April….Listen Up, Get Educated, Raise Your Voice…

Did you know April is National Autism and Occupational Therapy Month?

When we are young, we all learn what our 5 senses are (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch).  Our senses are how we take in the world.  Are you one of those people who hate the tag in the back of your shirt?  Or you can’t stand when the line on the toe of your sock is crooked?  Those are two examples of how your body reacts to what something feels like.  Children who have severe sensory problems spend their day thinking about how the tag in their shirt feels instead of what the teacher is saying in the front of the class.

Often children who are born early or children who are in the Autism Spectrum Disorder have sensory issues.  My oldest was born 10 weeks early and boy did he have sensory issues!  He could not stand grass!  If you sat him in grass, he would try to balance on his bottom and hold up both arms and legs so they did not touch the grass.  If he held a squishy banana or you put a sticker on his hand, he would gag!!  Thankfully today, after years of therapy, he was able to work through his issues.

Occupational Therapists specialize in children with sensory impairments or problems.  They will help your child work through the sensory issues with therapy, exposure (like playing with pudding, shaving cream, etc…) and home activities.

If you think your child’s sensory issues that interfere with how they function in the world, you may want to have them evaluated by an Occupational Therapist. OR you can take our Developmental Milestones Screening (ASQ).

Some “red flags” or things to look for are:

  • Extreme dislike of swinging or rough & tumble play
  • Extreme dislike of bath time
  • Walking on toes or not walking on certain textures (ie: grass, tile, etc.)
  • Extreme dislike of sticky or textured foods (will gag, can’t touch them or cries when you don’t wash their hands right away).

Now imagine the families that need assistance with their children who need just such help….and they can’t get it. Read this article about 1,000 of Texas Kids facing the situation from the Austin American Statesman.

Want to do something about it? Sign the petition for Make the First Five Count, call or write your legislature,  and let your voice be heard.

Support us. Shop at Randalls Food Market this month for April Disability Awareness. ESGH receives a portion of the proceeds!

Dena Day, Easter Seals Greater Houston Program Director, Infant/Early Childhood Intervention

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