occupational therapists yoga for kids

Yoga for Kids: Why Our Fort Myers Occupational Therapists Love It!

Yoga and occupational therapy go hand-in-hand. The word “yoga” literally means “to yoke” or “unite.” As pediatric occupational therapists, we’re often seeking to “unite” children’s physical, cognitive and emotional selves – always treating the whole child, rather than their compartmentalized sets of eyes, ears, legs and hands.

Occupational therapy focuses on the development of:

  • Gross motor skills
  • Fine motor skills
  • Sensory processing
  • Behavior regulation
  • Attention
  • Social skills

Yoga uses breathing techniques, mindfulness and poses to help a person’s body become calm and energized. It helps to develop:

  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Bilateral coordination
  • Processing of sensory information

Yoga is also great for helping teach focus, self-regulation and calming the mind and body. It helps foster imagination too. Of course, kids don’t know they’re working on all of this – especially when we’re using fun games and poses and tools like Cosmic Kids Yoga. That’s why our Fort Myers occupational therapists LOVE using yoga in sessions, and encourage parents to do so at home too. Get down on the floor with your child and turn it into family fun time!

Fort Myers ABA therapy

FOCUS ABA Therapy Tips to Tackle Problem Behaviors

All parents struggle with problem behaviors with their children at some point. This is especially true for families with children diagnosed with Autism, ADHD, behavior challenges or related disorders. FOCUS ABA therapy promotes “expected behaviors” (and discourages “unexpected behaviors”) through consistent, positive reinforcement over a period of months or years. These methods are most effective when we have consistent parent carryover of our strategies.

We understand that lack of compliance, transition trouble and meltdowns can be incredibly frustrating for parents. Although we work on self-regulation and other skills in behavior sessions, our Fort Myers ABA therapy team have some helpful tips for how to handle these situations at home to reduce unexpected behaviors and increase positive behaviors.

Fort Myers physical therapists

FOCUS Physical Therapists Can Help Kids With Down Syndrome Stay Fit, Active & Healthy

Our FOCUS physical therapists have been closely watching and cheering the historic story of 21-year-old Chris Nikic in Panama City, Florida, who recently became the first person with Down syndrome to compete in and finish an Ironman competition. It’s not a feat for the faint of heart, requiring a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.2 mile run – all within 17 hours.

“I am going to make history by crushing it,” the Maitland man said before the competition.

And crush it, he did.

“You have shattered barriers while proving without a doubt that Anything is Possible!” Ironman Florida posted on its Facebook page.

physic
Nikic family photo, published by The Today Show

Nikic later attributed his accomplishment to waking up every morning and committing himself to be 1 percent better than he was the day before.

“I have to work hard and give my best every day,” he said. 

Our FOCUS physical therapists believe in this message 100 percent! We also believe that reaching this level of fitness is much more likely for individuals with Down syndrome with early intervention, address the most common physical health challenges and concerns in early childhood. The sooner we start, the less they have to catch up and the healthier they’ll be.

FOCUS Therapy

FOCUS Therapy Closed Monday, Nov. 9th Due to Tropical Storm ETA

Attention Parents: FOCUS Therapy will be CLOSED on Monday, Nov. 9th, following the lead of the Lee County School District to close all district offices, schools and virtual schools out of an abundance of caution for Tropical Storm ETA. Lee County is under a Tropical Storm Warning and Hurricane Watch, as our area is in the cone of concern.
The storm is expected to bring heavy rain and winds that are higher than what is safe for buses.
If your child receives TELETHERAPY (SLT & OT) at FOCUS Therapy on Monday, your child’s individual therapist should contact you about whether you can still expect to keep your appointment. In general, we expect virtual therapy appointments can be kept unless there are internet interruptions.
If you have any questions, please DM us here or contact your therapist directly.
Thank you & stay safe, everyone!
-FOCUS Therapy
speech therapy games

5 Free, Easy Speech Therapy Games to Play With Your Child

Children are born to learn through play. Playing speech therapy games at home with your child gives them a chance to practice the speech and language skills we’re working to help them develop in therapy, while also giving you a chance to bond with them.

Chances are, you’ve already played them together before, but there are a few ways you can tweak the games so that they’re still fun but even more effective at targeting certain skills like vocabulary, attention, memory, articulation, phonics, observation, deduction and expressive/receptive language.

We like these games in particular too because not only are they free, you can introduce them almost anywhere: On a road trip, at a restaurant while you wait for food, a rainy day at home or a sunny day at the park. And siblings can join in too!