Subject: October Newsletter

    October 2017 | Volume 1 | Issue 8
DICP Digest 
A monthly newsletter for clients and colleagues of Development is CHILD'S PLAY!

Happy Halloween and happy (belated) Diwali to our DICP families! 

Fall decorations are up, our autumn and Halloween craft projects are out and ready to go, the pumpkins are set up for carving, and the kid's favorite "spider web" cargo net is hung up and in action. We even have our "witches hair" (cooked noodles coated with olive oil) for kids to play with. Yay for novel tactile experiences!

The fall holidays mean fun, excitement, and celebration but can also mean itchy costumes, scary make-up, dark nights, bright lights, a change in schedule, and SUGAR! Read on for suggestions for surviving Trick-or-Treating.

At a staff meeting earlier this month we had a visit from Parent Support, Education, and Coaching specialist, Kristine Geering, M.A., Ed. Kristine provides parent and family education and support in the Peninsula and SF Bay Area. She came to a staff meeting, and kindly presented to the staff about mindfulness. See below for more information about Kristine's services and visit her website to learn more about incorporating mindfulness daily.

We are now holding two sensory gym sessions on Saturdays. One at 9am and one at 10am. Please sign up to come and try one out for $30. The families who come regularly love having the chance to try the equipment, engage with their kids, and meet other DICP families. 

Before we know it the winter holidays will be here. If you are planning to take vacations or know you want to take some time off during the upcoming months, please let your therapist or NhuMai know as soon as you set your schedules so we can get those dates on the calendar.

Warmest Thanks,
The therapists and staff at Development is CHILD'S PLAY!

Saturday, October 28: Sensory Gym
Please sign up for the 9am or 10am session

Tuesday, October 31: Halloween
We are open, and kids are welcome and encouraged to wear their costumes to DICP!

Saturday, November 4: Sensory Gym
Please sign up for the 9am or 10am session

Saturday, November 11: Sensory Gym
Please sign up for the 9am or 10am session

Saturday, November 18: Sensory Gym
Please sign up for the 9am or 10am session

Thursday, November 23: Thanksgiving Day
DICP is closed

Friday, November 24: Day After Thanksgiving
Appointments are optional, please talk to your therapist about your plans.
Therapist Vacations
If your therapist is out of the office, we still want to see you! Please note the following dates, and we will do our best to make it up or find another therapist who can see your child at or near their scheduled time. 

Jill Painter: 
  • November 1 - 3, November 24
Kerry Bunger:
  • November 24
Joy Ho:
  • Currently out of the office, returning early November. Contact the office with scheduling questions.
  • November 22
Karen Swinehart:
  • November 24
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Meet Diana Nguy

This Fall, we are excited to welcome Diana Nguy to DICP! She was one of a number of candidates we interviewed, and she was selected because of her professionalism, excitement, and passion about becoming an occupational therapist. Diana has completed her master's degree coursework and her first internship, and is coming to DICP for 12 weeks this fall to complete this last step before she can sit for the OT licensure board exam. We have had many wonderful student interns in the past, and are sure Diana will be no exception.

Education: BS with an Exercise Biology major and Professional Writing minor at University of California, Davis; MSOT at San Jose State University

Diana was born and raised in San Jose, California. She spent three months studying and interning abroad in Sydney, Australia, and three weeks in Malta learning about socialized healthcare and the roles of OT's in a European country. With a soft spot for food, desserts, and anything cute, she spends most of her time outside of w
ork and school relaxing or unwinding to prepare for the next day(s) ahead. Aside from concocting various smoothies at home, she has discovered a newfound love and appreciation for mindfulness, yoga, and related practices. Her other interests include singing, dancing, martial arts, traveling, and photography.

Diana says: "When I volunteered at my first pediatric OT clinic, there was a distinct moment where I felt, 'I finally found a place where I belonged'. That was when I decided to pursue OT as a career. I also enjoy the constant problem-solving involved as an OT. I've compared it to solving real-life puzzles that not only make a difference but create a positive impact around those whom I have the fortune to work with. Additionally, there is enormous flexibility involved regarding the number of specialties, populations, and environments a therapist can work in. Hence, I feel very blessed to be part of this wondrous profession. At DICP, I simply hope to learn as much as I can from the amazing team of therapists already at DICP, the children, and their families."

DICP Guest: Kristine Geering
Let Us Learn Together

As a parent of twins and a credentialed teacher and special educator, Kristine Geering has learned a quite a bit about mindfulness. She presented at one of our staff meetings, and we were inspired! She holds Whole Brain parenting workshops, parent coaching, goal-setting, personal support, and early intervention for families who need a little extra support.

We discussed many ways to encourage children to stop and breathe including blowing bubbles, pizza breathing (make your hands into a pizza. Smell the pizza. It's too hot! Blow on the pizza to cool it down), making a magic wand out of a tongue depressor and a feather and blow to make the feather dance, and blow into a straw to make bubbles in a cup of water at the table. We talked about incorporating mindfulness into our sessions, and ways to encourage parents to do the same at home. Please take a look at Kristine's website if you are interested in any of her services or would like more information about mindfulness and Whole Brain Parenting.

On Halloween, many kids can't wait to put on their costumes, party at school, and trick-or-treat after dark. For kids with sensory issues, Halloween can be more stress, and less celebration. Trick-or-treating can be a particularly challenging time because of itchy costumes, sticky face paint, uncomfortable masks, crowds, dark nights, and changes in routine. Here are a few tips for a more sensory-friendly trick-or-treating experience:

1. Pick sensory-friendly Halloween costumes. Baseball jerseys, sweatshirts with logos, decorated T-shirts, and costumes made from soft clothing can work well if kids are bothered by the uncomfortable tactile input from packaged costumes with synthetic materials. Avoid face paint or costumes that have chemical smells if your child is sensitive.

2. Costume practice: Have your child practice wearing his costume, including footwear and accessories before the event, so he can become used to the sensation of the costume. If the costume includes a mask, practice breathing while wearing the mask. Some kids can be sensitive to the change in sound while wearing a mask.

3. Pack or bring along a back-up outfit (could be Halloween themed) just in case your child ends up having difficulty tolerating the costume. Alternatively, she could wear her regular clothing underneath her costume to avoid discomfort.

4. Pack or bring along your child's favorite foods in case where you are going does not have options he or she will eat. Chewy, crunchy, or resistive foods such as dried fruit, bagels, carrots, or gummies can also help provide calming proprioceptive input.

5. Make a plan for Halloween and trick-or-treating events, and share a picture or visual schedule with your child so he or she knows what to expect. Let them know when they might expect things to be loud, crowded, busy, dark, or scary. Set expectations for how long you will stay at each event so your child can be prepared.

6. Have a code word your child can use if he or she feels overwhelmed and needs a break. Honor the code word by removing your child from the stressful situation, even if just for a few minutes.

7. Practice trick-or-treating including knocking or ringing the doorbell, what they say when the door is opened, and how to say thank you so they are ready to go.

We hope you all have a happy Halloween and a fun night of trick-or-treating!

Questions, comments, feedback?

We have really enjoyed creating the DICP digest for our families, friends, and colleagues. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for us we would love to hear from you! Feedback about content, layout, and ideas for future issues would be appreciated. We want to give you information that you find valuable, appropriate, fun, interesting, funny, and pertinent. Please send us a message on the portal, call or stop by the office, or send a message to
10011 N. Foothill Blvd., Ste 109 • Cupertino, CA • 95014 • (408) 865-1365
10011 N. Foothill Blvd., Ste. 109, Cupertino, CA 95014, United States
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