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Feed the Ghost Activity

As Halloween approaches, here is a fun activity to try at home with your kiddo. One of our amazing early interventionist, Jagruti, created a fun and simple arts and crafts activity using things you might already have at home! This activity can be repurposed and reused for any occasion, not just Halloween. Create any silly face to keep this activity fun all year round!

Download our activity packet here:

Feed the ghost- Activity packet

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Managing Mouthing

Mouthing, chewing, and sucking on non-edible objects can become a concerning behavior. Understanding the underlying needs of children who mouth can be the very first step to addressing this with our kiddos.

There are many reasons why children engage in mouthing behaviors. Here are some of the most common reasons:

  1. Sensory Needs/Self-stimulation 
  • Chewing can help children manage all of the extra sensory information (bright lights, louder sounds, light/sudden touch) affecting their hypersensitive sensory system.
  1. Proprioception/ Body Awareness
  • Proprioception is our ability to know where our body is in space. It is how we process input from our joints and muscles in order to move and position the body.
  • When children have difficulties interpreting this information properly, you may see them crashing into objects/walls, have poor motor control, have the “wiggles” and not be able to sit still or focus, and if they’re not getting the right amount of proprioceptive throughout the day, they may try to self-regulate on their own through chewing/mouthing because it’s something that they know, have access to, and can control, and it provides proprioceptive input to the jaw as this is one of the most powerful muscles in the human body.
  1. Oral Awareness
  • Some children may have a reduced oral awareness (sensation in their mouth) and consequently may seek out activities that provide increased oral feedback, such as eating crunchy foods, stuffing their mouths with food, grinding their teeth, and/or chewing on non-food items
  1. Pica
  • Pica is characterized by the need to eat non-food items (paper, clay, sand, dirt).  If you suspect this is why your child is chewing, please seek medical help
  1. Teething
  • Some children chew for relief when their 6 year molars start to erupt. If this is the cause, it will likely pass when the teeth are done moving into place.
  1. Stress/Anxiety
  • Chewing is repetitive and calming in nature
  1. Focus/concentration
  • Chewing can be a very effective way to increase focus and block out other distractions since it’s a repetitive movement. Chewing also activates muscles in the jaw down into the neck, which provides added stability that is grounding
  1. Boredom/habit 


There are many strategies and tools we can employ to help our child have their needs met in a safe way. Take a look at some simple and effective ways to manage mouthing.


For the full PDF Handout: Managing Mouthing

Written by team-admin

Developmental Coordination Disorder

Clumsiness or more?- Developmental Coordination Disorder 

What is it?

  • According to American Psychological Association, Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in both fine and gross motor coordination which have a significant impact on a child’s activities of daily living or school productivity.
  • Children with DCD exhibit these deficits in the absence of identifiable medical or intellectual or visual impairment, or another motor disability, such as cerebral palsy.
  • It is thought to affect around 5% of school-aged, but despite its high prevalence, it remains one of the less well understood and recognized developmental conditions in both educational and medical settings. The prevalence rate is 5-6%, which is approximately 1 in every 20 children.
  • It is often co-morbid with other childhood disorders including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, speech/language impairment.
  • Frequently described as “clumsy” or “awkward” by their parents and teachers, children with DCD have difficulty mastering simple motor activities, such as tying shoes or going downstairs and are unable to perform age-appropriate academic and self-care tasks.


Signs and Symptoms

Parents are the initial evaluators to spot signs and symptoms of DCD in their child before anyone else. When they notice their little one is struggling, having challenges or lacking behind other children in movement skills, such as sitting up or learning to walk. However, sometimes signs and symptoms of DCD are not caught until a child starts school. Teachers may see that the child cannot play at recess or in physical education classes in the same way that other children do. They also may observe that it takes the child longer to complete schoolwork. Children with DCD show a lack of interest in playing with other children.

Children with DCD may have difficulty when they try to:

  • Run, skip, jump, hop on one foot, do jumping jacks, or perform other physical activities.
  • Use hand-held objects such as crayons or scissors.
  • Throw or catch a ball accurately.
  • Follow directions for movements that involve more than one step. (When they make a mistake or can’t do the next step, they will start all over again rather than with the most recent action taken.)
  • Know where their bodies are in space.

DCD at specific ages.

Has trouble throwing a ball
Plays too roughly or often bump into other kids by accident
Has difficulty sitting upright or still

Grade K-2
Has trouble holding and using a crayon, a pencil, or scissors
Doesn’t form or space letters correctly
Struggles with going up and downstairs
Frequently bumps into people by accident
Has trouble with self-care, like brushing teeth

Grade 3-7
Takes a long time to write
Has trouble cutting foods
Has difficulty with basic routines like getting dressed
Struggles to line up columns when doing math problems

Role of professionals in the treatment of DCD

Historically, parents have been told not to worry about their child’s clumsiness because the child will outgrow the problem. However, current researchers in the area of DCD report that the children do not outgrow clumsiness and that, without intervention, they will not improve.

A key treatment for DCD is occupational therapy (OT). There are many examples of how occupational therapists can work on challenging motor tasks. They might have kids trace letters on sandpaper to build handwriting skills, for example. Or use a lacing board with different colored laces to practice shoe tying.

Kids with DCD may also work with physical therapists on balance and muscle tone.

Occupational therapy and Physical Therapy assist with helping the child with DCD develop movement strategies that increase coordination, motor planning, balance, strength and body awareness resulting in a decrease in overall clumsiness and increased ability to perform functional activities at home, school and in the community.

Speech and language therapy may also be required to help the child with the oral motor skills required for swallowing, chewing and speech.


Harrowell, I., Hollén, L., Lingam, R., & Emond, A. (2018). The impact of developmental coordination disorder on educational achievement in secondary school. Research in developmental disabilities72, 13-22.

Kirby, A., & Sugden, D. A. (2007). Children with developmental coordination disorders. Journal of the royal society of medicine100(4), 182-186.