Obstacle Courses for Parents and Teachers

Published in Sensations, Volume 3, Issue 2, September, a newsletter for the benefactors and friends of The KID Foundation (now STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder)

 
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and kids gotta climb, jump, and balance. While dangling from banisters, scooting under turnstiles, teetering on curbs, and jumping into puddles may dismay grown-ups, children persist with good reason.

How do kids learn to think and relate to the world around them? By scanning their surroundings; touching wooden, metal, rubber, or concrete surfaces; grasping and releasing handholds; changing body positions; maintaining equilibrium; and experimenting with different movement patterns. Furthermore, they are having fun, and “fun,” Dr. Ayres wrote, “is the child’s word for sensory integration.”

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(2010) Revelation from a Paper Plate

Published in S.I. Focus, Summer issue

Imagine coming to one of my “Getting Kids in Sync” presentations. You are here to learn new strategies for supporting children with SPD. At the door, you receive a warm welcome, a hefty handout, and two paper plates.

Get a cup of coffee and snack, but please, do not put food on the plates. We’ll use them in many different ways — just not for bagels and berries!

During our synergetic day, one activity is drawing on a paper plate.

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(2010) Two “Look-Alikes”: Sensory Processing Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder

Published in National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Beginnings — A publication dedicated to the young minds of America from the NAMI Child & Adolescent Action Center, Summer issue

Brian is inattentive, impulsive, and fidgety. Does he have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – or Sensory Processing Disorder? Recognizing the differences between these two disorders and providing appropriate treatment can greatly benefit children and adults like Brian.

Like ADHD, SPD is a neurological problem affecting behavior and learning. Unlike ADHD, SPD is not treated with medicine. Instead, occupational therapy using a sensory integration framework (“OT-SI”) helps most. This therapy addresses underlying difficulties in processing sensations that cause inattention and hyperactivity.

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(2012) Be Still: Tips for Keeping Squirmy Kids in Their Seats

Published March 15, on StrollerTraffic.com

Squirmy, wiggly kids can really try a mom’s patience. Sit still. Pay attention. Be polite. Uh-huh. Good luck with that.

“Scolding a child probably won’t get him to sit quietly,” says Carol Kranowitz, author of The Out-of-Sync Child, The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, and co-author of In-Sync Activity Cards.  “It’s frustrating because they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do, but wiggly kids are just trying to get their bodies organized; they’re seeking sensory input. So let’s get them some input.”

With that in mind, here are Kranowitz’s tips for getting the wiggles out.

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(2014) Focus on Survival Skills: When the Lights Go Out

Published in Sensory Focus, Summer issue

An advertisement from an electric power company dropped through my mail slot today, shouting, BLACKOUT: Could It Happen Again? It got me thinking about survival skills. When an outage occurs and we can’t switch on the electric power, we must switch to our own power to get from place to place, prepare meals, communicate with others, and entertain ourselves.

Will we be prepared? Especially those among us with SPD and other physical challenges?

Alas, so much is done for us these days that we all are becoming “do-ees” instead of “do-ers.” Learned helplessness is everybody’s problem.

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