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Rearranging the Sleeping Game for the Upcoming School Year

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.   

Tips for a Stress Free Beach Day

Tips for a Stress Free Beach Day

Sweet summertime! Or, sweet summertime?  Often, easy breezy events like a day at the beach turn into one, big stressful beach ball when juggling too many sand buckets!

To increase your time playing and decrease running into snafu’s think about these few helpful hints.  

  1. Pack everything you need the night before. Once your kiddos head to bed, quickly pack your car. Night before organization may prevent you from forgetting anything as you are running out the door. Generally, this is also a huge time saver!  
  2. Apply everyone’s sunscreen before you get to the beach. There is no stopping your kids once they eye the water! Prevention is key, but timing is everything! 
  3. Bring a beach bag. What you bring, or forget to bring, will often make our break your trip. We suggest bringing, a towel for each person, sunscreen, bug spray, a change of clothes, hats and sunglasses, a trash bag, umbrella and baby powder. The baby powder will be the perfect trick for getting that pesky sand off at the end of the day! 
  4. Water and snacks.  Freezing water bottles the night before your beach trip is a sure-fire way to guarantee ice, cold water for you and the fam. Don’t forget to pack a healthy lunch and many, many, MANY smaller portioned snacks!  
  5. Finally, you may want to consider allowing each child one hand-held electronic. Let’s be honest. Once in a while, the kids need a break from the water and you DESERVE a break from figuring out what to do instead.  

Suns out, buns out! Cheers to a happy, healthy and safe day at the beach. 

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 & Tricks 

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.    

Best Dog Breeds for Children with Autism

Best Dog Breeds for Children with Autism

Have your kiddos been asking for your family to adopt a fury friend?

If so, you might be worried about what dog is the right fit for your family. Lucky for you, we have come up with the top four dog breeds that we think are the best fit for a child with autism.  

  1. Golden Retriever– These dogs are more than just a pretty face! These dogs are gentle and love being around children! Golden Retrievers also serve as incredible guard dogs. Your kids will be sure to fall instantly in love with these lovable dogs. 
  2. Newfoundland– These dogs are truly gentle giants. Allowing your kids to sit down and groom these friendly balls of fur, will not only be calming, but also serve as consistent activity that they can take responsibility for. 
  3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel– These dogs are the definition of a lap dog. Cavaliers make sure to love every person they meet and would be an incredible addition to any family.  
  4. Poodle– Not only are these dogs incredibly smart, they are also one of the most kid friendly dogs around! These are the perfect dogs to have your kids help train and take to the park. 

Making the decision about what type of dog to adopt can be stressful, especially making sure to account for your child’s needs. We hope that this helps make the decision a little less stressful.  

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.   

Autism Travel Guide

Autism Travel Guide

Here at Cayer Behavioral Group, we know that traveling with a child who has autism can be a very big challenge, but it can be done!

Success mainly depends on planning, preparation, and anticipating your child’s needs. We want to make your life a little bit easier this summer, so we have six  tips and tricks to help your trip run as smooth as possible! 

  1. Plan multiple airport visits ahead of the trip: This will help you desensitize your child to the sights and noises of the airport. It can also be a fun day trip where you can play a scavenger hunt with your child! 
  2. Use a calendar to build anticipation: You can use a calendar to count down the days until vacation and mark the days off as the trip gets closer. This will help your child get excited about going on a trip! 
  3. Explore airport resources for children with autism: Some of the larger airports may have some programs that help children with autism and can help prepare them and you for the flight. 
  4. Pack wisely: This is very important! Pack a carry on with your child’s favorite toys including an iPad and charger! It might also be a good idea to download some of their favorite games on the iPad so they have something to do! We also recommend having a change of clothes, in case there are any accidents on the plane. 
  5. Early boarding: While you are waiting to board the plane, be sure to go up to the gate and talk to the person about early boarding for children with a disability. They should be able to let you on the plane early, so your child does not have to wait in a long line. 
  6. Plan for sensory issues and comfort: If your child is going to be sleeping on the plane, be sure to have a blanket and another security item available. Consider bringing headphones and other items that are soothing and help regulate your child.  

Hopefully these tips and tricks help your summer travels go as smooth as possible, and give your child a fun new experience! 

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.  

 

Wrapping up the School Year | Evaluating Your Child’s IEP

Wrapping up the School Year | Evaluating Your Child’s IEP

It’s that time of the year again to meet with teachers, principals and other ESE folks to wrap up your child’s IEP.

The good news is, this is a sure sign that summer is right around the corner! Before you meet, Cayer Behavioral Group would like you to ask yourself these three simple questions: 

  1. Has the classroom met my child’s needs? 
  2. Were the goals listed in my child’s IEP meaningful and the methods used to teach the goals effective? 
  3. Has my child benefitted from this year’s IEP? 

If your answer is no to any of these questions, we encourage you to answer the 5 W’s. 

Who was responsible for your child during their school day? 

What were the obstacles your child faced this year? 

When were the individual goals supposed to be met?         

Where was the location and person in charge of helping your child meet their goals? 

Why weren’t you notified that progression wasn’t occurring?  

Having a true heart to heart with your educator and your family will help you recognize and ACCEPT both the good and bad the 2017-2018 school year delivered and will be helpful in developing next year’s plan.  Cayer Behavioral Group wishes you nothing but love and luck as you tackle the often dreaded IEP meetings. Hang in their mama’s and daddy’s. Longer days and hours of fun filled sunshine are right around the corner! 

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. 

Hot Cars & Kids in the Summer

It only takes 15 minutes for a child in a hot car to sustain a heat stroke or other complications.

kid shielding his eyes

The law dictates that leaving children under the age of six in cars that are not running is a second-degree misdemeanor. If the car is running, a child can legally be left alone for less than 15 minutes. Keep in mind, cracking open a window will do little to nothing to keep the car cooler.

The Florida “Motor Vehicle Good Samaritan Law” makes it lawful for an individual to forcibly enter a vehicle to help a person or pet in danger. They will not be held liable for damages if there was no other way to enter the car. Immediately after or before, 911 must be called.

kid playing with toy car

The heat in Florida can become very dangerous, very quickly. Here are some tips to keep in mind to keep your family safe during the hot summer months:

  • Keep your car locked at all times. It is possible for a child to climb into a car, in a hot garage or driveway, and be unable to get out.
  • Keep keys and car remotes away from children at all times.
  • If you must leave your child in the car while running errands, use drive-thru services.
  • Call 911 immediately if you see a child or a pet left alone in a hot car. If the child seems distressed, use the necessary force to remove them from the vehicle.
  • Review vehicle safety with any childcare providers
  • Do a visual sweep of your entire vehicle before leaving and locking the doors.
  • During busy times, such as holidays or get-togethers, be especially aware of your child’s whereabouts.

Don’t let temporary distraction become a tragedy. Keep your family safe and, stay smart, and stay aware.

 

Pool Time Summer Safety Tips

In Florida, a giant alligator is generally a frightening occurrence – unless it’s a giant pool float and can be used for splashing, riding, and laughing!

kids playing in big floaties in a pool

 

As Tallahassee days reach their humid summer peak, aquatic activities are a family favorite. This summer as you venture out to keep things cool, keep in mind some important tips for pool safety.

two kids with sunglasses playing in the pool with floaties

 

  1. Take swimming lessons as a family! The Red Cross offers water orientation and swim lessons for all ages. Bond with your child as you show them the importance of safety and independence.Consider first aid and CPR/AED classes.
  2. Before heading out to the pool, have a talk with your family. Encourage awareness and caution. Discuss with children how to recognize signs of danger and that if they are at all unsure, a trusted adult or a lifeguard should be made aware immediately.
  3. Encourage the buddy system. Place an emphasis on the importance of not swimming alone.
  4. Establish clear rules such as asking for permission before approaching the water. Discourage dangerous games such as breath holding contests.
  5. Believe it or not, lifeguards aren’t only around to blow that whistle when someone is running. They keep a close watch over your loved ones and can mean the difference between a fun day and a traumatizing experience. Find an area with lifeguards who can help keep watch.
  6. Equip young children and inexperienced swimmers with life vests. Discuss with them appropriate and inappropriate swimming areas depending on depth.
  7. The large bodies of water are not the only ones to be concerned about. Keep yourself and your family hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol and caffeine.
  8. Prepare yourself for a possible emergency. If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or injury.

 

The city of Tallahassee offers some fantastic facilities for you and your family to take advantage of. With proper preparation and communication, pool time can be a wonderful addition to your summer.