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Indoor Winter Fun

With rainy, cold and snowy weather plaguing us daily in the beginning of this new year, we know that it is hard to get out of the house and entertain your kids, so we wanted to share some great indoor activities with you to keep them entertained. Whether your child is on the autism spectrum or has developmental delays these activities are great ways to develop skills during play time.

  1.  Sensory toys such as slime and kinetic sand are great ways to keep them entertained while also working on fine motor skills. Teach your kids to use the slime to pick up small toys and objects. Help them build and shape things with kinetic sand. If your child is either a sensory seeker or a sensory resister, this activity is great for everyone.
  2. Creating an obstacle course out of everyday items you have at home is a perfect way to incorporate gross motor skills into a fun at home activity. By lining up a few chairs in two rows and throwing a blanket over them you can build a tunnel, use pillows to build hills or a fort that they need to get to. Lay towels on the floor and tell them they are traps they need to jump over, the possibilities are endless. For more advanced fun, try hiding toys around the house and turning the obstacle course into a scavenger hunt.
  3. Create a craft corner filled with construction paper, glitter, glue, Popsicle sticks, scissors, tape, feathers, buttons and more. Working with your child on arts and crafts will help your incorporate skills like following instructions, turn taking, and sharing into the activity. How about making your own sensory toys, like your very own bean bag tossing game. Once you’ve made your bean bags, it’s time to get creative. For indoor fun, set up toys or plastic cups and make your kids stand a distance away and toss the bean bags to see if how many they can knock down.

Don’t let winter weather bring you down, enjoy indoor fun time with your family and keep your special needs kids entertained while also working on vital skills to help them advance.

2019 New Years Resolutions!

A new year is upon us and as with the start of every new year, we spend time thinking about our resolutions, what we want for ourselves, our families and our kids in the year to come. This is the time of year that we are determined and motivated to make this year a better year than last year.

Since we have started a new year, Beautiful Minds Center thought we would share some new year’s resolutions we’ve heard parents make to start the year off right.

Here goes:

  1. I will exercise more and eat a healthier diet, I will cook healthy food for my family as well.
  2. I will try to figure out a way to spend a little more time on myself and with my spouse without feeling guilty that I have not giving my child 100% of my undivided attention.
  3. I will find a way to manage my anxieties, and turn them into motivation and determination to improve being in social situations with my child.
  4. I will try to see the world through my child’s eyes and try to understand their needs from their perspective
  5. I will identify and help my child develop areas of strength
  6. I will get involved in the autism community more by building a stronger support network for myself and my child so that we have the emotional and social backing we need.
  7. I will spread more awareness of autism and seek out more information and support.
  8. I will be a strong advocate for my child and for the autism cause. I will also work hard on monitoring my child’s progress at home, in school and in the community.
  9. I will help raise money and/or donate time or money to grow and strengthen autism awareness
  10. I will take things one day at a time.

 

What are some of the resolutions you have made this year? Let us know!! We’d love to hear what motivates you. Ours are simple. Our new year’s resolution is to make sure we offer the best possible service and therapy to our clients. We resolve to work with our families to make their lives better day by day and to help them through their struggles and answer any questions they may have. We vow to spread awareness.

Happy 2019 everyone! May this year be a successful year for all of us, both personally and professionally!

A Stress-Free New Years Eve

In just a few days we will be saying goodbye to 2018 and welcoming a brand new year filled with hope, excitement and opportunity. If you haven’t already planning your New Years celebration, here are some suggestions on how to have a fun celebration at home with your child who has been diagnosed with autism.

Just because you are home, doesn’t mean you can’t have a festive celebration with your family. Sure, it’s not the same as hanging out at the coolest club or hitting the hottest party in town — but you can still have fun while ushering in the new year with your child on the spectrum.

Here are a few ideas of how you can make your celebration festive:

If you are on the East Coast Re-set the clock. If you are on the West, celebrate “New York” New Years!

Do your kids generally go to sleep at 7 or 8 p.m.? Don’t make the little ones have to strain to stay up until midnight. Instead, if you live on the east coast, set your clock forward a couple of hours so that they can still celebrate at mock midnight — they don’t have to know it’s early.
If you are on the west coast, the best way to “ring in the New Year” is to watch the ball drop in Time Square. Your children will get the sense that they are celebrating the end of one year, and the beginning of a new year, but in reality it is only 9 pm and only an hour or so past their regular scheduled bed time.

If both cases, be sure to start preparing your child with autism a few days prior to the new year. Let them know they will be staying up late, prepare them for the ball drop, the noise makers they may hear on TV, or fireworks they may see. Create a story about the New Years celebration so that they know what to expect and are happily anticipating a new beginning.

Head to the kitchen
Cooking with your child on the spectrum can be a lot of fun. Get them involved by asking them if they want to bake cookies, make their favorite meal, or bake a cake…whatever it is, use the hours leading up to midnight to prepare something special with your child on the spectrum, to enhance their New Years celebration.

Toast with sparkling cider
At midnight, pour a round of sparkling cider into plastic champagne glasses. Toast the New Year with your child, who has been diagnosed with autism, and reflect on all your blessings from the last year.

Create a memory book
New Year’s Eve is a great time for crafting and scrapbooking. Have your child with autism help put together an album or memory book of all the fun activities and events your family experienced in the last year. Include pictures, drawings and ideas from each family member, no matter how little. Make a new book every year on New Year’s Eve — you’ll treasure them for years to come.

Now that you have a plan in place to create a memorable and festive New Years celebration with your child on the spectrum, we know that your evening will be much more meaningful than any party, club or gathering you may have gone to in previous years.

All of us at Beautiful Minds Center want to wish you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. May your homes be filled with laughter and your hearts be filled with love.
Here’s to a fantastic 2019