Posts

Happy Thursday, Cayer Crew! If you have teens or pre-teens at home, there’s no doubt you’re familiar with Tik Tok. The viral app was launched in 2016, but gained popularity in 2019 and quickly became a household name. Now, it boasts over 60 million monthly active users in the United States alone. While most of its content consists of dancing, pranks, and joking, many people have utilized its popularity for good. Meet three families have dedicated their accounts to telling their autism stories and raising awareness for the condition: 

The McGuire Family 

@haley_mcquire_photo

5-year old Micah Mcquire has nonverbal autism, and had never spoken before, until his mom caught a heartwarming moment of him saying his name for the first time on video. Since then, Micah has been rapidly improving. He has begun to speak without being prompted to, follow directions, and even form whole sentences on his own. His mom, Haley, has devoted their account to chronicling Micah’s journey. Check out their account here: https://www.tiktok.com/@haley_mcguire_photo/video/6874993603832319238?_d=secCgsIARCbDRgBIAIoARI%2BCjyG0c0sxKQwUM0cFgzF42ySNMBjfUIf4TchOcsIRjDMeNg5VT3NtQSIfOJo5hkyg5yB6ET1pwQbBerVExQaAA%3D%3D&language=en&preview_pb=0&sec_user_id=MS4wLjABAAAABPidugtmy1toramUgIRY8Ur7dczN07-TpOKuW09ZCoMXZKDaqPq1Ta_KL6yxCrdt&share_item_id=6874993603832319238&share_link_id=D0E1AFB7-A410-4DC2-B62D-2952B067F64A&timestamp=1602687813&tt_from=copy&u_code=d60jllk6jmgm28&user_id=6684787093329216517&utm_campaign=client_share&utm_medium=ios&utm_source=copy&source=h5_m 

     The Miceli Family

@giacimiceli 

Sisters Carolina and Maria started this account for their brother, Giaci, who is on the autism spectrum. Giaci is twenty-four, and lives semi-independently with his family in Canada. The sisters made the account to show his life, and raise awareness for autism. Through their Tik Tok account, they have raised thousands of dollars for autism-based charity groups in the Ontario area! “Quite a lot of people have been grateful, not only to us, but especially to Giaci for being the hardworking individual like he is and showing them that their child, if they have a toddler or a nephew, brother, sister, cousin with autism, that the sky’s the limit, they can beat the stigma and still be an independent person on the spectrum.” – Caroline Miceli 

Check out their account here: https://www.tiktok.com/@giacimiceli?_d=secCgsIARCbDRgBIAIoARI%2BCjwq7VJ4oNmsEHWlnxua6u4RgT%2BsPKGOWZSnIrAoYexwUspha6yww6HRpAlciDZ1fblRlP8HIgszl0RYL5kaAA%3D%3D&language=en&sec_uid=MS4wLjABAAAAWeFNhEMA4UAIrqoO-0wuzspCB6DX_LcnRdZJH_D4GtIjbTL6aLFCUzFp-1-DqLyU&sec_user_id=MS4wLjABAAAABPidugtmy1toramUgIRY8Ur7dczN07-TpOKuW09ZCoMXZKDaqPq1Ta_KL6yxCrdt&share_author_id=6532041542280970241&share_link_id=A340A327-C64B-49B4-94DD-B8F9A2BBDB55&tt_from=copy&u_code=d60jllk6jmgm28&user_id=6684787093329216517&utm_campaign=client_share&utm_medium=ios&utm_source=copy&source=h5_m

     Paige Layle 

@paigelayle

Paige is a twenty-year old young woman from Ontario who is living with ASD. Because she is very high-functioning, she often faces doubters and skepticism when she talks about her condition. Because of this, she decided to start a Tik Tok account to talk about her struggles and be an advocate for other women and girls on the spectrum. Paige owns her own successful lash business, and speaks out about finding work on the spectrum! Check out her account here: https://www.tiktok.com/@paigelayle

We love to see people using their platform to spread awareness! Autism affects millions of children, and awareness is so important. CBG is always here to help you and your children! If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We can be reached at 850-320-6555, or support@cayerbehavioral.com

Happy Thursday, Cayer Crew! With all the bad news these days, it’s easy to get caught up in the negative. Don’t walk around with a cloud over your head! This week, we’re bringing you three positive news highlights to brighten your mood. 

  1. “Greek Athlete Carries Disabled Woman Up Mount Olympus – Fulfilling her Life-Long Dream” 

22-year old Eleftheria Tosiou always dreamed of climbing Mount Olypmus, but feared her disability would limit her from ever achieving this goal. In college, she met athlete Marios Giannakou, who would become a good friend. Marios carried her on his back up the top of the mountain, helping her see her life-long dream come true! Read more on the Good News Network: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/greek-athlete-carries-disabled-woman-up-mount-olympus/

2. “102-Year-Old Wears PPE to Cast her Ballot”

When 102-year-old Bea Lumpkin was born, women did not have the right to vote. Lumpkin has never missed a presidential election, and did not let the coronavirus stop her! Dressed in full PPE, she successfully cast her mail-in ballot. Read more on the Today Show: https://www.today.com/parents/102-year-old-wears-ppe-cast-mail-ballot-viral-photo-t193369

3. “Dad Builds Desks for Those Who Need Them” 

With the numbers of students working from home continues to increase, not everyone has a safe, quiet place to do school work. Mitchell Couch of Lemoore, California, has made it his mission during quarantine to make sure every child has a clean work space. His wife even got in on the project, and started crafting desks while Couch was at work. Read more on MSN: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/good-news/ive-gotten-thousands-of-messages-dad-builds-desks-for-students-who-need-them/ar-BB19zUm8

We hope these stories have lifted your spirits! These days, it’s easy to feel discouraged. Focus on the good, and try to stay positive, CBG Crew!

CBG is here for all your behavioral needs. We have been in the Tallahassee area for over 15 years, and are committed to improving the lives of children in the area. For more information, call 850-320-6555, or email us at support@cayerbehavioral.com.

Cool weather lovers rejoice! The temperature has finally dipped below 80, and it’s time for some fall fun! The cooler weather, combined with the increase in screen time this school year, makes this the perfect time to get outside with the kids. This week in the blog, we’re bringing you 25 activity ideas that are perfect for autumn!

  1. Take a nature walk – look for birds, lizards, and squirrels!

  2. Rake up leaves and make a pile to jump in.

  3. Collect leaves from your yard and use them to make leaf rubbings using crayons

  4. Collect pinecones and decorate using glitter, felt, or pom-poms.

  5. Visit a pumpkin patch and pick out your own little pumpkin to take home!

  6. Decorate your pumpkin friend using paint, googly eyes, or carve them.

  7. Take a hayride!

  8. Visit a corn maze.

  9. Make your own “haunted house” with costumes, decorations, and spooky music.

  10. Have a halloween dance party with songs like “Monster Mash”, “Thriller”, and “I Want Candy”!

  11. Use the pumpkin seeds from your pumpkin friend to make a yummy snack!

  12. Take a bike ride in the park.

  13. Have a spooky movie marathon!

  14. Host a bonfire outside and roast s’mores.

  15. Make kid-friendly Pumpkin Lattes.

  16. Host a halloween candy trade-off with friends.

  17. Play Ghost in the Graveyard.

  18. Make a handprint Turkey!

  19. List all the things you are grateful for as a family.

  20. Take a drive and see how many different leaf colors you can find.

  21. Bake a yummy berry crisp.

  22. Make a Halloween card for a relative.

  23. Create a Fall centerpiece or wreath using decorations, leaves, and flowers.

  24. Make DIY Halloween costumes using items in your home.

  25. Download some Halloween or Fall coloring pages.

We hope that these Fall activities are fun for you and the kiddos! CBG is here to serve you and your family – if you find your child is struggling with behavioral issues, please reach out! We are here to help. We can be reached at 850-320-6555, or support@cayerbehavioral.com!

Back to school is here, and with it comes a host of nasty germs from your kiddo’s classroom! Staying healthy is more important now than ever, but it can be difficult for kids to understand. In today’s blog, we’re bringing you some helpful tips to make sure your kiddos are staying safe and avoiding nasty bugs at school! 

Emphasize the importance of masks. 

For younger kids especially, it can be hard to understand why keeping a mask on is so important. It might help to let them pick out fun patterns and colors for their masks. You can also do “practice runs” – have your child wear his or her mask around the house to get used to the feeling of wearing it for long periods of time. Make sure to keep masks clean and dry – the CDC recommends washing masks as regularly as other clothing items! 

Practice proper hand-washing. 

Hand-washing is so vital to staying healthy! Make sure your kiddos know to wash hands before eating, after touching toys or supplies, and after using the bathroom. Remember to scrub for at least 20 seconds – to help kids remember this, practice washing and singing the Happy Birthday song twice to get the timing down! 

Teach kids about social distancing. 

Social distancing and masks are the most effective way to stop the spread of coronavirus. And while social distancing in an elementary school classroom isn’t always realistic, it’s important that kids understand to keep their space from one another. An easy way to teach this is the “bubble” example. Don’t let anyone into your personal “bubble”, and if they intrude, politely ask them to take a step back! 

Teach your kids to be aware of their bodies. 

Kids are constantly growing and learning, and might not always realize when they’re feeling off. Emphasize the importance of being aware of your body, and make sure kids know to tell an adult if they are feeling bad! It might be helpful to teach them the symptoms of different illnesses, like a  cold vs. a tummy bug, etc. 

Emphasize mental health, as well as physical health. 

There’s no doubt that this year has been hard on everyone mentally. Kids are feeling the strain of that just as much as adults – missing their friends and the traditional back-to-school routine can be hard on their little minds. Emphasize the importance of mental health, and how to recognize when they are feeling sad, stressed, anxious, etc. It’s ok to take a mental health day every now and then! 

If you find that your child is having behavioral issues resulting from going back to school, please reach out! Cayer Behavioral Group has been providing care for over 15 years, and we are here to help. Our team of RBT’s and BCBA’s are here for your family, regardless of what your child’s needs are. We can be contacted at 850-320-6555, or support@cayerbehavioral.com!

Happy Thursday, CBG’ers! Back to school is in full swing! We hope you and your kiddos have had a smooth transition back into learning, whether it was online or in-person. For the blog this week, we’ve created some fun, printable coloring sheets for your kiddos to work on during their down-time! Click the link below to download:

https://cayerbehavioral-my.sharepoint.com/:b:/p/emmabonney/EewWAC9Do-BAjzeNGN_nXKQBK7FNpsAVb-pF7R6RYT-m7A?e=bEJCra 

We hope you and your kiddos enjoy this fun, free craft! During this transition, if you find your kiddos needing more behavioral support, please reach out! CBG is here to help. Contact your BCBA, RBT, or call us at 850-320-6555 to see how we can help! We hope you have a great week, and an even better weekend!

Zoomin’ Into Back to School!

Tips for Maximizing your Child’s Success in Online Learning

Hello, Cayer Fams! Happy Thursday! With school quickly approaching, it’s hard to visualize what the first day will look like due to all the COVID-uncertainties. Many parents are opting to keep their kids home instead of returning to brick-and-mortar schooling. Whatever you decide for your family, we are here to help! If virtual learning is for you, here are a few tips for maximizing your child’s online learning experience.

  1. Set aside a work space.

Having a space set aside can help your kiddo get into the right mindset when it’s time to start school! Set aside a kitchen table, desk, or area that is devoted entirely to schoolwork. Keep some healthy snacks and lots of water on hand. Also, make sure there’s ample lighting, outlets for any charging, and some cute decor to make the space really fun and personal to your kid!

  1. Stick to a routine.

Keeping a routine can also help your kiddo’s mindset and get them in the habit of doing school work at the same time every day. They should wake up at the same time every day, go through their morning routine, and start work at the same time every morning. Depending on their class schedule and if they have Zoom sessions, you might need to make modifications around their needs. Make sure to pencil in time for “brain breaks” and play – kids need movement after staring at a screen all day!

  1. Make time for outdoor play!

Make sure to allow time for your kiddo to get out and explore. Kids need play and movement, and can feel cooped up after sitting indoors all day. After all their schoolwork is done for the day, take some time for a walk, a bike ride, or a visit to a park or playground.

  1. Incentivize.

It can be hard for small kids (or anyone) to stay focused in a home setting vs. in the classroom. Make sure to reward them plenty for good concentration and focus. Use whatever works in your house – small treats, play breaks, stickers, or movie time! Every child responds differently to different incentives.

  1. Use the internet to your advantage!

The internet can be a great supplement to your child’s curriculum! There are tons of free worksheets, videos, and fun games that you can use to reinforce the skills your kiddos are learning. These fun resources can also help them if they are struggling in any areas. Some great sites include Cool Math Games, PBS, and BrainPop.

Back to school season can be stressful enough, even under normal circumstances. If your child has special needs or autism spectrum disorder and you need extra assistance, please reach out! Your Cayer therapists are here to help. Don’t forget to sign up for our Cayer Clinic! We offer services for kiddos enrolled in in-person and online school. We are also introducing our First Mateys program, for both our Cayer kids and their siblings. Call 850-320-6555 for more info! Stay healthy and we’ll see you next week, Cayer Fam!

Ahoy, CBG’ers! Introducing our new fall program, the “First Matey’s”. We are expanding our unique approach to behavioral health by opening up our facility to our Cayer sibling or “first mates”, kindergarten – 5th grade. 

This program is intended to make parents’ lives easier, while still providing top-notch “Cayer” for children with autism and developmental disabilities. Imagine how nice it would be to have one drop off and pick up for all the kids in the afternoons! 

The First Matey’s program will promote sibling relationships, tricky waters often associated with having a sibling on the spectrum, opportunities to learn how to play and support these unique relationships while staying on chart with everyone’s behavioral health.

Of course, the health and safety of your kids is paramount to us. Once a month, our facility is professionally deep cleaned in order to eliminate any harmful germs that might be lingering as well as daily dousing of a microbiologic solution engineered to kill all viruses associated with COVID-19.   All of our employees wear a face covering, and we do our best to encourage social distancing across everyone at CBG. 

If you think First Mateys is something your family could benefit from, give us a shout! The office can be reached at 850-320-6555 if you have any questions about the program. Ready to take the plunge and sign up? Email the completed form below to maggiewilliams@cayerbehavioral.com. Have a safe week, CBG Fam!

 

*Cayer Clinic and/or the First Mateys program is not intended to be a school/educational facility nor do we intend to be a replacement for your child’s school now or anytime in the future. We will continue to function as a true clinic, supporting all your families’ behavioral needs through top notch scientific protocols. 

Happy Thursday, Cayer Crew!

With all this COVID craziness, so many things have moved online, but health waits for no one! When it comes to caring for our kids, we simply cannot press pause and stop even if the world does. It’s always good to have some help and resources to use from home – that’s why we’re bringing you the top 10 FREE apps for kids with ASD!

 

1. Autism Therapy with MITA

 

 MITA (Mental Image Therapy for Autism) uses puzzles to improve childhood development, attention, language, and visual skills. The design of the app is simple, but games and puzzles make it interesting and engaging for your kiddo! 

 

2. Sesame Street and Autism

 

This app is perfect for preschool age kiddos. “Sesame Street and Autism” hosts games, puzzles, storybooks, and more! It features the most popular Sesame Street characters, including Julia, a little girl diagnosed with ASD! This helpful app also offers great resources for parents and families, like how-tos and useful tips to engage with your kiddo.

 

 

3. Sensory Baby Toddler Learning

 

This sweet and simple app is great for kids both on the spectrum and off. Children can pick from several fun background colors, effects, and different fish! They can control where the fish swim, and create fun effects like bubbles with their fingers! 

 

4. Autism Read & Write

 

Reading and writing is something children with ASD often struggle with. This Android app is designed for school-age kids, and parents can customize the difficulty level to fit their child’s unique needs! 

5. ABC Kids – Tracing & Phonics

 

 

 

This game is perfect for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarten age kids of all abilities! It features many games and activities to help kids learn to recognize letter shapes and associate them with sounds. Perfect for the kiddo who’s just learning to read! 

 

6. LetMeTalk

 

 

 

This communication app is perfect for kids or adults who are nonverbal or struggle with communication. The database holds thousands of pictures that can be used to communicate with, and users can even upload their own pictures or add family members’ names. Even better – it does not require internet connection or data, so it can be used anywhere, anytime! 

 

7. Kinder Tangram: Build a House

 

 

 

Tangrams have been a valuable teaching tool in classrooms for decades. This app brings that same idea to your phone! Kids can create fun builds while learning about shapes and colors. This app can also help build valuable skills like spatial awareness, geometry, and critical thinking! 

 

8. Birdhouse – for Autism

 

 

This app has received great reviews from Parents.com, Huffington Post, and Autism Speaks, among others! It is a journal-type database where you can share unlimited notes with doctors, aides, therapists, etc. Parents can even set a schedule for their child with reminders throughout the day! 

 

9. Endless Reader

 

 

This app helps kids identify “sight words” that are useful for daily life! The app uses fun, cartoon monsters and animations to keep kids engaged. It also features fun sounds and vibrations to keep it interesting! 

 

10. Starfall ABCs

 

The last app on our list is Starfall ABC’s. This is another great tool for helping kids learn the alphabet, letters, and sounds. Similar to Endless Reader, it uses fun colors and sounds to keep kids engaged! 

 

These apps are great online tools to help keep your kids engaged, while keeping them inside and far away from harmful germs! We cannot stress enough how important it is to keep an eye on your kids when they’re using the internet – no matter how old they are! Clickbait, spam, and nasty ads can easily find their way to your phone when you’re not looking. We hope this has been a useful resource to you and your family. Stay safe and healthy, Cayer Families

Happy Thursday, Cayer Crew!

School is officially out for summer, and that means many parents are racking their brains to figure out fun and engaging activities for the kiddos while also limiting screen time. It’s the ultimate challenge! 

In recent years, sensory play has become a popular activity for young kids. Sensory play is any activity that stimulates a child’s sense of smell, touch, taste, sight, or hearing. It has proven beneficial for both typically developing children, and children with learning or developmental delays. It can help build nerve connections, develop motor skills, and it encourages scientific thinking and problem solving! 

For this week’s blog, we’re bringing you three inexpensive and easy ways to incorporate sensory play into your child’s day. These activities require minimal supplies and can lead to hours of fun, screenless play for your kiddos! 

Let’s dive right in! 

 

  1. Beach Day Sensory Bin 

While many beaches in the North Florida area are slowly reopening due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there’s a way you can simulate your own beach day in your own backyard! Beware though – this activity can get messy! This one is best for a grassy backyard or patio. All you’ll need is: 

  • A large, plastic storage container 
  • Clean sand 
  • Mini umbrellas, glass marbles, little beach balls, toy fish, etc. 

The only two requirements for the Beach Bin are the bin itself and the sand. After that, you can fill it with whatever you or the kiddos want! You can add dolls to create “mermaids,” some water to simulate the ocean, marbles for “rocks,” toy fish….Let your imagination run wild! When you’re done with your Beach Bin, you can dump it in the backyard or a trash can, or, cover it with a plastic lid to save the Beach for another day! 

2. I-Spy Sand Bin 

Another way to incorporate sand into your child’s play is an I-Spy bin. This activity is super simple, and requires the same materials as the beach bin – perfect for recycling! You’ll need: 

  • A plastic bin 
  • Clean sand 
  • Small toys like action figures, shapes, animals, food, etc. 

Simply arrange the toys how you’d like in the sand, then challenge your child to find all the toys in a certain time frame. You can even draw them a fun list and have them decorate it beforehand. For older kids, you can increase the difficulty level by using smaller toys and varying the hiding spots. For young kids, you can even break out some whisks, spoons, and measuring cups from the kitchen and allow them to “dig” for treasure. The possibilities for this activity really are endless! 

3. Jello Dig 

This activity is great for babies and smaller kids. Your older kiddos can assist in preparation and clean-up, as this craft can get messy as well! All you need is: 

  • Plastic bin, cooking pan, or bowl 
  • Sugar-free Jello 
  • Some small toys 

Prepare your jello normally, then add some of your child’s small toys. Allow to cool. Then, let baby dig away to their heart’s content! Beware, though – darkly colored Jello like red or blue will dye baby’s hands! We recommend yellow for the best, mess-free results. 

All of these activities are super-versatile, and you can easily add your own twists to them as well. Get creative with it! If you do decide to use any of these, post to social media and tag it #CayerCrafts so we can see!

Happy playing, everyone!

 

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and we are so excited to celebrate our amazing dads, grandpas, uncles, and other father figures in our lives. Dads can be some of the hardest people to shop for, that’s why this week we’re bringing you four super cute gift ideas you can make at home with the kiddos! 

Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging all the hard-working single moms who play the role of both mom AND dad! If there’s a single mama in your life, treat her to some fresh flowers or a cute, homemade card this week! Additionally, all of these crafts could be adapted to suit a single mom or any other parent figure that you or your kids may have!

 

Now, onto the crafting!

  1. Finger-Painting Tie:  This craft is super sweet, and mimics Dad’s work outfit! All you’ll need is: 
  • White construction paper 
  • Washable paint 
  • Scissors 
  • A plastic tray 

Place a small amount of paint on the tray and help your child start finger painting. Encourage them to spread out the paint to cover the full area of the tray you are using. While they are painting, cut the shape of a tie from the sheet of paper. It can be as big or small as you’d like! 

Fold a second piece of white paper in half longways. When your child is done painting, press the tie sheet of paper into the paint tray. Hold firmly to ensure the entire area is covered in paint.  If you want the color to be more vivid, feel free to repeat that step! 

Once you’re happy with the way your tie looks, allow it to dry. After it has dried, use a glue stick to attach it to your folded piece of paper. There you have it – the perfect Father’s Day card! If you feel it needs a little more “pizzazz”, feel free to have your child draw on the card, apply some stickers, or write out a personalized Father’s Day message! 

 

 

  2. My Daddy Rocks Craft: This craft is both super unique and a great, creative activity for kids! All you’ll need is: 

  • Eight to ten round, smooth rocks. These can be found outside or in any craft store! 
  • A rectangular sheet of white cardstock
  • Scissors 
  • Markers
  • Glue 
  • Craft Paint and Paintbrush (optional) 

Start by arranging your rocks in the shape of a person. Use the longer, more rectangular rocks to form the torso, shorter rocks for the head and feet, etc. Get creative with it! Using the markers or paint, allow your child to paint the rocks like a person. Add a face, clothes, hair, etc. 

Once the rocks are decorated the way you want them, arrange them on your sheet of cardstock. Glue them down firmly and allow them to dry. Once they’ve dried, allow your kids to decorate the cardstock area as they like. Add a cute Father’s Day memo and you’re done! 

 

 

  3. Father’s Footsteps Poem Keepsake: This sweet and meaningful poem is perfect for both small kiddos and older kids! 

All you need is:

  • Paper (preferably cardstock)
  • An 8×10 picture frame (optional)
  • Washable paint
  • Glue
  • Construction paper
  • “Walk A Little Slower Daddy” Footprint Poem:

Walk a Little Slower Daddy

“Walk a Little slower, Daddy.” said a little child so small.

I’m following in your footsteps and I don’t want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast, sometimes they’re hard to see;

So walk a little slower Daddy, for you are leading me.

Someday when I’m all grown up, You’re what I want to be.

Then I will have a little child who’ll want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right, and know that I was true;

So, walk a little slower, Daddy, for I must follow you!!

– Bobbie Norman

Print or write the poem on the cardstock paper. Attach a piece of colored construction paper behind it. Soak the bottom of your kiddo’s feet in washable paint. Press their feet on the sides of the poem to make perfect footprints. Wash feet and let paint dry! Write your kiddo’s name, their age, and the date on the paper. Optional step – Frame the picture and give to daddy!

 

4. Upcycled Nuts and Bolts Heart: Speak the language of all dads by making a cute keepsake out of some nuts and bolts!

All you need is:

  • A Canvas
  • Some nuts and bolts (you can also include washers, nails, screws, etc.)
  • Wooden (or cardboard) letters to spell out “ Daddy” or whatever you choose to spell. 
  • A lot of non-toxic glue! 

Outline the shape of the heart/shape you plan on using on the canvas in pencil. Fill the outline with glue, then place your tools on the canvas, in the glue. For best results, you might need multiple applications of glue. Apply the letters you want to use for the name portion. Let dry & voila! Super cute craft for dad!

 

Thanks for reading, Cayer Crew! Feel free to post pictures of your creations with the hashtag #CayerCrafting. We hope you have an incredible Father’s Day with your families!