• Preventing Holiday Stress for our Children

    The holidays can be fun, but they also tend to alter routines and come with a lot of (over) stimulation. Students at Porter Academy often rely on routines and breaks in stimulation even more than the rest of us. I found this article shared some helpful tips to help us keep the holiday experience positive for all of us: https://www.verywellfamily.com/holiday-stress-and-anxiety-in-children-620516


  • Non-medicinal Interventions for Attention

    We are often asked what to do to improve attention. Here are three non-medicinal interventions that claim to improve attention:

    • Integrated Listening Systems (iLs): We offer this as an afterschool program. It can also be done at home by renting a system from iLs (or from us, when we have some available). Here is their website so you can learn more about this option: https://integratedlistening.com/
    • Interactive Metronome: This is a tool that I used to use in private OT, from which I did see some improvements in attention and motor coordination. This intervention has an at-home option: https://www.interactivemetronome.com/
    • Neurofeedback: This is an article from ADDitude Magazine describing neurofeedback and summarizing the evidence on its efficacy (“encouraging but not conclusive”): https://www.additudemag.com/neurofeedback-therapy-treat-adhd/

  • Dichotic Listening

    I was looking into interventions for auditory processing, specifically dichotic listening, which is very difficult for many of our students. I was happy to come across this article listing Fast ForWord as a scientifically supported intervention not only for learning to differentiate speech sounds, but also for dichotic listening. It is an easy but informative read. I encourage you to check it out. Article about Dichotic Listening



  • Welcome to Holland

    by Emily Perl Kingsley

    I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

    When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

    After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

    “Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

    But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

    The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

    So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

    It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
    But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

    And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

    But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

    c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved.