All posts by Nicole Cyphert

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).


October is Sensory Awareness Month!

Spread the Word about Sensory Processing Disorder!

Sensory Integration, is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Whether you are riding a bike, eating an apple, spending time outside, or reading a book, the activity requires successful processing of sensation or “Sensory Integration.”

Sensory Processing Disorder is a complex neurological disorder that impacts a growing number of individuals. When sensations are not registered, processed or interpreted with accuracy, the response may not be appropriate for the situation/event. For example; an individual places their hand on a hot burner and leaves it there for several seconds before realizing their hand is hot, due to poor sensory integration they incur a severe burn to the hand.

There are several indicators that an individual may be struggling with Sensory Processing Disorder, and if you feel you or your child may be impacted by difficulties with Sensory Integration consult with a sensory-trained Occupational Therapist.


BACKPACK AWARENESS DAY-September 18th, 2013

Did you know… A backpack should not exceed 10% of a child’s weight. (50 lb child = 5 lb backpack limit)

Why does the weight of the backpack matter… According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were over 28,000 backpack related injuries in 2010.  Injuries ranged from contusions, sprains and strains, to dislocations and fractures.

Does your child experience tingling arms, decreased muscle strength, or stooped posture after wearing a heavy backpack? Take steps to help your child load and wear a backpack properly to avoid related injuries.

Proper Loading of a Backpack

  • Pack heaviest items closest to the child’s back.
  • Make sure to only pack essential items for the school day.
  • To avoid clutter and decrease weight, empty your child’s backpack each day.
  • If your child’s backpack is too heavy, he or she can remove an item and carry it in their arms.
  • Alternatives: Use a backpack with wheels.
  • Duplicate items, i.e. Ask your child’s school if extra copies of workbooks and textbooks for use at home are available.

 Wearing a Backpack

  • It is highly recommended that your child wear both arm straps pulled tight.
  • Backpacks with waist straps should also be secured.
  • The backpack should not sit below waist level.



What’s For Lunch?? Sensory Regulation through Food

Eating crunchy foods, chewy foods, or resistive sucking can help satisfy a child’s sensory needs. Help your child stay organized throughout their day with these snack and lunch ideas!

 Crunchy (alerting):

  • Celery sticks
  • Carrot sticks
  • Apple slices
  • Banana chips
  • Dry Cereals
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Granola
  • Pretzel rods
  • Popcorn
  • Crackers
  • Cheese straws

*Frozen novelties, sour, bitter and spicy foods are also alerting.


Sucking (calming):

  • Thick smoothies and milkshakes through a straw
  • Juice boxes with thin straw
  • Peanut butter or Sun-butter from a spoon
  • Applesauce through a straw
  • Yogurt through a straw
  • Sugar-free, all-natural lollipops
  • Use a thin or curly straws to drink


Chewy (organizing):

  • Granola bars
  • Fruit Leather
  • Gummies
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Licorice
  • Taffy
  • Bagels
  • Beef Jerky
  • Dried fruits: raisins, cranberries cherries, apricots

Tips For Successful Morning Routines

– Set a consistent wake up time.

– Stagger wake up times in multi-children households. This allows children to receive one on one time and provides an organized morning routine.

– A morning hug/cuddle is a great way to promote positive mood and behavior upon waking up.

– Start your day with a cheerful morning greeting.

– Encourage independence in your child’s morning routine by providing them with a visual checklist.

– Load backpacks and layout clothing at bedtime.

– And remember, if a morning routine is fun, your child will be motivated to participate!



Announcing the Opening of Our New Clinic

Integration Station is excited to announce the opening of their new clinic in the North Charlotte area!! The clinic affords opportunities for children to develop and refine skills in a motivating play setting. We have multiple treatment areas outfitted with suspended equipment, an indoor climbing structure that includes a ramp, slide, ladders, rock wall and ball pit, and cozy corners. The clinic allows children to maximize their potential in a safe and supportive environment.

We are conveniently located near I77 and I85 off W.T. Harris Boulevard.  Integration Station welcomes infants, preschoolers, and school-aged children.