Live Well Wednesday, News & Events

Compass Occupational Therapy Supports 15th Annual Autism Walk

At Compass Community Health Care Center we are dedicated to providing the best health care possible. We are listening to our patients, families, and community with their health concerns and questions. Watch for #LiveWellWednesday posts each Wednesday afternoon, which focus on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.

In honor of April being Occupational Therapy and Autism Awareness Month, we have been highlighting the importance of occupational therapy, as well as autism by providing topics all this month during our #LiveWellWednesday posts. Today’s post concludes this series from Compass Community Health Care Center Occupational Therapist, Liz Legg.

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Compass Pediatric Occupational Therapy is a proud supporter of the Autism Project of Southern Ohio and we are so excited for the Autism Walk this weekend.  Many of our kids are members of the Autism Project and they look forward to the walk each year.  We encourage you to go out and support these kids and this wonderful event, Saturday, April 29th, beginning at 11am at Millbrook Park in New Boston! For more information and details about the walk check out this article in the Portsmouth Daily Times.

For additional information on this topic check out the Autism Society or to schedule an assessment with one of our providers, please contact our office 740-355-7102.

#LiveWellWednesday #CompassCares

Autism Walk

 

 

#CompassAdvocates

Calling All Advocates!

Ask Senator Portman to #valueCHCs by Signing the Wicker-Stabenow Health Center Funding Letter

Senators Roger Wicker (R- MS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are continuing to circulate a letter in the U.S. Senate in support of Community Health Centers in the FY18 Appropriations Process. Click here to email, tweet, post, or call Senator Portman and ask that he sign. There are only 5 days left until the deadline – act now before April 26.

And don’t forget to sign up to be a health center advocate TODAY! This will help keep you up-to-date on issues and policy changes affecting your healthcare and gives you the opportunity to make your voice a part of the discussions and decisions to come.

Live Well Wednesday

Understanding Autism with the Help of Sesame Street

At Compass Community Health Care Center we are dedicated to providing the best health care possible. We are listening to our patients, families, and community with their health concerns and questions. Watch for #LiveWellWednesday posts each Wednesday afternoon, which focus on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.

Today’s topic is “Understanding Autism with the Help of Sesame Street,” contributed  by Liz Legg, Compass Community Health Care Center Occupational Therapist.

In honor of April being Occupational Therapy and Autism Awareness Month, we will be highlighting the importance of occupational therapy as well as autism topics all this month during our #LiveWellWednesday posts. Be sure to check back each Wednesday in April for more information from Compass Community Health Care Center Occupational Therapist, Liz Legg.

We are so excited here at Compass Pediatric OT to see the introduction of Julia, Sesame Street’s newest character that is also autistic.  Many children often have questions when it comes to autism and Sesame Street is now helping parents address those questions.

When Big Bird asks, “what is autism?” and Alan answers, “for Julia, it means…” he lists different behaviors specific to Julia, indicating that not all children with autism will exhibit the same characteristics, often they are different for each individual child.  It’s wonderful that Elmo and Abby Cadabby include Julia in their play and are eager to adapt their games to her needs. They are showing others how important it is to be willing to meet her at her level of interaction. In childhood development, this is what playing and making friends is all about.  Just because someone may play differently than you, that doesn’t mean that they can’t or shouldn’t be able to play with you.

It’s fantastic that they praise Julia for what she’s good at, recognizing her creativity,  unique style of playing and being with friends.  Watching Julia on Sesame Street and seeing how the other Muppets interact with her is such a great learning tool for children, and it models to others how to play with not only children with autism, but any child who may do things just a little differently, because they come from different cultures or geographic places. In this, Sesame Street has started a movement to show children that each of us can be different and it’s healthy to “Play, in their own sort of way!”

For additional information on this topic check out the Autism Society or to schedule an assessment with one of our providers, please contact our office 740-355-7102.

#LiveWellWednesday #CompassCares

Live Well Wednesday

The Importance of Sensory Play

Liz For Facebook-01

At Compass Community Health Care Center we are dedicated to providing the best health care possible. We are listening to our patients, families, and community with their health concerns and questions. Watch for #LiveWellWednesday posts each Wednesday afternoon, which focus on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.

Today’s topic is the Importance of Sensory Play, written by Amanda Morinand contributed  by Liz Legg, Compass Community Health Care Center Occupational Therapist.

In honor of April being Occupational Therapy and Autism Awareness Month, we will be highlighting the importance of occupational therapy as well as autism topics all this month during our #LiveWellWednesday posts. Be sure to check back each Wednesday in April for more information from Compass Community Health Care Center Occupational Therapist, Liz Legg.

Sensory play has an important role in development. When you talk about the senses, most kids over a certain age can rattle them off without problem: sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. Any and all of these can be incorporated into sensory play.

The Role of Sensory Play

It’s not just children who have difficulty with sensory integration who can benefit from sensory play, it’s all children. There are certain groups of children, such as those who have autism or those who have sensory integration dysfunction disorder who have specific difficulty making sense of and organizing all the stimuli that comes at them via their senses.

The truth is, all children need help learning how to use their senses.

From the very first day they are born, children are designed to explore the world via their senses. That’s why babies and toddlers touch everything and put it in their mouths. It’s why kids make funny noises with their mouths and experiment with how the world sounds with their fingers stuck in their ears. It’s why your child spins in circles until she’s so dizzy, she falls down and then gets up and does it again.

Sensory Play Isn’t All About Touch

Some people, when they think of sensory play, immediately picture sand and water tables or kids playing with clay and playdough. But sensory play isn’t all about touch, it’s also about the other senses, too.

For instance, the sharp scent of vinegar involved in a science experiment or the colors of water during a color mixing experiment or the texture and smells of scratch and sniff painting are all part of appealing to your child’s senses.

Sensory exploration is a child’s way of examining, discovering, categorizing and making sense of the world. And it’s beneficial to provide them with opportunities for sensory play.

Sensory Play and Language Skills

Giving your child the chance to play with different types of textures, tastes and objects helps them to build new ways of talking about the world.

Suddenly the tree is more than a tree, it’s a sapling with smooth bark or it’s a pine tree with rough bark and a sharp-pine scent. Water isn’t just wet, it can be rough (waves) or slippery with bubbles or cold and translucent when frozen or clear and still.

Tastes, too, can build your child’s language base. No longer does she want hot dogs for dinner, but she wants something tangy or salty or sweet, but certainly not bland or bitter.

Sensory Helps Fine Motor Skills

There are two main types of motor skills your child develops–fine motor and gross motor skills. Gross motor skills deal with the coordination of large muscle groups and are responsible for activities like running, walking, etc.

Fine motor skills are those that require the ability to use and coordinate small muscle groups. Fine motor skills are important for writing, shoe-tying, buttoning and zipping, among other things. Sensory play often involves using and building fine motor skills by exploring things using pinching, pouring and lacing movements.

Sensory Play is Calming

You may have noticed that your child is calmer after bath time or that after a particularly rough session of jumping around the room, banging into furniture, crashing onto his bed or into pillows, your child seems more grounded.

He probably is. This type of sensory play is calming for kids. It helps them regulate their internal discomfort, whether that discomfort was boredom, restlessness or some other type of agitation.

Now that spring has sprung, it is important to incorporate outdoor play into your child’s activities.  Playing outside introduces new ways to experience the sights, sounds, smells and feel of nature.  Here are some great sensory play activities for spring…

10 Mud-Inspired Sensory Activities– A wonderfully dirty, fun way to play

Melting Insect Sensory Painting– Color their world with nature’s insects

Easter Sensory Play Bin– Eggs, Chicks, Bunnies and FUN!

For more of these fun activities for spring check out The Jenny Evolution  and 20 Springtime Sensory Play Activities.  You’re sure to find a fun activity for you and your children to enjoy!

For additional information on this topic or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact our office 740-355-7102.  #LiveWellWednesday #CompassCares

Live Well Wednesday

How Occupational Therapy and Autism are Related

Liz For Facebook-01

At Compass Community Health Care Center we are dedicated to providing the best health care possible. We are listening to our patients, families, and community with their health concerns and questions. Watch for #LiveWellWednesday posts each Wednesday afternoon, which focus on giving you the information and tips you need to understand current health care concerns and topics.

Today’s topic is How Occupational Therapy and Autism are Related, written by William K. Smithwickexecutive director of Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies and contributed  by Liz Legg, Compass Community Health Care Center Occupational Therapist.

In honor of April being Occupational Therapy and Autism Awareness Month, we will be highlighting the importance of occupational therapy as well as autism topics all this month during our #LiveWellWednesday posts. Be sure to check back each Wednesday in April for more information from Compass Community Health Care Center Occupational Therapist, Liz Legg.

April is Autism Awareness Month and Occupational Therapy Month. The two have more in common than the month of April.

According to the Autism Society, “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a ‘spectrum condition’ that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.”

The causes of autism, a disorder affecting about 1 percent of the world’s population, are unknown. Autism is no respecter of race or ethnicity, however, the prevalence of males over females with ASD is 4:1. In Kentucky, the prevalence of autism is 1:258.

 

There are more than 500,000 children under the age of 18 with ASD in the United States today and ASD is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the U.S. ASD is progressing each year at a rate between 10 and 17 percent. In the 1970s, one child in every 2,500 was diagnosed, today one child in every 150 is diagnosed with ASD.

There is no one symptom or behavior that identifies autism and there is no one treatment that effectively treats it for those along its broad spectrum. Although children do not outgrow autism, it is treatable. The key, like most illnesses or developmental disabilities, is early diagnosis and intervention.

 

Varying professionals provide treatment and interventions for children with ASD. One professional that might surprise many is the occupational therapist. Occupational therapists, OT’s, ask, “What matters to you?” and not, “What is the matter with you.”

OT’s help children and adults with the “occupations” of life. For most kids that means going to school and all that entails from getting oneself dressed to all the daily activities of living and for kids that means going to school – and that includes kids with autism. For ASD kids, the focus can range from all the daily activities to very specific cognitive challenges. No two ASD kids are alike even though many share similarities.

The occupational therapist guides each autistic child to improve his or her quality of life in the home and at school with the goal of helping him or her become as independent as possible. The therapist helps introduce, maintain and improve skills so that kids with autism can function to their maximum ability.

Daily living skills such as play, coping, reading, writing, awareness of one’s body, posture, differentiation between shapes, colors, toilet training, brushing teeth and many other grooming skills are often the focus of the OT and the child with autism.

The families of autistic children need much support as do the professionals and organizations that provide their treatment.

April is Autism Awareness Month; be aware of those families around you with ASD kids. That seemingly out-of-control child at the mall may be autistic.

April is also Occupational Therapy Month, be aware of the many helping professionals like OT’s who surround all of us improving the lives of so many. Many treatment providers to autistic kids are underfunded nonprofits, consider helping them out. Through our enhanced awareness this April, look for a way to lend a helping hand to those walking a path most of us never knew existed.

For additional information on this topic check out the Autism Society or to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact our office 740-355-7102.                  #LiveWellWednesday #CompassCares

#CompassAdvocates

Day Three Recap and Homeward Bound

Friday was a day jam-packed with learning opportunities. The day saw the Compass group separating into various sessions to learn from experts on a range of subjects from congressional updates, to finance, and more. It also allowed them the chance to meet with NACHC members, not just from Ohio, but from all across the United States. This allowed for networking and exchanging of ideas on how to improve operations. During the ‘General Session’, Compass sat in on a presentation given by Dr. Carolyn McClanahan, President of Life Planning Partners, Inc. and Forbes Contributor, and James Macrae, Acting Administrator of HRSA. There they discussed federal updates and what to expect from congress in the coming months, in terms of healthcare reform.

AM Session
‘Repeal, Replace, Repair, Revise, Rebrand? An Up-to-the-Minute Look at Health Policy Developments in DC and Nationwide’

Friday was also the day where Compass members had the chance to meet with vendors and discuss products and services that could assist in daily operations. It was a chance to see some old faces from previous OACHC vendor exhibits, as well as meet new sales representatives from all over the country.

Saturday, the last day of the conference, saw the Compass delegation partaking in extra educational sessions. Topics included governance, social media and compliance, and how to prepare for National Health Center Week.

Saturday Session
‘Getting the Most Out of National Health Care Center Week 2017’

With all of the knowledge gained over the past week, Compass looks forward to sharing what they’ve learned with the team back home and utilizing said knowledge to better serve the patients of Southern Ohio.

This has been a great, educational experience and has given us the opportunity to remind Ohio’s congressman and senators of the great work being done by community health care centers, especially in Southern Ohio. And, while the team may be headed back home, that doesn’t mean the advocacy stays in D.C. The healthcare discussion is far from over and, if we are to ensure that every citizen of Ohio has access to affordable, quality healthcare, we need to make sure our politicians hear from us. So don’t forget to sign up as a health center advocate. And be on the lookout for advocacy updates and ways you can make sure you have a say in the healthcare discussion.

Thank you for taking this journey with us and for your continued support.