18 Effective De-Escalation Strategies for Diffusing Meltdowns

At Et Al we often need to explain that when a child has Sensory Integration difficulties their perceived tantrums are in actual fact meltdowns and that they are not trying to be “naughty” or wanting to “manipulate” you. In this blog Nicole Day the founder of Raising an Extraordinary Person shares some strategies on how to de-escalate these meltdowns. Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions on this topic or if anything is not clear.



Et-Al team

Christmas fun to keep the kids busy

Worried about how to keep your children busy?  Here are links to some fun ideas that will keep them practicing their skills while spending some quality time with you.

Getting creative with paper plates:


Finger painting fun


Jumping elves:


Sticker decorating:


Hope these inspire you to have fun and get creative.


Don’t be a dummy when it comes to dummies

Many parents find it difficult to know when is the best time to start weaning their little one off sucking dummies. Dummies provide a way for babies and toddlers to soothe and cope with stressors around them.  As your child gets older, they need to start relying less on dummies and learn other ways to find comfort.

Dummies may also impact teeth formation, which may impact your child’s speech development.  This can be avoidable. Thanks to the BabyCentre, they provide us with good ideas to help your child through this transition process.


Building Resilience in Children – 20 Practical and Powerful Strategies

In today’s world, where children are constantly being compared and pushed to perform, it is easy to lose confidence and your sense of self-worth, if you do not feel you are the best or the brightest.   

Thank you to Karen Young, who posted valuable advice regarding the nurturing and building of your child’s resilience on Hey Sigmund.

All children face challenges and adversity.  Their ability to overcome this and to carry on, is determined by their resilience.  The idea is thus not to overprotect the child from all forms of stress and adversity, but rather to teach them the skills to cope and come out stronger on the other side.   Karen Young explains how to do this through the use of certain practical strategies. 


How to boost your child’s immune system through food

When children are in close contact with each other (day care/ schools), viruses tend to spread like wild fire.  Constant visits to the doctor are expensive and it is not ideal to be on medication every other week.  It is thus important to research how you can boost your child’s immune system through the right types of food and supplements, enough probiotics, as well as enough relaxation time and sleep.  

Some foods rich in antioxidants and immune boosting nutrients are discussed, as well as tips in how to serve them in a child attractive manner.  Thank you to Donné Restom, for the valuable advice. 

Kidspot Kitchen also shares some delicious general recipes, guaranteed to wet your toddler’s appetite. 



Is toilet training driving you potty?!

Wet beds, wet pants, unmentionable messes… all parents have a story or two to tell about their toilet training journey. Especially those parenting children with special needs.

Here are a few tips, tricks and encouragements to keep you going.


by Ellen Seidman, mum of Max, who has cerebral palsy



See this website for a number of articles and resources on potty training including a video by 2-year-old Alleke explaining the process:


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:    https://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/lisa-aro-living-a-distracted-life/on-twelfth-day-christmas-adhd-gave-me/ 

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.