January 2017 | Volume 1 | Issue 1
DICP Digest 
A monthly newsletter for clients and colleagues of Development is CHILD'S PLAY!
 
Happy 2017! It's a New Year, and a New DICP! 
 
Welcome to the premier issue of DICP Digest, a monthly newsletter from Development is Child's Play!  In December we said goodbye to Teri Wiss, owner and director of DICP. After 25 years of owning and running Development is Child's Play, Teri has passed the leadership of the business to two of our therapists, Sena Felt and Sahana Baker-Malone. You may see some changes around DICP as we, the therapists and the new owners, put our own stamp on the building and business. In this and future issues of the DICP Digest, we aim to provide our families with information about the business including our calendar and therapist profiles, as well as articles and information about issues that matter to you. Please give us feedback about what you would like to see and how this newsletter can work for you. Enjoy!
Monday, January 2: New Year's Day Observed
Office is Closed

Monday, January 16: Martin Luther King Day
Office is Open, please confirm that your therapist is working
 
Friday, January 27, 7-9pm: Parent Appreciation Open House
At Development is Child's Play (information below)
 
A Bright New Year!

Please join us at an open house to celebrate the new DICP! Sena and Sahana would like to invite Development is Child's Play parents to meet and mingle over treats and refreshments and enjoy an adult evening. We hope to see you there!

Date: Friday January 27th, 2017
Time: 7 - 9pm
Location: DICP 10011 N. Foothill Blvd, Ste. 109
Cupertino, CA 95014
Meet Sena Felt!

Sena Felt received her BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BS in Occupational Therapy from the University of Puget Sound. Sena has been a practicing OT for 15 years, almost 9 of which have been here at Development is Child's Play! Aside from loving the one-on-one work with her clients, Sena is the Fieldwork Coordinator for our OT interns, is SIPT certified, and is trained in several forms of therapeutic listening including iLS, The Listening Program, and Therapeutic Listening.

Sena is originally from Wisconsin and most of her immediate family still lives there. She has 3 children, 2 dogs, and a cat. Sena's sons Skyler (21) and Gunnar (20) both study business at UW-Madison. Sena's daughter Teagan is 16 and a sophomore at Palo Alto High School. She keeps Sena busy with her sports interests in volleyball and Lacrosse. Prior to moving to California nine years ago, Sena's family had the pleasure of spending 12 years moving around the US and overseas as a military family. Their most distant travels took the family to Cairo, Egypt where she practiced pediatric OT and learned about Egyptian culture.

When she's not at Development is Child's Play, Sena enjoys traveling, hiking, going to the beach, girl's nights out, running, boot camp, horseback riding, and playing volleyball.

Sena says: "I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with so many wonderful families at DICP. The chance to be a business owner is a dream come true and provides me infinite challenges every day. I am excited to work with Sahana to grow our business while finding additional ways to best serve our clients. I enjoy the satisfaction I get in helping so many wonderful people and feel energized by all the possibilities and ideas generated by our amazing staff of therapists. I look forward to meeting all our DICP families and hope you will feel free to stop by and say hi when you are at the clinic."
Meet Sahana Baker-Malone! 

Sahana Baker-Malone majored in Psychology at 
Scripps College in Claremont, California before receiving an MA in Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California. Sahana has been a practicing OT for almost 14 years and Development is Child's Play has been lucky to have her for the last 12 years! When she's not directly engaged with her one-on-one clients, Sahana's professional areas of interest are feeding, reflex integration, and emphasizing the importance of play in development. 
 
Sahana has been an OT in many settings, including in Maui, Hawaii! When she's not at Development is Child's Play, Sahana plays competitive roller derby with the Peninsula Roller Girls in Redwood city and spends time with her husband Joe, their three children, Inara (9), Kaia (8), and Jad (2), and their two cats. Some of that time involves taking the kids to their many activities including Inara's gymnastics and Kaia's piano classes. Jad loves swimming and terrorizing their cats!
 
Sahana says: "I love this clinic and the professional and personal camaraderie I have with my fellow therapists. I love working with children and families to help make life more fun and successful. I hope that we can help support our clients and families in new and creative ways. We are always happy to hear from our families and colleagues about how we can best meet your needs!"
Resolve to improve core strength in 2017!
 
Why does my therapist keep talking about core strength? Why is it important for my child to do core homework exercises? How do gross motor activities impact my concerns about handwriting?
 
In therapy, you may have seen your child do warm-up activities such as "bug hug", "superman", or "ball blasts". We may have even assigned some of these activities as daily homework. Because we, as OTs, are primarily concerned with your child's ability to function successfully in their environment and participate in preferred activities, we focus on their core because its impact on daily activities is so strong. With changes in education (limited recess and PE), schedules (homework and structured activities), and decreased access to play opportunities, children now have fewer chances to participate in the activities which once made their bodies strong and stable.
 
Our core is made up of the deeper musculature of the body including the abdomen, back, gluteus, pelvic floor, and diaphragm. It works as a stabilizer, impacts our ability to produce force for functional movements, and protects our spine and surrounding musculature from injury. Core strength also directly impacts postural control which refers to our ability to maintain an upright trunk position. This is an important skill needed for developing fine motor skills. Without good postural control, a child may have difficulty maintaining an upright sitting posture and may fatigue easily when sitting at a desk in school. Using the hands well will be difficult without a strong base of support. When postural control is adequate, the hands may be used effectively for working on tabletop tasks such as writing and cutting with scissors. For the hands to work well, strength, stability, and mobility are necessary in the shoulders and forearms, and wrist stability is important for precise finger control. When we have a child who is referred for handwriting difficulties, we look at their hand development, visual skills, and the quality of their writing, but we also look at their core strength and related gross motor skills because it's all related. Ask your OT for ideas and activities and resolve to improve core strength in 2017!
 
The Inspired Treehouse is a great blog with a post outlining some fun core exercises and activities for kids. Take a look and try some of these as OT homework!
 
Did you know?!
 
At Sky High Sports in Santa Clara, every Tuesday afternoon is a special time for kids with special needs! On Tuesday afternoons, Sky High Sports turns off the music and dials down the distractions for the comfort of their jumpers with sensory sensitivities. They welcome children and young adults with special needs, siblings, family, and friends to enjoy an afternoon of bouncy fun. Each "jumper" is $5 with a parent or therapist free.
 
Call or visit their website to confirm the time, watch the safety video, and sign the safety waver. Please use your best judgement about your child's ability to be safe on this kind of equipment!
 
(408) 496-JUMP
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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