Welcome to “On the Horizon”
Issue 36: A Journey Through Infant Development: The Sixth Month
On the Horizon is an award winning weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.
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Development and Activities
A Note from Nicole: Winter Activities; New Gift Idea
Idea of the Week: Football Fun
Feature Article: A Journey Through Infant Development: The Sixth Month
The Horizons Team Recommends: RDI® Program; Flex Your Brain DVD
Upcoming Events: RDI® Parent Teleseminar; Sibshop; HANDLE® Intermediate Training
Winter has arrived in Michigan! We had our first snowfall yesterday and, even though it was less than an inch, it makes me realize that the season of snow pants, boots, and mittens is here for a while. The kids were excited and wanted to rush out to play in it. Somehow the snow is less exciting if you’re an adult! At least it will seem more appropriate now hearing the holiday music that the radio stations are playing around here. (It seems like they start that earlier and earlier each year.) I was having a difficult time hearing holiday tunes last week while the weather was sunny and in the 70’s!
This week’s feature article continues the developmental journey of Michelle’s now 6-month-old son. It’s amazing how much changes from month to month, and a good reminder of developmental foundations. We’ve also got a fun football activity to play with the whole family!
I’m proud to announce that we have completed a new resource entitled “Flex Your Brain!” This fabulous DVD program provides simple and effective ways for teachers and other school professionals to incorporate opportunities for flexible thinking and problem solving into the day. Parents can use it at home as well. You’ve been asking for resources for teachers, and this is the first of many of come. Check it out here and let us know what you think!
Looking to the horizon,
It’s that time of year where there’s lots of football on TV. This can be a fun family game to play as well. Divide up into teams and create an end zone. It’s probably safest if you don’t tackle, so you can play touch football or flag football. If you don’t have real flags for flag football you can cut old rags into strips and tuck them into the sides of your pants like flags. Since you’re playing with the whole family you may also want to choose a Nerf football so that when catching and throwing the ball is softer for everyone. Have fun and “Hut-Hut!”
A Journey Through Infant Development: The Sixth Month
By: Michelle VanderHeide, BSW
Development is a complex process, and truly amazing when you break it down. Each little gain that a child makes is a miracle, especially when you begin to look at the complexity of the brain. The ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) is the part of the brain used to read and understand emotions. This is one small part of the brain; but what if this part of the brain isn’t firing at the same time as the part that comprehends the words coming in with the facial expressions? A lot of meaning within communication would be missed. Research shows that the brains of children with autism do not fire as quickly as children who are developing neuro-typically. It’s not because of anything the parents have done (or not done) while raising their child with autism that caused their child to develop this neurological disorder. Instead, for whatever reason, the child’s brain is not firing as quickly as a child on a neuro-typical pathway. As a result, a child with autism can miss many of the vital points of development.
Over the past several months, I have written about observations I’ve made about my son. With each child that develops neuro-typically, you will see common goals being reached. Are these things you have noticed in each of your children as they developed? Are you or other people the most important thing in your child’s environment? Below are more things that I have observed about my son, now 6 months old:
Flex Your Brain
It’s Here—A Simple Way to Build Flexibility and Thinking Skills in Your Students!
Help your preschool and elementary students learn to: think creatively; flexibly adapt to change; notice similarities and differences; and compare and contrast perspectives
This fun and effective learning tool has two components:
The “It is a _____” component uses colorful inkblot paintings to promote creative and flexible thinking. Spend a few minutes looking at a different inkblot each day, and think about what it could be. This can be done as a great morning warm-up activity, in an individual therapy session, or as a discussion with the whole class.
The “Daily Differences” component provides teachers with simple ideas to incorporate variations into the day. Ideas include:
- Change the location of items in the classroom
- Sit in different shape configurations at “circle” time
- Serve “chilly cookies” from the fridge instead of the cupboard for snack time
- Take different routes as you travel throughout the building
Note to Parents: These make great gifts for the teachers and therapists in your child’s life!
For more information, click here
CORE Approach Program!
Finally – Hope and Real Improvement is Possible for Individuals with Autism and Their Families!
If your child has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, or with a related neuro-developmental condition, you simply cannot afford not to investigate the RDI® Program. If you are ready for a change; ready to step away from the status-quo; ready to stop doing things that aren’t getting you where you want to be; ready to really understand the core deficits creating obstacles for your child; ready to significantly impact your child and your family for the better – then you are ready for RDI®.
Watch the video and learn more here
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