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      What I’ve Learned from Kids & Parents During Coronavirus ‘Stay-at-Home’

      Allie Ticktin, OTR/L - Mar 23, 2020

      Wow, it has been quite a week – for all of us. Firstly, we miss hearing kids' voices and laughter
      echoing through our gym, more than we can say. There have been a lot of changes in a very short amount of time and it has been really challenging, for us and our kids.

      We ran our first virtual sessions this week, and learned a lot - from how to facilitate sensory-
      based OT sessions through a screen to how families are coping with homeschool and stay-at-home rules. To be totally honest, I wasn't sure how kids would do with virtual sessions, but they have been better than we ever could have expected. We're progressing toward goals, adding structure back to our kids' routines, and teaching kids to use what they have at home to get the sensory input they need.

      We also started virtual groups, and they have been the highlight of the kids' (and our!)
      weeks.
      It has been really special to watch them get so excited to see each other and have an hour to play (even if it is virtual!).

      After sessions with kids and parents all week, I noticed a few themes (it's a challenge for
      everyone!) and thought they might be worth sharing

      • Kids are having a hard time with the change in routine and lack of structure: If you can, try to create a new routine for your kids and stick to it! We’ll be posting resources for creating routines here soon!
      • Kids aren’t getting enough movement at home: At school, kids move more and that can have a big impact on regulation. Try to get your little ones moving!
      • It is HARD for parents to become homeschool teachers while also managing their own work from home schedules: Be gentle with yourself - it's hard for everyone.
      • Zoom school sessions are challenging, and aren’t always holding the kids attention. This is new for schools, too!
      • Zoom OT has worked! The structured, individualized sessions have really taught kids to use what they have in their own houses to give their bodies the input they need!

      And a few tips to try:

      • Give your kids a structured outlet to interact with friends. Set up a virtual playdate, or join a virtual group with P2P!
      • Try to keep a recess schedule and give many movement breaks at home!
      • Find a separate room or space to be the school area (this is a great tip for work areas as
        well!)
      • If you need help, let us know. We're here for you in whatever way we can be.

      Stay safe and healthy! We miss you!

      XOXO,
      Allie