The decline of play in pre-schoolers and the rise in sensory issues


There is a growing epidemic of children who excel academically, but have difficulty with social, emotional and motor skills, as pre-schools reduce outside free play time and increase more formal classroom time.  Pre-schoolers are becoming more easily frustrated, less attentive in class, more easily overwhelmed, and tire more easily with gross motor activities.

Article by Angela Hansom (Occupational therapist)


Christmas from an ADHD perspective

The Christmas season has a different effect on different people.  For some it is a time to celebrate love and friendship and for others Christmas is a time of great cheer and excitement. Some people, on the other hand, feel extremely lonely and sad during the festive season, because they do not have the luxury of family and close friends.

Family and friends, however, do not guarantee a happy Christmas.  If you happen to have somebody with ADHD in your inner circle, it is important to realise how they perceive the festivities and how very different the experience is for them.

The attached article describes the hidden pitfalls during the Christmas season, that can upset the person with ADHD, leading to emotional and behaviour responses.  Some handy tips are shared, though, that can help keep the family on an even keel.

Thank you very much to Lisa Aro, and the Everyday Health website: 

The use of Technology in Children aged 0 – 5

Technology has undoubtedly impacted positively on many aspects of modern living. More than ever before, we are able to connect with almost anyone in the world at the touch of a button.Technology has also revolutionised the way we do business, and the Internet has created a single platform from which to communicate with a global audience. The appropriate use of technology has given us the ability to solve problems we previously thought were unsolvable. However, the key word here is “appropriate”. As with any good thing, moderation is important. This is even more crucial when considering the impact of technology on the development of young minds.

Most parents can attest to the fact that their children are more technologically savvy at a young age than what they could ever dream of being. We see 2-year-olds operating password protected iPads and taking selfies before they are even speaking in sentences. Although technology has many advantages, parents need to be aware of the potential harmful effects of overexposure to technology at a young age. It is difficult to determine the long-term effects of exposure to technology. As such, we appeal to parents to make responsible decisions regarding the use of technology in their homes. There is no substitute for human connection and interaction to stimulate learning.

The following article reviews existing research on the positive and potentially negative effects of exposure to technology in children aged 0-5. The article also highlights the use of technology as a shared parent-child activity as well as the importance of exposing children to other activities that are crucial for their development:

In addition, factors to consider when making decisions about the use of technology in your home include the fact that children are excellent mimics of adult behaviour. Parents need to model healthy screen time habits for their children to follow. For more guidelines on how to manage screen time in the home environment, consult one of the following resources:

With thanks to the American Academy of Pediatrics

November 2016, VOLUME 138 / ISSUE 5

Pediatrics Nov 2016, 138 (5) e20162591; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2016-2591

Please note that the use of technology by children as described above refers to recreational use, and not as a communication tool for children with special communication needs.



The Effects of Father Involvement

Since it is June and the month we celebrate Father’s day, we wanted to share the following interesting research regarding father involvement  with you.

This document presents an updated overview of the key trends in the father involvement literature. While the authors are unable to provide methodological detail in such a succinct summary, they endeavoured to compile as accurately as possible, reliable research results that support these trends. It is clear from the research that father involvement has enormous implications for men on their own path of adult development, for their wives and partners in the co-parenting relationship and, most importantly, for their children in terms of social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.  When fathers function as a source of practical and emotional support for mothers, they enhance the quality of the
mother-child relationship thereby facilitating healthy developmental outcomes
for children (Lamb, 2000)

© Centre for Families, Work & Well-Being, University of Guelph 2007 Although The Effects of Father Involvement: An Updated Research Summary of the Evidence Inventory is copyright protected, the authors and sponsors encourage readers to download the document from or and to photocopy or distribute with appropriate acknowledgement of the source, and would like to be informed about uses of this material in publications, conference, policy development or classroom. This project was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council CURA program.

To obtain additional copies of this report, please contact: FIRA-CURA Centre for Families, Work & Well-Being University of Guelph 17 University Avenue East Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 Tel: (519) 824-4120 ext 53829 Fax: (519) 823-1388

Sensory-Friendly Tips for Kids who have trouble sleeping


Sleep is such an essential (and just plain wonderful) part of life and when putting your child down is a constant struggle, it affects the whole family. Here are a few quick sensory friendly tips that may help your little one get more of the good stuff.  Whether you (and your little one) prefer deep pressure, warmth, white noise or movement, here are strategies to satisfy all shapes and sizes.

Thank you to Claire Heffron and Lauren Drobnjak from The Inspired Treehouse for their lovely website and useful articles!


Is my child’s speech age appropriate?

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Is my child’s speech developing as it should?

My child is struggling to pronounce certain speech sounds, what does this mean?

I can understand my child, but other people seem to struggle with understanding my child. Should I be concerned?


These are some of the frequently asked questions by parents when it comes to speech and speech development.  Remember it is expected that a younger child’s speech intelligibility will be poor. There are norms for the development of each individual speech sound and it might be that your child is struggling with some speech sounds that are age appropriate. However, by the age of 7 years all the speech sounds should be developed.


One of the important factors that contribute to speech intelligibility is hearing. If your child’s hearing has not been tested recently and his/her speech intelligibility is poor, get their hearing tested as soon as possible. They might be missing out on important learning opportunities!


Here are some risk factors to help you understand what could be contributing to your child’s poor speech intelligibility:


With thanks to:

Caroline Bowen Ph.D. in Speech and Language Pathology


Your parenting style has an effect on your child’s personality and behaviour.

Feb. web foto

Did you know you have a style of parenting?!

Know your parenting style and the effect on your  child’s development and personality.

Your parenting style has an effect on your child’s personality and

A study done by the University of Cape Town in a small rural SA community
showed how parenting affects children’s behaviour in everyday life.
Parenting which include corporal punishment, stressed out parents and
parents with mental conditions, such as depression portrayed more aggression
and violent behaviour.

We need to find a balance between free range parenting and helicopter


Read more about this on the following article:


Thanks to:

Lengwodishang Ramphele



#Things to do with kids

TTDWK November_12


Dear Parents

Things to do with kids has a free online magazine that you can download at:

I was asked to write an article for them about ” Having fun with children despite their behavioral problems”.


They also have a great user-friendly app that you can download on your android phone: It has never been so easy to find a fun-filled outing close to you.


The app can give you information on any venue that is in your area with regards to the facilities that they have available. They rate each venue according to baby friendly/ toddler friendly, changing facilities and much more….also if it will be fun for dads!


I hope you may find this article in the summer edition usefull. Go to:

Hope you all have a lovely Summer filled with unforgettable memories and best wishes to your families for 2017.

Written by: M. Smit (Occupational Therapist)

ADHD and SI Workshop: 21 October 2016


ADHD& SI workshop on 21 October 2016

Thank you to all the teachers who attended Friday’s workshop.


Please follow these links for useful handouts:


Tips for the classroom:

10 TIPS for living better with ADHD:


Strengths of having ADHD:

Celebrate the Strengths of ADHD!

Healthy eating options:

Diet {Outlined}

What is Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)


Our next workshop PRACTICAL FINE MOTOR WORKSHOP will be in January 2017

Watch this space for the date and venue