On the Horizon – 07/03/12

Welcome to “On the Horizon”

Issue 190: How Do I Know if My Child is Anxious?

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.

To keep receiving On the Horizon, please add the email address “nicolebeurkens@horizonsdrc.com” to your safe address list.

  • A Note from Nicole: Auditory/Sound Evaluations July 14 & 15
  • Feature Article:
    How Do I Know if My Child is Anxious?
  • Ask the Horizons Team
  • Upcoming Events: Sibshop
  • Recommended Resources

Hi Everyone!

Happy July! It’s hard to believe the first half of 2012 is already gone. Our family took an impromptu trip to Mackinac Island last weekend to enjoy the gorgeous lake and sunshine. It’s a favorite getaway for us and the kids have so many memories from our numerous trips up there. I hope you and your families are enjoying this time of year and having many opportunities for making memories together.

Does your child have auditory/sound sensitivities that create problems for him or her? What about auditory processing issues that impact communication and learning? I want to let you know about an exciting opportunity to have your child evaluated by Dorinne Davis, one of the foremost experts in the sound-brain connection. She is making a special trip to our clinic (all the way from New Jersey) on July 14 and 15 to conduct some evaluations for our clients. We have a couple of evaluation spots available and I’d like to offer them to you, our loyal subscribers. You can check out Dorinne’s approach and information at her website here: www.TheDavisCenter.com. If you are interested in getting more information on the evaluations she will be conducting at our clinic in July please email us at info@horizonsdrc.com. If your child struggles with sound sensitivity and/or processing issues this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!

This week’s feature article is the first in a very popular series written by Courtney. If your child struggles with anxiety, or if you want to know whether some of the behaviors you observe are linked to anxiety, you will definitely want to read the article below. You can also check out the summer activity ideas in the Q&A section below for some fresh ideas to pass the time with your kids.

Make it a great week!

Looking to the horizon,


How Do I Know if My Child is Anxious?

By Courtney Kowalczyk, M.Ed.

When thinking about autism and all that is involved with it and other similar neurodevelopmental disorders, we sometimes overlook the possibility of co-occurring conditions like anxiety. All too often I hear responses about a child’s odd behaviors in relation to him or her “being naughty,” or that “it is just his or her autism”; but, in many instances, that is not the case. Anxiety is a complex disorder that can manifest itself in many different ways, especially in children and adults affected by autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. My goal over the next couple of months is to share with you information related to anxiety, and how you can help your child or student who may be affected by it.

Click here to read the rest of this article…


I love spending time with my kids in the summer and not having such a hectic school schedule. However, I have to admit that it is easy to get bored throughout the day. I need some new ideas for activities I can do with my kids ages 2, 5 (with autism), and 9. Thanks!

-Celine in Connecticut


Hi Celine,

I can definitely relate to liking the slower pace of summer but needing some fresh activities for the kids! One resource that I think you will find very helpful is our Do Something Daily calendar, which provides 365 activity ideas for making memories with your kids throughout the year. You can check it our here. For now here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Use paintbrushes and sponges with water to “paint” the house or sidewalk. You can even use watercolor paints on the sidewalk or driveway for some extra colorful fun!
  • Make obstacle courses in the yard or house with various items. Set up a circuit so your kids can climb over, duck under, run, crawl, and jump their way around the course. This would be a great opportunity for your older child to set up the course and then your younger kids can join in the fun once it’s set up!
  • Go on walks and collect things that fit with specific themes – things that are red, things that are round, things that start with a certain letter, etc. You can put the collected items in a book or shoebox to keep for a while.
  • Turn chores into “races” by seeing how quickly your kids can do things like pulling 10 weeds, sorting the laundry by colors, picking up toys on the floor, filling the watering can, etc. You can make it competitive between the kids, but I prefer to have them compete against themselves by timing each of them to see if they can beat their record each time they do the chore. Sometimes you might even throw a fun prize like a popsicle or sticker into the mix for an extra treat.

Have fun with these ideas and let me know how they work for you!


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Upcoming Events


Looking for an opportunity designed for SIBLINGS of children with autism or other developmental disorders?

Siblings of children with autism or other disabilities have their own unique needs and experiences, and we use the renowned Sibshop model designed to provide them with support, education, and fun.

July 14th – 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Cost is $20 per child – Sibshop is held at Horizons in our sensory room. We will do a combination of movement and discussion activities, arts and crafts, and games. Participants need to bring a lunch. Snack will be provided.

RESERVE YOUR SPOT TODAY by clicking here, emailing our office info@horizonsdrc.com, or by calling us at (616) 698-0306.


Hear Nicole Speak

Upcoming dates and locations where Nicole Beurkens, PhD will be speaking:

MAGIC Foundation Annual Convention

July 19-22, 2012

Chicago, Illinois

American Psychological Association Annual Convention

August 2-5, 2012

Orlando, Florida

Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Practical Strategies to Improve Processing

September 26, 2012 in Missoula, Montana

September 27, 2012 in Butte, Montana

September 28, 2012 in Billings, Montana

October 18, 2012 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

October 19, 2012 in Cherry Hill, New Jersey



Do Something Daily Calendar

The Calendar offers a daily dose of inspiration and ideas for spending time together—whether you have 60 seconds or 60 minutes.

More Information >>