Stress and the Holidays – How to Support Yourself and Your Kids.

Family reading together on sofa at Christmas time, viewed through window

APA suggests these tips to help parents effectively manage holiday stress

  • Strengthen social connections – We know that strong, supportive relationships help us manage all kinds of challenges. So, we can view the holidays as a time to reconnect with the positive people in our lives. Accepting help and support from those who care about us can help alleviate stress. Also, volunteering at a local charity on our own or with family can be another way to make connections; helping others often makes us feel better, too.
  • Initiate conversations about the season – It can be helpful to have conversations with our kids about the variety of different holiday traditions our families, friends and others may celebrate. Parents can use this time as an opportunity to discuss how some families may not participate in the same holiday traditions as others. Not everyone needs to be the same. It is important to teach open-mindedness about others and their celebrations.
  • Set expectations – It is helpful to set realistic expectations for gifts and holiday activities. Depending on a child’s age, we can use this opportunity to teach kids about the value of money and responsible spending. We need to remember to pare down our own expectations, too. Instead of trying to take on everything, we need to identify the most important holiday tasks and take small concrete steps to accomplish them.
  • Keep things in perspective – On the whole, the holiday season is short. It helps to maintain a broader context and a longer-term perspective. We can ask ourselves, what’s the worst thing that could happen this holiday? Our greatest fears may not happen and, if they do, we can tap our strengths and the help of others to manage them. There will be time after the holiday season to follow up or do more of things we’ve overlooked or did not have the time to do during the holidays.
  • Take care of yourself – It is important that we pay attention to our own needs and feelings during the holiday season. We can find fun, enjoyable and relaxing activities for ourselves and our families. By keeping our minds and bodies healthy, we are primed to deal with stressful situations when they arise. Consider cutting back television viewing for kids and getting the family out together for fresh air and a winter walk. Physical activity can help us feel better and sleep well, while reducing sedentary time and possible exposure to stress-inducing advertisements. Source

stress-reducing-recipe-for-the-holidays1

Reading

How to De-Stress Young Children During the Holidays

LESSENING HOLIDAY STRESS FOR LITTLE ONES

THE ABCS OF A MEANINGFUL & STRESS FREE CHRISTMAS WITH YOUNG CHILDREN- Tons of ideas if you need them.

Research on Holiday Stress -APA

Handling Holidays After Divorce

 

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in School Aged Children

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Definition

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, sensations (obsessions), or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something (compulsions).Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, but this only provides temporary relief. Not performing the obsessive rituals can cause great anxiety. A person’s level of OCD can be anywhere from mild to severe, but if severe and left untreated, it can destroy a person’s capacity to function at work, at school or even to lead a comfortable existence in the home.

OCD affects about 2.2 million American adults, and the problem can be accompanied by eating disorders, other anxiety disorders, or depression. It strikes men and women in roughly equal numbers and usually appears in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. One-third of adults with OCD develop symptoms as children, and research indicates that OCD might run in families.

Although OCD symptoms typically begin during the teen years or early adulthood, research shows that some children may even develop the illness during preschool. Studies indicate that at least one-third of cases of adult OCD began in childhood. Suffering from OCD during early stages of a child’s development can cause severe problems for the child. It is important that the child receive evaluation and treatment as soon as possible to prevent the child from missing important opportunities because of this disorder. Source

SYMPTOMS OR BEHAVIORS

  • Unproductive time retracing the same word or touching the same objects over and over
  • Erasing sentences or problems repeatedly
  • Counting and recounting objects, or arranging and rearranging objects at their desk
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Poor concentration
  • Falling grades
  • School avoidance
  • Anxiety or depressed mood

Reading

OCD At School – AADA of America

Teachers Guide to OCD in the Classroom

Managing OCD Symptoms in School: Strategies for parents and educators – With Great “My Anti -Worry Plan” Activity

OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD): RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TEACHERS (2)

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – NASP

Movie

OCD Kids Movie

For Parents

Helping Children and Youth with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Information for Parents and Caregivers

Home Management Strategies for OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children and Teenagers

Talking Back to OCD Learn More 

When a Family Member has OCD Learn More

The MIGHTY Visit Site

Freeing your Child from OCD Learn More

Worried No More Learn More

 

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More Helpful Links for Kids and Families

The International OCD Foundation Visit iOCDF

Project UROK Visit Site

OCD Education Station Visit Site

Find a Therapist or Clinic Search Now

Online Support Groups

OCD and Parenting Join Up

OCD Support Join Up

OCD Support For Teens Join Up

Everything OCD Visit Facebook Page

Suggested Reading for Kids

Up And Down Worry Hill Learn More

Mr. Worry Learn More

Blink, Blink, Clop, Clop Learn More

What To Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck Learn More

 

 

Additional Resources

Wisdo Visit

The OCD Stories Visit

The Secret Illness Visit

Intrusive Thoughts Visit

 

Self regulation for Kindergarteners

Preschool

Read

Developing Self-Regulation in Kindergarten Can We Keep All the Crickets in the Basket?

Building the Brain’s “Air Traffic Control” System: How Early Experiences Shape the Development of Executive Function

Activities

Refocusing

Clapping Exercise
Refocus the class with a series of claps with a certain pattern. The routine with capture student’s attention and create a shared focus. This exercise can be enhanced with stomps, hand movements focused on fine motor skill development, or increasingly complex rules, depending on the students’ age.

Conducting an Orchestra
This activity requires the use of musical instruments. The teacher will have a long stick or ruler that and will act like an orchestra leader, conducting when they will play their instruments. The teacher will wave the conductors wand quickly or slowly and have students play according to her movements. Then, the teacher will have students override their automatic response by indicating that students should play slowly when she waves the conductors wand quickly, and vice versa.

Drum Beats
For this activity, the students will use drum cues from the teacher to do certain body movements. For example, “When the drums plays, clap or stomp” “When the drum plays slowly, walk around the room slowly” “When the drum plays quickly, walk around quickly”. The teacher will then invert the response instructing “When the drum plays quickly, walk around slowly” When the drum plays slowly, walk around quickly.

Elephant Stampede
The class will get to stamp their feet and make lots of noise in this one, but it is all regulated by the teacher. The teacher
Puts a hand to his ear and says “What’s that I hear?” The class responds by saying “Elephant Stampede!” The teacher then says where are the elephants? I can barely hear them!” The class responds with “Far away!” and begins quietly stamping their feet on the floor to mimic the sound of elephants in the distance. The teacher repeats his lines, adjusting for how close the elephants are, until the herd arrives in the classroom. Now the students can make elephant trumpets and stamp their feet as hard as they can until the teacher begins to quiet them down by saying “Oh good, they’re going away!” The children respond by stamping their feet more softly, and continue to respond to the teacher until the elephant herd has left the building.

Relaxation

Sinking Activity
Tell students to lie on their backs on the floor, their arms by their sides and legs uncrossed, and eyes closed. Tell them (in a soft gentle voice) to imagine that their bodies are very heavy and sinking to the floor. Start to mention different body parts: toes, ankles, wrists, necks, eyelids. Then tell them to imagine that they are laying on a warm beach on a sunny day and that they can hear waves, seagulls, then once they have calmed down they may only sit up and open their eyes. This will help students calm their emotional and refocus.

Count to Ten
The teacher stands at the front of the class and raises both hands above her head, spread open and facing the class. The students raise their hands over their heads, fingers spread, and facing the teacher. The teacher begins counting slowly from one to ten, and at ten lowers her hands to her sides. The class follows until everyone is back in the position they started in.

Drawing
Drawing a picture helps to relax children. Try giving your students a prompt! For example, “draw how you feel right now.” This helps children to recognize their emotions whether good or bad and process them in a healthy manner. Part of self regulation is learning to deal with your emotions in the appropriate manners and this activity sets up a calming environment for kids to learn to do this. Aside from processing emotions, drawing helps children and adults process any circumstance and is very calming to the mind!

Emotion Regulation

Breathing Square
Have students decorate a square piece of paper that they then glue to a popsicle stick. Explain that this square is to be used when the student feels overwhelmed or frustrated. The square will be divided up into 4 sections representing 4 different steps they are to follow.
1st step: Breathe in while counting to 4
2nd step: Hold breath for four seconds
3rd step: Breathe out for four seconds
4th step: repeat three times

Emotion Regulation Swing-O-Meter
This craft could accompany a lesson aimed at helping students understand, and therefore control, their emotions Swing-O-Meter.

Faces
A craft that will increase students’ understanding of their own emotions, and create opportunities within the classroom for them to evaluate their emotions. Popsicle faces / Other emotion faces

Paper Plate Emotions
Another craft aimed increasing students’ Emotion Regulation Paper Plate Emotions

How Big Is My Problem Chart
Post a chart in the classroom that is numbered from zero to five, with zero at the bottom and five at the top. Each number will be colored along a gradient staing at green for level one, and moving to red for level five.
Level Five is red, and labelled Emergency” and refers to only true emergencies such as tornadoes or earthquakes. A grimacing frowny face is drawn next to the description.
Level Four is orange and labeled “Gigantic Problem” and describes something that needs immediate attention from a teacher and can’t be fixed by the student such as getting lost or being injured on the playground. A crying forwny face is drawn next to the descrition.
Level Three is yellow and labelled “Big Problem” and describes something that definitely needs the teacher’s attention such as a fight. A “Charlie Brown” frowny face is drawn next to the description.
Level Two is blue and labeled “Medium Problem” and describes something more important that probably needs a response from the teacher such as not feeling well or lost homework. A somber smiley face is drawn next to the description.
Level One is light green and labeled “Little Problem” and describes a bigger issue such as needing to sharpen a pencil or needing to go to the restroom. A normal smiley face is drawn next to the description.
Level Zero is dark green and labeled “No Big Deal” and describes very small issues such as dropping a pen or a shoelace coming untied. A grinning smiley face is drawn next to the description.
Teachers can ask students to describe the problem level when they have a problem and work towards an appropriate response to it. Students should be reminded that they can use this chart for all of their problems in life to help judge what they should do when trouble occurs.

Further Resources:

  • The Emotional Regulation page on the Kid’s Relaxation website provides a multitude of emotion regulation activities for children.
  • This link will connect you to the blog of a psychologist and mother who specializes in play therapy. She shares activities which help children to become more aware of their emotions.

Impulsivity Reduction

Think or Say?
The teacher will create a list of potential student comments to present to the students. Students will then determine if the comment should be said aloud simply thought. Examples:This exercise is aimed at reducing impulsivity and increasing students’ private speech.
“One of your classmates is having a bad hair day, do you think you should tell them, or keep it to yourself?”
“One of your classmates hurt your feelings, but they do not know that they did this, should you talk to them about it kindly or keep it to yourself?”

Private Speech
Encourage the students to partake in private speech. This is when they think about a situation privately and quietly to themselves. Ask them to think about outcomes that could possibly happen if they make certain choices. Encourage them to really think before speaking and acting.

Follow the Birdie
Two children partner up. One picks up an object such as an erasor and holds it eighteen inches in front of the other student’s eyes. The first student then begins to move the object from left to right and back again. The watching student must follow the object with his eyes only and count slowly. If he turns his head to follow the object he loses his turn and must move the object for the otehr student, who has to follow it himself. Alternatives to left and right can be in an arc, or a figure eight, or a circle. The object must move relatively slowly so that the watcher’s eyes are not strained. Whoever lasts the longest during the time period given wins the game.

Response Regulation

Red Light, Purple Light
This game follows the same concept as “red light, green light”. Using different colors for stop and requires children to regulate their responses and adapt to the change. First assign “go” and “stop” to non-sequential colors (ex: purple and orange). Use construction paper as a visual. Alternate the “stop” and “go” colors. Once the children grow accustomed to the colors and their corresponding meanin, make changes so that children must once again regulate their responses. they have developed the appropriate self regulation for this game.

Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders
This activities requires that students override an automatic response, and therefore exhibit self-regulation. Begin by having students point to their head, shoulders, knees and toes. Have students touch each body part in a variety of sequences to get accustomed to the game. Then have students override their automatic response by asking students to point to incongruent body parts. For example, tell students “when I say to touch your head, touch your TOES!!” or “When I say touch your tummy, touch your EARS.”
HTKS YouTube clip

The Freeze Game
This game requires music! The teacher will play the music and then when she stops the music the children must freeze and be still as statues in whatever position the froze in. Then the teacher will play a variety of different music. The children must dance quickly to upbeat and fast songs, and they must dance slowly and gracefully to the slow songs. Then when they have gotten the hang of that, switch it up and have them dance slowly to the fast songs and quickly to the slow songs.

The Color Matching Freeze Game
There will be 4 pieces of construction for each student taped to the ground in a square. The teacher will play music and the students will dance—quickly or slowly according to the music. When the music stops playing, the teacher will hold up a piece of colored construction paper and the students have to sit on the same color on the ground.

Stance Contest
2 students stand and face each other in a specific pose (any pose that they choose). When the teacher says “GO” neither student may move, talk, or change facial expression. The first student to do so loses. The teacher can also come up with the poses if she wants so that they have someone to mimic.

Starting Gun
Students will all line up on a starting line. Instructor says “Ready, Set….” and she might say “go” OR another word that sounds like go OR starts with a “g”. EXAMPLE: green! gorilla! snow! crow! blow! grape! gate! The students that make a false start will have to take a penalty step backwards from the starting line. When instructor does say “go” all will run to the finish line

Freeze Pattern Game
Have students get into a certain pattern (ex: circle, square, heart) and have them standing next to a certain person. Then, signal for students change to a different pattern and stand next to a different person. Use different signals for each pattern.

Mirror Game
Kids partner up and take turns making different faces and their partners must imitate them. For an added challenge, students can imitate one another’s’ body movements.

Red Light, Green Light. One child is the stoplight, the other children are the cars. When the stoplight yells “Green light!” the children run towards the stoplight. When the stoplight yells “Red light!” all the children must stop. If a child doesn’t stop, they must go back to the starting line. A popular variation is to include a “Yellow light!” where children must walk instead of run. Excellent for developing self-regulation skills because children must learn to pay attention, follow directions, and wait their turn.

Simon Says. When Simon says, “Simon says jump!” the children must jump. But if Simon only says, “Jump!” and somebody jumps, that person must sit out for the rest of the game. The last person standing becomes the new Simon. Another excellent game for developing self-regulation because children must listen carefully, pay attention, and follow directions.

Dance Dance Dance
The teacher puts on some fun music and then starts to dance. The students have to follow her routine exactly, no matter how wacky. After 30 seconds or so the teacher calls out a students name and that student begins to make up his own dance moves that the rest of the class must follow. The teacher then becomes the judge. Any student she catches not follow the moves exactly has to sit down. Each student should get thirty seconds or a minute to lead the dance before the teacher calls another student to lead.

Peanut Butter Jelly Game
Have the children sit on the floor in a large circle. Choose one ball to be the peanut butter and the other ball will be the jelly. The object of the game is to always throw the peanut butter ball and roll the jelly ball. On start, the child holding the peanut butter ball throws it to anyone in the circle, and the child holding the jelly ball rolls it to anyone in the circle. Whoever receives the peanut butter ball must continue to throw it to someone else, whereas the jelly ball must be rolled. If a player makes a mistake and rolls the peanut butter ball, throws the jelly ball, of if both balls are in front of one player at the same time, then that player is either out of the game or play starts over. Here for original page

Games and excercises adapted from the following resources:
Theatre Games for Young Performers by Maria C. Novelly
Self-Regulation: The Key to Successful Students? Todd Hoffman
101 pep-up games for children by Allison Bartl

Transitions

(From scholastic.com)

When it is time to line up, use this song to help your class remember what to do. Teach them at the beginning of the year, and then just say “Kindergarten, please line up”, and they will begin to sing the song on their own.

Kindergarten Please Line Up (to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)
Kindergarten, please line up,
please line up,
please line up.
Kindergarten please line up
Get ready for the hall.

I will not shove
I will not push.
Will not talk,
Will not pass.
Will not lag behind the rest,
I’ll line up with my class.

One hand on my hip and lip
hip and lip,
hip and lip,
One hand on my hip and lip
I’m ready for a trip.

Busy Bee Transitions
by Alexandra Ziemann

I made a wand and wrapped yellow curling ribbon up the wand. At the top I have yellow ribbon curls coming down, coiled up black pipe cleaners and jingle bells. During transition times I always take out “Busy Bee” and sing our busy bee song. The students know to get on task because if they are they will be touched on the head by busy bees’ magic (the curly ribbon hanging down). They love that they can participate and have fun all the while staying on task. It’s also very easy to remember to take out the wand because during transitions they are always looking for “busy bee.”
Song:
Oh what fun it is to see
A teeny tiny busy bee
Staying on task
Moving right along
And having fun singing this song!

Walking in the Hallways
by Becky Pate

Kindergarten classes make several transitions from place to place each day. To help my students walk quietly and stay focused forward, we sign the alphabet continually until we reach our destination. We use the American Sign Language form.

We also like to play, Monkey See, Monkey Do while walking in the hallways. We whisper this rhyme: Monkey see, monkey do, can you do what I do?I then do some motions with my hands, arms, and or face for the students to copy. The students stay focused and have fun being silly, but quiet as we walk. Note* this also works in other situations such as times we have to wait in line, or anywhere you have a minute or two to fill.

Source

Lack of Student Motivation

motivation

Motivating all students can be a challenge. This post focuses on the issues and strategies to help support those pupils who need us as teachers to meet them where they are at and help them find their way to motivation.

Reading

Motivating Learning in Young Children- NASP

Motivation Matters: 40% Of High School Students Chronically Disengaged From School

The Motivation Equation: Understanding a Child’s Lack of Effort by Kenneth Barish, Ph.D.

Student Motivation, Engagement, and Achievement

Motivating Students to Learn By: Heather Voke

Classroom Applications of Cognitive Theories of Motivation By: Nona Tollefson

Motivation: The Key to Academic Success By: LD OnLine

How can parents help

Parents are central to student motivation. The beginning of a new school year is very important. Children with LD and ADHD often struggle with change. Parents can help get the year off to a good start.

  1. Provide a warm, accepting home environment.
  2. Give clear directions and feedback.
  3. Create a model for success
  4. Build on the student’s strengths
  5. Relate schoolwork to the student’s interests
  6. Help build a family structure that fosters consistent work towards the goal.
  7. Help the student to have some control over how and when he learns.
  8. Emphasize the child’s progress rather than his or her performance in comparison to the other students in the class or family.
  9. Remember to reinforce the behavior you want.
  10. Use reinforcers wisely. Recall that intrinsic motivation works best. Follow a child’s interests, when possible, rather than spending time building elaborate reward systems Source

Strategies

Students lack interest or motivation – Strategies

Using Motivational Interviewing to Help Your Students by Lisa A. Sheldon

Motivation — Helping Your Child Through Early Adolescence – U.S. Department of Education

Motivating Your Students

21 Simple Ideas To Improve Student Motivation

Enhancing Students’ Motivation By Annick M. Brennen

The Student Lacks Confidence that He or She Can Do the Work

What the Research Says: Students who believe that they have the ability to complete a particular academic task (self-efficacy) do better and have higher levels of motivation (Jacobs et al., 2002). Yet students often sabotage their academic performance by engaging in negative self-talk about their abilities and by making faulty attributions to explain poor academic performance (Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2002). Source

Presentation Six Reasons Why Students Are Unmotivated (and What Teachers Can Do) Jim Wright

Reasons for Lack of Motivation
  Stipek
Why Students Are Not Motivated to Learn
Sternberg
Why Intelligent People Fail
Cognitive-Oriented
Reasons
  • Present activities not seen as related to important goals.
  • Do not have (or believe one does not have) the ability to do present activities or obtain future goals.
  • Distractibility and lack of concentration
  • Spreading oneself too thin or too thick
  • Inability or unwillingness to see the forest for the trees
  • Lack of balance between critical, analytic thinking and creative, synthetic thinking
  • Using the wrong abilities
Affective/Socially-
Oriented Reasons
  • Feelings/emotions about present activities are generally negative.
  • Satisfaction of achieving goals seems in distant future.
  • Personal problems interfere with present activities.
  • Misattribution of blame
  • Fear of failure
  • Excessive self-pity
  • Excessive dependency
  • Wallowing in personal difficulties
  • Too little or too much self-confidence
Conative/Volitionally-
Oriented Reasons
  • Do not have a written list of important goals that define success personally.
  • Believe that present goals or activities are wrong for individual.
  • Important goals conflict with present activities.
  • Failure to initiate
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of perservance and perseveration
  • Inability to complete tasks and to follow through
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Inability to translate thought into action
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of product orientation
  • Inability to delay gratification
Environmentally-Oriented Reasons
  • Extrinsic incentives are low.
 

Source

 

References

  • Sternberg, R. (1994). In search of the human mind (395-396). New York: Harcourt Brace.
  • Stipek, D. (1988). Motivation to learn: From theory to practice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Motivational Interview

“Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion.” Miller and Rollnick (2012)

“When we think of failure; Failure will be ours.  If we remain undecided; Nothing will ever change.  All we need to do is want to achieve something great and then simply do it.  Never think of failure, for what we think, will come about.”    ~Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

MI Guide

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Motivational Interviewing Strategies and Techniques: Rationales and Examples

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The Alert Program-Self Regulation

enginechart

An Occupational Therapist recently provided this program for a student that had trouble with having too much energy in the classroom. The Alert Program provided a system for the student to recognize his energy and do activities to help him calm down to be ready for learning. Below are some of the concepts around the Alert Program to address self regulation.

Official Site: Here

Online Training: Here

How Does Your Engine Run?

How Does Your Engine Run, or The Alert Program (AP), is a specifically designed program for pre-school aged children and up that addresses self-regulation of arousal states. It uses the analogy of an automobile to introduce its concepts i.e. “If your body is like a car engine, sometime it runs on high, sometimes it runs on low, and sometime it runs just right”. The program is implemented in three stages: identifying engine speeds, experimenting with methods to change engine speeds, and regulating engine speeds. Visual aids along with practical instruction are used to enhance the learning experience. Many benefits are seen from using this program including enhanced abilities to learn, improved interactions, improved self-esteem, improved self confidence, and improved self-monitoring skills. The AP can be done in individual or group treatment settings. Source

Information

Self Regulation Mini Guide

Self-Regulation: Calm, Alert, and Learning*

Sensory Diet vs. The Alert Program (“How Does Your Engine Run”) What’s The Difference And How Can They Help MY Child?

Self Regulation and Sensory Integration How Does your Engine Run? Christal K. Peters, MS OTR/L PPT presentation

self-regulation-poster

So the idea is to get your engine running just right.

 

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Chart EXAMPLE

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Activities that are typically alerting, to “speed up engines”


In general:

  • rapidly changing/irregular inputs
  • quick tempos
  • music — lower frequencies will elicit movement (drums), while higher frequencies can engage attention (flutes, singing, cymbals)
  • cold temperatures (including foods)
  • light, brushing touch
  • fast movement, especially spinning/rotational
  • sour or spicy flavors
  • fast-moving, bright, unpredictable visuals
  • using muscles for “heavy work” of pushing, pulling, against resistance (tends to be both alerting and organizing, so can help lower “too fast engines” and raise “too slow engines”)

Activities/Strategies:

Swinging quickly on playground swing, especially with sudden changes of direction
Spinning on a swing or other equipment (can quickly become over-stimulating – use caution!)
Rocking quickly in a rocking chair
Running, skipping, galloping for at least 1-2 minutes (any type of aerobic exercise, really)
Rapid rocking/bouncing side to side
Jumping in place (trampoline, jumping jacks, jumping rope, etc.)
Motor breaks during school – stand and stretch, run an errand for teacher, walk to bathroom, etc.
Push on wall as if to move wall
Lean on desk for “desk push-up”
Do “chair push-up” in sitting by lifting bottom off floor or chair, holding self up with arms
Weight-bearing through arms via wheelbarrow walk, crabwalk, bearwalk, etc.
Ride a bike up hills (pedal against resistance)
Pushing or pulling heavy furniture; putting chairs on desks & taking down
Climbing playground equipment; crossing monkey bars
Carrying a stack of books, laundry, groceries, or something else approx. 5% of body weight
Drinking grapefruit, cranberry or other tart juice – try partially freezing it
Popsicles or frozen grapes or orange sections. Try frozen pickle chunks!
Pretzels, carrots, apples, granola, and other crunchy foods
Drinking through a long, thin straw, or reg. straw w/thick liquids (stimulates deeper breathing)
Blowing bubbles, whistle or other blown instrument (harmonica)
Move cotton balls by blowing through a straw (race cotton balls or play “soccer” on table)
Play with “fidget toy” for hands, such as small koosh ball
Dancing to rock, jazz, rap, or fast kids music
Cold shower or cold water on face or arms
Strobe light effects, fireworks, sometimes computer or video games or T.V.
Brightly lit room (full spectrum or natural light)
Walls decorated with bright, contrasting colors
Safe crashing: jump or fall into pile of pillows or mats; pillow fighting

 

Typically calming activities to “slow down” engines
In general:

  • slow, steady, rhythmic, repeated, predictable input
  • slow and rhythmic music
  • firm, steady, pressure touch or squeezing (think massage or a big hug)
  • using muscles for “heavy work” (see note above under alerting activities)
  • bland or sweet-tasting flavors
  • slow-moving, dim, deep-colors for visuals
  • neutral warmth
  • slow linear movements forward-and-back or head-to-toe

Activities and Strategies:

Rhythmic bouncing on a hippety-hop ball or seated on therapy ball
Steady, slow forward/back movement on swing or rocking chair
Rocking horse or see-saw; pushing off hard with legs
Listening to classical music, steady drums, or nature sounds (water, birds, waves)
Jumping on a trampoline, doing jumping jacks, or jumping rope
Riding a bike up hills (pedaling against resistance)
Pushing or pulling heavy furniture; putting chairs on desks & taking down
Carrying a stack of books, laundry, groceries, or something else approx. 5% of body weight
Carry backpack or “fanny pack” with some weight to it (not more than 5% of body weight)
Push on wall as if to move wall
Lean on desk for “desk push-up”
Hold self above chair seat, weight-bearing through arms, hands to side of seat for “chair push-up”
Weight-bearing through arms via wheelbarrow walk, crabwalk, bearwalk, etc.
Isometrics: push hands together, hook hands and pull apart, push knee against hand, etc.
Tug’o’war, “indian wrestling,” push’o’war back to back
Push with feet against something (push’o’war with a pillow between 2 peoples’ feet, no shoes)
Push or pull open and hold open heavy doors
Erase or wash chalkboards
Look at fish tank, snow globes, lava lamp, campfire, or other slow-moving visual
Dimly lit room, and sparsely-decorated walls (“cool” colors)
Eat chewy foods (send fruit roll-ups, bagels, dried fruit, cheese, gummy candy with lunch)
Chew on Chewy Tubes or Chewelry (avail. in some catalogs) or Theratubing
Wear spandex clothing, like bike shorts or long underwear (can wear either under regular clothes)
While in circle time or listening in seat, hold a lap weight (such as a large beanbag animal)
Use a heavy/weighted blanket; read or work lying on floor with pillows stacked on top
Wrap or roll-up in blanket or rug
Crawl through a tunnel of about 3 yards of 18” cotton T-shirt ribbing (avail in fabric stores)
Have an adult roll a therapy ball over body while lying on mat or rug
Squeeze stress ball or other resistive “fidget toy” (putty, beeswax, art erasers)
Put hands into container of beans or rice
Inflatable seat cushion (Move’n’sit or camping pillow) or sit on therapy ball for listening times
Safe crashing: jump or fall into pile of pillows or mats; pillow fighting

Spelling Strategies

spelling

Spelling can be an area of difficulty for students.

Tried and True

FERNALD METHOD FOR SPELLING INSTRUCTION

Purpose

This spelling method is appropriate for students who have difficulty retaining spelling words and learning to spell exception words. Select words that the student uses frequently in writing.

Procedure

1. Write the word to be learned on the chalkboard or on paper.

2. Pronounce the word clearly and distinctly. Ask the student to look at the word and pronounce the word with emphasis on correct pronunciation.

3. Allow time for the student to study the word to develop an image of it. Depending upon the learning style of the student, different senses are emphasized. A student who learns visually tries to picture the word; a student who learns auditorially says the word; and the student who learns kinesthetically traces the word with a finger. The student studies the word until a picture of the word can be formed in his/her mind.

4. When the student indicates that he/she is sure of the word, erase the word and have the student attempt to write the word from memory.

5. Turn the paper over and ask the student to write the word a second time from memory. In daily writing, any misspelled words are marked out entirely and the correct form is written in its place. When a student asks how to spell a word, the teacher writes the word, while pronouncing it. Students are encouraged to make their own dictionaries from words they have learned or words that are especially difficult for them.

Adapted from: Fernald, G. (1943). Remedial techniques in basic school subjects. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Mather, N., & Jaffe, L. (2002). Woodcock-Johnson III: Reports, Recommendations, and Strategies. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Source-Information

Spelling Article Links

Five Guidelines for Learning Spelling and Six Ways for Practicing Spelling By: Susan Jones

How to Study Spelling Words: A Spelling Strategy for Students By: Bruce Murray

Computer Assisted Instruction

Spelling City ($30 USD per year)

Sight words apps

Dolch sight word spelling Game

Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check

1. Write the list words in first column.

2. Begin with one word, LOOK closely at the letters to notice the visual details.

3. SAY it and notice the parts to remember.

4. COVER the word and think about how the word looks (visualize it).

5. Say the word softly. WRITE it from memory in the next column.

6. Uncover and CHECK it with the word in the first column.

7. Repeat the process in the last column.

8. If it is spelled wrong in the last column, add the word to the first column again and repeat the process.

literacy-focus-spelling-strategies

For Teachers

Why Teach Spelling?

Printable Dolch Word Lists K-3

Dolch Sight Word Checklist

An Alternative Spelling Assessment For Students With Learning Disabilities

Assessments

Dolch Sight Word Assessment

Diagnostic Spelling Scale

General Principles of Spelling Instruction Even though research and clinical experience indicate that students with reading problems will have a very difficult time learning to spell, it is also clear that instruction can have a significant impact on the development of reading skills. Even though many poor readers may never fully master spelling skills at the highest levels, most can become good enough spellers to make effective use of technology and other spelling aids. In order to provide effective spelling instruction, teachers must have a firm understanding of the ways in which spelling skills develop as well as a strong knowledge of phonology, phonics, orthography, morphology, syntax, semantics.

COORDINATE SPELLING WITH WORD IDENTIFICATION INSTRUCTION. Teach students to spell (encode) the phonetically regular words they are learning to decode in a structured and systematic manner. Teach spelling rules and patterns in coordination with the decoding skills (e.g., teach the rule for doubling s, f, l & z and the -ck for the /k/ sound when closed syllable words are taught).

TEACH SPELLING DIRECTLY WITH GUIDED PRACTICE. Teach spelling patterns, rules, letter-sound associations directly, one skill at a time, with opportunities for guided practice in numerous settings until the skill is well learned.

TEACH ALL LEVELS OF WORD ANALYSIS. Begin with phonemic awareness and include letter sound associations, spelling patterns, onset-rime, rules and morphology.

DISTINGUISH BETWEEN REGULAR AND IRREGULAR WORDS. Always differentiate between regular and irregular words using clear procedures for practicing each. Regular words may be divided into those that can be spelled as they sound (REGULAR) and those that require the application of a rule (RULE WORDS). Students should practice fewer irregular words each lesson than regular. Both should be taught using multisensory strategies.

USE CUES AND MNEMONIC DEVICES. Facilitate recall of skills such as letter formation, letter sound associations, and rules with cues such as pictures, stories, rhymes, gestures, etc.

USE DISCOVERY TEACHING. Use discovery teaching techniques for spelling patterns and rules.

PROVIDE ERROR CORRECTION. Students should be given direct and immediate error correction for spelling errors. The ultimate goal is for the student to independently correct their own errors.

Source

For Parents

Helping Your Child With Spelling

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Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling )

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Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh), also called hair-pulling disorder, is a mental disorder that involves recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from your scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body, despite trying to stop.

Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots, which causes significant distress and can interfere with social or work functioning. People with trichotillomania may go to great lengths to disguise the loss of hair.

For some people, trichotillomania may be mild and generally manageable. For others, the compulsive urge to pull hair is overwhelming. Some treatment options have helped many people reduce their hair pulling or stop entirely. Source

 

Resources

Step by step guide for parents and teachers: Trichotillomania Basics

Q&A from the Berkeley Parents Network

About Trichotillomania or Hair Pulling Disorder- Easy read

Treatment Guidelines-Expert Consensus Treatment Guidelines Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors Hair Pulling, Skin Picking, and Related Disorders

Parent Support Resources from The TLC Foundation: For Parents

Teen Guide: What Is Trichotillomania?

School Based article: Trichotillomania: Dealing With Hair-Pulling Disorder

Article- Child Trichsters And School

50 Ways to Stop Pulling Your Hair

Comprehensive PPT