March 2017 | Volume 1 | Issue 3
DICP Digest 
A monthly newsletter for clients and colleagues of Development is CHILD'S PLAY!
 
Spring is just around the corner (we hope)! 
 
DICP owners, therapists, and staff have been busy with "how-can-it-possibly-still-be-raining-and-is-it-spring-yet?" cleaning! Our new office manager Lucy, who you will meet in the next newsletter, has jumped right in to help get us organized. Thanks to many Ikea trips we have new kitchen cabinets, organizers, and storage boxes, and we're all feeling the benefits of an increasingly organized office. We hope you've noticed some nice changes in the waiting room and treatment areas as well. We love the rain, but is it spring yet?!
 
Speaking of rain, with as many inches as we've had this year, it has been hard for our kids to get out and play! Until the weather warms up and spring comes in earnest, recess time is often traded for indoor games and lunch play time is exchanged for movies or board games. That is just not enough movement for our kids!! What can our families do to manage the excess of pent-up energy? Here are some of our ideas, and we'd love to hear what you do to get the wiggles out when it's cold and rainy outside:
  • Indoor classes such as gymnastics, dance, My Gym, basketball, and parkour (ask us about local parkour classes).
  • Balloon Volleyball: If you can find a little space, hit a balloon back and forth over a net or even a couch.
  • Yoga Jenga: Use a pencil to write down a yoga move on each JENGA block. Set up the tower and play the game as usual, but every time a block is pulled out, every player has to do the specific yoga move. 
  • Crab carry: Teach your little one how to walk like a crab by placing their palms and feet to the floor while raising their stomach up to face the sky. Staying in that pose, let them see how long they can balance something like a bean bag on their belly. Crab races are also another fun option.
  • Trampoline or jump house places such as Pump it Up or Rockin' Jump
  • Ask your therapist for some other gross motor ideas for rainy days
  • Come to Saturday Sensory Gym at Development is Child's Play. See below for more details and information!!
With thoughts of longer days and warmer weather,
The therapists and staff at Development is CHILD'S PLAY!
 
Saturday, March 11: Sensory Gym
10:00-11:00 am; $30 
Weekly 60-minute parent/child sensorimotor activities with a therapist present to answer questions. Sign up with your therapist or in the office to participate! Sensory gym runs only if we have enough clients signed up.
 
Sunday, March 12: Daylight Savings Time starts
"Spring ahead" - don't forget to change your clocks!
 
Friday, March 17: St. Patrick's Day
DICP is open on St. Patrick's Day
 
Saturday, March 18: Sensory Gym
10:00-11:00 am
 
Monday, March 20: Hana out of the office
Please let Hana know if you would like to be seen by another therapist or schedule a make-up session.
 
Saturday, March 25: Sensory Gym
10:00-11:00 am

In February, Sena and Sahana participated in Kids Like to Move It at the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose. For this event the CDM collaborated with community partner organizations such as DICP to provide opportunities for kids to move their bodies during winter break. We brought some of our equipment and set up an obstacle course and gross motor games. Look familiar?! All of the equipment that we brought was in constant use. Sena and Sahana think that after all this rain we've been getting kids really do like to move it.
Sena and Gigante supervise a little one trying out a jump rope! 
A great example of what you can do with a little bit of equipment. This is an obstacle course with the rainbow tunnel, colorful spots, a scooter board, zoom-ball, and some hopscotch squares.
Meet Jill Painter!

Jill is one of a handful of Development is Child's Play's "home grown" occupational therapists. She started at DICP as a volunteer WAY back in 2005, and was later hired as an OT Aide due to, among other things, her talent of finding tiny but crucial missing pieces to our often-used and well-loved games and activities. Now she's a talented OT and we're lucky to have her!
 
Jill received her undergraduate degree from Santa Clara University with a major in Theater and Dance and a minor in English Literature. She also studied classical voice. She received her MS in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University. Jill has been a practicing OT for almost 9 years, all of which have been at Development is Child's Play! Jill enjoys working one-on-one with her clients, but is also interested in learning more about the role nutrition plays in the health of our kiddos. Jill is interested in neuro-anatomy and holistic nutrition, specifically the gut/brain connection and the influence it has on behavior. She has post-graduate education in various areas of neurology, feeding, behavioral issues, Benbow handwriting, and Astronaut Training, and can put together a mean exercise home program.
 
Jill was born in Wisconsin, and now lives locally with her family. Jill's husband Al owns Integrate Performance Fitness and is a certified coach and instructor specializing in endurance athletic strength training (and occasionally specializing in torturing Jill's co-workers when they take his classes). They have a busy life with their two kids, Lilly (5 1/2) and Jeremy (almost 3). Lilly will start Kindergarten in the fall and is excited to play T-ball this year. Jeremy likes building train tracks and they love playing imaginary games together. Jill is very involved in their parent participation preschool. The whole family loves to visit San Francisco, enjoys exercising as a family, and Jill uses her vocal training singing Hamilton with the kids!
 
 Jill says: "The first time I saw an OT clinic was when I first walked through the doors of DICP and saw a therapist playing with a child on the whale swing. After working in both hi-tech and non-profits for about five years, I immediately knew that this was the new career I wanted. My favorite thing about being an OT is helping kids participate more fully in their lives, from being able to attend a birthday party without being overwhelmed, to having the confidence to ride a bike or play with other kids at the park. I also love it when I get to play on the swings with the kids! DICP is an incredibly special place because of the amazing women who work here. Each one of them inspires me with their knowledge and dedication to this job. I also can't imagine any other group of co-workers has as much fun or laughs as like we do on our nights out!"
 
Sensory Gym at Development is Child's Play!!
 
Saturdays 10-11 a.m.
 
Second session 11-12, if the 10am session fills up
 
$30 per child
 
 
Since September 2016, Development is Child's Play has offered Saturday sensory gym. Sensory gym at Development is CHILD'S PLAY! is for our clients and their caregivers. Sign up and come in on a Saturday morning to guide your child in fun activities in a familiar environment as a part of their weekend sensory diet. We have a handful of dedicated Saturday sensory gym families who have told us how much they enjoy coming for child-led, less-structured fun! We usually have an obstacle course in the big room and swings in the smaller rooms, plus access to all of our fine motor, oral motor and sensory equipment. We even open the "sensory spa" on occasion and set up a cozy room with pillows, a light show on the ceiling, and soft music. Here is what one of our "regulars" has to say:
 
"My son loves going to sensory gym because he loves DICP and our therapist Karen! I love to take him there so that we can try out a variety of sensory activities to see which ones he likes so that we can use those as motivational activities in his regular OT sessions. It's a great way for me to get involved and learn under the watchful eye of a professional therapist so that I can use that knowledge outside of DICP to keep providing sensory activities for my son. It's not crowded, he gets time to do what he likes, meet kids and socialize a little - a win win for us!"
 
And here are some more details:
  • Children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver who will explore the gym with the child. We will set up the environment, assist when necessary, and answer questions. No more than 4-5 children at once to allow flexibility and the use of equipment for your child's needs.

  • Siblings are welcome to sign up as well, but will need to be accompanied by another adult or caregiver.

  • Parents will guide their child with input from us. Because these are not therapy sessions, these services are considered private pay and insurance will not consider covering them as medically necessary.

  • Call or visit the office, or send us a message on the portal for more information or to schedule a Saturday appointment!
The Importance of a Sensory Enriched Life
 
Can't make it to Saturday sensory gym? Don't worry, there are plenty of other things you can do to enrich your child's life with sensory input! 
 
We need sensory input every day! Sensory processing refers to the brain's ability to understand, organize, and respond to the sensory information (tactile, auditory, visual, taste, smell, vestibular, and proprioceptive) that comes from our bodies and environment, and to utilize that information for appropriate motor and behavioral responses. To remain in an alert and optimal state, a child must have the right amount of sensory input - enough to be aware of input from the body and environment, but not so much that the stimuli is distracting or irritating. Without adequate or appropriate sensory input, every day things like dressing, playing, sports, games, and even paying attention at school can be challenging and frustrating. We are all busy, and sometimes it's hard to find even five extra minutes in our crazy days to take a sensory break. If it's just one of those days, here are some ways to enrich your already busy life with some valuable sensory input:
  • Animal walks in between activities at home. Time to brush teeth? Bear walk to the bathroom. Time for a snack? Crab walk to the kitchen. That's 30-60 seconds of active proprioception added to your day - and there's no such thing as too much prop.!
  • Push a laundry basket with beanbags, stuffed animals, or toys as you move through the house. Again, prop., prop., prop.!
  • If safety allows, let your kiddo help with meal prep. Mix meatloaf or dough by hand, stir cookie dough, carefully and with supervision chop fruit or veggies. All great tactile input which is important because we explore the world through tactile input, so efficient tactile processing is key for motor planning, body awareness, emotional security, social skills, and academic learning.
  • For more tactile input, add a vigorous towel and lotion rub-down after bath time.
  • If you do brushing at home, try brushing just before bath time. Add different textures of cloth to the bathtub for a variety of tactile input. Do some shaving cream in the bath. Follow bath time with a vigorous towel and lotion rub-down for a huge dose of tactile.
  • Need some added vestibular (movement) in your life? Jump from place to place, take a break from homework by spinning in an office chair, or get your child's head out of upright with a 30 second yoga pose. We talked all about vestibular input in our January newsletter, so if you don't have a copy of that, feel free to ask the office to email one to you.
Please find more information about living a sensory enriched life by reading Lindsay Biel's article, "A Sensory Diet Happens 24/7". Also check out The Inspired Treehouse, a website created by a pediatric OT and PT.
 
References:
 
Did you know?!
 
DICP started a swap group on Facebook. Here's some information:
 
The DICP Swap Group is for families to sell and buy therapy items such as Therapeutic Listening equipment, weighted blankets, developmental toys, etc. Sometimes you buy something used in therapy and then end up out growing it or not using it as much as you thought you would. Here's a way to find a new home for your therapy items! Find and join the group by searching for "DICP Swap Group" on Facebook.

You may ask your therapist if she is willing to hold an item you are selling if the buyer will pick it up from the clinic that week. Please keep in mind we have very limited space in our office and this may not be an option for larger items.

Please note that Development is Child's Play! will not assume any responsibility for transactions. If there are any issues with a sale, you must discuss this directly with buyer / seller. Also, please note that if you are part of this group, your name can be seen by anyone searching for this group.

You Might be a Pediatric OT if...
 
We love being pediatric therapists, but like every job, doing what we do comes with funny, frustrating, heartwarming, and sometimes LOL moments. Please enjoy a few OT and sensory related memes that have popped up on our collective news feeds over the years. We bet some of you relate to a few of these as well!
We love occupational therapy because...
Ask Jenni about this one! 
We have therapists in our office who are auditory defensive, tactile defensive, tactile seekers, prop seekers, and vestibular seekers. It takes all kinds!
The struggle is real! We don't own work clothing without food, marker, and putty stains. But we love it!
...posted the author of this newsletter as she sits at home with a cold!
Tony may have tactile issues, but can we talk about your utensil grasp ;-)
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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