Navigating Difficult Conversations

Navigating Difficult Conversations

In light of the recent events in the community, we have developed this resource page which we will keep updated in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

Birds eye view was written with the intention of illustrating the dynamic events of the Kansas City Chiefs parade from the lens of two birds. Because I have no skills as an illustrator and wanted to push this resource out as soon as possible, it turned into a poem. I would love to turn this into a children’s book, so please fill out the form below if you are interested in creating sketches to support the story. 

It takes a village to raise a child. Know you are not alone in this journey.

Autism Resources

External Websites & Support Groups

Autism Level Up!

Autism Awareness? Autism Appreciation? Autism Acceptance? None of these are a particularly high bar, but it is true that some people do, indeed, need real awareness while others need a better understanding of how to truly accept and appreciate. Still, others need goals beyond these. Hence, Autism Level UP! Wherever you are, take the next step! Autism Level Up aims to meet people wherever they are in their journey and help them continue forward. From real awareness all the way through empowerment and advocacy.

Autistic Not Weird

Chris Bonnello is an autistic advocate, author and former teacher, having taught in mainstream primary and specialist education. Since 2015, he has become a national and international speaker on autism issues, and the multi-award-winning writer behind autisticnotweird.com.

Understood

Understood is a nonprofit dedicated to shaping the world for difference. They provide resources and support so people who learn and think differently can thrive - in school, at work, and throughout life.

The Autism and Neurodiversity Masterclass

Authentically Autistic, the MasterClass is researched, written, designed, illustrated, filmed and presented by neurodivergent folk. With contributors from Australia, the UK and the US, the MasterClass is the definitive Autism and Neurodiversity education package, where you can deep dive and learn directly from 28 of the worlds’ leading educators, advocates, researchers, thought leaders and concept originators.

Social Media Accounts & Podcasts

@neurowild

Em is a "Sparkly AuDHDer Speech Pathologist, Mum to three ND kiddos, artist, illustrator, & cat-lover."

@play_spark

Serena Murison is an SLP and neurodiversity affirming provider. She shares content, education, adorable apparel, and resources supporting neurodiversity.

@learnplaythrive

Meg (she/her) is an occupational therapist who cares deeply about person-affirming therapy. At Learn Play Thrive, she hopes to springboard as many OTs and SLPs as humanly possible into offering neurodiversity-affirming therapy with ease. Meg has supported thousands of therapists to become confident, effective OTs and SLPs who use strengths-based strategies with their Autistic clients and support their clients’ sense of belonging and identity.

Two Sides of the Spectrum Podcast

A podcast developed by the creators of "Learn Play Thrive" to explore research, amplify autistic voices, and change the way we think about autism in life and in professional therapy practice.

The SquarePeg Podcast

Amy Richards hosts "The SquarePeg Podcast", which invites autistic women and nonbinary people to explore navigating a neurotypical world and share their insights, challenges and successes. Her goal is for the conversations to be inspiring and thought provoking, open listeners up to new ways of thinking about being neurodivergent, and helping them feel more connected to a worldwide community of people with similar experiences.

@autism.masterclass

Learn directly from the worlds’ leading Autism educators, advocates, researchers, thought leaders & concept originators.

In the Media

How to Dance in Ohio

Based on the Peabody Award-winning HBO documentary, How to Dance in Ohio is a heart-filled new musical exploring the need to connect and the courage it takes to step out into the world. At a group counseling center in Columbus, Ohio, seven autistic young adults prepare for a spring formal dance—a rite of passage that breaks open their routines and sets off hilarious and heartbreaking encounters with love, stress, excitement, and independence. How to Dance in Ohio is a story about people standing on the cusp of the next phase of their lives, facing their hopes and fears, ready to make a very big first move…and dance.

Love On The Spectrum

Netflix presents a romantic docuseries where people on the autism spectrum look for love and navigate the changing world of dating and relationships.

Keep any eye on this page! We many more resources we will be sharing with you here. As always, please reach out if you have suggestions on resources we should include on our page to better serve our community!

Joshua Center Summer Camps

The Joshua Center for Neurological Disorders is a vital resource for both children and adults who live with Tourette Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, ADHD and other associated neurological disorders. Campers are taught acceptance of everyone and to treat each other with respect no matter the differences. Staff model this behavior every day, showing their campers what it means to include everyone and be part of a diverse world. 

Emotional Regulation Resources

Influential Educators, Websites, Podcasts & Social Media Accounts

@monadelahooke

Dr. Mona Delahooke is a Child Psychologist, speaker, mother and author of Beyond Behaviors and Brain-Body Parenting.

@drbeckyatgoodinside

Dr. Becky Kennedy is a Psychologist who uses these platforms to educate parents with the goal of making parenting easier.

Good Inside Website

Dr. Becky Kennedy is a Psychologist who gives practical tips, tools, and strategies to make parenting easier with her simple approach of reminding ourselves that everyone is Good Inside.

@tinapaynebryson

Dr. Tina Payne Bryson is a Psychologist and author of several best-selling books including the Whole Brain Child and No Drama Discipline.

@drdansiegel

Dr. Dan Siegel is a Neuropsychiatrist and best selling author of several books including The Whole Brain Child, No-Drama Discipline, and The Power of Showing Up.

@janetlansbury

Janet Lansbury is an accomplished author and presenter on parenting topics.

@raisinggoodhumanspodcast

Dr. Aliza Pressman is a developmental psychologist who educates on scientific evidence that relates to parenting.

@polyvagalinstitute

Polyvagal Institute was co-founded by Dr. Stephen Porges & Deb Dana, LCSW. Polyvagal Theory focuses on how our nervous system and our related sense of safety impact behavior and communication patterns.

Lisa Feldman Barrett

Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, is among the top one percent most cited scientists in the world for her revolutionary research in psychology and neuroscience.

Additional Educational Videos

Emotional Regulation and Sensory Processing Educational Videos

A collection of informative videos from various sources related to sensory processing and emotional regulation.

Sensory Processing Resources

Educational Videos

Emotional Regulation and Sensory Processing Educational Videos

A collection of informative videos from various sources related to sensory processing and emotional regulation.

External Websites & Support Groups

STAR Institute

The STAR Institute provides premier treatment, education, and research for children, adolescents, and adults with SPD. Several of our therapists at Playabilities have completed training and mentorship on evaluating and treating sensory processing disorders through the STAR Institute.

Sensory Processing 101

Sensory Processing 101 is a website with resources to give you fresh ideas, strategies and the confidence to help you keep up with your kids rapidly changing sensory needs.

Understood

Understood is a nonprofit dedicated to shaping the world for difference. They provide resources and support so people who learn and think differently can thrive - in school, at work, and throughout life.

A Sensory Life

Angie Voss, OTR provides education and resources on all things related to sensory processing. She wrote a book called "Understanding your Child's Sensory Signals", which can be purchased through her website.

Affect Autism

A blog post explaining the concept of creating a sensory lifestyle.

Kansas City SPD Support Group

Local KC Support group for families impacted by Sensory Processing Disorders.

Podcasts & Social Media Accounts

@thesensoryproject208

Rachel Harrington, COTA/L uses this platform to provide education on sensory processing and primitive reflexes.

@brookeweinst

Brooke Weinstein is an OT who uses her platform to provide education on sensory nervous system regulation.

ADHD Resources

External Websites & Support Groups

ADHDKC

ADHDKC is CHADD's Kansas City Chapter. ADHDKC provides resources, education, and support for thousands of area parents or caregivers of children with ADHD, for teens with ADHD, and for adults living with ADHD.

Understood

Understood is a nonprofit dedicated to shaping the world for difference. They provide resources and support so people who learn and think differently can thrive - in school, at work, and throughout life.

ADDitude

ADDitude magazine provides health insights related to ADHD. They strive to feature diverse voices and experiences related to ADHD.

Social Media Accounts

@Thepsychdoctormd

Sasha Hamdani, MD, is a board certified Psychiatrist and author of Self-Care for People with ADHD.

@additudemag

Help & Resources for ADHD from the nation's leading source of information & support for families with individuals living with ADHD.

@adhdkcteen

ADHDKCteen is a CHADD Chapter supporting parents of and middle & high schoolers with ADHD

Educational Resources by Topic

Resources by Topic:

ADHD 

Sensory Processing 

Autism

Emotional Regulation 

Raising Kids 

Neurodivergent Siblings

Neurodiversity

Transition to Adulthood

Adolescence and Puberty

Dyslexia

DIR/Floortime

Feeding 

Torticollis

Down Syndrome

We are in the process of building out this library of helpful resources for our current families and for the local community.
 
If you have suggestions or ideas on how we can improve upon our resources pages, please reach out to us!

Emotional Regulation and Sensory Processing Videos

Last Updated September 7, 2023

What is going on with my child's behavior?

If you are a parent or caregiver, you know the wide range of emotions that kids experience. Our goal with this page is to equip you with knowledge to help you understand your child’s behavior and emotions. 

At Playabilities, our therapists help shift the lens through which you see your child’s behavior. We are experts at educating parents on the connection between sensory processing and it’s effect on how we interpret the world. 

Just Breathe

This video is a beautiful example of how we can teach kids about their emotions to normalize all feelings that we experience throughout the day. 

Fight, Flight, or Freeze Response

When we are observing a child having a meltdown, our first thought should shift to what is going on in their brain that is causing the behavior that we are seeing. The Amygdala, or the emotion center of the brain, is in control. Our first response should be to provide that child a sense of safety and connection, which is the foundation needed to shift their emotional state out of meltdown mode. This video is a great explanation of what occurs in our central nervous system to create a behavioral response. The behavior can be seen as a “clue” into what their nervous system is experiencing. If we are trying to support a behavior, we must understand the root cause of the behavior to truly provide meaningful support. 

A Look Behind Sensory Over-responsivity

If you seek to understand what it’s like to have sensory over-responsivity, this is a great place to start. In this video, a child with sensory over-responsivity is engaged in what many would describe as an ordinary activity (walking through a mall). Through his lens, the video highlights the impact everyday sensations can have on a person who is visually and auditorily over-responsive, amongst other differences. We believe that our community can provide the best support to individuals with sensory processing differences and their caregivers by providing validation and extending empathy. 

A Child's View of Sensory Processing Disorder

We love learning about what we specialize in from the lens of children. In this video, this sweet kiddo explains how sensory processing differences affect one’s interpretation of the world. This is a great video for kids to watch, as normalizing individual differences is a great way to connect with your child if you are new to the world of understanding how your child’s brain works! Connecting with others who experience the world like we do can be such a powerful tool in our ability to regulate our emotions and feelings. Even if we differ in how we experience the world, the simple validation of these differences will be a great tool for connecting with your child and providing that sense of safety. 

Sensory Processing Disorder Explained

Sensory Processing Disorder is commonly seen in children with Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, and other neurodevelopmental diagnoses. However, every human experiences sensory input in their own unique way, related to their neurological profile. We often see kiddos who do not have any other underlying diagnosis experiencing sensory processing related challenges which are impacting their quality of life, or ability to engage in meaningful activities of daily life. Occupational therapists can help you understand your child’s sensory profile, and we believe knowledge is the most powerful tool that you can have. If you understand how your child interprets the world, you can begin to make sense of their behavior. With this knowledge, you can become your child’s greatest advocate for providing their sensory system the input, tools, or supports that they need to navigate their day. 

Understanding our Sensory System

Despite sensory processing being an essential component to how we interact with the world, most people are only taught the basics of sensory processing. The video below is a great overview of Sensory Processing and how Occupational Therapists can support you and your child find their optimal level of performance in daily tasks. 

Understanding Emotions with Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett

Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett is a leading scientist working in the field of psychology and neuroscience. In this TED talk episode, Dr. Barrett explains what emotions are, and discusses the concepts related to how much control we have over emotions. See more of Dr. Feldman’s work here. 

Trauma and the Nervous System: A Polyvagal Perspective

The Autonomic Nervous System is a critical function that impacts our emotional regulation. This excellent video simplifies the role that the autonomic nervous system plays in our daily lives. If we share knowledge on the incredible impact that the autonomic nervous system plays in our lives, we begin to see the solution to improving our overall health and well-being. In therapy, we focus on teaching children and their parents how to find ways to regulate their bodies, so they are spending more time during the day at an “optimal state of arousal”.