161 episodes

Rachel Harrington and Jessica Hill, are two passionate Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants who answer your questions related to all things sensory, occupational therapy, parenting, self-care, nutrition, and health, from a therapist’s perspective. Providing raw, honest, fun ideas, and strategies, for parents and families to implement into daily life. Great for those who work with children with sensory processing disorder, special needs, autism, and ADHD. This podcast is brought to you by Harkla. At Harkla, our goal is to help those with special needs live happy and healthy lives.

All Things Sensory by Harkla Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC & Jessica Hill, COTA/L

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.8 • 286 Ratings

Rachel Harrington and Jessica Hill, are two passionate Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants who answer your questions related to all things sensory, occupational therapy, parenting, self-care, nutrition, and health, from a therapist’s perspective. Providing raw, honest, fun ideas, and strategies, for parents and families to implement into daily life. Great for those who work with children with sensory processing disorder, special needs, autism, and ADHD. This podcast is brought to you by Harkla. At Harkla, our goal is to help those with special needs live happy and healthy lives.

    #157 - What is Constructional Praxis and Why is it Such an Important Skill?

    #157 - What is Constructional Praxis and Why is it Such an Important Skill?

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    In today’s episode, Rachel and Jessica have a look at constructional praxis, the neurological process by which cognition directs motor action. 
    In their conversation, they discuss what it is, how kids engage with it, and how parents can facilitate learning in children. 
    There are four areas of praxis, namely motor planning, execution, feedback, and adaptation. More specifically, construction praxis is the ability to draw, copy, or manipulate spatial patterns or designs. 
    You’ll hear about the various ways that kids engage in constructional praxis, like when they draw or play with Legos, and how they can engage in these activities by either copying, executing an original idea, or following auditory instructions. 
    Our hosts share their favorite games for facilitating constructional praxis with kids, including some original DIY hacks for keeping things fresh. 
    For all this and more, join us today!
    Key Points From This Episode:
    The definition of constructional praxis.The four areas of praxis.Examples of constructional praxis, like doing drawing or building with Lego pieces.The different ways a child can draw or build with legos by either copying, building an original idea, or following auditory instructions.How children engage in constructional praxis at different ages, from interacting with objects and container play as infants or toddlers to practicing math in school.Imitating others and how it’s part of constructional praxis.Games for facilitating descriptive language skills and constructional praxis.Examples of how constructional praxis is applied in adult life, like balancing a budget, gardening, or taking care of animals.How parents can engage in play with their children to facilitate constructional praxis.This podcast is brought to you by Harkla.  Our mission at Harkla is to help those with special needs live happy and healthy lives. 
    Podcast listeners get 10% off their first order with the code "sensory". 
    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    All Things Sensory: Episode 37
    All Things Sensory, Primitive Reflex Podcast Series: Episode 100-104
    Jenga
    Pictionary
    Lincoln Logs
    Marble Maze
    Harkla
    All Things Sensory on Instagram
    All Things Sensory on Facebook

    • 24 min
    #156 - Hand Eye Body Coordination with the Expert Dr. Jacob Weiss

    #156 - Hand Eye Body Coordination with the Expert Dr. Jacob Weiss

    This episode is all about hand-eye-body coordination! To help us unpack this exciting and important subject, we have none other than Dr. Jacob Weiss, who is the Director of the HandEyeBody Academy!

    We talk about how he got started, his magical history as a professional juggler, and unpack how hand-eye coordination can be utilized for different contexts and issues.

    Jacob also situates his work in the realm of similar strategies, commenting on Bal-A-Vis-X specifically, and the founding principles of what he does, focusing on fun and novelty.

    One of Jacob's main aims is to empower trainers and teachers to spread the methods he has developed. This sharing and collaboration is a key part of how our guest envisions positive change.

    We hear about some of Jacobs amazing first hand success stories, and examples from the classroom. Our chat ends thinking about the near future for the Academy and how to get involved!

    Key Points From This Episode:
    Jacob's role at the HandEyeBody Academy and how he got started. The time that Jacob spent as a professional juggler! The importance of hand-eye coordination in different contexts and age groups.  Therapeutic activities that Jacob uses and has developed for a range of abilities.   Comparing Jacob's methods to other similar approaches and how combinations can help. Focusing on fun and novelty - how this helps influence the mindset when learning. 'Training the trainer': the emphasis that Jacob puts on educating coaches and therapists.The wide array of interdisciplinary training available online at HandEyeBody Academy.  Challenges that Jacob has faced in his work, and recently, during the pandemic. Examples of simple and fun exercises for the classroom!  How Jacob incorporates his methods in his own home with his young daughter.The next steps for HandEyeBody Academy; bringing in more personnel and developing a specific ball kit.  Where to find and connect with the HandEyeBody Academy online.Jacob's advice to listeners around the important questions to assess value. Be sure to check out the show notes on our blog at  Harkla.Co/Podcast.
    Brought To You By Harkla
    This podcast is brought to you by Harkla.  Our mission at Harkla is to help those with special needs live happy and healthy lives. We accomplish this through high-quality sensory products, child development courses, & The Harkla Sensory Club.
    Podcast listeners get 10% off their first order at Harkla with the discount code "sensory". Head to Harkla.co/sensory to start shopping now.
    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Dr. Jacob Weiss on LinkedIn
    HandEyeBody Academy
    Dr. Jacob Weiss on Instagram
    Vanderbilt University
    How I Built This
    Bal-A-Vis-X
    Harkla
    All Things Sensory on Instagram
    All Things Sensory on Facebook

    • 42 min
    #155 - Sensory Tips for Traveling With Kids

    #155 - Sensory Tips for Traveling With Kids

    Traveling can be quite challenging, so it's time to revisit this topic as the world is opening back up again and there are more opportunities to travel.

    Here we give you some helpful advice on how to put together sensory diets to help your kiddos feel successful during times of travel, and tips, tricks, and strategies to make your life and your child's lives just a little bit easier.

    You’ll hear about what a sensory diet is and how it can be used to help both kids and adults cope with traveling. Find out how to prepare your child prior to the trip, what to do the day of the trip, how to help your child adjust when you get to your destination, and how to help your child decompress when you return home.

    For some great activity ideas to incorporate more movement into the experience, and a long list of tried and tested traveling hacks and products that we never leave home without, tune in today!

    Key Points From This Episode:
    What a sensory diet is and how it’s not necessarily related to food. Incorporating sensory diet strategies into travel. Preparing your child for what's going to come. Practicing for the trip beforehand. Planning more activities than you think you'll need. Benefits of visuals, a visual timers and a visual schedule. Packing different textured snacks. The day before travel: calming sensory activities.Cramming as much movement as possible if your child is going to be sitting for a long time. Getting your child to help you pack. What a sensory diet on the day of traveling may look like. A long list of helpful items to pack/purchase before your trip. Sensory hacks Rachel and Jessica have found and heard from the community. Setting up a quiet sensory space when you get to your destination.  Maintaining their routine in a new environment as much as possible.Empathizing with your child. Allowing time for decompression when you get back home.Be sure to check out the show notes on our blog at  Harkla.Co/Podcast.
    Brought To You By Harkla
    This podcast is brought to you by Harkla.  Our mission at Harkla is to help those with special needs live happy and healthy lives. We accomplish this through high-quality sensory products, child development courses, & The Harkla Sensory Club.
    Podcast listeners get 10% off their first order at Harkla with the discount code "sensory". Head to Harkla.co/sensory to start shopping now.
    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Sensory Diets
    Super Flyers
    BrainWorks Sensory Cards
    ARK Chewelry
    Harkla
    All Things Sensory on Instagram
    Harkla on Instagram
    All Things Sensory on Facebook
    For a full list of the items recommended for travel please visit our website, Harkla.co.

    • 31 min
    #154 Normal is Boring with Kristi Brewer: Autism Mom, Weightlifter, & Advocate

    #154 Normal is Boring with Kristi Brewer: Autism Mom, Weightlifter, & Advocate

    There is still so much to learn and share in the world of autism, parenting, and just pushing forward the conversation around difference. 
    We are happy to welcome Kristi Brewer today, who is very difficult to put into a box! 
    She is a mother to two daughters, weightlifter, CPA, business-owner, and all-around powerhouse for positive progress. Kristi admits when her second daughter was diagnosed with Autism she felt very overwhelmed and scared due to her ignorance on the subject. 
    Kristi explains how a whole new world of appreciation opened up for her, and why she is so grateful for this unexpected path. 
    We talk about the way we describe Autism, sensitivity to language, and supporting genuine curiosity for the subject. Kristi explains the positive impact of her daughter Kale'a's diagnosis, and how it made it more manageable. 
    We also discuss some personal practices in Kristi's home, how they approach activities and furniture, and the important balance needed in order meet her eldest daughter's needs too. 
    Kristi shares some of her interesting life philosophy with us around routine, priorities, and much more!
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Kristi's background and the amazingly different chapters of her life and what she does.  Thoughts on the different ways to denote autism and the conversation around language. The journey of raising a child with autism and how this compares with Kristi's older daughter. Kale’a’s diagnosis at age two, and Kristi's feelings of fear during this process.How Kristi gained a new perspective and appreciation for a different life path of parenting.The important conversations that need to happen in order to spread awareness about difference. Ways of communicating with children; Kristi shares her thoughts on better parenting habits. The sensory-focused items that are in Kristi's home right now - swings, trampolines, and gym mats. The relationship between siblings and the challenges that Kristi and her family have faced. The story behind Kristi's company, Auya, and their message and mission!  Kristi's belief in kindness and confidence; making the world a better place with more acceptance.  An amazing piece of advice from Kristi regarding pursuing your dreams.  Be sure to check out the show notes on our blog at  Harkla.Co/Podcast.
    Brought To You By Harkla
    This podcast is brought to you by Harkla.  Our mission at Harkla is to help those with special needs live happy and healthy lives. We accomplish this through high-quality sensory products, child development courses, & The Harkla Sensory Club.
    Podcast listeners get 10% off their first order at Harkla with the discount code "sensory". Head to Harkla.co/sensory to start shopping now.
    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Harkla
    Kristi Brewer
    Kristi Brewer on Instagram
    Auya
    Welcome to Holland
    Southpaw Bolster Swing 
    All Things Sensory on Instagram
    All Things Sensory on Facebook

    • 57 min
    #153 - What Do I Do After My Child Gets a Diagnosis?

    #153 - What Do I Do After My Child Gets a Diagnosis?

    Receiving a diagnosis for your child can elicit a wide range of emotions, and that is completely normal. 
    In today’s episode, your hosts Rachel and Jessica, dive into ways to deal with your own feelings around the diagnosis, as well as the best things that you can do for your child once they have been diagnosed. 
    The discussion dives into the importance of doing your research and finding a community; this can be found in online or offline groups. It just depends on what resonates with you. 
    The Harkla Sensory Club, and of course, the All Things Sensory podcast, are great places to go for support and advice. 
    Your child deserves happiness, and so do you; you can’t pour from an empty cup, so make sure you are practicing self-care and always remember that you are not alone on this journey!  
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Feelings that often arise when children are diagnosed. Why seeing an Occupational Therapist is a good first step if you have noticed your child struggling with something. Trust your gut instinct if you feel like something isn’t right.The upsides and downsides of Facebook support groups for parents with children who have been diagnosed.Listening to the All Things Sensory podcast will provide you with a lot of helpful information and advice. Don’t be afraid to fight for your child’s right to get the help and services they need.The importance of processing your own feelings, and not pushing them to the side, after a diagnosis has been given.Research, research, research!Your happiness matters; you can’t pour from an empty cup.Rachel and Jessica share advice from the All Things Sensory Podcast and Harkla Family.What the Harkla Sensory Club is and why it may be a good option. Be sure to check out the show notes on our blog at  Harkla.Co/Podcast.
    Brought To You By Harkla
    This podcast is brought to you by Harkla.  Our mission at Harkla is to help those with special needs live happy and healthy lives. We accomplish this through high-quality sensory products, child development courses, & The Harkla Sensory Club.
    Podcast listeners get 10% off their first order at Harkla with the discount code "sensory". Head to Harkla.co/sensory to start shopping now.

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Harkla
    Harkla Sensory Club
    All Things Sensory on Instagram
    All Things Sensory on Facebook
    Discount Code — SENSORY

    • 20 min
    Bonus Episode - Connection Between Tongue Ties and ADHD with Melanie Henstrom, IBCLC

    Bonus Episode - Connection Between Tongue Ties and ADHD with Melanie Henstrom, IBCLC

    This is an extra special bonus episode with an incredible lactation consultant, infant massage instructor, and postpartum doula, Melanie Henstrom, on the subject of all things tongue-tie! 
    Melanie lives and works in Boise, Idaho, specializing in teaching prenatal breastfeeding, educating professionals on tongue tie, and how to better support the breastfeeding dyad. 
    This podcast is illuminating and potentially life-changing! Melanie shares her professional and personal journey with issues related to the tongue, focused on sleep, breastfeeding, ADHD, and Down Syndrome. 
    Melanie explains the need for greater awareness of the tongue to infant developmental stages, and is fighting to bring the tongue into the conversation on issues not traditionally associated with it. 
    We hear about her son's struggles with ADHD symptoms and his successes as a result of releasing the tongue. Join us to learn about this vital muscle!
    Key Points From This Episode:
    Melanie's career path to lactation consultant, and her wonderful big family.Training and transitioning into lactation consultancy and certifications.Early symptoms of tongue-tie: frustration, painful nipples, weight loss, and more.How tongue-ties present in surprising symptoms and tendencies in babies. Connections between tongue-tie and ADHD symptoms, sleep deprivation, and early signs of tongue-tie. Alleviating breathing issues that can lead to increased anxiety and higher cortisol levels. Narrow palates and treatments through palatal expansion. A recent case study conducted by Melanie on tongue-tie and Down Syndrome. Melanie explains 'bodywork' and why it is integral to tongue-tie release procedures. Closing advice from Melanie and the possibility and realistic nature of release treatments. Be sure to check out the show notes on our blog at  Harkla.Co/Podcast.
    Brought To You By Harkla
    This podcast is brought to you by Harkla.  Our mission at Harkla is to help those with special needs live happy and healthy lives. We accomplish this through high-quality sensory products, child development courses, & The Harkla Sensory Club.
    Podcast listeners get 10% off their first order at Harkla with the discount code "sensory". Head to Harkla.co/sensory to start shopping now.

    Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
    Harkla
    Melanie Henstrom on LinkedIn
    MacroBar Everlasting Joy
    Melanie Henstrom on Instagram
    Melanie Henstrom on Twitter
    Portland Community College
    Portland State University
    International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant
    Jane Morton
    Stanford Medical Center
    Center for Orofacial Myology
    All Things Sensory on Instagram
    All Things Sensory on Facebook

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
286 Ratings

286 Ratings

DRAGIN GIRL💖 ,

Thank you

My child hasn’t been diagnosed but I know my LO has sensory troubles. We’ve attempted getting answers from the pediatrician but it hasn’t gone well. The tips and information in this podcast has been wonderful. Thank you. Just implementing little things has helped and just understanding better how my child is feeling is a game changer. Thank you!

ALV LDN ,

Leave the nutrition talk to the Registered Dietitians

From one clinician to another, please do not practice outside the scope of your education, expertise and training by giving out incorrect nutrition advice when neither of you are registered dietitians (which is the correct term for us by the way...not “nutritionist” or “nutrition counselor” as you say repeatedly in your latest podcast episode). Hearing you say that foods are good and bad, or healthy and unhealthy is extremely toxic and does not promote healthy relationships with food which most dietitians would be quick to point out to you had you consulted any before your podcast. Same goes for hiding vegetables in foods and so many other points you brought up - just no. Stay in your lane and leave the nutrition talk to the RDs as your advice is seriously misinformed. Feeding Littles is a great example of how OTs and RDs can work together collaboratively but note that both parties defer to one another when appropriate and don’t overestimate their knowledge (look up the Dunner Kruger effect on why it’s dangerous to think you know more than you do...).

dskramst ,

Excellent for families with Sensory Kids

These gals are excellent. We recently discovered sensory issues in our kiddo, this podcast has helped us so much in understanding how to help! We have even gotten our OT, the Schools, Etc listening! Just incredible!

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