Thursday, July 31, 2014


It's here! School is back and everyone is excited, even parents, therapists, and educators! But, the transition back is not always so sweet. So, here are some simple tips to keep your kiddos moving and grooving back into the school routine. 
  • Set expectations. Let your kids know what will change now that summer is over and school is back in session. 
  • Set a bed time and don't budge! Gradually adjust to the new time 10 minutes at a time. 
  • Make a visual schedule chart. Laminate the schedule or make it on a white board or chalk board so that your  kids can check off each task as they are completed. 
  • Get things ready for the next day, the night before. This will help decrease the amount of chaos in the morning. 
  • Allow your kids to have a say (within reason) as to what is in their lunches and what they wear (if they don't have uniforms). 
  • Schedule a homework routine for the same time each night so there are no surprises. 
  • Allow your kids to have some free time at night to decompress from the day to prevent burn out early. 
  • Practice the new routine a couple times so everyone is on the same page. 
  • Cut off tags on the inside of clothing prior to wearing to decrease defensiveness against their clothes. 
  • Talk about any changes ahead of time. Surprises are not always a good thing. 
  • If your child has difficulty with transitions, contact the school to ask for a private visit to walk through the school and meet the teacher without the crowd. 
  • COMMUNICATE! Be sure to start off with good communication between you and the teacher. Inform the teach with both written and verbal information that may be important throughout the transition and school year.  

Next on the 'Back to School Series: Homework Havoc'!

Coming to Fiesta: The Pod

Fiesta Pediatric Therapy is excited to announce that they will be collaborating with Arizona State University Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Northern Arizona University, and Alberto Frias (creator of the pod) in a research project involving the pod bed and children with Autism. 

What is the pod? 

This pod, similar to the design of  a Skittle or M&M, will provide a multi-sensory environment with a variety of purposes. This pod will provide as a rest area for kids who need a break from their day or therapy session. The pod can change colors, play music, and vibrate to simulate a calming environment. 

Fun fact: This is the same pod that was used in 'Men in Black'!

COMING SOON! Stay posted for m0re information and news regarding the pod bed!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Back to School Series: BACKPACK AWARENESS

Summer is coming to a close and the kids are going back to school. This means a lot of things: a new routine, homework, and back packs. As a first part of our ‘Back to School Series’ we would like to help you strap up your kiddos back packs each day in the safest way possible. What we don’t like about going back to school? Heavy back packs. Here are some simple tips from the American Occupational Therapy Association to keep your kids safe and wearing back packs correctly.

  • A child’s backpack should not weigh more than 10% of his or her weight. For example, a child who weighs 100 pounds should not carry a back pack heavier than 10 pounds.
  • Load the heaviest items closest to the child’s back.
  • Encourage your children to only bring home what is necessary for that day’s homework.
  • If your child’s back pack is consistently too heavy, consider a back pack with wheels if your child’s school allows.
  • Arrange items in the back pack so they do not slide around.
  • Do NOT wear on the arms
    Do NOT let the back pack sag low

    DO have your child wear his/her back pack like this!
    DO Secure straps high enough so it does no hang low.

How to wear a back pack correctly…

  • Wear both straps evenly on both shoulders.
  • Ensure that both straps are well padded.
  • Secure the straps to make sure the back pack does not hang on the lower back. This can cause increased strain on the back. The back pack should rest on the curve of the lower back, no more than 4 inches below your child’s waistline.
  • Choose a back pack that is not too big for your child.

(American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2014)

Refer to the American Occupational Therapy Association website for further information!
Stay tuned for more on our ‘Back to School Series’! Next: ‘Back to School: Reestablishing Routine’

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The 4th of July: Overcoming sensory challenges

The 4th of July is upon us…which means fireworks and celebrations. To a lot of us this means managing loud noises, crowds of people, different foods, and different environments. Basically, this holiday presents itself with many sensory challenges for children with special needs. Here are a few tips and tricks as well as fun crafty ideas to make the most of this loud, colorful, and sensory-loaded holiday.

  1. Talk about it! Discuss fireworks and what to expect for the entire weekend. 
  2. Allow your child to bring a comfort item.
  3. Bring headphones! This can help to deafen the sounds. OR watch from indoors or from the car. 
  4. Limit foods that your child may not normally eat. 

Be festive and get crafty. Try one of these fun ideas that also address fine motor skills and sensory play!

  • Finger painting: red, white, and blue (of course)!
  • Rip up tissue paper and crumple to form a flag. 
  • Sidewalk chalk! Have the kids decorate the driveway or sidewalk. 
  • Bead festive necklaces or bracelets. Follow a pattern to make it more challenging. 
  • Beat the heat and get out the water! 
  • Make your own fireworks and with paint, glitter, crayons, and glue!