Category: Resources

If you have a child with autism, you know that one of the biggest challenges can be trying to get them to stay on task. One way to help make this easier is by using visual schedules to help them see how their day will go.

Visual schedules are a great way to show kids on the spectrum what their day will look like and when certain things are happening. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of visual schedules for kids with autism and how you can use them at home!

Benefits of Visual Schedules

The benefits of using a visual schedule are numerous and here are a few examples of how they can be helpful to both you and your child:

  • Helping Kids Stay on Task

When you use a visual schedule, you are giving your child a way to see what they need to do and when they need to do it. This can be a great way to help them stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed. By giving the child time to process the order of what their daily activities will be, we can help them focus on accomplishing the current task without having to worry as much about what comes next.

  • Decreasing Anxiety Around Transitions

Many kids with autism experience social anxiety and visual schedules can help them feel more in control. In general, since the COVID-19 Pandemic, there has been a universal uptick in anxiety in kids and our kiddos on the spectrum can be feeling especially anxious during these times.

Often times, transitioning between activities or new places can be a major source of anxiety in kids on the spectrum. When you use a visual schedule, you are giving your child a way to see what is coming up next and what they need to do. This can help them feel more prepared and decrease stress about what is going to happen next throughout their day.

  • Generalization and Play

By controlling the anxiety through the use of a schedule and allowing our kiddos to know what’s coming next we are able to work on generalizing various skills such as using toys for imaginative play to help them learn.

Visual schedules also help kids with autism better prepare for school where they will have to get used to certain routines and complete academic tasks throughout their day. Schedules can also provide structure to help kids with ASD which can give them the confidence to engage with peers and lead to an increase in social skills both in school and at home with their siblings.

Visual Schedules at Home

If you are interested in using visual schedules at home, there are a few things you can do to get started.

  1. How to get started with a visual schedule – Typically clinicians will use pictures as a way to create storyboards that can help your child make associations between pictures and their upcoming activities. Check out this link on Pinterest to help give you some ideas and get started: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/694609942543303915/ and while you’re there be sure to check out the Blossom Children’s Center page for more information on tips for your child https://www.pinterest.com/BlossomChildrensCenter/_created/
  2. Have the visual schedule in a location that is easy to access for the child This makes it easier for your child to use as a resource and helps them get used to using their visual schedule to think about and plan for their day.
  3. Establish the routine Remember to start small (3-4 activities at first). Routines are beneficial for any child but it can be especially helpful for kids on the spectrum. To learn more about how routines can be a huge benefit see a previous blog for more information: https://blossomchildrenscenter.plugdigital.io/2020/08/06/the-benefits-of-routines-for-children-with-autism/
  4. Have your kiddo help you make the schedule By allowing our kiddos to participate in making the schedule we can get them interested and engaged with whatever activities you have coming up for them.
  5. Model the visual schedule –  Modeling is the best way to teach “how to” use a visual schedule. When transitioning from one activity to the next, point to, remove or cover up the task you’ve completed or are currently working on. Label the activity (ex- we are brushing our teeth!) out loud so you pair the picture with the word for the activity.

The more you model and narrate using the schedule, the greater chance your child will catch on

  1. Consistency is key –We all know the old saying about practice makes perfect. So While it may be more work to carry around and use the schedule in the beginning, it will become second nature if you incorporate it into everyday routines. Model and narrate until your child starts to approach the schedule themselves and make it part of their own daily routine.

Next Steps…

Now that you have these strategies to get you started you can work with your child on achieving their goals. However, it’s important to remember that we all need a little help sometimes. So if you’re feeling like you could use some extra guidance be sure to reach out to a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who can offer you more help!

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What is the Proprioceptive Sensory System?

Many of our kids require support with regulating their proprioceptive sensory system. Proprioceptive senses help children understand where their bodies are in space and how much force to use when moving.

The proprioceptive system is a powerful regulator and can help calm a child or energize a child depending on their own sensory needs. Think of how many kids you know who are constantly in motion/fidgeting or need support with balance and coordination as they seek to satisfy their sensory-stimulating needs.

Conversely, some kids require a lot of sensory input to stay in an up-regulated state. By tweaking the proprioceptive system, the receptors in our joints send messages to the brainstem to inform us about our body position in space. Most importantly this helps us feel safe

The Sensory Perspective:

When we feel unsafe or disorganized because of dysregulation, the areas of the brain that control attention, thinking, and emotions may not function properly. Consider how dysregulation often occurs when children are faced with new or unfamiliar environments, tasks, or people. This same dysregulation can occur as a result of being unaware of their body positions in space.

Heavy Work and Occupational Therapy

From an Occupational Therapist lens, we promote the use of heavy work to help with the regulation of the proprioceptive system. Heavy work activities require effort from our muscles, and these tasks usually involve lifting, pushing, or pulling.

The movement activities create resistance input to our joints and muscles, and this feedback is ultimately what calms and regulates the sensory system. Once a child reaches this state, they can feel more oriented in space. In turn, these sensory strategies help kids self-regulate and sustain a calm state. This allows them to feel more comfortable to interact with the world around them.

Now that it’s summer, we wanted to share additional activity ideas that our clients and their families can do at home:

  • Riding a bike or tricycle
  • Swimming
  • Digging up dirt/garden
  • Digging up sand at the beach or sandbox
  • Climb up slides and playground equipment
  • March in place
  • Monkey bars

All of these things can be great ways to help work on getting your child to engage with their proprioceptive senses. And of course, if you would like more help with your child’s sensory needs reach out to one of our Occupational Therapists at Blossom for more info!

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What is Art Therapy?

According to the American Art Therapy Association, “Art therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art-making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem, and self-awareness, and achieve insight.” – What is Art Therapy? – art-therapist.org

There is no single way to provide art therapy; as a result, it can look very different when practiced by and with different individuals. It can be free-flowing or structured, open-ended, or goal-oriented. 

How Is Art Therapy Different From Art Classes?

Art therapy is a tool for helping people access their emotions as a form of mental health counseling. Emphasis is on the artmaking process instead of the product. By contrast, art classes are intended to provide students with instruction on how to achieve specific artistic effects or goals.

While art classes may be appropriate for those who enjoy art and want to improve their skills, they are not a substitute or the same as art therapy. Certified Art Therapists are credentialed by the American Art Therapy Association.

What is a Comfort Box?

A comfort box is a special container that holds a collection of items that help you during times of stress and difficult emotions. The goal of a comfort box is to help with our emotional regulation. It can hold items that remind you of important people or things, your favorite places or hobbies, and sentimental items.

 

Comfort Box Workshop

How Do I Make a Comfort Box?

Choose a container that stands out to you. It can be as large as a storage container, or small enough to carry in your pocket. You can decorate the outside of the box, or choose to leave it plain.

What Do I put in My Comfort Box?

At least one item that will soothe each of your five senses: sight, scent, touch, taste, & sound. Include your favorite art material, affirmations or your favorite quotes, sentimental items from loved ones, and a list that includes healthy coping strategies that help you when you are dealing with stressful life situations or difficult emotions.

 

Using Our Senses for Our Comfort Box

A helpful way to get thinking about what to include in our comfort box is to use our five senses as a guide to help with our emotional regulation skills. Using one’s senses can bring about feelings of being present and feeling grounded. Here are some examples:

  1. Scent: candle, perfume, essential oil,
  2. Sight: pictures of loved ones or favorite place, motivational pictures, drawings
  3. Touch: stress balls, clay, silly putty, stones
  4. Sound: a mixtape CD, jingle bells, any items that make comforting sounds
  5. Taste: a favorite candy or gum, herbs, tea bags, coffee grounds

Mindfulness is one of the key reasons to have a comfort box. The goal of using these items in the box is to remind us to pay attention to our environment in order to remember to stay present.

Listen to certain sounds, observe the cause and effect relationship of what you do in your environment, observing certain smells. By utilizing our senses we can get back to a place of calm and peace.

Grounding Techniques with a Comfort Box

As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog the purpose of making a comfort box is to have something that we can refer back to during times of stress. One of the most important techniques for dealing with negative emotions can be to make sure that we are grounded.

Making notecards that can remind you of ways to practice feeling grounded can be a great tool for when we are having emotional responses to a situation. For example, you could use the notecards in your comfort box to remind you of your favorite grounding techniques such as breathing deeply, or the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. (5-4-3-2-1 Coping Technique for Anxiety – University of …https://www.urmc.rochester.edu › bhp-blog › april-2018).

These techniques work well especially during times of extreme anxiety or panic by helping us to feel grounded in the present and help our minds recalibrate instead of bouncing around from one disaster scenario to the next.

Want to Learn More?

If you find yourself struggling with chronic anxiety or other mental health issues we suggest that in addition to seeking out an art therapist please consider talking to professional counselors, social workers or other licensed professionals who may be able to help you further with other emotional regulation strategies.

To learn more about the amazing benefits of Art Therapy and how art therapy sessions can help you or your child check out our other blogs listed here:

Expressing Feelings Through Art Therapy

https://blossomchildrenscenter.plugdigital.io/2021/10/06/expressing-feelings-through-art-therapy/

A Guide to Art Therapy

https://blossomchildrenscenter.plugdigital.io/2021/07/23/a-guide-to-art-therapy/

Art Therapy

https://blossomchildrenscenter.plugdigital.io/?s=art+therapy

Art Therapy for Children with Autism

https://blossomchildrenscenter.plugdigital.io/2020/02/27/benefits-of-art-therapy-for-children-with-autism/

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If your child is a late talker, you may be feeling a little lost right now. Speech therapy for kids can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In this blog post, we will give you some tips on how to help expand your late talker’s language. Keep in mind that every child is different, so don’t worry if your child doesn’t follow the same pattern as other late talkers.

Children learn at their own pace. Just focus on providing opportunities for them to communicate and learn!

The best way to help expand your late talker’s language is to provide opportunities for them to communicate. This means giving them chances to practice using their words and sounds.

You can do this by talking with them throughout the day, reading books together, or even playing simple games that involve communication. It’s important to make sure that they are getting plenty of chances to practice using their words so that they can start to help develop their early language. Here are some speech therapy tips to get you started.

Strategies to Encourage Language:

Offer Choices

One way to encourage your child to use more words is by offering them choices.

For example, you can offer your child a choice such as “What would you like to eat? An apple or a banana?” When your child makes a choice be sure to reinforce the choice by offering praise after they have made that choice in order to encourage them the next time they are presented with another choice.

For more ideas on how to offer choices for your child check out this blog: https://www.speechtreeco.com/blogs/therapy-ideas/offering-choices-in-speech-therapy

Create Challenges

Another great way to help get our kids talking is by presenting them with challenges. We can do this by placing a toy or part of a toy just out of their reach. This will encourage them to ask you for help or maybe even get them to say the word and label the toy.

Again, we want to encourage our kiddos by providing them plenty of praise for even trying to point or look at the toy. This will help encourage them to communicate more.

Check out this blog to discover some fun ways to integrate STEM concepts into fun speech activities: https://speechisbeautiful.com/2017/08/incorporate-stem-challenges-speech-therapy/

Model Language

One of the best things we can do is give our kiddos plenty of words so they can absorb everything happening in their environment. We can do this during a familiar routine or while our kiddos are playing. Remember to use simple and repetitive language because our kids really enjoy having those opportunities.

For more information on modeling language you can refer to this blog post:

https://www.lumierechild.com/lumiere-childrens-therapy/2016/01/11/child-speech-therapy-modeling

Wait

While it can be hard and challenging for parents, one of the best things we can do is give our kiddos a chance to take a few seconds to process what’s being told to them and have an opportunity to come up with an answer.

So if you ask them: “Are you hungry?” Try counting in your head to three, and if they don’t respond the first time, feel free to ask again. The repetition can eventually help them craft a response.

For more tips on how to use the wait time to help with language see this blog post:

https://leader.pubs.asha.org/do/10.1044/3-steps-for-using-wait-time-to-improve-treatment-outcomes/full/

New Words

Another way to help expand your late talker’s language is to give them opportunities to learn new words. This can be done by introducing new vocabulary in a variety of ways. You can point out new words when you’re reading books together, or you can teach them new words through songs and games.

You can even just have conversations with them about new words that you’ve learned. The important thing is to provide opportunities for them to learn new vocabulary in a way that is fun and engaging for them.

What to do Next?

Speech therapy can be a great way to help expand your late talker’s language. If you’re looking for more ideas on how to help your child, we recommend talking to a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). They can give you specific tips and strategies that are tailored to your child’s specific needs.

Children develop at a different pace and if you’re worried about a speech delay it may be best to talk to your pediatrician and see if they recommend a speech therapy evaluation.

We hope these tips have been helpful! Remember, every child is different, so don’t worry if your child isn’t following the same pattern as other late talkers. Just focus on providing opportunities for them to communicate and learn, and they will make progress in no time.

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It has happened to all of us. We ask our child to do something, and instead of responding with a “yes,” we get a “no.” It can be frustrating, but with the right approach, you can turn that “no” into a “yes.”

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is one approach that can help achieve this goal. Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior (DRA) is another technique that can be used to encourage positive behavior. In this blog post, we will discuss some strategies and how they can help you get more yeses from your children!

 

ABA Therapy and using DRA

ABA therapy is a type of behavioral therapy. One common ABA technique is called differential reinforcement. Differential reinforcement involves reinforcing good behavior so that we can avoid tantrums in the future.

For example, if you want your child to stop hitting, you might give them a sticker every time they refrain from hitting for a certain period of time. This also helps teach them emotional regulation skills.

Differential reinforcement can be an effective tool for changing behavior, but it’s important to use it correctly. If you reinforce the wrong behavior or punish the wrong behavior, you will not see the results you want.

BCBAs (Board Certified Behavior Analysts) are trained in using differential reinforcement and can help you determine the best way to use it with your child.

Parenting and how it plays a factor

It goes without saying that the way you parent can have a major impact on your child’s behavior. Using techniques and strategies like DRA and positive reinforcement can be a great tool for parents to help positively impact a child’s behavior and get the desired behaviors we want as parents.

If you are consistently angry or critical and an authoritative parent, your child is more likely to behave in an aggressive or defiant manner. On the other hand, if you are patient and loving, your child is more likely to respond positively to requests and be well-behaved overall. It is really important to remember that our kids are always learning and understand a lot more than we think.

Think about your own life as an adult. If you have an overbearing boss who is constantly critical of you and pointing out your flaws you start to feel defeated and there is no motivation for you to do better.

So, let’s take a look at some real-life scenarios and how you can use differential reinforcement to help your child learn.

Using DRA In Daily Life (Parenting Tips)

Safety

Many times when you tell your child no it is due to something related to safety. For example, if a child is reaching for the stove your initial reaction will be to tell them no so that they don’t hurt themselves.

However, it’s important to take the time to explain to your child why you told them no, and by using DRA you can offer an alternative behavior. So instead of just saying no, you can tell your child something like “Hey let’s stand behind this line” and once they are standing behind the line it is important to reinforce that behavior by cheering them on and letting them know that you appreciate them staying safe.

Transitions

A lot of children also have a hard time transitioning from doing something that they are having a good time doing such as leaving the parks or other fun places. This often results in a child throwing a tantrum and can be difficult for any parent to deal with.

Reframing this scene can play a big role in getting your child to transition. So instead of telling your child “Get up, let’s go, it’s time to go, we have to leave.”

You can offer choices to promote an alternative behavior like “Do you want to race to the car or would you rather walk?” This gets your child engaged and more interested in what you are asking them to do. And again, it’s important to offer praise as reinforcement for this good behavior.

In Public

Often times in public our kids may struggle with being overstimulated and this can lead to some difficult times for parents. For example, think about a trip to the grocery store. It’s a fun place for our kids with all of the choices and exciting things happening. But, it’s important to set boundaries.

One way that you can set boundaries is again by giving your child options. So instead of saying “No you can’t have that toy.” you can try reframing the situation by saying something like “Hey buddy right now we aren’t going to buy a toy, but what can you do is help me pick out this cereal. Do you want Honey Nut Cheerios today or do you want Rice Krispies?”

By using this reframing you’re offering your child an alternative behavior and still letting them participate in the shopping experience at the grocery store.

What have we learned?

Using Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior can be a great way to help with a child’s emotional regulation which can help them lessen tantrums and other bad behaviors by offering engaging alternatives and being reinforced when they display good behavior.

It can be tempting and easy to say no to your child. But remember, that it’s exhausting for you as a parent and exhausting for your child as well. Instead, use those moments as teaching opportunities to tell them what they CAN do, versus what they can’t.

If you are struggling to find a parenting style that works for you, there are many resources available to help you. BCBAs, counselors, and other professionals can all help to provide guidance and support.

If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior we suggest checking out the link to the research done in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (Kunnavatana, S. S., Bloom, S. E., Samaha, A. L., Slocum, T. A., & Clay, C. J. (2018). Manipulating parameters of reinforcement to reduce problem behavior without extinction. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 51(2), 283–302. https://doi.org/10.1002/jaba.443).

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If you’re looking for a career that is both challenging and rewarding, becoming a Registered Behavior Technician may be the perfect option for you! RBTs play a crucial role in providing ABA Therapy to children and adults who are living with autism or other developmental disabilities.

In addition to the rewarding feeling you get from helping children with autism or other disabilities, becoming an RBT will help boost your chances of finding a job in the growing field of ABA Therapy.

This blog post will help you navigate the process. But first, let’s look at what the requirements are to becoming an RBT.

Requirements:

  • Must be 18 years old
  • An education level of a high school diploma or higher
  • A clean background check
  • 40-hour training (see below)
  • Competency assessment (see below)

If you meet these requirements you are well on your way to becoming an official RBT on the BACB’s registry (https://www.bacb.com/services/o.php?page=101135).

Now that you know what it takes to become an RBT from a high level. Let’s take a deeper look at what the 40-hour training looks like and what will be included in the competency assessment.

What is the “40-Hour Training”?

If you’ve been doing any research before this on how to become an RBT you have no doubt come across references to the 40-Hour Training requirement. This training can be completed online through websites like: https://www.onlinerbttraining.com or https://www.autismpartnershipfoundation.org/product/rbt/

What Will You Learn?

  • Evidence-based behavior intervention techniques and strategies for individuals. These strategies include: Data Measurement, Assessment, Skill Acquisition, Behavior Reduction, Documentation and Reporting, Professional Conduct and Scope of Practice.
  • The training will give you all of the information you will need relating to subtasks in the RBT Task List
  • All of the relevant ethical requirements

How Long Do I Have to Complete Training?

The RBT training will take you at least 40 hours, however, you can complete the 40 hours at your own pace as long as the training is completed within 180 days (6 months).

What is the “Competency Assessment” Like?

The Competency Assessment will be conducted by a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst). The BCBA will be able to provide you with real time feedback as they evaluate what you’ve learned from your online training. One thing to keep in mind is that the BCBA must also have completed an 8 hour training in order to offer the competency assessment. The assessment may be conducted over the course of one or more sessions in person or through live video, as well as recorded video

The assessment can be done by the BCBA in the following three ways:

  • With a client: the BCBA can observe you performing the task with an actual client.
  • Role-play: the BCBA assesses you performing a task in a scenario that could potentially occur with a client, but in this case you would have someone else pretending to be the actual client.
  • Interview: the BCBA can conduct a live interview in person or over the internet. The BCBA would ask the applicant to describe or discuss certain concepts and be able to give examples to show that they can apply what they have learned over the course of their training

The final portion of your Competency Assessment will be the documentation that will be completed by the BCBA who conducted the assessment for you. Once the proper documentation has been completed, you can officially submit your Initial Competency Assessment along with your certification application to the BACB. Please note, the BACB will not accept any Non-BACB forms.

Exam

Once you have completed and submitted all of the proper documentation you will need to schedule your official RBT exam through the BACB’s partnership with Pearson (https://home.pearsonvue.com/bacb). Once this is scheduled you will receive an e-mail from the BACB with information regarding your exam. Since COVID these exams have taken place online with very specific guidelines. If you pass the exam the BACB will send you an e-mail with your official RBT certification!

Bonus

If you’re still nervous or have any hesitations about completing assessment portion of the certification process you’re in luck. The BACB has the questions that the BCBA will be testing you on posted on their website (https://www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/RBT_Competency_Assessment_Initial-210412.pdf). By using this link you’ll be able to get familiar with what you’ll be tested on so you can have the confidence to pass with flying colors and be well on your way to a new and promising career!
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occupational-therapy-for-autism

Occupational therapy is a form of treatment that can help children and adults with an autism spectrum disorder. Occupational therapists work to improve the functioning of individuals by assisting them in engaging in meaningful activities. The goal of occupational therapy for ASD is to help people with ASD participate in daily life activities.

Occupational therapists use a variety of techniques to evaluate ASD. They may observe the individual’s behavior, conduct interviews, and administer standardized tests. Occupational therapy for autism also considers the individual’s medical history and family history when evaluating ASD.

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a therapeutic practice that helps people who have injuries, disabilities, or other conditions, including autism. The occupational therapist guides patients in developing their ability to live more fully through daily activities like communication with others and holding down jobs by helping them recover from these ailments while also teaching new skills to maintain some form of independence at home.

Occupational Therapy for Autism

Occupational therapists are the key to helping people on the spectrum develop healthy emotional regulation skills. They work closely with others to grow, maintain stability and sustainability, and give attention where needed most, leading to diagnosis reduction or even an appearance change!

Occupational Therapy Evaluations

To evaluate a patient with autism, the OT may use screening tools such as an Autism Checklist (ALCB), sensory profile, or CARS. When observing their behavior, therapists need to note any repetitive rituals that could indicate obsessive-compulsive traits. These individuals often perform certain activities repeatedly without understanding why they do so at first but later learn more about themselves through research into possible causes/treatment options. This is where occupational therapy for autism can help.

Benefits of Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy can provide many benefits for people with ASD. It can help improve communication skills, social skills, and daily living skills. Occupational therapy for autism can also help reduce challenging behaviors, and in some cases, it can even improve cognitive skills.

Want to Learn More?

If you consider occupational therapy for your child with ASD, Blossom Children’s Center is a trusted resource. Using the Blossom Method, we serve the needs of your whole family in a natural environment, supporting your child’s development.

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applied-behavior-analysis-for-autism

If you have a child who has been diagnosed with autism, applied behavior analysis, or ABA therapy, may be recommended. ABA therapy is designed to help children on the spectrum develop social and emotional skills. This approach helps children on the autism spectrum by increasing their social abilities, implementing maintenance behaviors, teaching them to transfer learned behaviors to new environments, and modifying the learning environment. By understanding how ABA therapy works, you can better prepare to help your child succeed.

What is ABA Therapy?

ABA therapy is based on the principle that all behavior is learned and desired behaviors can be taught through positive reinforcement. This means that children are rewarded for displaying desired behaviors. For example, a child may be given a sticker after completing a task or praised for using polite language. Over time, the child learns that desired behaviors are associated with positive outcomes and is more likely to display those behaviors.

The Benefits of ABA Therapy

One of the benefits of ABA therapy is that it can be customized to meet each child’s individual needs. The therapist works with the child and caregivers to identify goals and target behaviors. Then, a treatment plan is developed that outlines how those goals will be achieved. The therapist may use various techniques to help the child learn desired behaviors, including modeling, role-playing, and reinforcement.

Positive Reinforcement

The reward system in ABA therapy encourages children to repeat the desired behaviors. Studies show that when people receive something of personal value after completing tasks or reaching goals, they are more likely to do it again because this makes them feel good about themselves!

Consequences and Behavior

Behaviors that are rewarded lead to more rewarding consequences, while those which receive negative feedback result in less favorable outcomes. Applied behavior analysis teaches your child the connection between their previous actions and how they will be impacted by them later on – for better or worse! Your child’s negative behavior will not change until you start rewarding positive behaviors.

If you think ABA therapy may be right for your child, Blossom Children’s Center can help. With the assistance of ABA therapy, your child can develop the skills needed to succeed.

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aba-therapy-vs-speech-therapy

There are many different types of therapies available for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Two of the most common therapies are ABA therapy vs. speech therapy. Both therapies have their own unique benefits, and it can be challenging to decide which one is right for your child. Fortunately, we’ve decided to take a closer look and help you make the right decision.

ABA Therapy

ABA therapy is the most researched-based treatment for children with ASD. It focuses on changing social and learning environments and encompasses communication and life skills acquisition. ABA therapy has been shown to be effective in improving communication, social skills, and behavior in children with ASD.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy focuses on communication and feeding issues. Speech therapists work with children to improve their communication skills and help them to develop age-appropriate speech and language skills. Speech therapy can also help children with ASD to develop better feeding habits, and overcome any swallowing issues they may have.

What about Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy focuses on mastering activities of daily living. Occupational therapists work with children to improve their fine motor skills and help them to develop age-appropriate skills for daily living. Occupational therapy can also help children with ASD to improve their sensory processing and to develop better-coping skills for managing anxiety and stress.

What’s Next?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment for children with ASD. The type of therapy that is right for your child will depend on their individual needs. If you are unsure which type of therapy is right for your child, Blossom Children’s Center is here to help. We can assess your child’s needs and make recommendations based on what has proven effective for other children with ASD.

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tantrums-from-toddlers

Toddler tantrums can be one of the most challenging aspects of parenting. They seem to come out of nowhere and can be very frustrating. It’s important to remember that tantrums from toddlers are a normal part of child development and usually peak around 18 months old.

What Causes Tantrums?

A tantrum is the expression of frustration and anger from not being able to get one’s way. Perhaps your child has trouble figuring something out or completing tasks; maybe they don’t have enough words to describe a feeling at that moment, leading to temper outbreaks. These include yelling and crying when things don’t go as expected.

Here are some tips on how to deal with tantrums from toddlers.

Be Consistent

Be consistent in your expectations and rules. This will help your child know what to expect and what is expected of them. It’s simple but effective.

Plan Ahead

Try to anticipate tantrum triggers and plan ahead. This could mean having a backup plan for when your child gets overwhelmed or avoiding situations that are likely to trigger tantrums.

Let Your Child Make Choices

Give your child some control by letting them make appropriate choices. This could mean letting them choose between two options for an activity or allowing them to choose their outfit for the day.

Praise Good Behavior

When your child is behaving well, be sure to praise them. This will help reinforce good behavior and let your child know that you are pleased with their actions.

Avoid Tantrum Triggers

As much as possible, try to avoid tantrum triggers. This could mean not bringing your child to a crowded place if they are prone to tantrums or avoiding situations that are likely to be overwhelming for them.

How to Respond to a Toddler Tantrum

When dealing with a tantrum-prone child, the best way to respond is by staying calm and utilizing distractions. This will help reduce any behavior that may be copies of our own emotions or reactions! 

If they’re throwing themselves around physically (and we can’t avoid this), try not to shout; instead, offer other activities like drawing pictures. For example, anything that takes their attention from what’s going on in front of us rather than engaging in an angry debate.

What’s Next?

If you have tried these tips and your child is still having tantrums, it may be time to seek professional help. Tantrums can signify other underlying issues, such as anxiety or sensory processing disorder. If you are concerned about your child’s tantrums, please contact Blossom Children’s Center—we’re always here to help.

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