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

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!

Staying Calm during the Back to School Madness! 

Recognizing your child’s stress + Tips on How to Manage It 

Happy Thursday, CBG’ers! There’s no doubt the past few months have been tough on everyone. For some children with autism, understanding what’s happening in the world may be particularly difficult. Often, routines are extremely important for children diagnosed with ASD, and when one is broken it can result in a major meltdown. Going back to school can only add to the stress! For those of you in your second or third week, you might have already run into hiccups that can cause some behavioral backlash from your kiddos. On the blog today, we’re tackling the issue of stress – how to recognize it, and how to help your kids combat it. Whether you’re at home or in school, we hope these techniques are helpful in kicking stress to the curb! 

Recognizing the Signs

Often, children with ASD handle stress differently than their typical counterparts. Here are some tell-tale signs your kiddo is feeling the strain: 

Trouble sleeping 

Meltdowns or temper tantrums 

Avoid or withdraw from social situations

Rely on obsessions or rituals 

Rocking, spinning, or flapping their hands 

In some cases, harm themselves by biting, scratching, or head-banging. 

Of course, every child processes things differently. These are just a few of the signs to watch out for! 

Tackling the Stress

Once you’ve decided your kiddo is feeling the COVID, back-to-school panic, here are a few ways you can help them through it! 

  • Help them realize what they’re feeling – Stress is a part of life, and kids with autism spectrum disorder are not immune to it! Helping them realize what they’re feeling and validating them is an important part of managing it! 
  • Determine which situations make the stress worse – Are they scared of going out in public? Of staying indoors all day? Make a list of these situations and come up with an action plan. 
  • Encourage calming techniques – Every child is different, so it might take some workshopping with your village to come up with a game plan. Some ideas to try include physical exercise, breathing exercises, utilizing role play, going to a quiet area, or playing with a favorite toy. 
  • Use visuals to your advantage – Kids with ASD are often visual learners. You can use little cue cards or flashcards to help them get familiar with new or tough situations. For example, if they’re scared of going to school, you can walk them through the day using a school bus card, a desk card, etc. 

There are many techniques available to help your kids manage their stress at home. If it gets too much, feel free to reach out to your CBG RBT or BCBA for extra help or other techniques. Quality CAYER doesn’t wait, and we’re here to help no matter what! 

We hope this was helpful and you and your family are safe and well during this time. For more behavioral health tips, suggestions, and resources in your feed weekly, follow us on Instagram and Facebook at @cayerbehavioralgroup!

Happy Thursday, Cayer Crew! We are getting closer and closer to that time of year when the trees start to change color and the temperature sloooooowly lowers – it’s almost fall, y’all! Even though it’s still 95 degrees in Florida, here are some fun, fall recipes for the kiddos that can help you get into the autumn spirit! 

3-Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies 

All you need is pumpkin puree, vanilla cake mix, and chocolate chip cookies! In a large bowl, combine cake mix, puree, and chocolate chips. Have the kids help you mix and scoop the cookies in small portions onto the baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-20 mins until golden! So simple and so yummy! 

Homemade Fall Snack Mix

This one is super easy, requires no prep, and can be tailored to your child’s tastes! Have them pick out a few dry, small snacks like candy corn, popcorn, pretzels, peanuts, chocolate chips, and candy pumpkins. Mix well and enjoy! A super easy fall snack or dessert. For some extra sparkle, throw in some fall-colored sprinkles! 

Butternut Squash Pasta 

Butternut squash noodles are a great, healthy alternative to typical pasta noodles. Kids will love the slightly-sweet taste and fun orange color of the noodles! They can be found at any health food store or organic grocery store. Boil pasta until soft, then mix in olive oil, butter, parmesan, salt and pepper, and a little bit of garlic powder. For some added protein, throw in some meatballs! 

Homemade Apple Chips 

This recipe is super sweet and yummy, but completely natural and healthy! The only things you need are apples and cinnamon. Thinly slice your apples into even parts. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 200 degrees for two hours, or until chips are crisp! Let the kids help by picking out their favorite kind of apples and sprinkling the cinnamon! 

Jack-O-Lantern Orange Slices

This snack is perfect for after school! You’ll need small oranges or clementines. Peel the oranges well, but don’t slice. Keeping the orange upright, place a small slice of celery at the top to make the “stem” of the Jack-O-Lantern! You can jazz it up with other fruits as decorations! 

These fall recipes are perfect to get ready for raking leaves, Trick or Treating, and pumpkin-spice everything! We hope you have a smooth return to school, no matter what that looks like for your family. If you find your child struggling with behavioral needs during this difficult transition, please reach out to us! We are here to help, and we offer services to help your child thrive in the community, home, and school. Call 850-320-6555 for more information!

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!

Dear Mama, 

Typically, August is a fun month full of exciting “firsts” for your child  – their first backpack, first teacher, and first day of school pictures. This year, the world was turned upside down, and your traditional back to school plans were scattered. We know how frustrating, confusing, and upsetting this is. We are moms, dads, grandparents, and caregivers. We know there is an overabundance of information flooding your feed, and the question remains – to return to the classroom or not? Every mom wants to make the best decision for her kids, and you are no different. This season of life can be especially confusing for those kiddos who have autism spectrum disorder or developmental delays. These special kids who cling to a routine now have to deal with the many uncertainties in the midst of COVID. 

At Cayer Behavioral Group, we trust you to make the best decision for your family, regardless of what special needs your child may have. We are here for you through it all! CBG offers comprehensive, effective behavioral therapy. This fall, we are rolling out the First Mateys program for the first time ever! This program is designed for kids with autism and their typically-functioning siblings. Your child will still receive the best “cayer” and behavior intervention, while their siblings learn and play at our child-friendly facility! It’s designed with both your needs and your kids’ needs in mind. You can work, run errands, or do chores knowing that your kids are safe and taken care of. We are still offering our traditional therapy, if that is something you’re interested in! We offer services in the office, in your home, and in the community, depending on your child’s needs and abilities. 

We will meet your kiddo where they are, and work with them to help them become the best version of themselves. We trust you to make the best decision for your child – after all, you know what’s best for them! Trust yourself, mama! You’re doing great! If you need additional resources or support, feel free to reach out to your office at 850-320-6555. 

Much Love, 

Your Cayer Crew 

Cayer Behavioral Group

 

Happy October 1st! Although the weather is still in the 90’s, it’s officially spooky season and today is also National Cookie Day😊 Cayer Behavioral Group wants to help you embrace the season and what better way to do so than to whip up a batch of cookies?

In honor of National Cookie Day, here’s a few recipes you should try!

 

Be the talk of the Halloween party with these cute, creepy little spiders!

Peanut Butter Spider Cookies

Prep Time: 40 mins                                       Cook Time: 25 mins                                       Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins

Yields: approximately 24 cookies

The link to the original recipe: https://eatlittlebird.com/peanut-butter-spider-cookies/

 

If you love anything pumpkin spice, you’ll love these Pumpkin Sugar Cookies.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Prep Time: 50 mins                                       Cook Time: 10 mins                                       Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: approximately 40 cookies

The link to the original recipe: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a23461956/pumpkin-sugar-cookies-recipe/

 

It can be a lot of work to get in the Halloween spirit, but don’t worry! There’s no baking involved in these spooky cookies!

Spooky Milano Mummy Cookies

Prep Time: 15 mins                                       Chilling Time: 15 mins                                       Total Time: 30 mins

Yields: approximately 16 cookies

The link to the original recipe: https://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/mummy-milanos/

 

Let know which recipes you tried! As always, feel free to reach out to us at 850.320.6555 or email support@cayerbehavioral.com. 

 

#AutumnwithAutism #CayerBehavioralGroup #AutismAwarenessEveryDay #WeCayer 

Happy Fall Y'all

The weather is finally cooling down and although the leaves may not be changing color, the smell of pumpkin spiced lattes is in the air… Fall has found the south!

Fall in Florida is the best time of year to enjoy the outdoors. Cayer Behavioral Group wants you to take advantage of all this season has to offer. In honor of this spooky season’s arrival, we’ve gathered some fun activities for you and your family to enjoy.

  • Head to your local pumpkin patch and spend the day outdoors enjoying hay rides, corn mazes, farmer’s markets and petting zoos! Then pick your own pumpkins to take home for more fall fun. Check out fun4tallykids to find a pumpkin patch near you.
  • Bake delicious pumpkin treats. Get creative: pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin crumb bars… the list goes on and on! In fact, here’s a list of 65 ridiculously good pumpkin desserts to make this fall. Let your little ones participate by stirring the batter, adding ingredients, and icing/decorating the finished product. But make sure you save extra pumpkins for…
  • Pumpkin painting! While pumpkin carving may seem like a daunting task for a parent of a child with autism, pumpkin decorating is a fun and safe alternative. Grab some paint, glue, glitter and stickers, and get to work! Use the leftover paint from your pumpkin masterpiece for…
  • Handprint turkeys! Nothing says fall like a classic handprint turkey. Prepare to get messy finger painting some cute Thanksgiving themed keepsakes. If you’re feeling extra crafty, add some feathers for the ultimate finishing touch!
  • Go for a nature walk/hike. Go outside and get moving to make the most of the beautiful fall weather before it’s gone! Enjoy some quality family time in nature (away from technology) and revel in some much-needed exercise after all those delicious pumpkin treats.
  • Settle in for a movie. After a long day of family fun, cuddle up and watch some kid friendly, Halloween classics. Head to Halloweentown, hang with Casper the friendly ghost or enjoy The Nightmare Before Christmas to get in the holiday spirit!

We hope you fall into fall and find time to enjoy your family and friends! As always, feel free to reach out to us at 850.320.6555 or email support@cayerbehavioral.com.

Cheers to chunky sweaters and fall weather!

#AutumnwithAutism #CayerBehavioralGroup #AutismAwarenessEveryDay #WeCayer

Rearranging the Sleeping Game for the Upcoming School Year

Sound the alarms! With our kiddos heading back to school in a few weeks, comes the dreaded early mornings.

This summer you might have been enjoying an alarm free summer, but all of that is going to change very shortly. Transitioning to a school year sleep schedule is your best bet to make the first few days of school as enjoyable as possible. To help make your mornings as pain free as possible we have come up with a few helpful hints. 

  • Make slight changes to their sleep schedule. Do not try to make a drastic change in one night. Slowly rearrange their sleeping schedule by thirty minutes a night, until you are at their ideal sleep schedule by the time the first day of school arrives.  
  • Limit late night electronic use- We know how much we all love using our electronic devices. But using these devices before bed actually disrupts our body’s natural transition to sleep. By limiting the use of these devices an hour or two before bedtime, this will allow your kiddos to get to bed earlier. 
  • Be wary of sleeping in- Although we are all enjoying the last few days of summer…be cautious! You’ll want to keep their time schedule as consistent as possible. 
  • Make sure all your kiddos are getting the recommended amount of sleep- The amount of sleep needed for each child varies by age. Children ages 3-5 should be sleeping 10 to 13 hours, children ages 6-12 should be sleeping 9 to 12 hours, and teens 13-18 should be sleeping between 8 to 10 hours. By getting the right amount of sleep your kiddos will be rested and ready to learn! 
  • Breakfast! Breakfast! Breakfast! There is a reason this is called the most important meal of the day. You want to make sure that this meal is a priority each school morning. Insuring a substantial meal each morning will supply your children with enough energy to start out the school year strong.  

We’re sure you and your fam have been enjoying many leisurely mornings. Alas, it’s time to change!  Making even slight changes in the upcoming weeks will make the world of a difference come the first day of school. 

 

As always, if you have any questions contact Cayer Behavioral Group at 850-320-6555 or email support@cayerbehavioral.com for more information.   

Summer Time Sports Tips and Tricks

Have you been wanting your kiddos to get involved in a sport this summer?

If so, we know that this can often be a stressful and overwhelming task. As parents, you are focused on the health and safety of your kids! That’s why we have come up with some tips and tricks to help jump start their involvement in sports this summer. 

  • We recommend having a therapist go to practices initially. As time passes and your child becomes more comfortable, the therapist will fade out.   
  • Practice at home. Set up a similar field in your front or back yard. Maybe use a city park. Grab some neighborhood kids, snacks and bring a few adults along for reinforcement. Practice makes perfect and will aid in decreasing any anxiety your child may be feeling. 
  • Use the internet. YouTube offers a ton of videos that perfectly outline the playing rules for multiple sports/activities. Enjoy 15 minutes or so a day of mindless viewing with you child.  
  • Talk to the coaches. Most people volunteering as a coach have every child’s best interest in mind. Explain how your child learns best. Feel free to share your concerns…they will listen!  
  • Rally the other parents around your efforts. We often hear only the bad news through the daily outlets. Don’t let that scare you from talking to your teammates parents. The more you share, the more they’ll root for you and your athlete!  

We know that sports can be a very stressful topic especially for parents with a child that has autism. So, we hope that these tips and tricks can help diminish those fears. 

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Cayer Behavioral Group at 850-320-6555 or email support@cayerbehavioral.com for more information.