Category Archives: General

Sensory Integration Holiday Tips

Watch that Diet over the Holidays – not just the FOOD diet, but also your child’s SENSORY DIET…. Here are some tips to avoid sensory overload for your child when exposed to all of the lights, decorations, sounds, smells, and tastes of the Holidays to make it more tolerable and even FUN!

Visual: Christmas lights can be great for increasing visual attention and calming your child. However, if your child looks at everything, all of the time and becomes over-stimulated by things he/she sees, keep decorations and bright lights to a minimum. You can designate one room in your home as the “holiday room” that your child can easily avoid, where you can go “deck the halls” more fully. In the main living areas of your home, you can have more subtle decorations such as a tree with one color of lights and a few colored ornaments. Place the tree with the multi-colored lights and hodgepodge of family favorite ornaments in the “holiday room”.

  • Avoid hanging lots of garland or tinsel
  • Use blinking lights cautiously. If a child stares for long periods of time at the blinking lights, put the lights in the “on” mode.
  • Avoid over-decorating surfaces; remove one “everyday” decoration for every holiday one you put out.
  • Do not expect a child to be able to keep “hands off” decorations. Most children do not have the impulse control until they are DEVELOPMENTALLY over age 7 years. Place special items on shelves the child can’t reach.

Auditory/Hearing: Be aware of decorations that “turn on” when you walk by them. Avoid them except in the “holiday” room or keep them turned off, until you can warn your child of the sound the decoration will make just before turning it “on”. If your child reacts negatively to the sound, don’t make him/her try to get “used to it.” Just keep it off in their presence and maybe try again next year.

  • Avoid bell ringers and talking holiday displays, unless they are pleasurable for your child.
  • Avoid constant Christmas music in the background. Play instrumental music versus music with singing whenever possible. Your child will need more quiet at home when surrounded by extra noise everywhere else.
  • Have earplugs available if your child can wear them for holiday gatherings when all the children are running around and adults are talking. If not, allow your child some quiet time in a designated room in your own home or ask your relatives to have a room designated as the ‘”quiet room” for your child away from the crowd. Have FAMILIAR toys, blanket, etc. available for calming or a new toy that is calming, not stimulating. This quiet area should be separate from any “time out” area for misbehaving children.

Smell: Be aware of smells that are calming for your child and those that seem to “set them off”. Have your child smell an unlit candle and see if they like it before actually lighting it and filling the air with that smell. Vanilla and lavender will be more calming than pine or citrus scents. Spice smells can be calming, but are more often stimulating, so be aware of your child’s reaction to the baking pumpkin pie or hot spiced cider on the stove. If the extra smells are unavoidable and seem to have a negative effect, keep fans running and crack windows for fresh air to circulate.

  • Avoid real Christmas trees and garland, if your child can’t tolerate the smell of a lit pine candle.
  • Avoid candle stores, home décor stores, etc. which may have strong odors.

Oral: The Holiday season frequently means lots of new foods in your home and places you may visit. If your child is a “picky eater”, you can encourage him/her to try a taste of a new food but be sure to have alternative foods that you know your child enjoys. Be sure to pack some of these “safe” foods that your child will eat if you will be traveling to other places.

Touch: Christmas decorations and holiday finger foods can offer great opportunities for tactile exploration, but can also be overwhelming. Encourage your child to help decorate a “prickly” tree or the sugar cookies with icing, but if they fear getting poked or messy, don’t force the issue and just let them enjoy the end product.

  • Avoid Christmas displays within “arms reach”. Kids can’t help but touch.
  • Provide a “feely” bag with 2-3 favorite tactile balls, strand of beads or calming toy in a fanny pack to keep their hands busy while you are shopping. Be sure to mark your items with a permanent marker so that you know nothing “extra” accidentally gets in the bag and you can “prove ownership if asked.

Affordable Care Act – Easter Seals Michigan

By now I am sure you have heard about the Supreme Court ruling.  This ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act is certainly an epic commitment to the people of the United States.  It commits our government to the health and wellness of its citizens.

Today, President Obama speaking from the White House after the decision, said, “Whatever the politics, today was a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it.  It should be pretty clear by now that I didn’t do this because it’s good politics,” Obama said. “I did it because I believed it was good for the country.”

This supports our current efforts in furthering our mission to so many that need the types of services and supports that we offer as well  of our efforts of integrated care for those that we serve.

“Easter Seals Michigan is one of the ‘Best and brightest’ in metro detroit”

By Jackie Hooper

On Aug. 15, 2012 Easter Seals Michigan was named one of Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For! Hundreds of competing companies throughout the Metropolitan Detroit region vie for this designation, but only those companies with the highest quality human resources initiatives can be honored with this title.

We received our award from theMichigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA) on Thursday, September 27 at the Henry Hotel located at 300 Town Center Drive in Dearborn.

We were evaluated by an independent research firm based on key measures in various categories.  They include Compensation, Benefits and Employee Solutions; Employee Enrichment, Engagement and Retention; Employee Education and Development; Recruitment, Selection and Orientation; Employee Achievement and Recognition; Communication and Shared Vision; Diversity and Inclusion; Work-Life Balance; Community Initiatives; Strategic Company Performance and the Best of the Best Small Business.

GET OUT AND VOTE: Claim Your Voice, Cast Your

On Election Day, every citizen in America over the age of 18 has the right and the responsibility to vote.  The ability to vote is the cornerstone of any democracy, and it provides each of us with the opportunity to advocate for the future we envision for our country.

Be an advocate for yourself and your fellow Americans – pledge to vote in November and encourage others to vote as well.

To register to vote, you must be a U.S. citizen and reside in the city or township where you are applying to register.  You can register at the city or township clerk’s office where you live, any Secretary of State office, the Oakland County clerk Election Division or by mail.  The first step to cast your vote in 2012 is to make sure that you are a registered voter by Oct. 9, 2012.  If you want to check and see if you are already registered, visit www.Michigan.gov/vote.

If you have a disability or certain other barriers that make it difficult for you to get to the polls, absentee voting may be an option for you. Absentee ballots are available for registered voters who are:

  • 60 years or older
  • Unable to vote without assistance because of a disability
  • Expecting to be out of town on election day
  • In jail, awaiting trial or arraignment
  • Unable to attend the polls for religious reasons
  • Appointed to work as an election inspector outside of their precinct residence.

Absentee voter ballots, mail-in registration forms, and a list of city or township clerks are available at www.Michigan.gov/vote. Ballots are also available at your local clerk’s office.

If you can get to the polls, be aware that Federal and state laws require polling places to make accommodations for any barriers that prevent voters with disabilities from voting, including providing accessible doorways, alternatives to stairs, adequate lighting and at least one voting station that enables a person to vote while seated. Accessible machines called AutoMARK are also available for persons with disabilities.  These machines feature a large flip-up screen and headphones.  If you will require assistance at the polls, call the clerk’s office in advance and notify them of your special needs.  If your precinct is not accessible, you will be directed to an alternative site.

For more information about your right to vote, visit www.occmha.org or find them on Facebook and Twitter.