February 2017 | Volume 1 | Issue 2
DICP Digest 
A monthly newsletter for clients and colleagues of Development is CHILD'S PLAY!
 
We Appreciate our DICP Families! 
 
The first week of February was Family appreciation week at DICP! We hope everyone was able to stop in, grab a snack, say 'hi', and fill out a raffle ticket to win a great prize. Thanks to Fun and Function, Discount School Supply, and The Therapy Shoppe for donating some of our raffle prizes. We also raffled movie tickets, a guaranteed entry to our April "parents night out", and a free treatment session! Congratulations to the families who won raffle prizes. We appreciate all of the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and caregivers who show up week after week, do the homework, ask great questions, push us to be better, and trust us with your kids. We are grateful for you!!
 
Warmest Thanks,
The therapists and staff at Development is CHILD'S PLAY!
 
Tuesday, January 14: Valentine's Day
DICP is Open

Monday, February 20: President's Day
Optional day. If your therapist is available on President's Day, you will be offered the opportunity to have a session. If you have other plans, please alert your therapist with at least 24 hours notice and it will not count toward your allowed cancellations.
 
Monday, February 27: Karen on vacation
Please let Karen know if you would like to be seen by another therapist or schedule a make-up session.
 
Winter break / ski week: Please tell your therapist if you are taking time off from OT during your school's winter break/ski week.
 
A Night to Celebrate!

On January 28th, DICP celebrated the retirement of Teri Wiss and Melanee Murphree with a party at Shiva's Restaurant in Mountain View. Sena and Sahana hosted a lovely dinner complete with curries, cakes, co-workers, and a veritable who's who of Bay Area pediatric professionals. Therapists old and new were there to toast Teri and Melanee and shower them with gifts including a personalized park bench that will be placed outside of the DICP waiting room for our families to enjoy (when the weather finally warms up)! Please enjoy some pictures from the evening.
 
Thank you Melanee and Teri for everything!
Teri caught admiring her gifts
Teri and Melanee with new owners Sahana and Sena
Teri with Patti Hamaguchi, founder and director of Hamaguchi & Associates, Inc
Former DICP Aides Cynthia and Lea are both working as OTs in the bay area. We miss you Cynthia, Melanee, and Lea!
Friends of DICP and DICP staff, past and present. It was wonderful seeing old friends, some of whom moved on to start their own successful OT practices!
Meet Maricel Oca!

One of our wonderful aides, Maricel, is leaving DICP for an adventure in Australia. She will be a Master's student in the occupational therapy program at the impressive University of Sydney! 
 
Maricel received her undergraduate degree in kinesiology from the San Francisco State University. For many years, Maricel volunteered in a variety of healthcare settings and always found herself gravitating towards serving the community. Maricel found enjoyment and purpose in hands-on arts and crafts, working with at-risk youth, and serving others which ultimately led her to pursue a career in occupational therapy. She is excited to grow as a healthcare professional, motivator, teacher, and innovator. Maricel plans to focus in pediatrics or mental health, but is eager to expand her knowledge of the many ways OTs impact their communities. 

Maricel comes from a family of six: Mom, Dad, two older brothers, and their dog Bisou. Maricel says, "Everything I have and am, I owe to my parents!" In her spare time, Maricel loves to hike, travel, enjoy good food, and spend time with her friends and family. When not working hard as one of our best and brightest OT Aides, Maricel works as a case manager for supported education at a non-profit mental health organization.

Maricel says: "It's hard to believe that I started working at DICP in June of 2014; 2 years and 7 months ago! What's not to love about DICP? Every work day is fun because we have each other! It's not every day that you find a workplace with individuals who are as compassionate, creative, and thoughtful as the women of DICP. Working as an aide here has allowed me the space to learn from role-models in the OT world and has also shown me how to persevere through many hardships, both personal and professional. From delicious baked goods to fun travel suggestions to insight on occupational therapy strategies, the shared experiences continue to add value to my life! The positive energy and supportive nature of the DICP family is what has kept me glued to this place - I love it here! Though I am thrilled to embark on my new adventure, I will surely miss DICP."
 
Good Luck Maricel - we will miss you!
Get Moving for a Healthy Heart 
(and vestibular system)
 
 It's February which means hearts, hearts, and  more hearts! This led us to think about how  we can support our clients with their heart  health. The American Heart Association has a  program supporting children's health called "Life's Simple 7 for Kids" which outlines seven healthy lifestyle changes that can be made to affect healthy hearts. One of the simple 7 is "Get Moving - Run, Walk, and Play Every Day"! The American Heart Association recommends that children and adolescents get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity every day. Examples of moderate activity include bike riding, swimming and brisk walking. Vigorous activities include jogging, soccer, aerobics or dancing. If your workout makes you breathe harder and sweat, you're helping your heart stay healthy. Here are some ideas from the AHA:
  • Try brisk walking, dancing and biking for some fun physical activity.
  • Go outside and play instead of watching TV or sitting down and playing games on the computer.
  • When you play video games, play games that require you to get up and move, like those that involve dancing, exercise and sports.
  • If you have time while you're doing other things, take physical activity breaks. Try short, brisk walks for at least 10 minutes at a time.
  • After dinner, take your friend or your dog (or both!) along for a brisk walk around the neighborhood.
  • Make it a family affair. Take walks after dinner, go for bike rides or hikes on the weekend with your parents and siblings.
  • Get involved with school activities or other activities that include physical activity.
  • Ride your bike or walk briskly to school or wherever you need to go.
  • Plan a family field day that includes some of your favorite outdoor games like hiking, biking or swimming.
  • Check out your local community center for opportunities to join sports clubs and other recreational activities.
  • Start a new hobby like karate, yoga, boxing, running, fencing, basketball or whatever gets you moving. You'll meet new people and get healthier at the same time.
  • Join a sports team at school or in the neighborhood.
  • Instead of just standing around on the playground, run!
Another benefit of all of this activity is the positive effect movement has on the vestibular system. The vestibular system is the first sensation we experience prior to birth and is arguably the most fundamental sense. The vestibular system is a collection of structures located in your inner ear including the semicircular canals. Movement of the fluids in these semicircular canals inform us of changes in our head position, gravitational pull, and direction and speed of movement. The vestibular system signals to our other senses when it's necessary to make adjustments so that we can maintain balance, clear vision, adequate muscle tone, and coordination.

Difficulties with vestibular processing can make many aspects of everyday life challenging. People with poor vestibular processing may appear low energy, hyperactive, clumsy, inattentive, impulsive, or anxious. Vestibular dysfunction can present as over or under responsive and, much like the other sensory systems, a child may exhibit behaviors of both. Signs of difficulty with vestibular processing can include:
  • Dislike/fear or craving/seeking out activities requiring feet to leave the ground such as swings, slides, riding a bike, jumping, or climbing.
  • Often moving slowly/cautiously
  • Frequent motion sickness/dizziness
  • Appearing to never become dizzy with excessive spinning
  • Seemingly unaware of danger/risks or impulsively jumping, running, and/or climbing
  • Appearing frequently "lost" in their environment or having difficulty locating objects
  • Dislike of being moved to stomach or back as a baby or having their head tilted back
  • Rocking, spinning, twirling, or frequent head tilting. May also intently watch moving objects
  • Often prefers sedentary activities
  • Difficulty sitting still or unable to sustain attention without moving
  • Difficulty with reading, writing, and/or math
  • Often slouches, holds head up with hands, or prefers lying down
At DICP we are lucky to have space and equipment to safely and intensely engage the vestibular system, so when you see your child using the frog swing, rocket swing, net swing, playground swing, trapeze, barrel bowling, playing Saturn circles, doing rock and rolls or bounces in the onion swing, being twisted into a tiny ball in the lycra swing, log rolling, or flying down the scooter board ramp, chances are your therapist is trying to target the vestibular system. With a vestibular system that processes movement efficiently, your child can more successfully participate in activities that are fun, social, and help maintain a healthy heart!  
 
Sources: 
The American Heart Association
 
North Shore Pediatric Therapy
Did you know?!
 
The Tech Museum in San Jose has sensory friendly hours! According to the website: 
 
Sensory Friendly Hours are a time for families to enjoy a quieter, less-crowded visit to The Tech at a discounted rate. This opportunity may be appealing to parents of children who have mobility challenges, struggle to communicate, or become easily overwhelmed by stimuli
 
The next sensory friendly morning is on Sunday, March 12th from 9:30-noon. Families may stay after 12:00, although some accommodations will not be available. Accommodations include:
 
  • A smaller crowd capacity
  • Lower audio volume on exhibits
  • Appropriate lighting adjustments in galleries
  • Quiet rooms available with calm-down kits
  • Visual schedules available for download
  • An educational IMAX film will be played at lower volume
  • Welcoming and well-trained staff members
Tickets may be purchased at the Group Admission rate in advance or at the door. 
 
Overheard at DICP
 
We love our kids, and sometimes they say the funniest things. We keep a little notebook that we fill with funny, cute, special, touching, and laugh-out-loud things the therapists overhear at DICP. Here are a couple of recent gems:
 
Child 1: "I'm studying dinosaurs at school."
Child 2: "Me too!"
Child 1 (excitedly): "Really?!"
Child 2 (seriously): "No, I'm studying plants."
 
During a two-person obstacle course, one kiddo was telling the other how to move through it with instructions like "jump to the red spot", "swing on the blue swing", and "hang from the trapeze", and at the end she said, "now do a little dance for me!" 
...and he did, complete with moves and self-made background music.
 
DICP kiddos make us smile and laugh every day!
 
10011 N. Foothill Blvd., Ste 109 • Cupertino, CA • 95014 (408) 865-1365
10011 N. Foothill Blvd, Ste 109, Cupertino, CA 95014, United States
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