Let’s face it! While the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no child under two should be using any devices or viewing screens of any kind, they are! As parents we use phones, iPads and televisions to occupy these little ones daily. Children as young as two can navigate an iPhone to pull up a parents photos and scan through them like a pro! However as quickly as they learn to navigate our devices, they learn to touch the home button and exit out of apps. If this is a problem for you, follow these easy steps below to use guided access on your I devices.
Last year Sprout Pediatrics started something new…well we started three something news! Pardon the grammar, but we are thrilled to share what last years Pumpkin Run birthed! First of all it was our first time partnering with the Northwest Family YMCA to sponsor a race. It was fun to encourage folks to be part of our team and be active. Our desire is to see everyone being active and ultimately healthy! Second, it was the launch of being #Sproutfit. Our hash tag was introduced and we intended to use it to highlight Adaptive fitness in and around the Midlands. While we did that, something bigger is happening! We realized that being #Sproutfit is about being healthy physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. Our organization wants encourage all aspects of healthy living so #Sproutfit is much broader than we originally intended!
Hi Friends of Sprout!
It is that time again when we are creating a team to participate in the NW YMCA Pumpkin Run! Sprout Pediatrics once again is a sponsor for this great race that involves the whole family and includes a 5K run/walk ($20) and a kids fun run ($10 and less than a mile long). Last year our team had 100 participants from ages 2 to 70 including adults and children with disabilities doing the kids fun run with a chaperone. Our goal was to create a buzz through our #Sproutfit campaign for more inclusion, adaptive sports and programming. Did we ever! We had a great turn out and some heartwarming stories that followed.
Throughout this past year, we have met with the NW YMCA branch to develop plans and are very close to making some big announcements that will focus on serving families with special needs in our community with intentional programming! We have initiated a pilot program this fall that allows four children with special needs to participate in a regular soccer league with the aid of a volunteer called a Buddy!
Your participation in the race will help us move towards our goal to birth this program that will be funded by donors and events such as the Pumpkin Run.
Our goal for this year’s race is a team with 200 members made up by children and adults able and challenged. Sprout Pediatrics is committing additional funds that will be earmarked for this programming! Will you help us?
THE DEADLINE TO SIGN UP IS OCTOBER 10TH
We are creating Team Sprout stickers for race day to designate our team this year. Hope to see you all there!!
Instructions to sign up with Team Sprout for the 2014 Pumpkin Run:
-Go to: http://www.strictlyrunning.com/gpscrlgnReg-9f.asp
-Click on YMCA Northwest Pumpkin Run, first, last name and date of birth
-Click on Group Registration and add to an existing group/team
-Click on Team Sprout and enter Captain name/email “firstname.lastname@example.org”
-Fill out your personal information and choose 5k run, 5k walk or kid fun run (if you are doing this with your young child as a helper you only need to register the child), T-shirt size
-Go to the next screen and pay to check out.
Thanks again for your support in this endeavor!
Sprout Pediatrics exists to cultivate hope in children and their families for a full life experience by surrounding them with innovative therapy, education and connection within their community.
It has been said that necessity is the mother of all invention and this is very true for an organization such as ours. For this reason we press the refresh button every once in a while to evaluate our purpose and path to successfully help children and their families with complex challenges.
For some time we have been trying to refine our mission statement as a reflection of our vision in an attempt to shape our organizational identity.
Starting with the end in mind, we strive towards a full life experience for our clients and their families to meet their full potential not just in therapy outcomes, but in living life to its fullest purpose and pleasure despite a possible disability.
In this endeavor it is easy to recognize that we are in a marathon and not a sprint. We often see families get tired, give up, become isolated and feel hopeless. If we are going to be successful, the tools we use must cultivate hope by using a more comprehensive approach through a variety of tools including innovative therapy, education and community connection.
As we continue to grow and develop our conventional therapy skills in the natural setting we are looking for new ways to innovate and educate our staff to achieve better outcomes. We believe by adding wellness opportunities through our relationship with organizations such as the YMCA we can transition children from a “staged” setting of activity into a more organic setting of activity that will create healthy habits for a lifetime. Additional benefits include socialization and community connection for child and family that will be supplemented through parent support groups that we are creating in partnership with the YMCA. Future plans will involve inclusion of children in regular activities through a “buddy” volunteer system wherever possible before delving into creating programs specially designed for people with developmental disabilities into early adulthood.
By investing time and effort in our social media outlets we hope to develop opportunities to educate and connect parents with each other and our staff in a way that does more than just disseminate information. We hope to be a vehicle for the exchange of ideas between families and amongst clinicians as we develop our clinical think tanks as well as screening services to the general public.
As we conclude our assessment, we feel affirmed in our plans that we must pursue a multi-tool approach for the best outcomes possible. Some of these tools are billable and some must be benevolent with the help of our community in order to make them cost effective. In the end, we believe that a full life is to be experienced by child, family and our organization alike and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out!
Will you join us?
Rhyno Coetsee PT, CEO
Gotta a great little piece of information for all you parents out there! If you live in the state of South Carolina and have a child with special needs, you may qualify for property tax exemption on the vehicle you use to transport your child. Specifically this exemption applies to parents who own or lease a car and whose child is legally blind or uses a wheelchair. Click here for the direct link to the South Carolina Department of Revenue’s website. This section answers many specific ways others may qualify for exemption as well.
A detailed instructions sheet is provided here and will tell you specifically how to fill out the application and what you will need from your child’s primary physician. This exemption only applies to one family vehicle and cannot be applied to step parents or foster parents. Click here for the two page application you will need to complete and take to the tax assessor’s office in your county. If your child would qualify for these benefits in previous years, you may also want to appeal past property tax bills by having your physician provide documentation of the date of diagnosis on his or her letter head and take that with you to the assessor’s office to determine if there is any refund available to your family.
Please feel free to share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter! Every little bit of savings helps and allows families to use this money in other areas of importance.
WordPress has a prompt a day! This is it for today!
You’re embarking on a yearlong round-the-world adventure, and can take only one small object with you to remind you of home. What do you bring along for the trip?
What would you want?! Initially I’d say a picture of my family because after all, they are home. But after further consideration Id say my iPad! Then I could have multiple pictures, games, and tons of other cool things!
As I continued to think about this I’m faced with the daunting reality that our children would have said iPad first. You see, our children are addicted to screens! Televisions, iPads, phones… They all teach, babysit and let’s face it, give us time to get done all the things we parents need or shall I say want to do.
Did you know the Academy of American Pediatrics recommends no screens until after age 2! check out this article on guidelines for media use. Screens are also increasing our children’s inability to sit still. Listen. Stay focused.
Three suggestions for families as we navigate through using and allowing media in our homes:
Model Self Control Make sure you take time to put the phone, remote & iPad down to actually interact with your family members!
No screens before age 2 young brains are actively being wired most during this age span. As convenient as screens are to you, your child is creating a complex neuro map with synapses and connections that last the rest of their lives. The brain is being molded by the use of screens in a negative way as it relates to attention and focus abilities.
Limit Screen time to 2 hours a day after age 2 create a plan for tv and iPad usage. Let that sink in folks! Not 2 hours of iPad time, two hours of total screen time!! That means parents if you know you’ll need a little help from a screen later in the day, you’ll have to find alternative engagement for your toddler in the morning. A token, could be a bottle top or a poker chip, system where they are given time for tv and iPad but once they spend their morning tokens, no more until afternoon. You may also need to use a timer so they hear and have an auditory cue that iPad time is over. Be consistent and they’ll begin to learn their are lots of fun things to do other than screens!
From parks to grocery stores,these little faces are everywhere! With 1 in every 691 babies in the United States born with Down Syndrome, chances are you come in contact with a person with Down Syndrome. As more research is done, this 400,000 plus population is becoming more self sufficient and we are learning their possibilities are endless! So as a parent, how do you help your baby with Down Syndrome have a chance to excel and use all of their potential? We recently had the opportunity to shadow one of our very own at the Palmetto Health Down Syndrome Clinic – Columbia.
While you may be referred by your physician to the clinic, it is important to know every child with Down Syndrome should receive three very important evaluations as soon as possible. If your community does not have a clinic like the one described here, you can create your own team of therapists and gain the information critical for not only optimizing your baby’s development, but maintaining necessary reflexes and skills.
This clinic is set up in a round robin fashion. Each family has an opportunity with each specialist and every 20 minutes rotate to another until each family has had an opportunity to meet with each specialist for an evaluation and specific recommendations for further tests and therapy plans are created. On this particular day, our client was happy and oh so spunky! Here’s Steven, 2 years old, waiting his turn to meet with the Geneticist from Greenwood Genetics Clinic. Steven and his family met Dr. E.J. Prijoles and were able to ask any question they had about Down Syndrome. Gathering information from knowledgeable professionals about development and issues related to this particular population is empowering. Since this was their second time, basic information was not necessary, but they were able to ask about current research and find out of any findings were relevant to Steven.
Second, Steven went to be evaluated by the Occupational Therapist, of Rehabilitative Care Center. The OT’s generally watch the child play with small toys and evaluate their fine motor skills as well as how well they sit up and use their upper body. They may refer you to have an occupational evaluation or a sensory evaluation. Each of these areas are very important to your baby using their hands and trunk appropriately so they begin to play with toys and puzzles and later have the muscle strength to self-feed and eventually to write! Steven already has an Occupational Therapist but mom was interested to hear what they thought of his Sensory Integration and what they would recommend additionally in this area. Both of the OT’s confirmed he seemed to have sensory aversions to soft items, and because of his low tone probably would benefit from deep pressure for ultimate proprioceptive input. (The body’s ability to know where it is in space.) A sensory motor screening can be done, but they confirmed an ongoing relationship with an OT who is trained in this area is best as they are always doing diagnostic assessments through therapy sessions. OT’s are able to make better recommendations and work with the team assembled for your child.
Next Steven headed over to meet Ms. Bethany Clark, the Physical Therapist with Rehabilitative Care Center. Bethany is young but passionate about helping families with children who are challenged. She quickly got busy evaluating Steven’s skills to determine why he isn’t doing more crawling and walking yet. His Physical therapist has been seeing him two times a week and he has had steady progress, but before one years of age, enjoyed taking it all in and was not very actively engaged motor wise. After looking at Steven’s skills and how he ambulates, Bethany recommended some type of trunk support system. A Thera Tog or a Spio suit is designed to give support, stability and tactile stimulation for children who need a little boost in this area. These suits are available online or locally at Brace & Boot. It is our hope that with this type of steady input and stability, Physical Therapy will be more productive and Steven will begin to crawl and walk more and more over the next 6 months. It is important to note that many toddlers with Down Syndrome learn to walk without a product of this kind. Even still, other children who have had access to these suits have not seen any benefit through them. Therefore it is important that the team continue to work to explore every possible strategy to encourage physical skills.
Finally, the last therapist to evaluate Steven was Ms. Mandi Madden who is a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist with Rehabilitative Care Center. Mandi specializes in feeding disorders and is a wealth of information for therapists like ourselves. It is important that you seek an evaluation as early as possible by a SLP who specializes in feeding and oral motor skills if you have a baby who has Down Syndrome. There are many reflexes and skills a qualified therapist can identify and help you maintain as they continue to grow and develop that first year. While babies are not the same, the low tone, tongue protrusion, GI issues are common with toddlers who have Down Syndrome. Steven has had several swallow studies that determined he aspirates on liquids and has reflux. With this knowledge and a first hand knowledge of what current therapy consists of, Mandi was able to give oral motor exercises as well as feeding tips for his SLP to try for continuing to tolerate textures and begin eating table foods.
Last stop was with Dr. Hawn, who is a Clinical Professor with the USC School of Medicine. He was able to look over all the results from the team of therapist’s and discuss the findings with Steven’s mother. As a result of the team’s evaluation, he also was able to give mom a prescription for a Spio suit and to have another scope done to look at Steven’s esophagus. Each of these recommendations was a result of the team’s evaluation. While most families participate in something like this clinic in the first year of their babies life, Steven’s mom chose to take advantage of the clinic again because he is growing and developing and she had areas of concern she felt might could be addressed with a separate set of eyes reviewing his case. This ongoing ability to advocate for Steven and leave no “stone un-turned,” is what every parent of a child with special needs must be encouraged to do.
Steven’s team welcomed the recommendations and is actively implementing new strategies for his benefit! It is our desire that you will find this information useful and seek to take advantage of the Down Syndrome Clinic here in Columbia, South Carolina or find one in your area.
Program note: This clinic, beginning in June 2014, is evaluating only children who do not already have services in place. The OT, PT and Speech Evaluations are now done at the Rehabilitative Care Center and the doctor’s evaluation is done on a separate day for billing purposes.
Many parents are forced to deal with their feelings, questions and concerns when they realize their baby or toddler has delays in development. Listen to some of the questions Lena Amick had after learning her son Hunter had LCA or Lebra Congenital Amaurosis. “I’m not sure how I felt … the first thing I thought about was if he will be able to go to regular school and make friends? Will he ever go hunting with his daddy? Will he ever be able to make it out in the world when im not around?” Such normal things we want for our children but yet when given the information your son has a rare (1 in 80,000) gene mutation that causes loss of vision at birth, we often don’t know what to do. Lena did what most mom’s do…reach out for help!
Because Hunter wasn’t walking, he qualified for Physical therapy with Sprout Pediatrics. After being evaluated by Rhyno, our lead Physical Therapist, goals were written and Jessica Snipes, our Physical Therapy Assistant, began working with him. Jessica shares, “at first I read a lot! Then we decided our priority would be helping Hunter capable of getting around in his environment. Once Hunter had several months of PT and had learned to walk, do steps, etc we asked his EI to bring on a mobility instructor to introduce him to a cane. It has taken some time and lots of creativity but he is starting to use it more.”
During therapy they would practice just walking around outside. Giving him opportunities to learn how the ground changes, has holes and little hills. Jessica began to see how the cane could be used to help him explore and discover what he was near. Jessica shares, “It is helpful for him to learn different sounds of things such as the difference of the sound of a wooden ramp vs a cement porch or brick step. We have even started playing “hide and seek” with his cane so that he knows how to find something by sound. I read a lot of research about how to train a child to use a cane but it also just takes a lot of repetition. His mobility instructor is training him a lot too.”
As many know, therapy is not just the hour one spends with the therapist, but the carry over practice that the family and caregiver’s do all week long that increases progress dramatically. Hunter’s mom, Lena, is doing a great job practicing everything asked of her and every week she asks “what’s our homework this week?!” Lena shares her greatest joy has been “our PTA Jessica! Because of her, Hunter can walk, climb hills and do whatever he wants! If he didn’t have someone who truly cares, he definitely would not have come so far so quickly!” Hunter is an explorer and confident in his abilities as just the other day he opened the door and headed outside without his mom even knowing! While he needs to be safe, it is exciting that he is independently functioning in and around his home.
Clearly it takes a team of professionals that deliver the total package, but Sprout Pediatrics exists to do exactly what Hunter and his family have experienced. A caring team that pushes, encourages, researches and challenges! Both his parents are very happy with Hunters progress and are hopeful that one day Hunter will be able to see but for now they are doing a great job helping him explore his environment with touch and sound!
Below is a helpful guide to helping children with low vision.
Because we work with many children who show signs of Sensory Processing Disorder, we thought it would be helpful to share this blog! If your child has persistent issues, an Occupational Therapist who specializes in Sensory Processing Disorder could be useful in making recommendations to help in this area. Give us a call if you feel your child may need to be seen by a professional. We’d love to help!
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) affects five to ten percent of all children – an average of one child in every classroom.
Imagine having a child who finds hugs unbearable, or a child who throws temper tantrums virtually every time he or she is taken to a restaurant or store, or a child who refuses to eat. These behaviors are daily realities for more than three million children in the United States alone.
October is National Sensory Awareness Month. The Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Foundation wants parents to know the Red Flags of SPD:
- Overly sensitive to touch, noises, smells, or movement
- Floppy or stiff body, clumsy, poor motor skills or handwriting
- Difficulty dressing, eating, sleeping, or toilet training
- Frequent or lengthy temper tantrums
- Easily distracted, fidgety, withdrawn, or aggressive
- Craves movement
- Easily overwhelmed
Most children with SPD are just as intelligent as their peers, and many are intellectually gifted. Not…
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