T’was the Night Before an SPD Christmas
By Patty Porch (with her husband) and Hartley Steiner
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The snack packs, arranged on the counter with care,
In hopes, on our journey we’d be well prepared.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Chex Mix danced in their heads;
Ma in her hoodie, and I in my sweats,
were to put away pillows and therapy nets.
When in the back room there arose such a clatter,
I ran at full sprint to see what was the matter.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a puzzled old man buried up to his ears,
(in scooter boards, swings, and small colored spheres.)
Poor devil had brushed ‘gainst our therapy stash,
When it came down around him it made such a crash!
that I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
“What is all this stuff that you people collect?
Are you Circus performers?”–the old man interjects—
“I came here with toys, for the boys and your girl
But looking around I think ‘what in the world?’
This room that would normally have children’s stuff
Is packed to the gills with equipment enough
To start your own CIA torturing session!
Tell me I’m wrong and you’re not!” (oh good heavens!)
My wife and I snickered and held out our hands,
And reassured Nick we’d had no evil plans.
“Our kids have a condition; they have a hard time—
They yell when it smells and they climb up the blinds.
But eventually found an OT who could speak
To their curious quirks and aversion to crowds
And toothpaste and barbers and things that are loud.”
St. Nick answered back, “So, then they misbehave?”
We answered with, “Actually, no, they’re really quite brave.
Kids with SPD deal with all kinds of things,
Like big hugs, itchy tags, and loud alarm rings,
or can’t get enough and spend hours on swings.
You see, our children are sensitive to all that life brings.
Yet do very well with a consistent routine.
But it isn’t bad behavior you see when they yell,
but rather a problem that is hard to tell.
Our kids work hard, at therapy and play
Sending hours and hours and hours each day
Trying to find ways to control their bodies,
and working hard not to look naughty.
But what they need is understanding, and some help along the way,
Because our kids amaze us, each and every day.”
small children with parents who did what we dared.
To seek out help, and look far and wide,
turning over each rock, letting nothing hide.
Until we found what they needed, what would make them feel whole,
For families like ours St. Nick couldn’t leave coal.
So, Nick with the bundle of toys on his back,
Frowned and thought, then sullenly sat,
(and mumbled to himself which took us aback):
“I’m quite at a loss, I don’t know what to give
To children who struggle while trying to live
In a world that is already noisy and bumpy
And twisty and scary and thorny and jumpy—”
While he tugged at his beard, and scratched at his nose
(And he huffed and he chuffed and he shifted his clothes)
Then with a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
he drew the sack wide till the seams popped some threads,
dug in his hand and pulled out a small box
(with very small writing) –but before he could talk
He ungloved his hand to wipe soot from his eye
(Or was it a tear? Or perhaps a sty?)
So he bid us farewell, and went back to his work,
He filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
While giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
I said to Ma, as she turned towards the tree,
“Who knows what St. Nick left us, we’ll have to see.
Yet we gave him something great, I say with fairness,
we sent him on his way with a new found Awareness.”
Which is a gift to our kids, in a different kind of way,
Because when all understand SPD, that will be a new day!
Now we looked o’er the copious gifts left behind,
The tiny collages of paper and twine,
The moon-sparkled ribbons, the plastic that shined,
We spied the small box for the children to find.
“The best gifts can be pretty small–” Ma started then said,
“But our best gifts of all are still snuggled in bed.”
This Holiday season, you SPD Fathers and Mothers,
You cousins and nephews and sisters and brothers,
When you wake in the morning and throw off the covers
(And tear into presents while everyone hovers)
Do you think ‘Will I get what I wanted this year?’
Or realize ‘all that you need is right here!’
You might think it’s corny, but surely remember
your children are better than any gift in December.
And in case you were wondering what Santa had stashed,
It may not surprise you, it might make you laugh,
“What did the children receive?” you may ask?
Well when the snowy chips are down…
…even Santa gives cash.
Merry Christmas to all and to all
a SENSATIONAL night!
Hartley Steiner lives in the Seattle area with her husband and their three sons, two of which are on the spectrum. Hartley is the award winning author of the SPD Children’s book This is Gabriel Making Sense of School, a contributing writer for the SPD Foundation’s blog, S.I. Focus Magazine and Autism Spectrum Quarterly. Hartley chronicles the never ending chaos that is her life on the blog Hartley’s Life With 3 Boys. When she isn’t writing, or dealing with a meltdown, she enjoys spending time in the company of other adults preferably with good food and even better wine.
Patty Porch is from Central Illinois and is the mom of three crazy kids, two of whom have Sensory Processing Disorder. Her oldest son also has high functioning autism. A former English teacher, Patty currently stays home with the kids and blogs at Pancakes Gone Awry. Her other interests include baking (which her kids wholeheartedly support), reading (kids: not so supportive, unless constant interruptions count as support) and exercising.
Social and emotional development is critical for children’s daily life skills. Learn important facts and how you can help your child’s development.
Join Carrie Dishlip, M.S. CCC-SLP, one of STAR’s speech and language pathologists for a parent-friendly discussion on building social foundations. Learn about the typical social skill development, red flags for social concerns and what can be done to help your child build their social awareness and abilities.
Carrie has served as Augmentative and Alternative Communications Specialist and has advanced training in motor speech disorders including childhood apraxia of speech and dysarthria.
Faculty Speaking Engagements
Bring the SPD faculty to your facility or community. Our faculty – including Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR, Sarah A. Schoen, PhD, OTR, Lisa Porter, MOT, OTR/L, and others – teaches basic and advanced workshops on SPD all over the world.Get the latest information brought to your town.
Be the first to get a GOAL
Be one of the first to book a GOAL (Goal-Oriented Assessment of Lifeskills) workshop and learn how to administer and score Dr. Lucy Jane Miller’s latest standardized assessment.
GOAL is an innovative new evaluation of functional motor abilities needed for daily living. Designed for children 7 to 17, the GOALconsists of seven fun and motivating tasks based on real occupations of a child’s daily life and assists in turning assessment results into a specific, goal-oriented treatment plan.
Contact Caraly at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a GOAL workshop.
STAR Center Foundation celebrates Veterans Day through a fundraising campaign that will provide financial support for children of military families seeking therapy at STAR Center.
Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) November 11, 2013
STAR (Sensory Therapies And Research) Center, the premier treatment center for children with sensory challenges, is starting a fundraising campaign for special needs children of military parents. All proceeds raised through this campaign with Indiegogo.com will go towards the STAR Scholarship Fund. One of the military families seen at STAR Center is highlighted in the videos on the campaign page.
“What changed the most for me was seeing Josh’s potential and being surrounded by a community that understood and told me ‘It’s not your fault’ and that there is hope,” said Laura Pittman, military wife and mother of two. “STAR Center offers that life changing opportunity for your child and family.”
STAR Center scholarships provide financial aid to families seeking solutions for their children with SPD, and other sensory challenges related to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and other behavioral and developmental disabilities. SPD is a disorder that disrupts the way the brain processes and responds to sensations. A person with SPD usually has difficulty with social interactions, emotion and behavior regulation, and/or motor performance. SPD affects daily activities and relationships, impairing quality of life for more than 4 million Americans.
Scholarships support therapy at STAR Center, the premier treatment clinic for these disorders. STAR Center, located in a suburb south of Denver, has an unsurpassed track record. The scholarship fund provides full or partial cost of therapy based on financial need.
The STAR Scholarship Fund started earlier this year with funding for families from Arizona and is now expanding to include military families. STAR Center hopes that in time, more donors will come forward to support scholarships for families, as insurance often does not cover the treatment. Therapy for SPD is very individualized and takes time and funding to train the brain how to respond appropriately to sensations.
The Indiegogo site is an easy way to support the scholarship program. Additionally there are gifts for different levels of funding including autographed books by Dr. Temple Grandin, one of the world’s most accomplished and well known adults with autism and Dr. Lucy Jane Miler, internationally known for her research on SPD. This drive is open for the next 36 days with a goal to raise $28,000 for needy families.
“Children with SPD have challenges getting through each day,” said Sheryl Benjamin, executive director, STAR Center. “Adding the complexity inherent in active military families of frequent relocations, deployment, or a parent being gone for months, makes daily life even more challenging. We are delighted that we can expand this program to help military families in this supportive way. We call on the military community to share this exciting news and learn about Sensory Processing Disorder.”
Applications for STAR scholarships are accepted monthly. All applications are processed on line athttp://www.starcenterscholarships.org and require that the child be accepted into the therapy program and able to come to STAR Center for therapy.
ABOUT STAR CENTER
STAR Center, a Colorado 501(c)(3), is the premier treatment center for children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder, feeding disorders, and other sensory conditions associated with ADHD, autism, and other developmental disorders. STAR Center offers intensive “burst” treatment that research shows is effective in treating sensory issues. Parents are involved throughout the process so families can learn to create sensory lifestyles and continue to see progress after the formal treatment program ends. Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, founder of STAR Center and Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, is widely recognized as the leader in Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) research worldwide. For more information about the Greenwood Village, Colorado clinic, visit http://www.SPDStar.org.
Prepare For the Holidays With
These Tips and Resources
Building Resilience in the SPD Child
Did you miss Dr. Roianne Ahn’s All-STAR webinar, “Resilience and SPD – Foundation for Positive Social Relationships”? No problem! It’s still available in the archives at SPDUniversity.org under Webinars. Learn how to help your child foster resilience that will help them bounce back and recover from sensory challenges.
*Special notice: See this webinar FREE as an SPDF member, along with all archived All-STAR Lectures!
Surviving the Holidays with a Picky Eater
If you have a picky eater or problem feeder you won’t want to miss this exceptional presentation by world renowned feeding expert Kay A. Toomey, PhD. Great tips for holiday travel, enjoying family dinners and minimizing meltdowns are all addressed.
*And don’t forget…as an SPDF member the archived All-STAR Lectures are FREE!
The SPD Foundation membership benefits are better than ever before!
- A coupon for FlagHouse merchandise for the same value as your membership! And just in time for the holidays. Find hundreds of great toys, games, and equipment for those with SPD or other special needs.
- Free All-STAR webinar series – a value of $105
- Tax deductible
- 10% discount on all online training programs
- And more…
Read this fascinating story of how this little girl thrived in “therapy” with farm animals.
The Power of a Farm Animal
By Kirsten Pettersen Hanson
Photo by Melanie Hawkins Photography
“This is the FFA calling from the school, and your daughter just won a piglet!”
So begins the journey – the journey my daughter, and our family, has taken into the world of pigs and calves, and therapy. Although, really the journey began in April of 2002 when my oldest daughter was born. Melissa was healthy and always moving, but it was obvious to me that there was something not quite working for her. She walked at eight months, but didn’t speak until she was two years old. Clothes, noises, even certain visual stimulus would affect her negatively. After many failed attempts to understand Melissa’s world…
Join a Parent Connections Group Near You
Parents of children with special needs find comfort and hope when linked together with other parents in a similar situation. SPD Parent Connections are located all over the world and offer resources, education and gentle support for SPD families. If there isn’t a group near you, consider starting one of your own.
Resources, tips and tools are located throughout our website but several one-page tip sheets are located on the Downloadable Flyers page. Flyers are frequently updated and new ones added. Print and share them with family, friends, teachers and pediatricians.
Give or Get the Gift of Training
Do you know an occupational therapist that would thrive with a 5-day intensive sensory training? Or are you a practicing pediatric OT wanting to take your career to the next level but lacking in funds? Apply for one of our seven Intensive Mentorship scholarships for 2014.
This five-day program, headed by Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR and Sarah A. Schoen, PhD, OTR is a must-have for pediatric OTs wanting to learn the STAR Center Treatment Model, which focuses on intensive, short-term treatment along with family participation and parents-only educational sessions.
The Intensive Mentorship Program is a small group setting where participants learn to apply clinical reasoning through lectures, treatment observations, and analyses with experienced STAR Center therapists.
*November’s Mentorship is full but our next session will be here before you know it and is filling up fast. Don’t miss your chance for January 27-31.
Holiday Giving With a Text to Give $10
Support SPD research by donating $10 today with a simple text on your smart phone. Text SPD to 501501. Text YES back to the confirmation reply and the $10 will be added to your cell phone bill. Your donation will help support our research and education program.
Join us on Facebook and Twitter to receive daily updates, parent stories, informative articles and so much more.
Register today to receive your special pricing.
Early-bird discount ends November 7!
Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders:
The S.O.S. Approach to Feeding
The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation is pleased to present:
Kay A. Toomey, PhD, Pediatric Psychologist, teaching her internationally renowned intervention for problem feeders with Erin Ross, PhD, CCC-SLP!
The Sequential Oral Sensory (S.O.S) Approach to Feeding is a family-centered, transdisciplinary program for assessing and treating children with weight/growth problems from birth to 18 years. It integrates postural, sensory, motor, behavioral/ learning, medical and nutritional factors to comprehensively evaluate and manage children with feeding/growth problems.
LOCATION AND DATES:
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
December 5-8, 2013
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, special education teachers, psychologists, physical therapists, early intervention specialists, nurses, physicians, registered dietitians, nutritionists, and mental health professionals.
October is National Sensory Awareness month and the Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Foundation announces a new membership program which supports funding for research for sensory processing disorder (SPD), a disorder that affects over 4 million Americans. The membership program is open to both professionals and families or individuals and offers sensational benefits. A coupon for merchandise for the same value as the cost of membership, free webinar series, and tax-deductible dues are all just some of the special benefits offered. The membership program funds research at the Foundation, the leading organization focused solely on SPD research.