Mediscan School-Based Therapy - April 2019

Ready, Steady, Go: Mindfulness practices for children

Ready, Steady, Go: Mindfulness practices for children
Susan Hendler Lederer, PhD, CCC-SLP
March 11, 2016

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I’ve been a speech language pathologist for over 30 years and have been practicing yoga for almost as much time. In fact, my mom has been practicing since I was a child and she still practices. She is 85 years old and still attends yoga classes twice a week; even with a torn rotator cuff. I really grew up understanding that there was something special about yoga. But I didn’t really know that there was a relationship between yoga and my professional practice as a speech pathologist until about 5 years ago, when a friend and I who have worked together for many years at an infant preschool had a conversation about the fish tank.

This is what happened with the fish tank. A parent donated a fish tank to the preschool.  I was telling my friend that I when I would go get my kids for therapy, I would stop at the fish tank.  I would pick them up from their classroom, stop at the fish tank, work on some spontaneous language and then we would go to my office and work on our speech goals. She said, “No. That’s not the reason why you stop at the fish tank.”  I said, “Of course that’s the reason I stop at the fish tank,” and she said, “No.” She said, “You stopped at the fish tank because you were helping the child practice paying attention so that he or she would be ready for your session.” I stopped and thought about that and I said, “Certainly.” I wasn’t doing it consciously but maybe I was. That set me off on a path of studying the research on mindfulness and self-regulation which is what I am going to share with you today.

Learning Outcomes

After this course, you will be able to define mindfulness and its application to learning readiness. You will describe at least one research article that provides empirical evidence for practice. You will describe how to teach at least one mindfulness practice to children.

Not Ready, Not Steady for Therapy

Let’s start with not ready, not steady for therapy. Who are these kids?  I’d like you to take a few moments to jot down why our kids are not ready to learn. Think about it from the cognitive perspective, what’s going on?  Think about it from the emotional perspective. What is going on for them socially? Why are some kids not ready to learn sensorily? We are not only thinking about kids who have a diagnosis or a disability but certainly kids may not be ready to learn maturationally or situationally.

Cognition

In terms of cognition, we are referring to attention.  These kids are not ready because they’re not paying attention. They are distracted.  We are also referring to impulsivity.  These are kids who cannot inhibit or cannot choose to not speak or not act up in their chairs.  Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be also come into play. The distractibility could be ADD but the impulsivity could be the ADHD part.  There are other reasons why children may not be ready to learn such as not remembering the rules of therapy, being disorganized, not understanding the task or having poor language processing.  A child may be inflexible.  For example, having therapy in a room the child is not used to can really throw them off. 

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susan hendler lederer

Susan Hendler Lederer, PhD, CCC-SLP

Susan Hendler Lederer, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Adelphi University and a practicing speech-language pathologist for over 30 years. She is also a certified children’s yoga instructor.

Since 1998, Dr. Lederer and her colleagues/students have been implementing and researching programs for young children with language and literacy delays. Descriptions and efficacy of these programs have been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented nationally.

Dr. Lederer is the author of three award-winning children’s books, I Can Say That, I Can Do That, and I Can Play That and the music cd, Storybook Yoga.



Related Courses

Ready, Steady, Go: Mindfulness practices for children
Presented by Susan Hendler Lederer, PhD, CCC-SLP
Video
Course: #74761 Hour
The best-planned session will not be successful if the child is not ready for therapy. In this course, participants will learn how mindfulness practices can support cognitive and emotional regulation. This course is open captioned.

Ready for Storytime: A Mindful Approach
Presented by Susan Hendler Lederer, PhD, CCC-SLP
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In this course participants will learn how and why to use mindfulness activities to promote listening and looking readiness for shared book reading.

M is for Metafiction: Using Metafictive Picture Books to Facilitate Emergent Literacy Goals
Presented by Susan Hendler Lederer, PhD, CCC-SLP
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In this course, participants will learn about metafictive picture books and how to use them to facilitate emergent literacy skills. A variety of books will be used to illustrate strategies.

Interpreting Test Scores & Key Concepts with Standardized Tests
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Many of the assessment instruments we use are norm-referenced tests that are standardized. There are certain statistical properties needed to understand the psychometric criteria of the tests, which is part of being an informed consumer. This course will help SLPs understand fundamental concepts of descriptive statistics so they can interpret test scores correctly and summarize quantitative data about their clients or patients.

Augmentative Communication: The Key to Helping Students Show What They Know
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This course is part of the 2015 Nancy McKinley Lecture Series, Aligning Literacy Instruction to Standards for Students with Moderate-to-Severe Disabilities (Including Autism), and is presented in partnership with University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Communication tools can be the key to support students’ learning, both in and outside the classroom. Discussion will include augmentative/alterntative communication (AAC) tools and strategies that students with complex communication needs can use for successful interactions; video examples highlighting research-based curricula will also be shared. The beginning of this course has intermittent choppy audio during the introduction of the series and presenter, and then is good for the rest of the course.