Winter Activities in New England

Staying active during extended school breaks is ideal to maintaining a consistent schedule for your child! Keeping a structured daily schedule that includes activities of daily living, community outings, downtime, worktime, and fun are all key components to a well-balanced schedule. Below you can find a list of fun winter activities in the New England area for your whole family! Remember to prepare for sensory stimulation when planning your outings, it may be helpful to contact the event or business prior to arriving to see if they have sensory friendly options or times.

Outdoor activities

Movement Based

  • Trampoline Parks
  • Urban Air (MA: Bellingham)
  • Altitude (MA: Avon, North Attleboro, Franklin, Marlboro, Billerica)
  • Launch (MA: Westborough, Norwood, Framingham, Methuen, Woburn, Watertown)

Educational

  • Children’s Museums

Just for Fun!

To learn more, contact us Here today!

Sensory Toy Gift Giving Guide

Sensory toys can make incredible gifts because children of all ages and skill levels can benefit from sensory play. Sensory toys are designed to stimulate the senses which promotes learning and brain development. Below you can find a sensory friendly gift guide for all your holiday gift giving needs!

Vestibular Sensory Toys

Vestibular input refers to our sense of movement. Kids who seek vestibular or movement-based input cannot get enough spinning, swinging, sliding, and rolling. Many of the toys that promote vestibular input are also great for gross motor development and releasing energy!

  • Playskool Sit’n Spin Classic
  • MOLUK Bilibo Seat
  • Little Tikes Trampoline
  • Hanging Nest Swing
  • Balance Stepping Stones
  • Alex Active Monkey Balance Board
  • Foam Pogo Jumper
  • Scooter Board

Visual Sensory Toy Seekers

Visual input refers to our sense of sight. Kids who seek visual or sight-based input often seek opportunities to watch object light up, spin, move, flash, and flicker. A healthy visual system can impact reading skills, depth perception, visual tracking and more.

  • Sensory Fiber Optic Lamp
  • Lava Lamp
  • Liquid Motion Bubbler Timer
  • Light Bright
  • Orbeez Mood Light
  • Spirograph
  • Handheld Spinning Light Up Wand

Tactile Sensory Toy Seekers

Tactile input refers to our sense of touch. Kids who seek tactile or touch based input, may seek the touch, and feel of different textures. They may show interest in things that are soft, sticky, rough, and even enjoy “messy play.” Engaging the tactile system can be calming and help to improve fine motor skill development.

  • Finger Paints
  • Wikki Stix
  • Play Foam, Play Dough, Putty
  • Kinetic Sand, Instant Snow, Moon Sand
  • Sensory Play Table
  • Ball Pit
  • Handheld Massagers & Fidgets
  • Poppets

Proprioceptive Sensory Toy Seekers

Proprioceptive input refers to sensations through pressure and body movement. Kids who seek proprioceptive or body-based input to their muscles and joints are the ones who will often be seen jumping, falling, pushing, pulling, and climbing. Many toys that have proprioceptive input have one thing in common…force.

  • Plasma Car
  • Tricycle/Bike
  • EZ Steppers
  • Inflatable Bop Bag
  • Body Sox
  • Moon Shoes
  • Meet Hugo! Warmkins Therapeutic Monkey
  • Abilitations Inflatable Dream Chair

Oral Proprioceptive Sensory Toy Seekers

Some kids can even crave proprioceptive input to the joints and muscles in their mouth, which is demonstrated by their need to chew on everything. The sensory toys below are also good options as replacement behaviors when clothing/non-food objects are mouthed.

  • Vibrating Toothbrush
  • Chew Stixx Pencil Toppers
  • Silly Straws
  • Chewy jewelry
  • Animal Jigglers

Olfactory Sensory Toy Seekers

Olfactory refers to our sense of smell. Kids who seek olfactory or smell based input, are the ones who find opportunities to engage their sense of smell. Toys that elicit this sense can be worn on the body, integrated into play, infused into everyday items, or diffused into a room.

  • Scented Play Dough & Putty
  • Scented Jelly Belly Bubbles
  • Crayola Silly Scented Markers
  • Colored Smencils
  • Scratch & Sniff Stickers
  • Scented Loomi Bandz

Auditory Sensory Toy Seekers

Auditory refers to our sense of hearing. Kids who are auditory or sound-based input are those who want things louder and tend to make that noise themselves.

  • Shake & Rattle Rainmaker
  • Musical Instruments
  • Pop Tubes
  • Sound Puzzles
  • Funky Toys Echo Mic
  • Noise machine

How to Handle the Picky Eater in Your Life!

Don’t we all love food???? We take it for granted that everyone eats or at least learns to eat automatically. And then we realize that we have a Picky Eater in our lives who tests our very understanding of consuming edibles! The Picky Eater may be difficult but also inspires us to understand their needs in this crazy world of food and eating!!!. So, read on and I hope you can gain some tips on what to do with your Picky Eater!

The Top 9 Things to Consider for Helping Your Picky Eater:

  1.  Rule out medical concerns – Any sickness, chronic constipation, allergies, sensory concerns, etc. Check with your medical professionals!
  2.  Reflect – How important is increasing food tolerance for you and your child? If it is, start by making a list of foods that are commonly eaten in your home that you are ready to introduce to your child. Make sure to include foods that your child is starting to show preference for, in terms of texture, color, taste. 
  3.  Reflect again using a food log to determine what your child regularly eats – analyze patterns that are seen – are they all white food, Are the foods mushy, crunchy, etc.
  4. Prepare to tackle this with reinforcing the task with some highly preferred food or toy or activity to use after working on this skill.
  5. Don’t forget – it may take up to 10 exposures to a food before some interest is shown.
  6. Review logical steps to introduce the food – Look, Touch, Hold, Smell, Bring close to mouth, Lick/taste, Bite a small piece, Keep in mouth (slowly increasing time – even by seconds), Chew a small piece, swallow, Chew off a bigger piece, swallow, repeat
  7. Provide the opportunity for each step, then after about 15-30 minutes if no progress is made at all, it is okay to remove the item and then present tolerated food for the child to consume and to not go hungry. 
  8.  Try again after a short break…some children can come back to work on this task again after a small break. It is okay if your kiddo does not. You can try again the next mealtime or day. Don’t give up.
  9.  Don’t be dejected by the gagging, spitting out, and throwing up…. this is the “not so cool” part of the process. Do go easy with the introduction of the food and take it one step at a time.

What do you need the most as a caregiver?????​

Patience, consistency, and faith in the process!!! It sure is worth it! ​

Your BCBA at Key Autism Services can support and guide you through this process. The toughest part of this is when you are by yourself without the staff. Have no worries, a step-by-step plan and log will be provided for you to follow along and complete. This will support analysis of the process and modifications may be made to ensure that getting your child to tolerate different types of is steadily improving.

What are you waiting for? Contact your BCBA to provide you with guidance and support! Let’s get your Picky Eater to eat more …to support health, for growth and to improve overall quality of life!

Best of luck! 

norwood park autism services

All about services at the Norwood Park Autism Center

Welcome to our Key Autism Services, Norwood park ABA Center! Below you will find detailed steps of what to can expect if you are considering enrolling your child in our center-based ABA program!

To get started you will need to speak with our intake team and get approval from your insurance for an ABA assessment. After completing an assessment with a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), your child will be assigned to a team of highly qualified behavior therapists (BTs).  The BCBA will create a custom-tailored program for your child, targeting a variety of skill areas such as communication, social skills, daily living skills, and behavior reduction. Your child will have the opportunity to target these skills in an individualized setting with their team of BTs, as well as attend one of our unique NPC programs. Parents are informed about their child’s progress with regular updates from their BCBA, as well as receive a weekly newsletter from the center director.

Behavior Therapy Programs:

Each of our programs are put together by the team of BCBAs at NPC.  Our BCBAs work together to build a curriculum and program that targets the individual needs of each child. Each child will attend individual, group, or a combination of those programs with his or her assigned behavior therapist, who help the BCBA’s facilitate the programs and groups.

Early Learners:

Our Early Learners program is geared toward the 2-4 – year-old age group.  This program is structured like a preschool day, allowing the learners to practice the skills they would need in a school setting, while receiving individualized programming. Some of these skills include following group instructions, group transitions, waiting in a group, sharing and turn taking, fine motor activities, and sensory and movement activities. Each learner will work 1:1 with a behavior therapist, as well as spend much of the day with his or her peers, providing opportunities for communication, socialization, and toleration of less preferred activities. Our curriculum for the early learner program creates fun and exciting opportunities for learning throughout the whole day!

School Readiness Program:

Our School Readiness program targets children ages 5-7.  This program follows a daily schedule of a mix of group time and 1:1 sessions with each child’s team of therapists. Some of the goals targeted in this program include reciprocal conversation, collaborative play, gross motor play, self-advocacy, transitions, and toleration. The learner’s individual goals are incorporated to the group goals, allowing for more natural opportunities to practice. The school readiness program curriculum allows the children to learn about different topics in a variety of modalities, making learning fun and exciting, and preparing the children for attending school with their peers.

Pre-Teen Social Group:

The pre-teen social group meets 1-2 times weekly and is targeted toward leaners aged 10-13. This group follows an evidence-based curriculum and targets a variety of skills. Some of the skills targeted include executive functioning, daily living skills, conversational skills, collaboration and compromise, puberty, emotional regulation, money management, and team building.  Each member has individual goals which are then incorporated into a small group setting.

Speech and OT:

KAS has recently partnered with Pop Pediatric Therapy to provide onsite speech and occupational therapies at the Norwood Park Center. This allows for collaboration and goal building across disciplines, providing a well-rounded approach to the child’s therapy.

Special Activities:

We often have special activities and events at NPC such as spirit weeks, birthday celebrations, and milestone celebrations.  Additionally, the staff create fun and creative opportunities to target the strengths and unique abilities of each child, allowing everyone to shine!

Ready to see how we can help your child? Contact us here:

Services in Colorado

Key Autism Services Feature – Services in Colorado

Come join us at Key Autism Services Colorado!  Key Autism Services is accredited by the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE), an international accrediting body created to meet accreditation needs specific to the delivery of behavior analysis.   Here at Key Autism Services Colorado, your child will receive treatment tailored to his or her needs, aligned with your family’s goals, and based on scientific treatment models.  Our services address a wide range of pivotal skills and challenging behaviors.  Our clinical team consists of highly trained professionals who are passionate about helping your child reach his or her goals.  

Your Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Services may include some or all of the following supports:

Home-based Services:

A trained Behavior Therapist works with your child, in your home, for a prescribed number of hours per week.  A Board CertifiedBehavior Analyst (BCBA) oversees these services on a weekly basis.  Goals and behavior change strategies are created through an initial evaluation of your child’s skills levels and behavior patterns.  Home-based therapy is designed to promote learning in the natural environment and may target areas such as communication, social skills, leisure skills, activities of daily living, safety skills, coping strategies, and challenging behavior.  Therapy sessions are integrated into your daily routines.  We make things easy for you by scheduling around your calendar.

Community-based Services:

ABA Services are incorporated into your family’s day-to-day life to propel your child towards the communicative, social, daily living, and behavioral goals of his or her age and family unit.  Community-based services may include shopping at the grocery store, taking a walk in the neighborhood, participating in dance lessons, and riding in the car.

Caregiver Support and Collaboration:

Our services do not just help your child, they help to improve life for your entire family.  Our clinical team employs family members to better understand why and how ABA Services are so effective.  Additionally, caregivers know their child best and can offer important insights to enhance the effectiveness of services.  Caregivers are teachers, and their ability to support their child’s treatment plan is essential to their child’s success.

Whole Team Collaboration:

Key Autism Services works alongside your child’s team of professionals (pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, school staff, etc.) to ensure that your child’s unique needs are met.

School-based Services:

If your child is exhibiting challenging behavior within the school setting, ABA services may be requested by a caregiver, Special Education Teacher, or the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.  Should this be an option for your family, a BCBA will conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) within the school setting.  Results from this evaluation will be used to create an individualized Behavior Support Plan (BSP).  The BSP will then be implemented in the school setting with the supervision of the BCBA and support of school staff.

Key Autism Services Colorado is located in Aurora, Brighton, Boulder, Centennial, Denver, Ft. Collins, Littleton, Loveland, Lakewood, Thornton, Castle Rock, Lafayette, Englewood, and Glendale.

Key Autism Services accepts CO-Medicaid, CO-Anthem BCBS, CO-UBH, CO-Aetna, CO-Humana, CO-Cigna, CO-Magellan, and CO-Beacon.

Click here to inquire about initiating services with Key Autism Services Colorado:  https://www.keyautismservices.com/contact-us/