The Top 5 Symptoms of Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), occurs when information from the senses going into the neurological system (senses-nerves-spinal cord-brain), end up getting jumbled up in the processing portion of the loop, and creates a reaction of behaviors or responses that are different from the "norm." To quickly understand the top five symptoms of SPD take a look at the cheat sheet below.

Loosely said, it is either demonstrated as overstimulation of the sensory information coming in, becoming overreactions, tantrums, or extreme discomfort, or as under-stimulation, (hyposensitivity), when one has decreased response to the information coming in, and therefore appears as lazy or clumsy, and non-reactive to the input (e.g. not reacting to pain). One or all senses can be involved, and severity of symptoms is also invariant from one person to another. has put together a simple at-a-glance cheat sheet highlighting the top five symptoms of SPD. 

The earlier that one can be diagnosed or treated, the better the chances of helping the symptoms. Early intervention allows children to be more successful in school, which allows for increased participation, school success rates, and self-esteem.  Michael LeFevre, MA, LPC, a Play Therapist and Therapeutic Parent Coach in Boulder, Colorado expands, "When working with kids with SPD, early intervention is critical.  If you wait until a crisis point at school or home, it will take longer and require more resources (financial and emotional) than dealing with the issues when they first arise.  Finding a practitioner who offers early intervention options is the best decision you can make for your child and your family's well being."

Older children can still benefit from intervention, but it may take longer to see progress. It is never too late to seek help.

Occupational therapists (OTs) are trained in sensory integration, and work with children and families to create successful programs in the home and classrooms, which increases success rates in school, improves self-esteem, and decreases chances of anxiety and depression.

If you are a parent, talk with a medical professional or therapist that is skilled or trained in dealing with SPD. There are screenings and formal assessments that can be performed by trained professionals, especially occupational therapists, to help to determine your child's needs.  Please do not try to work on "curing" symptoms without professional help, as symptoms can be worsened if not dealt with correctly. 

About SkillsTherapy:
Bethany McCabe, MS, OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist and owner of SkillsTherapy, LLC (  SkillsTherapy serves children in the Boulder, Colorado area and consults with clients nationwide with Pediatric Occupational Therapy services specializing in the areas of: Handwriting, Fine Motor skills, Developmental Delays, SPD, Activities in Daily Living, Gross Motor Skills, Self-Help Skills, and more. Learn more at:

5 Types Of Counseling You May Not Have Considered Yet

There are many different types of counseling available to those who are suffering from some sort of disease or affliction. Whether you have a drug addiction, or suffer from depression, seeking out help is one of the best and safest ways to recover. Odds are that your first thought would be to seek help from a traditional counselor or psychologist. These traditional therapists have been professionally trained in a number of areas to help patients recover from various afflictions.

It is important to realize that there are other forms of counseling out there that have proven to be effective. So whether you don’t like the idea of going to see a traditional therapist or if it hasn’t worked for you, there are other recovery options.

Art, Dance, Music Therapy

One of the more interesting ways is through artistic therapy. This can include art therapy, dance therapy, and musical therapy. All three base their practice in the healing properties of the arts.

For example, art therapy focuses on the art-making process. It acts a therapeutic method as well as used in therapy, in the form of art psychotherapy. Therapists can interpret their patient’s self-expression demonstrated through the art they create.

Dance therapy or movement therapy is a psycho-therapeutic use of movement to support intellect, emotion, and motor functions. Similar to how an art therapist would examine their patient’s artwork, a dance therapist would examine their patient’s body movement and its connection to emotion.

Music therapy is a form of expressive therapy used to improve a patient’s physical and mental health. This can include musical experiences such as improvisation, singing, listening to music, talking about music, and more.


Co-counseling is a different form of counseling in which peers actually take turns taking the role of counselor and patient. The participants meet on a regular basis to provide peer-to-peer counseling. There is occasionally a third-party observer, however the main goal of this type of counseling is to provide flexibility. So instead of the patient always being the patient, they have the chance to help someone else. In helping other people, a person can actually begin to heal themselves. Co-counseling usually involves some form of prior course in order to get involved.

Christian Counseling

Christian counseling is a faith-based counseling method usually using a pastor as a counselor. One of the main benefits of Christian counseling, is the focus on the soul of a person. Whereas traditional counseling focuses very closely on the mind, Christian counseling also focuses on instilling a sense of hope and faith within a patient. Patients are often looking for more than just recovery; they are looking for meaning and purpose which make this faith-based form of counseling a very popular choice.

Online Counseling

Another type of counseling that often is not considered first is online counseling. Counseling services are offered through the internet in a variety of ways including, email, real-time chat, and video conferencing. Just like healthcare, this form of counseling is often being used as a substitute for office visits. As long as the therapy is as effective, this can save both the patient and therapist the hassle of meeting face-to-face. This form of counseling is only expected to grow as broadbands have gotten better and more and more people are adopting the use of video-chatting.

Narrative Therapy

Finally, narrative therapy is another type of counseling you may not have considered yet. Like its name suggests, this therapy focuses on the actual narrative in the therapy. A narrative therapist has the goal of creating a richer narrative during sessions. They may prompt discussions of vivid descriptions that are not currently being discussed within the therapy that allows them to create a much more in-depth narrative.

This form of therapy also aims to separate the person from their qualities or attributes that are potentially causing the problem. An expression used commonly in narrative therapy is “the person is not the problem, the problem is the problem”. This allows patients to disassociate themselves from certain behaviors and better conceptualize why they are problems instead of seeing themselves as the problem.

If traditional counseling has not been successful for you, don’t write off therapy just yet. There are plenty of types of counseling services that you can try that may make a huge difference in your life.

Rainy Day Craft Ideas for Kids

It’s been a soggy mess outside the last few days and almost unbearable inside.  The kids have been cooped up and getting on each other’s nerves – constantly bickering and whining until you want to tear your hair out.

Yeah you know what I’m talking about.  They can’t go outside because it’s too rainy and muddy outside, and you really don’t want them sitting slack-jawed in front of the idiot-box for hours, or playing video games until their brain starts to resemble Swiss cheese.  You want to be a responsible Mom, and you know that by stimulating their little minds and encouraging their natural creativity you’re setting a great foundation for their imaginations.

A bored kid is a whiney kid, and a whiney kid makes for a grumpy mama.  How about setting up a craft station when the rain has got you all down?  If you’re not a crafty-person (and oh man, I am not) it might seem a bit intimidating to you.  Perhaps the last craft you created was when you glued some beads to that Mother’s Day card back in second grade.  If so, don’t panic. All it takes for you to be able to do this is a little imagination — and some planning ahead.

Grab a Box 

Planning for rainy day craft activities doesn’t have to be difficult or even expensive.  You have a few options to create a crafty storage area.

First option, you’ll need a craft box.  You can make this as simple or as elaborate as you want.  I’ve had friends who have simply taken a cardboard box with a lid, written ‘Craft Box’ on the top and filled it with their goodies; others take the same box and have turned it into a work of art by sticking feathers and buttons and even painted pictures on it.  It all depends on what amount of effort and time you want to put into it.  After all, it’s not the box but what’s inside that counts in the end.

We use a tackle box for our small craft box.  They’re great because they have little compartments for holding your small stuff—like googly eyes, buttons, rhinestones, and stickers.  The bigger compartment holds a glue gun and scissors, plus large pieces of felt or whatever craft stuff we have.

You can also purchase any size plastic tub to use for a craft box—in fact some empty tubs are made just for craft supplies.  They come with drawers and trays with lots of compartments to store your items.  However you make or buy your craft box, make sure it’s special to your children.

Another great idea is to use an over the door plastic shoe holder. They are pretty inexpensive and you store a LOT of items in them without taking up a drawer or any counter space in your kitchen. Because the little plastic areas are see-through, you’re instantly organized! You can see everything you have at a glance.

In lieu of a box, you could even designate a drawer in your kitchen as the “craft drawer” and fill it with your goodies.

Fill it Up!

There are some fundamentals you’ll want in your rainy day craft box.  The essential items include glue, glue sticks, paper, scissors, crayons, markers and maybe even some watercolors.
Kids can make the most imaginative things with the most innocuous items and you can help them make things for next to nothing.  Having fun doesn’t have to be expensive!

If you have young children, make sure that you keep the small craft items out of reach so they’re no danger of choking.

As I said before, you can fill up your craft box, or drawer, or over-the-door craft holder fairly cheaply.

What I like to do is pick up things at garage sales or thrift stores.  Buttons, small pieces of colored glass and paper.  Lots and lots of paper, in all sizes and colors and shapes. When I’m doing a project and I’ve cut up paper, I never throw the unused pieces away. Rather, I keep them and put them into my craft box.  You never know when they might come in handy.  This is especially true for wrapping paper.  Those pretty patterns make such cute crafts!

Colored pieces of felt, bottle cleaners, googly eyes and any other item that seems odd but could come in handy later. Never toss anything out without first putting it in your craft box—just in case. Aluminum foil is also a must-have for your craft box.

Even old socks, ones that your children have outgrown or ones that your husband has gotten holes in. can be used for exciting craft ideas!  Make a sock puppet!

Crafty Ideas

Here are a few rainy-day craft ideas to keep your kids busy when they’re trapped inside.  Most can be done using items found around your home so they’re fun AND inexpensive!

Tin foil Shapes

You’ll need some tin foil and your imagination only.

Take a sheet of foil and squeeze it, ball it up, shape it into something fun. Use enough aluminum foil to firmly twist and ball up to the desired design. You can mount it on wood block with glue gun, or thumb tacks. For an extra challenge try to make a body shape, that will balance on a string tied tightly between two chairs. Make figures and make a play with them.  Using yarn, you can attach hair to them with a glue gun.

Potato Prints         

You'll need:

Poster paint or tempera
Paper, cardboard, or wood
sharp knife

1. Cut potatoes in half or thirds.
2. Draw desired design onto potato with the pencil.
3. Young children can carve their whole design with the pencil but if more detail is preferred, an adult needs to cut around the pencil outline.
4. Place paint in tray or paper plate in a thin layer.
5. Press potato design into paint and firmly press
onto paper for impression.
Don't have Paint? Coloring with marker onto the potato works as well although
it produces a lighter effect.
Mom's Tip: Practice a couple of times to get the feel for how much paint you want on your print.
To accomplish a textured effect try letting layers dry and adding prints on top in different colors.

Making Stamps  

You'll need
Any of these items
Rubber erasers, Cork board, Styrofoam, cardboard
Inner tube rubber, Felt squares
Sharp utility knife
ink pad
Glue gun

1. Cut the desired shape out of a rubber eraser for example:
The tip of a pencil eraser will form a circle,
Add notches to create flowers, carve letters
( don't forget to reverse  for printmaking)
2. When using felt, cork or cardboard  attach the stamp
to a wood block with a glue gun.
Two inch dowel pieces work well.
3.Press stamps onto ink pad and press on paper.
Mom's Tip:
Stamps will last longer if you keep a damp sponge
at work area to dab after each color.

Sock Puppets

Making a sock puppet:
Socks, all kinds and colors
Glue gun
Googly eyes

No one can resist a sock puppet.  Use any kind of sock—the more colorful the better.  Using a glue gun, attach yarn hair, maybe even a yarn moustache.  Stick eyes on, wait till everything is dry and then have a puppet show!  Recreate a scene from one of your favorite cartoons.  Use a pink sock and make Patrick, a yellow sock to make Sponge Bob.
Using a cardboard box, you can create a stage where your sock puppets can put on plays. With a bit of creativity, you can have hours of fun!

Bread and Glue Clay   

Easy Recipe
You’ll need :
8 slices of day-old white bread
(Less expensive fluffy type)
1 /2 C. White Glue
Food color
Flour for work space
Wax paper

To Make:
Remove Crusts. Break bread into small pieces and put in mixing bowl. Pour glue over bread. Mix with one hand until
it becomes a sticky mass. Take the out of the bowl and
form into a ball .With both hands keep patting into a smaller ball until it becomes just slightly tacky. Dust work surface
with a small amount of flour and knead gently until it
becomes smoother and more pliable. Knead firmly at this
time. Knead until texture is satiny, about 5 mins.

Wrap tightly with plastic to store. Remember to seal the unused portion while working.

To color dough tear of portion needed , flatten and add color directly onto dough. Blend until satiny again. Add flour, if needed to achieve the proper texture.

Air dry. Drying times vary depending on thickness. To speed up drying place on cookie sheet and leave overnight in an unlit oven. Paint with acrylic paints (optional) and seal with spray on finish.

Toothpick shapes

You’ll need the following:
marshmallows or gum drops
Insert the toothpicks into the marshmallows. Keep adding marshmallows to make any shape you wish. For example: star, hexagon or complex structures like a tall building or a bridge

Finger Painting    

There’s nothing more exciting to a child than getting themselves all dirty.  As parents and caregivers we’re always telling them to stay clean, to wash their hands and don’t touch.

Now you’re going to give them the opportunity to touch and to get dirty and to play!
You’ll need some water soluble finger paints.  They come in all colors and they’re so much fun! Whether from a squeeze bottle or a jar—dipping their little fingers into the wet muck gives them tactile sensations and a creative outlet.

You’ll need paper and paints.  Also, it would be a good idea to have the child wear old clothing or an apron to keep the paint from their clothing.

These are just a few ideas to get you started on making some exciting memories with your children—as well as keeping their little imaginations active during dull and rainy days.

Vivino Helps You Choose the Right Wine for a Father's Day Gift

This post is sponsored by Vivino, but all opinions are my own.

Are you having trouble finding the perfect gift for your dad this Father's Day?  Do you have trouble deciding what kind of wines to buy? The Vivino Wine App takes the guesswork out of choosing what wine you should get Dad this year with their fun Father's Day quiz!

The Vivino wine app is designed to make wine shopping easy.  Find a wine that you really like?  You can scan the label with your smartphone and leave a review for other wine-lovers.  Not sure about a bottle of wine at the grocery store?  Use the scanner to scan the label, and Vivino will show you average review and price.   You can use Vivino to find friends and see their ratings, or read recommendations from wine experts all over the world. 

With the Vivino Wine App, you can learn all about the different types of wine and where they come from, right from the palm of your hand.  Whatever your taste, or whatever your preference, Vivino has the reviews and information you need. 

Over 10 million people have downloaded the app, so you can rest easy knowing that you will find reviews from every day wine drinkers and wine connoisseurs from all over the world.

Once you have rated a few wines and let them get to know your taste, Vivino makes recommendations sure to please your tastebuds.  

Check them out on Facebook and Twitter, and download their app at

#ad Filling Nutrition Gaps with a Hectic Schedule #CentrumVitamins

I am participating in a sponsored campaign hosted by Centrum®. I received compensation for this post. While all opinions stated are my own, I make no claims about Centrum® as a product or its effectiveness.

My mornings start about thirty minutes before my alarm clock even thinks about going off, with my early bird rising at the crack of dawn to stand beside my bed yelling “Mama! Mama! Mama!” I’ll roll out of bed, take her potty, get her cup of milk, and sit down for a minute to wake up… right about the time the four year old stumbles out of the room demanding either snuggles or Daniel Tiger.

The alarm clock on my phone starts its incessant chiming until I can correctly solve the number puzzle to turn it off (usually only takes about three tries with my sleep-deprived fog brain) and it’s time to start getting everyone ready so we can get out the door in time for daycare, school, and work.

Now, picture this – I’m talking about a toddler who insists on picking out her own clothes and getting herself dressed (no matter how long that may take, she will scream “Kaya do it!” anytime I get close enough to even appear to be trying to help); a preschooler who will try telling me that he doesn’t know how to get himself dressed and wants me to help him – but of course I’m not doing it the way he wants me to; and then the 8 year old who has to try on four different outfits asking if it matches the bracelet that she wants to wear. 

As if that’s not bad enough, I still have to find work clothes and slap on enough makeup to somewhat resemble a human and make sure Matt’s up and getting ready for work.  I have to be out of the house, with all three kids, by 7:20am so I can drop one off at school, the other two off at daycare/preschool, and make it to work on time.

Most mornings, I’m lucky if I’m able to grab a banana on the way out the door.  Usually I’m not able to eat until lunch, leaving a significant nutrition gap in my diet.

I use Centrum® MultiGummies to fill in the holes that my hectic schedule leaves in my nutrition. Since they’re chewable, I don’t have to worry about having something to drink to wash them down (a good thing, too, since I walked off without my coffee again).  I keep a bottle of them in my console in my car so I can grab two and chew them on the go.  There’s no artificial flavors or sweeteners, so I know I’m just getting the vitamins I need daily.

Visit for more information and to receive a $2 coupon off your next Centrum® purchase (limited time offer; while supplies last)

The Cutest Thing You'll See Today

Ok, so maybe I'm a little bit biased, but I just have to share my baby girl's video.  She's two and sings constantly; she's my little music lover.  I was finally able to catch it on video - this is her rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"

Vacation Fun & Family Safety Giveaway #VFFSGiveaway

This post contains affiliate links.This giveaway is sponsored. 

is so happy to be hosting this amazing 
Vacation Fun & Family Safety Giveaway

Our awesome Co Hosts are 

A very special thank you to them and all of the other bloggers that have worked so hard in making this giveaway a great success.

Thank you for stopping by and entering into this giveaway. There are prizes and entry options for everyone :)

One Lucky Winner Will Receive:

Diaper Bag by Timi & Leslie ARV $159.99

Rolling Luggage by Wildkin  ARV- $49.99

Puzzles By Flipstir: ARV $24.95

Baby Mirror by GooGah ARV $33.99

SafeTHammer 2 Pack by Safety Hammer ARV $29.99

Rokit Boost Bluetooth Headphones (2 winners) ARV 79.99 (each)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for stopping by. If you have any questions or comments abut this giveaway or any of the sponsors please contact Amy & Aron's Real Life Reviews by email at [email protected]

Naturalico Summer Feet Event

Summer Feet Event

Welcome to the Summer Feet Event sponsored by Networking Perks!


Thank you to our Co-Hosts

It's time to get our Summer Feet on and to do that we might need a little help. Let the Naturalico Rechargeable Electronic Callus Remover help get those feet looking their best. This will speedily remove that rough skin and get your feet looking their best. a Rafflecopter giveaway   Disclosure: The bloggers participating in this event have NOT been compensated for this post. Networking Perks provides honest opinions, beliefs or experiences on products reviewed. Networking Perks is not responsible for prize fulfillment; Bakeit Fun will be responsible for prize fulfillment. This event is in no way associated with, sponsored, administered, or endorsed by Twitter, Google, Pinterest or any other social media. If you have any questions or would like help in promoting your own product please contact me at [email protected] . The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Make Your Own Custom Blog Planner {plus free printables!}

As a blogger, one of the hardest things for me to do is to stay on top of everything.  I have a new job now, the kids are getting out of school for summer, and I have been feeling overwhelmed with trying to stay organized enough.

I found a plethora of printables online, and a couple of pre-made blogging planners, but nothing really seemed to have everything that I was looking for in a blogging planner.  I need something to keep post ideas together, an editorial calendar, reviews and giveaway lists, an income and expense tracker, and a few other things.  

So, I did what I do, and made my own blogging planner.

I went to Walmart and found a cute 1" binder - I do much better with binders than notebooks.  I also got a 3-hole hole punch.  Then I went home and started playing around with Microsoft Word.

Here's the fun part.  Designing your planner.  I'm going to show you how I made my planner pages, so you can make your own however you would like them set up - or you can download my set of planner printables at the end of this post!

Fist, you'll want to open a new Blank Document:

Click the Insert tab and click header.  This is where you'll put in whatever design you like.  This is where I put in the triangle flag banner.  (Pixelscrapper is an amazing resource for graphics by the way.  The ladies who create the designs are so talented!  I pay $10 a month for unlimited commercial use downloads.  Definitely worth it!)

Next, you'll want to throw in a title so you can easily find the page you need.  We'll do my Reviews To Do page, since I didn't add it to the graphic above.  Play around with fonts and colors until you find a style you love.  I went with Harrington here, in Orange, Accent 2, Lighter 40%.

Alright, now for the customizing part.  Everyone's planning and organization is a little bit different, so put what you think will help you the most.  Me, I have to have have a check box, a due date, and all the other stuff that helps keep me on task.  Go to the Insert tab again, and click table.  You'll want to set how many columns and rows by going to Insert Table and filling out the boxes.  For this chart, I'm doing 5 columns.  I've found that I can get 20 rows to fit nicely on one page.

Play around on the Design tab once you have your table made, and decide which colors and size works best for you.  Then fill out the top row with the categories you need, and voila!  You have a planner page:

And there you go - Simply print, punch holes and put into your binder.  I have tab dividers to help keep everything organized, but the rest is up to you.  Make it custom, make it you!

Click here to download my set of Blog Planner Printables.

Set includes: 
Weekly Planner
Post Brainstorming Worksheet
Blank Pitch List
Income and Expenses Worksheet
Blog Post Idea Sheet
Review Planner
Giveaway Planner
Password List

(once you open the link, just click on which pages you want, and click the download button above!)

What's your best tip for staying organized with blogging?

Will Quaker Oats #ConcealorReveal the Use of GMOs?

This post was created as part of the Just Label It campaign in which I’m a compensated Labeling Advocate. All opinions expressed are my own.

Quaker is one of the Big Food companies using their deep pockets to lobby against mandatory
GMO labeling. Through the trade association, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, they’re
supporting a bill in Congress we call the DARK Act – because it would Deny Americans the Right to Know whether our food has been genetically engineered.

Sign the petition below to ask Quaker to join us and to support mandatory FDA labeling of GMOs!

It’s hard maintaining that honest image when they’re stopping consumers from knowing what’s in
their food.

GMO crops have led to huge increases in herbicide use, which contributes to an array of threats to
the health of people and the environment. And in case you missed it, the World Health
Organization recently labeled the main herbicide used on GMO crops as probably carcinogenic.

People all across the country are fed up with being kept in the dark. That’s why I’m working with
Just Label It to bring the Conceal or Reveal campaign to Quaker’s doorstep. But we need your
voice, too.

Sign the petition: Ask Quaker to support mandatory FDA labeling of GMOs, stop funding antimandatory labeling efforts, and stand up against the DARK Act!

Botanica Science #Giveaway

Three Simple Ways To Improve Your Health Right Now

These days, more and more people are seeking simple, effective solutions that will help eliminate disease and promote holistic health. If this is the case for you, it's important to note that there are several simple strategies you can implement right now to make it happen. Here are three you should consider:

1. Optimize Your Digestion. 

As many health experts know, almost every disease known to humanity begins in the digestive tract. When nutrients from food are not assimilated properly into the body, we set ourselves up for a host of health problems that can eventually lead to diseases that wreak havoc on our minds and bodies. To prevent this recidivistic process from taking place, it's a good idea to get in the habit of optimizing your digestion. There are numerous ways to do this, and some people find that digestive aids are particularly helpful. If this is the case for you, consider the great line of products offered by You can shop here to get their DigestGenix supplement and numerous other life-giving nutritional products.

2. Hire A Trainer.

Although most people are aware that consistent exercise contributes profoundly to health, only about 50% of the nation engages in regular physical activity. In many cases, people need a bit of external motivation and knowledge in order to start and stick to an exercise routine. If this is the case for you, consider the value of hiring a personal trainer. These individuals have obtained advanced knowledge in the world of physical fitness, and they can customize exercise routines that will help you accomplish all of your health and fitness goals.

3. Clean Out Your Cupboard.

While it's important to know that exercise plays a profound role in facilitating great health, eating a well-balanced diet is the number one factor contributing to optimal well-being. Since this is the case, it's a good idea to get in the habit of eating healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats from sources like nuts and avocados. To ensure that you get on this path to healthy eating, it's oftentimes necessary to rid your kitchen of unhealthy foods that might tempt you. With that idea in mind, take some time to clean out your cupboard and refrigerator of unhealthy products like sugary cereals, fatty condiments, salty entrees, and any items loaded with additives and preservatives.


If you're serious about obtaining the optimal level of health that promotes happiness and peace, it's important to note that there are simple steps you can take to realize this goal. To get started now, start implementing the tips and tricks outlined above. Good luck!