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What to Do When a Teacher Notices Concerns About Your Child

With the new school year well underway, teachers are beginning to gain information regarding their student’s areas of strength and weakness.  Many times teachers are hesitant to bring up concerns to parents.  Also, many parents will want to take a ‘wait and see’ approach in order to help determine whether or not these areas of concern will go away on their own.  Our advice to both parents and teachers is this: Do not wait and act now. 

Advice for teachers regarding bringing up student concerns to parents:

  • Collect anecdotal data to reveal the concern to the parents.
  • Provide the parents with the strategies that have already been tried in the classroom.
  • Provide the parents with specifics as to how the behaviors of interest are impacting the child’s learning or social needs.

Advice for parents regarding handling concerns brought up by teachers:

  •  Do not take the concern as an insult about your parenting or your child.
  • Ask the teacher questions about the frequency and duration of the behaviors.  When are they occurring? Read more

Breakfast for a Better Kid and Day!

Breakfast often gets skipped in the haste of the typical morning. Mom and dad are getting themselves ready, getting the kids ready, and tying up loose ends around the house. Many people report not having an appetite in the morning. Often, this is caused by over-eating in the later part of the day. family breakfastKids will model their parents, so think about what example you may be setting for your kids. In any case, the fact is, this morning a lot of kids woke up late and got breakfast at a fast food drive thru or ate nothing at all.

Studies show that kids who eat breakfast do better on tests in school. Nourishment in the morning provides brain fuel needed for concentration and energy. Even behavior and general attitude is better. Have you been around a hungry, tired kid lately? Not so fun and probably not the kid who’s skipping to the head of the class, so to speak.

Not only do kids who eat breakfast do better in school, but kids who eat breakfast tend to have healthier BMIs. It’s hard to say exactly why this is, but likely it has at least something to do with kids having less energy during the day to be active, and then over-eating later in the day. Eating in a balanced way throughout the day will prevent over-eating later, and leave room for a good appetite in the morning.

Here are some tips for a breakfast for a better kid:

  1. Change your morning so that breakfast is a requirement. Would you let your kids go to school in their pajamas? Just like getting dressed is a morning requirement, eating breakfast should be too. Carve that time into the morning, for yourself and your kids. Remember you are the most important role model in shaping their eating habits.
  2. Make breakfast count. Breakfast is just as important as lunch or dinner in terms of creating a complete, healthy meal. Strive for the healthy plate model at breakfast, which is to include whole grains, a protein source, and plenty of fruits and veggies. Vegetables are not typically the stars of the breakfast show, but try things like homemade hash browns or omelets with a variety of veggies. Potato pancakes are usually a hit if you have time to make them.
  3. Something is better than nothing. I would really recommend avoiding the fast food drive thru breakfast. Usually this isn’t going to be the healthiest food, but also, eating on the run results in poor digestion and tummy aches.If on occasion, you are late and have to do breakfast in the car, try a trail mix with dried fruit, nuts, and cereal. Another option would be a Clif ™ bar or Larabar ™ with a string cheese.
  4. Use the weekend to make breakfast a special meal for your family. The weekend breakfast can be such a fun family (and friends) tradition. Eating breakfast at home gives kids another chance to have a family meal at the table, which builds good habits, communication skills, and relationships. Breakfast foods tend to be popular with kids, and can be made with a healthy spin.

Examples of a Better Breakfast for Children:

  • Multigrain pancakes with blueberries and scrambled eggs. Try a maple-agave syrup blend (it’s less expensive than 100% maple syrup but still contains whole ingredients instead of high fructose corn syrup). Another healthy topping is homemade strawberry-rhubarb syrup which you can make by simmering chopped rhubarb and strawberries with a few tablespoons of water.
  • Granola, fruit, and yogurt parfait. Make it seasonal by stirring in pumpkin spice granola or farmers market fruit. Make it a winner by setting bowls of yogurt at the kids’ places at the table, and allow them to pick from an array of mix-ins on the table that they can spoon in themselves.
  • Organic bacon or sausage, whole grain English muffin spread with fruit preserves.
  • Whole grain toast, egg scramble or omelet with any of the following: chopped peppers, spinach, broccoli, peas, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes virtually any vegetable, black beans, cheese.
  • Oatmeal, berries, and nut butter mixed in. Top with homemade coconut whipped cream, which can be made by whipping canned coconut milk with beaters on high until foaming and thick.

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What are the Advantages of My Child Receiving Therapy at School?

Whether for speech, occupational, behavioral, or physical therapy, there are countless advantages to choosing a less traditional course of treatment, outside the clinic and within the school system.

Children playing

  • Time is of the essence. In today’s society, the final ringing of the school bell rarely signals the end of the day. For many families, it may instead trigger a hustle and bustle of events blurred together with hopes that all extracurricular appointments may be kept and somehow managed flawlessly. Karate, girl scouts, therapy, chess club, soccer practice, and piano lessons are among the fun and engaging activities that will help your child develop physically, emotionally, and socially as he or she is learning and growing. One way to mitigate unnecessary stress, travel time, and planning is to check one of the activities off your child’s list before they even step out of school. Therapy sessions can conveniently take place during the school day, allowing more time after school for other activities, homework, and family time.
  • You may be able to receive insurance coverage for in-school therapy.
  • Increased opportunity for communication and collaboration. In-school therapy sessions allow the therapist to work with your child in his or her natural environment: the classroom. As a result, the therapist will have the ability to maintain an open dialogue with your child’s classroom teacher regarding your child’s real-life and directly applicable successes and challenges. Your child’s therapy session can therefore be more easily tailored to address specific issues that will in turn promote academic success.

With a new school year on the horizon, it may be a wonderful opportunity to explore the options your child may have to receive therapy in their school.

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