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Keeping little ones barefoot can encourage a strong foundation for optimal development of the brain and nervous system.

Rather than buying expensive baby shoes, keeping little ones barefoot whenever safe and possible will encourage the development of their nervous systems. Read more in this article by Kacie Flegal, D.C.  here 

http://www.naturalchildmagazine.com/1210/barefoot-babies.htm

toddler climbing on wall

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Sensory-Based Eating Difficulties Research

ARE YOU THE PARENT OF A CHILD BETWEEN THE AGES OF 4 and 12?

We have received a request to help find research participants from a group of parents whose children experience issues with eating. They would like to know more about how eating is related to children’s emotional behaviour and sensory sensitivity.

The group have worked in collaboration with Prof Jackie Blissett (Aston University) and Dr Terry Dovey (Brunel University) to design some research and now they need your help!

This questionnaire will ask you about your child’s eating, their emotional behaviour and how sensitive they are to noises and textures and should take you no longer than 15 minutes to complete.

Your cooperation is appreciated.

http://parentingsciencegang.org.uk/experiments/mealtime-hostage-research/

mealtime hostage

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ADHD and Running – meaningful occupation for improved mental health.

We posted about exercise and ADHD – here is one man’s story. Documentary photographer Martin Eberlen was diagnosed with ADHD in his early 30s, he turned to running to help manage his condition.

“Running helps me control my thoughts, it slows me down, and gives me the opportunity to focus on the things I need to focus on,” he says. Read more and see some of Martin’s amazing photography here 

running.jpg

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-44440369

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Neuroplasticity Infographic

This beautiful and detailed infographic originally created by Alta Mira, San Francisco, is a great introduction to neuroplasticity you can see the infographic below and read more about it here

Rewiring_the_Brain_Infographic_1

Rewiring_the_Brain_Infographic_2

https://bigthink.com/ideafeed/this-nifty-infographic-is-a-great-introduction-to-neuroplasticity

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What sensory integration therapy might look like?

Do you know what Sensory Integration therapy might look like? And how through play and therapeutic relationship, it can help your child to develop the functional skills important to everyday life?

To the untrained eye, Ayres Sensory Integration sessions look like play…
But they are about rewiring the nervous system through positive experiences and challenges that are “just right” so that the child can feel like they have achieved by experiencing success.

Watch these fantastic videos to see more

 

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Free theme park tickets for children with disabilities

Merlin’s Magic wand is a worldwide charity which provides free theme park tickets to families of children with disabilities. These days out help families to take some time out of their often stressful lives to create magical memories. Read more and apply here 

Merlins magic wand

Due to the high demand, each family can only apply once. Applications must be made by either parents, guardians or registered organisations, including schools/hospitals and councils.

Tickets are for children aged between 2 and 18

Its 5 years now since we had our Magical day out to Legoland and my kids still talk about it. At the time I wrote “Thank you so much Merlins Magic Wand Charity we have just had a fantastic day out at Legoland Windsor, we were treated like VIP’s the whole day. It was really special x”

https://www.merlinsmagicwand.org/

legoland.jpg

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Occupational Therapy and Trauma 2: Using meaningful occupation in the healing of trauma.

“It is so important not to be defined by tragedy,  to be shaped by it but never defined by it” Amanda Holden – Britains got Talent 

How can meaningful occupation and occupational therapy be useful in healing and recovery from trauma? and why should occupational therapists be trauma-informed?

This morning I was sent this video by a friend, I found it really powerful because not only is the story in itself one of beauty and empowerment but also because it ties together everything I have learnt this year about the use of meaningful occupation in both physical and emotional healing.

This incredibly moving dance routine was choreographed to pay tribute to the victims of the Manchester bombing.

The video tells the story of Holly whose aunt was killed in the attack. Like so many of the children who were at the Manchester arena that night, Holly has experienced both physical and emotional trauma. Physically, Holly broke her right knee, he left leg and foot was broken, she suffers from nerve damage and must use a splint to be able to walk. Holly has already had eleven operations to help her recover physically.

An occupation that had been meaningful to Holly before the attack came to play a central role in her recovery. Only a couple of days after it happened Holly was asking the medical staff…”When can I go back to dancing?” Dancing is meaningful to Holly, her mum describes it as being “everything to her”.

Because of the damage to her legs, returning to dancing may have seemed like an impossible goal for Holly. Through returning to dancing Holly has been empowered to shine, to show incredible bravery facing what, I can only imagine, are her worst fears in returning to a venue similar to the one where the attack happened. Social isolation is a real risk for survivors of trauma and those with physical disabilities, however, through grading and adapting the occupation and a desire to keep Holly dancing as part of the team the choreographer has done an incredible work in valuing Holly’s presence and contribution. It is a beautiful example of the importance of meaningful occupation and social inclusion in both physical and emotional healing.

For me, this video summarised the answer to a task I was given this year by my lecturer Sarah Bodell (OT)…

“Find a way to explain how occupation links to health and wellbeing, I want you to tell them this…What you do affects how you feel...”   

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Promoting food acceptance through tactile exposure – Is there evidence for messy play?

In this Jan 2018 study – Taste the feeling or feel the tasting: Tactile exposure to food texture promotes food acceptance, by Nederkoorn, Theiβen, Tummers and Roefs. 68 Children were randomised into 2 groups, the group of children given tactile (hands only) exposure to food, were then found to be more likely to accept and eat foods with the same texture. Read more here
In June 2017 the study – Play with your food! Sensory play is associated with tasting of fruits and vegetables in preschool children, by Coulthard and Sealy found that “sensory play activities using fruits and vegetables may encourage fruit and vegetable tasting in preschool children more than non-food play or visual exposure alone”.
for more information about eating check out our blog post here 
Check out the photos below for some messy food and tactile play ideas….

 

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