Author: Erin Easley

Back to Basics: Supporting Kids Without Guilt

With schools closed for the time being, many families are struggling with how to approach education: Should they treat these weeks as spring break? Try to replicate their child’s school schedules at home? Create some sort of homeschooling schedule? On top of this new challenge, many parents are also trying to work from home or care for others at the same time. Understandably, some families are feeling overwhelmed and anxious about this right now.

In the coming days, we’ll be sharing some educational ideas and resources to support families at home. But today, I hope parents can put aside any guilt or pressure they feel about how they are (or aren’t) handling education right now. Instead, consider this idea when feeling anxious about school:

The things kids need most right now are the same things their parents already know how to give them.

  • Comfort – Routines have changed, and while they’ll normalize again, this is a real time of transition. Continuing to offer hugs, smiles, and a few minutes playing or reading together can make a big difference for both of you.
  • Sleep  – We all cope best with changes and challenges when we’re sleeping well. Just like before, helping kids get enough sleep each night sets them up for calmer, happier daytimes, and more resilience overall.
  • Movement – Children (and adults!) often feel best with lots of exercise. If they can get outside while keeping a distance from others, kids can walk in the neighborhood or park, ride a scooter or bike, make up scavenger hunts in the area, or play hopscotch or jump rope on the sidewalk. Inside, activities like yoga, dancing to music, and playing active games like Simon Says, red light/green light, or Twister can let out some extra energy. For those with internet access, there are a lot of fun options online :
    • YMCA (https://ymca360.org/) is offering a selection of free exercise classes online
    • Go Noodle (https://family.gonoodle.com/) has different types of child-oriented videos, including some to get energized and others to calm down
    • Libraries– With a valid library card, both Seattle Public Library (www.spl.org) and King County Library (www.kcls.org) offer access to video resources that include exercise-related videos like dancing, yoga, and cardio sessions

The bottom line is that this is a tough (and temporary) time. But like always, parents have already got the know-how to give kids the foundation that’s most important to get through this time. Do what you can, but let go of the guilt to do more.

 

Inclusive Music: Sound Bites from the Alyssa Burnett Center

In our dominant culture, music is for the gifted and talented. A person must be thoroughly skilled in an art for them to be taken seriously and celebrated. TV shows like American Idol entertain viewers with failed auditions and celebrate a chosen few. In our culture, only the most skilled and able are rewarded for doing music. Read full post »

Learn. Thrive. Recreate. A Recreational Therapist’s Role in Leisure Pursuits

The beautiful thing about making a choice is the abundance of opportunities you and I get to practice making them every day. From the moment we wake up we are deciding Read full post »

Ask Dr. Emily – Autism and Genetic Makeup

Welcome to the December edition of Ask Dr. Emily!

We often receive questions that we want to share with all our readers. To help with this, Dr. Emily Neuhaus, a clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s Autism Center, will share insights in a question and answer format. Read full post »

Ask Dr. Emily – Teens With Autism and Driving

Welcome to the May edition of Ask Dr. Emily!

We often receive questions that we want to share with all our readers. To help with this, Dr. Emily Neuhaus, a clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s Autism Center, will share insights in a question and answer format.

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Ask Dr. Emily – Strategies For A Successful Birthday Party

Welcome to the March edition of Ask Dr. Emily!

We often receive questions that we want to share with all our readers. To help with this, Dr. Emily Neuhaus, a clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s Autism Center, will share insights in a question and answer format.

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What Are Explicit Visual Teaching Methods and What Can We Learn from Eye-tracking Research?

Studies involving the visual pathway in ASD offer a window into a better understanding of how the brain processes visual information, and how arousal affects the ability to attend to cues in the environment.

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Food As Connection

I decided when I was about my daughter’s age, that food rules all. It’s the great connector of people. Through our experiences, hearing the stories of those since passed, creating magic in the kitchen, and sharing that around the table is how we are able to learn, grow, heal, and connect as a species. Read full post »

Ask Dr. Emily – Feeling Judged in Public

Welcome to the January edition of Ask Dr. Emily!

We often receive questions that we want to share with all our readers. To help with this, Dr. Emily Neuhaus, a clinical psychologist at Seattle Children’s Autism Center, will share insights in a question and answer format.

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Killer Fried Chicken: A young man with autism shares his secret recipe for life

Andrew’s Secret Spice Blend. My son’s superpower is his ability to become an expert on any subject he takes a special interest in. After performing his first cooking demonstration in the first grade, he dreamed of becoming a chef. Now 25 years old, Andrew—a young man with autism—works part-time as a prep chef in a commercial catering kitchen. During his free time he researches his favorite foods, hunting through cookbooks, magazines, cooking shows, and the internet for recipes. His current fascination with Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken has led him to collect all things having to do with their crispy, crunchy, flavorful crust.

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