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Importance of Shared Family Mealtimes

Between work, karate, swim practice, therapy, homework, late business meetings and other daily responsibilities shared mealtimes between family members is on the decline. Today, families are spending less time coming together for mealtimes and more time “on the go”.  Coming together to share a meal with family seems to have lost its value over time with the impact becoming more and more evident in our children.
It is important to acknowledge that shared family meals benefit both the children and adults in the home. Meals are a time for socializing, sharing, laughing, encouragement, commiserating, establishing routine and sense of security, not to mention responsibility and good eating habits.
Socializing during meals without the interruption of phones or televisions is vital to building relationships between family members. Making a conscious effort to disconnect from outside distractions during mealtimes allows for meaningful connections and mealtime success.

It may be surprising to learn that research shows that sharing meals together can improve academic performance in children of all ages, improves overall healthy eating habits, and decreases the chances that your child will become involved with drugs or alcohol.

Families learn to work together and depend on one another as they plan the meal, prepare the foods, set/clear the table and assist one another with washing the dishes. Children learn responsibility when they are assigned a job that contributes to the preparation and/or serving of the meal. Additionally, they learn to listen, initiate conversations, speak politely, establish their own thoughts and feelings, problem solve, and become a contributing member of the family which brings them a sense of value and self-confidence. As families come together during the mealtime process, parents can instill values and provide encouragement to their children which builds strong character in their children.
Even the busiest of families can find time to come together to share a meal when the shared meal is set as a priority. Set small, realistic goals such as setting aside one or two nights each week. These shared family meals should become a routine, this may be done by scheduling it on the same day and at the same time each week. The family meal should be an event that is honored and respected by all family members.
The benefits that arise from simply being together and sharing about the day will not only feed each person physically but also feed social and emotional connections among families.

Sensational Summer Camps Now Accepting Enrollment!

Integration Station has opened their enrollment for the 2018 Sensational Summer Camp offerings!


This year we will be offering handwriting camps, feeding groups and a social skills camp!

Following family and community request, we are excited to be adding the feeding and social skills camps to the lineup! Please visit our Sensational Summer Camps for more details!

We look forward to your child joining us!


Charlotte Experts in Child Development- Now Accepting New Patients

Integration Station Pediatric Therapy Services is accepting children into our occupational therapy program from 0-14 years of age. Occupational therapists with expertise in early development and sensory processing are ready to support your child’s needs with morning and afternoon availability. We work with all insurances plus Medicaid.

To inquire about having your child evaluated call us @ 704-595-9363 or contact us via our website.


Therapy Practice Expands

Integration Station, located in the University area of North Charlotte, would like to announce the addition of therapists Ashley Stevens and Alexa Hughes. Ashley and Alexa are a great addition to the already dynamic and sought-after team of therapists specializing in child occupational therapy services at Integration Station. Welcome Ashley and Alexa!


Occupational Therapist Named Mom Approved Doc

Charlotte Parent magazine recently published the 2014 Mom Approved Docs for the Charlotte area as nominated by parents. Integration Station is excited to announce the inclusion of director and therapist Nicole Cyphert as the only occupational therapist recommended in this years edition. To read comments made by parents in recognition of Nicole’s dedication to the children and families of Integration Station go to Charlotte Parent Mom Approved Docs 2014.



Charlotte Summer Handwriting Camps 2014

Integration Station is gearing up for two exciting new summer handwriting camps in Charlotte! If you’re interested in learning more about our summer camps or occupational therapy services for your child, contact us today!We would be more than happy to answer any questions!



Sensational Summer Camps @ IS

Sensational Summer Camps at Integration Station provide children with the opportunity to learn through fun, multi-sensory experiences under the guidance of pediatric occupational therapy practitioners.

 Through the use of the Handwriting Without Tears® curriculum, children will enhance letter recognition, letter formation, and improve fine motor abilities to support successful writing.

 Our camps are designed for Rising Kindergarteners, First and Second graders who are struggling with handwriting or just need that extra boost to set them soaring from A to Z.

Learning Letters the “Write” Way-  July 21st -August 1st

Children will learn to form their uppercase letters and their name. Recommended for most 4-5 year olds.


Diving into Lowercase Letters-  August 4th-August 15th

Children will review accurate formation for uppercase letters, learn to form lowercase letters and properly form their name. Recommended for most 6-7 year olds.


Cost: $225 for 2 weeks including supplies

Monday-Friday, 1:00 pm- 2:30 pm

A $50 non-refundable deposit is required at registration.  All fees are due prior to the first date of class.


Calming Strategies for Children over the Holidays

Control and Choices can promote calmness in a changing environment i.e. allowing your child to help rearrange furniture to place the Christmas tree, pick out holiday decorations, and holiday songs.

Decrease sensory information.  Flashing lights maybe to over-stimulating for your child.  White lights are a less distracting alternative.

Quiet spots and breaks can help your child calm when visiting friends and family or when family visits.   After your child has had a break, encourage your child to rejoin with friends and family.  Include pillows, fidget toys, and books in the quiet spot and practice going to the quiet spot to ensure the child this is a safe place.

Develop a plan. Providing predictability and preparing for the holiday changes prior to the event can be helpful! Going over the schedule for the following day at nighttime can add structure to the holidays.  Simple, practiced plans are the best plans!

Routines are important to maintain over the holidays.

Environment: When decorating for the holidays try to respect the child’s favorite space or toy and see if the Christmas decorations impede their view of their favorite space or toy.

Sleep: Changes in routine can affect sleep patterns.  Try to maintain sleep schedules over the busy holidays.

Food Routines: Incorporate familiar foods with holiday meals.



Calming Strategies for Small Spaces

With the temperature changing, the sun setting earlier, and holidays around the corner, many of us begin to experience increased stress and fatigue. Implementing quick and simple strategies for calming and alerting will help us make it through the day successfully. Here are just a few quick tips for you and your little ones!

-Try making a fist and squeezing tightly several times.

-Push your hands (palms facing one another) together.

-Push your knees together while sitting.

-Shrug your shoulders (raise them up and down) several times.

-Push against a wall.

-Chair push-ups (Use your arms to lift your bottom from your chair.)

-Take a deep breath and count down from 10 .

-Use deep pressure for calming (hugs, wrapping in a blanket).

-Use quick, brisk, touch to arms and back for alerting.

-Adults and older children can use sugar-free chewing gum (monitor your child for safety).