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Here’s What You Need to Know About Teaching Kids to Manage Their Anger
Here’s What You Need to Know About Teaching Kids to Manage Their Anger

Everyone gets angry sometimes. Any good therapist will tell you that anger is a totally valid and important emotion. It’s the way we act when we’re angry that can sometimes be the problem. And yet, children aren’t born knowing how to manage their anger and other emotions. Teaching those skills typically falls to parents. But how do you handle a kid who is in full tantrum mode?



What Gardening Activities Help Ground Kids?
What Gardening Activities Help Ground Kids?

Picture the last time you enjoyed one of those perfect Minnesota days: you stepped out in a light jacket, the sun warmed your skin, birds were chirping happily and the trees were starting to sprout buds. Even though you may have had a stressful day at work, suddenly — surrounded by the beauty of nature — you’re filled with wonder and a sense of calm. Spending time in nature is grounding. It forces us to slow down, be mindful and observe the beauty around us. Encouraging this kind of wonder and mindfulness is, of course, important for kids, too.



Why Teaching Sign Language Can Benefit Young Children
Why Teaching Sign Language Can Benefit Young Children

Sign language is typically viewed as a way for deaf and hard of hearing people to communicate. But sign language has become an increasingly popular form of communication for people without hearing challenges. According to the Modern Language Association, in 2021, American Sign Language (ASL) was the third most studied language at U.S. colleges and universities. Besides the joy of connecting with those whose primary language is ASL, learning sign language has other benefits, particularly for young children.



5 Questions You Might Have About Receiving an Autism Diagnosis as an Adult
5 Questions You Might Have About Receiving an Autism Diagnosis as an Adult

The number of adults being diagnosed with autism is growing. Increased awareness, better diagnostic tools, and changing attitudes have contributed to the growing population. Whether you are considering pursuing an autism diagnosis or have recently been diagnosed, we reached out to Fraser Psychologist Jessica Dodge to answer some questions you may find yourself grappling with.



How does Weighted and Compression Clothing Work?
How does Weighted and Compression Clothing Work?

Many people are familiar with the calming effects of the deep pressure input from weighted blankets, lap pads or neck wraps. However, these tools can limit movement and can be too bulky or heavy to pack. But there is a way to feel deep-pressure proprioceptive input while maintaining mobility: with weighted and compression clothing.



8 Ways Finger Painting Helps Children’s Development
8 Ways Finger Painting Helps Children’s Development

Finger painting is a joy-filled activity for children. It allows them to get their hands dirty and express themselves. But did you know finger painting also helps children’s development?



5 Ways to Help Your Kids Be More Resilient
5 Ways to Help Your Kids Be More Resilient

Kids are taught the importance of success at school, in the media and likely by you, their parents. While every parent wants their kids to do well, you also know failure is a core component of success. So, to become successful, kids must learn how to respond to failure; essentially, they need to learn how to be resilient. Here are 5 ways to teach your children how to be resilient.



What are the Benefits of Yoga for People with Autism?
What are the Benefits of Yoga for People with Autism?

Yoga might seem like it attracts a certain kind of person, but yoga can be beneficial for many people.  A regular yoga practice can help with mental health issues and can benefit people with autism in many ways. 



6 Ways to Boost Your Mood this Winter by Transforming Your Space
6 Ways to Boost Your Mood this Winter by Transforming Your Space

Winter can be a difficult time of year. The daylight is shorter, temperatures are colder and — depending on where you live — there’s snow and ice on the ground. You likely find yourself spending more time inside. So, how can you transform your space to boost your mood this winter? Here are a few ideas.



One Easy Way to Make Your Party More Sensory-Friendly
One Easy Way to Make Your Party More Sensory-Friendly

Parties are often a celebration of a special occasion and a chance to gather with friends and loved ones. But parties are also filled with unknowns. For people with sensory processing difficulties, unknowns can be debilitating. Unknowns can create such strong anxiety for people with sensory processing difficulties that they sometimes choose not to participate in activities or experiences. However, there is one easy way you can make your party more sensory-friendly, whether you’re hosting a child’s 5th birthday party or a Super Bowl party.



Coping with Grief Over the Holiday Season
Coping with Grief Over the Holiday Season

Grieving is different for everyone, and it isn’t a linear process. Some days, you feel better than others. The holiday season can be a particularly difficult time for people who are coping with loss. Here are a few ideas to help you cope with your grief over the holiday season. 



Here’s What You Need to Know about a Diagnostic Assessment
Here’s What You Need to Know about a Diagnostic Assessment

As children grow, their bodies and behaviors change. Most children learn to roll over, sit up and walk and talk. However, some children don’t reach the same developmental milestones, or at the same time. A child who is developing or behaving differently can be a cause for concern. As a parent, you may be unsure where to start. 



Getting a School to Follow Through on an IEP
Getting a School to Follow Through on an IEP

Children with disabilities have a right to an education. In fact, the right to free education for disabled children is protected by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For children with disabilities who attend public school, that often means an individualized education plan (IEP). 



What’s the Difference Between Psychological Testing and a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
What’s the Difference Between Psychological Testing and a Neuropsychological Evaluation?

When your child is struggling, you want to help them, fast. Maybe you’re concerned your child has autism or a developmental delay, and you want to get them evaluated as soon as possible. But you may be unsure of what kind of evaluation to get.  



You Might be Surprised to Learn Children and Teens Can Benefit from Occupational Therapy
You Might be Surprised to Learn Children and Teens Can Benefit from Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy likely calls to mind an adult receiving therapy for hand or back issues, which is affecting their ability to work. However, Fraser Occupational Therapists provide therapy to toddlers through teenagers. So, how could occupational therapy possibly help a young child?



Foot, Cane and Wheel in the Door: How the Job Market Works Against Disabled People
Foot, Cane and Wheel in the Door: How the Job Market Works Against Disabled People

A person’s first job after graduation signals the passage into adulthood. Some might imagine their picture on a badge and their own company laptop. Whatever the dream is, anyone’s first ‘adult’ job is truly a milestone experience. But many disabled people might not get that experience or if they do, it can look quite different. I graduated with honors from Hamline in May 2022 with two degrees in writing, ready to start my adult career, but couldn’t find work due to having cerebral palsy, which causes a speech impediment that prevents me from answering phones.



Don’t Forget The Frosting! 10 Ideas to Look Shockingly Sweet at the Gala
Don’t Forget The Frosting! 10 Ideas to Look Shockingly Sweet at the Gala

The Fraser Gala, presented by Meristem | Cresset, is at a new location, the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot, on Fri., Nov. 3, 2023. This year, gala guests have a theme they can really sink their teeth into, the childhood game Candy Land. The sweetest part is all the delicious ensemble possibilities! Read on for ideas to really add the cherry on top of your look.



What You Need to Know about a Child’s Gross Motor Skill Development Before Kindergarten
What You Need to Know about a Child’s Gross Motor Skill Development Before Kindergarten

Backpack. Crayons. Markers. Glue sticks. New shoes. After you’ve crossed all the items off your back-to-school shopping list, you might think your child is prepared for kindergarten. But what about your child’s gross motor skills checklist?

 



Here’s Why Some Kids Behave Better at School
Here’s Why Some Kids Behave Better at School

At parent-teacher conferences, you may expect to hear about the chaos your child is causing at school. At home, it seems like they’re either hitting their sister, chasing the dog or having a meltdown because you asked them to do their homework. But when you meet with their teacher, they say your child is thoughtful and attentive and plays nicely with their classmates. So what gives? Why is your child well-behaved at school and a tiny terror at home? Here’s what you need to know about why kids behave differently at home and school.



8 Sensory Tools You can Take with You to the Minnesota State Fair (And Other Events)
8 Sensory Tools You can Take with You to the Minnesota State Fair (And Other Events)

It’s that time of year again: the Minnesota State Fair! For many Minnesotans, that means tasting the new fair foods, visiting the baby animals, checking out the art exhibits, playing carnival games and rocking out to their favorite bands. But for people with sensory processing differences, the fair can be an overwhelming experience. Here are 8 sensory tools that people can easily take with them when they attend events like the Minnesota State Fair.



Celebrating Women’s Equality Day with Two Minnesota Pioneers for Equality: Louise Whitbeck Fraser and Diane S. Cross
Celebrating Women’s Equality Day with Two Minnesota Pioneers for Equality: Louise Whitbeck Fraser and Diane S. Cross

August 26 is celebrated as Women’s Equality Day in the U.S. While it commemorates the day women gained the right to vote in 1920, it also focuses on women’s continued fight for equality, including women of all races, religions, sexualities and abilities. Though August 26, 1920, didn’t grant all women the right to vote, it was an important day and is worthy of celebration. While we recognize our progress, we must continue pushing toward equality for all women. In celebration of Women’s Equality Day, read along to learn more about two female pioneers for equality, Louise Whitbeck Fraser and Diane S. Cross. 



How to Advocate for Your Child if You Think They have Autism
How to Advocate for Your Child if You Think They have Autism

In Minnesota, 1 in 34 8-year-old children are now diagnosed with autism. While it’s a spectrum and every individual is different, autism often affects how people communicate and interact with others. If you think your child has autism, talk to your pediatrician about your concerns. Here is how you can advocate for your child if you’re concerned they might have autism.



What Causes Higher Rates of Substance Use and Mental Health Concerns in the LGBTQIA+ Community?
What Causes Higher Rates of Substance Use and Mental Health Concerns in the LGBTQIA+ Community?

A new study finds that LGB people are more likely than heterosexuals to use drugs, have a substance use disorder and have a mental illness. While this study didn’t include transgender individuals, the National Center for Transgender Equality’s most recent survey paints a similar, troubling picture of the mental health of transgender people in the U.S. So what causes these mental and physical health disparities? Here’s what you need to know about the unique challenges LGBTQIA+ people face and how you can better support this community.



What You Need to Know About Protecting Children and Teens from Social Media
What You Need to Know About Protecting Children and Teens from Social Media

Think about how you start the day: your phone alarm sounds, and you turn it off, but notice a text message from a friend. You reply, and then see a notification on your favorite social media app. You click, and then 15 minutes later, realize you’re still scrolling. It’s an all too common phenomenon.Social media has become a daily part of most people’s lives. It has benefits — like connecting with others and promoting a business — but there are also drawbacks, like constantly comparing yourself to others, cyberbullying and wasting time. For children and young people, the impact is particularly concerning.



Teaching Children Mindfulness can Help Them Regulate Emotions and Improve Focus
Teaching Children Mindfulness can Help Them Regulate Emotions and Improve Focus

Mindfulness used to be viewed only as a meditation technique, but in recent years, mindfulness practices have expanded to teach children self-regulation and executive functioning skills. Mindfulness offers a way to slow down, relax and re-center yourself. It also pushes you to pay more attention to your surroundings and those around you. Therapists and teachers use mindfulness to teach children skills like attention and focus, impulse control, emotional and sensory regulation. 



Why is Social and Emotional Learning so Important to a Child’s Development?
Why is Social and Emotional Learning so Important to a Child’s Development?

We’ve all been in line behind the toddler throwing a tantrum at the store. The child is screaming and crying with their cheeks turning a deep shade of red, while their parent tries to soothe or distract them. For the parent, it’s a sweaty-palms-desperate-to-disappear situation. But for the child, it’s just bewildering. Children have to learn to recognize and respond to their emotions. Social and emotional learning (SEL) teaches children to manage and identify their emotions and provides them with a foundation to develop successful relationships and better understand others.



It’s Okay to Take Medication for Your Mental Health
It’s Okay to Take Medication for Your Mental Health

Mental illness is often stigmatized. Depressed people should try harder to be happy. Anxious people should relax. People with PTSD need to get over their trauma and move on. But anyone with a mental health condition knows that’s not how it works. You can’t smile depression away. Anxiety isn’t cured with a bubble bath. However, even if you recognize that a smile won’t cure depression, you may hesitate to try an antidepressant or other medication. Like mental illness itself, medication is also stigmatized. The truth is that prescription medication can help many people with mental health issues. Here’s why you may want to consider taking medication to treat your mental illness. 



Laughing Really is Important for Your Mental Health
Laughing Really is Important for Your Mental Health

Think about the last time you laughed really hard, so hard that your sides ached and you had trouble catching your breath. Maybe your child did something silly, you saw a funny meme online or your best friend told you a hilarious story. Now think about how you felt afterward. You probably felt lighter and happier. While we’ve all heard laughter is the best medicine, you might not realize that laughter really is beneficial to your body and in turn, your mental health.



Add Mental Health to the Top of Your To-Do List
Add Mental Health to the Top of Your To-Do List

Creating a to-do list helps you stay organized and on track. Then, as you cross items off, you feel immense satisfaction. But are you adding mental health to your to-do list? And if you’re not, you may notice you’re feeling more irritable, tired and are quicker to get sick. To be the happiest and healthiest version of yourself, you must prioritize your mental health. Here are a few ideas to help you add mental health to your to-do list.  



How Ableism Negatively Affects the Mental Health of Disabled People
How Ableism Negatively Affects the Mental Health of Disabled People

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which helps raise awareness and fight the stigma associated with mental illness. As we focus on mental health issues, these conversations must support the mental health of marginalized people and make room for the voices of individuals within these communities. As a disabled person and disability advocate, I’ve witnessed that a disabled person’s mental health is often treated as an afterthought. While the disability community often engages in discussions of mental health, the healthcare industry remains primarily focused on our physical health. While our physical health is important, we must remember that physical and mental health go hand in hand. So, better mental health care for disabled people means better overall health for our community.



Here’s What Speech Therapists Recommend to Support Children Who Echo Speech
Here’s What Speech Therapists Recommend to Support Children Who Echo Speech

In everyday life, your child is constantly learning about language. A child listens to their sister sing along to their favorite song on the radio. They listen when you FaceTime with your best friend. They hear dialogue while their brother watches “Encanto” for the 100th time. Learning to communicate is an important part of a child’s development, but learning to talk doesn’t necessarily look one way or take a linear path.



What is a Silent Disco?
What is a Silent Disco?

Imagine a crowd of people swaying and moving their bodies — as if in time to music — but the only sounds you hear are feet scuffing the floor and the occasional outburst of song. A closer view reveals everyone is wearing headphones, which have lights illuminated in red and green and blue. Welcome to a silent disco. A silent disco is basically a giant dance party, where all the participants wear headphones.



What an Activity like Eating can Teach You about Sensory Processing Differences
What an Activity like Eating can Teach You about Sensory Processing Differences

The world is full of sensory information. When thinking about the senses in your body, you’re probably familiar with the five senses — taste, smell, hear, touch and see, but you actually have at least eight senses, including proprioception (body awareness), vestibular (balance/movement) and interoception (internal body processes). When your sensory system works as expected, your brain processes information from the eight senses and decides which to pay attention to and which to filter out or ignore. But people with sensory processing differences have a harder time filtering out sensory information.



What has Contributed to the Increased Number of Autism Diagnoses?
What has Contributed to the Increased Number of Autism Diagnoses?

You see a lot of articles and stories about the growing number of autism diagnoses. According to the CDC, in 2020, 1 in 34 8-year-old children in MN have autism spectrum disorder compared to 1 in 44 8-year-old MN children having ASD in 2018. And if you go back a little further, the increasing numbers are even more alarming. But what has led to these rising numbers isn’t an easy or simple answer. Several factors have likely contributed to the increasing population of people with autism. Beyond the hyperbole, here is what you should know about the rising autism numbers.



The Hidden Truth of Cerebral Palsy and Survival Mode
The Hidden Truth of Cerebral Palsy and Survival Mode

Cerebral palsy is a complex disability, and information about it often gets muddled and misunderstood. Much of the conversation about cerebral palsy comes from a nondisabled person’s perspective and narrative. But we rarely hear how people with cerebral palsy must live in constant survival mode, just trying to make it through the day or hour. And while operating in survival mode is a formidable challenge, the even bigger obstacles are the “overcoming disability” narrative, fatigue, pain and systematic and interpersonal ableism that surround cerebral palsy. As someone with cerebral palsy, I wanted to share three truths in honor of National Cerebral Palsy Month.



What Some Popular Movies and TV Shows get Wrong About Autism
What Some Popular Movies and TV Shows get Wrong About Autism

More people are now aware of autism. That means more parents recognize signs of autism, and more teachers and healthcare providers know how to support people with autism. It also means more businesses and organizations are working to become sensory-friendly to support people on the autism spectrum. As autism awareness has increased, so have actor depictions of people with autism in TV and film. While many of these are well done and thoughtful, others portray stereotypes of autism with harmful “treatment” practices and one-dimensional characters. Here are 4 movies and TV shows that get much about the autism experience wrong. 



What Can People with Autism do to Avoid Financial Manipulation? Here are 5 Tips from Autistic People
What Can People with Autism do to Avoid Financial Manipulation? Here are 5 Tips from Autistic People

Ryan Lee has worked a variety of jobs, from security guard to selling frozen food, while moving back and forth across the country. He has encountered genuine and kind people, but he’s also met others who tried to take advantage of him. Ryan has autism, and like many other people with autism, he is very honest and assumes that when someone says something, they mean exactly what they say. For Ryan, manipulation has taken different forms over the years. Here are 5 tips to help people avoid financial manipulation. 



Are Children with Disabilities More Likely to Experience Trauma?
Are Children with Disabilities More Likely to Experience Trauma?

Trauma is much more common among children than you may think. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “More than two-thirds of children reported at least 1 traumatic event by age 16.” That may seem unbelievable, but trauma isn’t just witnessing gun violence or being abused.  The National Child Traumatic Stress Network states, “A traumatic event is a frightening, dangerous, or violent event that poses a threat to a child’s life or bodily integrity.”



Simple Tips to Help a Child with a Speech Delay Communicate
Simple Tips to Help a Child with a Speech Delay Communicate

Hearing your child say their first words is an important milestone for both parent and child. According to the CDC, by age 2, most children can say “at least two words together, like ‘More milk.’” At 30 months, children typically have a vocabulary of about 50 words which include a variety of people, objects, actions and connection words. If your child isn’t hitting those milestones, you may be worried your child has a speech delay. But a speech delay doesn’t necessarily mean your child will never speak, or learn to communicate. Here are some tips to support children with a speech delay from Fraser speech-language pathologists. 



The History and Evolution of the Disability Rights Movement, as told by a disabled person
The History and Evolution of the Disability Rights Movement, as told by a disabled person

As a person with cerebral palsy, I was never taught about disability history in school. The most I got was a short paragraph in a textbook about the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It wasn’t a lot, but it was enough to inspire in me a passion for disability justice, working against both systematic and interpersonal ableism. The disability rights movement is a key part of American history, and everyone should know disability history. To get you started, here are 4 important things about the disability rights movement



8 Ways Assistive Technology Creates an Easier Day-to-Day Experience for People with Disabilities
8 Ways Assistive Technology Creates an Easier Day-to-Day Experience for People with Disabilities

When you hear the term assistive technology, you might picture a speech-generating device or an electric wheelchair. But not all assistive technology has a microchip. Everyone has encountered a wheelchair ramp. You’re also likely familiar with braille and grab bars in restrooms. According to Closing the Gap, “Assistive technology is any accommodation provided that compensates a cognitive or physical deficit for people with disabilities by providing equal access to information, tasks or activities.” Here are a few assistive technology devices that can make day-to-day living easier for people with disabilities.



Can a Vitamin or Supplement Help You Sleep Better?
Can a Vitamin or Supplement Help You Sleep Better?

Few things are more restorative than a good night’s sleep. Sleeping well makes you feel refreshed, less stressed and gives you a clearer head throughout the day. The flip side, of course, is not getting enough sleep or having insomnia. This leaves you feeling drained, edgy and more likely to make mistakes. You may be wondering if a vitamin can really help you sleep better. Here’s what you need to know about some vitamins and supplements recommended as sleep solutions.



Why Anger can be Bad for Your Body, and How to Manage It
Why Anger can be Bad for Your Body, and How to Manage It

Feeling anger is a normal part of the human experience. You might get mad when you disagree with your partner or are cut off in traffic. You may also feel upset when you see someone treated unfairly. Not all anger is bad. However, frequent anger can be potentially harmful to your body. Here are a few ideas to help you manage your anger.



Here’s How Making Art can Help you Process Grief
Here’s How Making Art can Help you Process Grief

Loss is a part of life, but it doesn’t make it any less painful. At some point, everyone loses someone they love, whether a parent, friend, partner or pet. Even the loss of a celebrity you admire can cause grief. Art-making is one way to help you process grief. Here’s what you need to know. 



5 Things You Might Not Know About Stuttering
5 Things You Might Not Know About Stuttering

Stuttering has received more attention in recent years. President Joe Biden has often talked about how he stuttered as a child and the cruelty he faced because of it. Many of us have encountered friends, family, neighbors or coworkers who stutter. The Stuttering Foundation states, “In the United States, that's over 3 million Americans who stutter.” But there are many myths about stuttering. Here are 5 things you might not know about stuttering.

 



6 Goals for 2023 That Will Help Improve Your Life and Community
6 Goals for 2023 That Will Help Improve Your Life and Community

A new year is a time for self-reflection. Rather than focusing on your waistline, consider setting goals that will improve your well-being and the lives of those around you. To ensure your goals are successful, use the S.M.A.R.T system. Forbes states, “The five aspects of S.M.A.R.T. goals are that they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.” The S.M.A.R.T system helps you set achievable goals that are easy to track progress on. Here are 6 goals for 2023 that can help improve your life and community.



Why is Therapy Often Helpful for Children in Foster Care?
Why is Therapy Often Helpful for Children in Foster Care?

Foster care provides an important service for children and families in Minnesota. It offers a temporary safe haven for children with families who are dealing with illness, substance abuse, housing insecurity and other issues. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, “On any given day in Minnesota, approximately 7,700 children and youth are in foster care." Many children and young people in foster care often deal with mental health and behavior issues.  



Sound Sensitivity is Common for People with Autism: Here is Devin Flagg’s Story
Sound Sensitivity is Common for People with Autism: Here is Devin Flagg’s Story

Sound sensitivity is common among people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). According to the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, “the reported prevalence of sensory sensitivities in people with ASD is high [from] 60 to 96%.”

Devin has always struggled with sensitivity to sound. He was diagnosed with autism by TEACCH at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill when he was about 3 years old.



How to Make Destination Travel Successful for People with Autism and Disabilities
How to Make Destination Travel Successful for People with Autism and Disabilities

When you’re at home, your family has a routine. Your child generally knows what to expect. However, when you travel, everything is different: the weather, the food, your schedule and the bed you sleep in. For many people with autism and disabilities, change is disruptive and can be upsetting. Your loved one may also have sensory processing differences, which means loud noises, bright lights, strong smells, crowds or other sensory input feels completely overwhelming. However, that doesn’t mean that your family can’t travel. Here are some ideas to help make traveling to a vacation destination more successful for families.



How to Make Air Travel Successful for People with Autism and Disabilities
How to Make Air Travel Successful for People with Autism and Disabilities

Traveling can be stressful, particularly flying. You have to fit all your clothes and necessities into a suitcase, figure out how to get to the airport and give yourself enough time to go through security and make your flight. However, for people with autism and disabilities, traveling can be even more complicated. Here are some travel tips from Fraser Sensory CertifiedTM Supports and Program Training Manager Gina Brady, including some information from a parent of a child with autism.



What is the Relationship Between Epilepsy and Autism?
What is the Relationship Between Epilepsy and Autism?

You’ve likely heard of epilepsy, but may not realize that it’s one of the most common conditions affecting the brain. The CDC states, “About 3.4 million people in the United States have active epilepsy…A person is diagnosed with epilepsy when they have had two or more seizures.” While epilepsy can be caused by a brain tumor, traumatic brain injury or a stroke, the cause isn’t always known. Any person can develop epilepsy, and if it occurs within your family, it’s more likely that you, or a family member, could develop it.



How to Overcome a Specific Fear
How to Overcome a Specific Fear

Fear isn’t always negative. Fear can stop us from doing unsafe things or warn us when we’re about to do something unwise. However, fear can also prevent us from trying new things or keep us from moving forward. But you can work to overcome a fear. Here are five ideas to get you started.



Here are 5 Ideas to Better Accommodate Adults with Sensory Processing Differences in the Community
Here are 5 Ideas to Better Accommodate Adults with Sensory Processing Differences in the Community

We all respond to sensory information differently. Maybe you find loud music overwhelming or can’t stand the feeling of wool sweaters. Sensory processing differences are common in people with autism, but also occur in people with anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Widespread and accessible adult sensory accommodations can help these individuals participate more fully in life. Here are 5 ideas to better accommodate adults with sensory processing differences in the community.



Do weighted blankets really help with sleep and anxiety?
Do weighted blankets really help with sleep and anxiety?

Weighted blankets have increased in popularity over the last few years. You’ve probably seen them at Target and your favorite online retailers. Maybe you have a friend who swears by their weighted blanket. It can be hard to know what’s hyperbole and what’s based on science and research. In this blog, we’ll share some history of weighted blankets and knowledge from experts like Fraser Sensory CertifiedTM Supports and Program Training Manager Gina Brady. 



6 Ways to Set Healthy Boundaries This Holiday Season
6 Ways to Set Healthy Boundaries This Holiday Season

The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends. But too often, holidays become a time of stress and anxiety. People often overbook themselves or try please everyone. HuffPost states, “A 2021 study by telehealth provider Sesame found that 3 in 5 Americans feel their mental health is negatively impacted by the holidays.” However, you can make your holidays more enjoyable. Experts suggest setting boundaries during the holiday season. 



How to Create an (Inexpensive) Sensory Space in Your Home
How to Create an (Inexpensive) Sensory Space in Your Home

People with autism often have sensory processing difficulties. However, an individual doesn’t have to be on the spectrum to have issues with sensory processing. Everyone has likes and dislikes regarding specific types of sensory input. Sensory differences make things like bright lights, loud noises or specific types of fabric on your skin, unbearable. When exposed to these things, individuals with sensory difficulties may have an overreaction or an emotional withdrawal. If you have a loved one with sensory processing differences, it can be helpful to create a calming sensory space in your home.

 



5 Things You Need to Know About A Sensory Diet
5 Things You Need to Know About A Sensory Diet

As a child, you probably learned that everyone has five senses — taste, smell, hear, touch and see. But we actually have eight senses, including proprioception, vestibular and interception. The way people respond to the senses varies greatly. Some people with sensory processing difficulties are overwhelmed by loud noises or bright lights. People with autism often have sensory processing difficulties, but others also require specific sensory input.  



4 Reasons Adaptive Clothing and Shoes are Important
4 Reasons Adaptive Clothing and Shoes are Important

People with physical disabilities often have different body shapes than those without disabilities. Their arm may end above the elbow, or maybe they don’t have legs. They may also use special equipment like a wheelchair, leg braces or a colostomy bag. Some physical disabilities aren’t visible, but still affect movement, mobility or other senses. Adaptive clothing and shoes are created specifically for people with disabilities. Here are 4 reasons increased access to adaptive clothing and shoes is important.



Why A Safety Plan is an Important Tool for Someone with Suicidal Tendencies
Why A Safety Plan is an Important Tool for Someone with Suicidal Tendencies

A safety plan might sound like something you’d use in case of a fire. For people with severe depression, borderline personality disorder and other mental illnesses, a safety plan can be a life-saving tool that prevents them from following through on suicidal feelings. Here’s what you need to know about safety plans.



Why is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Recommended for Teens with Self-Harm Tendencies?
Why is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Recommended for Teens with Self-Harm Tendencies?

The teenage years are a challenging time. Teens are almost adults, but still live at home. Their bodies are growing and changing, but they still have a curfew. Many teens also deal with serious mental health issues like depression, borderline personality disorder, anxiety and bipolar disorder. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, “From 2016 through 2020, there were more than 10,000 hospital visits for self-harm injuries (i.e., suicide attempts) in Minnesota, and those were mostly among people ages 10-24, predominantly females.” But recent research has shown that dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is effective for treating teens with self-harming and suicidal tendencies.



11 Outfits Ideas to Transport You to the Ocean Shore for the 2022 Fraser Gala, Presented by U.S. Bank
11 Outfits Ideas to Transport You to the Ocean Shore for the 2022 Fraser Gala, Presented by U.S. Bank

There are few things like feeling sand squish between your toes, while you listen to the gentle crash of waves. The ocean shore is a place of rest, relaxation and natural beauty. It’s also the inspiration for this year’s Fraser Gala, presented by U.S. Bank, at the Hilton Minneapolis. On Sat., Oct. 15, 2022, we’re transporting guests to the shore to celebrate the spirit of the boy in “The Starfish Story.” So, close your eyes: picture sparkling sand, the shimmering surface of the ocean and stunning, iridescent shells washed ashore. We’ll use this jaw-dropping, natural imagery to inspire your gala outfit. Here are 11 outfit ideas straight from the ocean floor. 



Here’s 9 Ideas to help Children and Adults with ADHD Sleep Better
Here’s 9 Ideas to help Children and Adults with ADHD Sleep Better

Sleep issues are common for children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). People with ADHD often have a hard time focusing, sitting still or quieting their body. It’s no wonder that they then may have trouble falling or staying asleep. Not getting enough sleep can affect your mood, weaken your immune system, disrupt your metabolism and cause problems with memory and concentration. The good news is there are also many ideas to help children and adults with ADHD sleep better.



6 Reasons Dance is Good for Your Mind and Body
6 Reasons Dance is Good for Your Mind and Body

Have you ever heard someone say, ‘dance it out?’ The phrase probably conjures an image of a sweaty pair, pressed close on a crowded dance floor. However, there are many kinds of dancing, and moving your body to music can be beneficial to your wellbeing. Here are 6 reasons dance is good for your mind and body.



How to Help Kids with Back-to-School Anxiety
How to Help Kids with Back-to-School Anxiety

Back to school is a time of anticipation, excitement and, for some kids, anxiety. While kids may be looking forward to seeing their friends, they might also be worried about starting a new school, meeting their teacher or, for younger kids, being apart from their families. It’s a time of change and firsts, and transitions can be hard for kids. Here are a few ideas to help ease kids’ back-to-school anxiety and make this time of year more about excitement and less about fear.



When Should You be Worried about Your Child’s Screen Time?
When Should You be Worried about Your Child’s Screen Time?

Most parents of young children are familiar with games like Roblox, Minecraft and Among Us. Your kids may have favorite YouTubers. You may be worried that your kid spends too much time on their phone or in front of their computer or TV. But kids also use tablets and computers for school. It’s hard to know where to draw the line and how much screen time is too much. Here is what you need to know about your child’s screen time and how to manage it. 



What You Need to Know about Loneliness and How to Combat It
What You Need to Know about Loneliness and How to Combat It

The pandemic has changed many of our social interactions. Chatting with coworkers often happens over Zoom rather than around the coffee pot. You can see a band live on your computer screen. You might have stopped visiting friends and family who are a plane ride away or halted all your long-distance travel plans. But even before the pandemic, our social interactions had changed.According to the New York Times, “[T]he United States surgeon general, Vivek Murthy, said the country was experiencing an ‘epidemic of loneliness,’ driven by the accelerated pace of life and the spread of technology into all of our social interactions."



Is Family Therapy Right for Your Family?
Is Family Therapy Right for Your Family?

Support from family is so important to a child’s development. Siblings stand up for each other and teach each other about sharing. Parents teach children right from wrong, how to behave in social settings and help them grow healthy and strong. But sometimes, families hit roadblocks and may want to pursue therapy. Here’s how to know if family therapy is right for your family.



New 988 Number Provides Quick Access to Support for People Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis
New 988 Number Provides Quick Access to Support for People Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis

Across the country, mental health issues are soaring, exacerbated by the pandemic, racial injustice, income equality, political tensions and global warming. In Minnesota, the need for mental health resources is just as serious. To meet the increasing need and make getting help easier, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline rolled out a new national number for people experiencing a mental health crisis: 988. 



7 Ideas to Create a Sensory-Friendly Party for Kids
7 Ideas to Create a Sensory-Friendly Party for Kids

Summer is a great time for get-togethers. Maybe your kid has a birthday coming up, or you want to have some family and friends over while the weather is nice. But parties can be challenging for children with sensory processing difficulties. Here are 7 ideas to help you host a sensory-friendly birthday party or another type of get-together.



Being Inclusive is About More than Just Hiring Employees with Disability and Neurodiversity
Being Inclusive is About More than Just Hiring Employees with Disability and Neurodiversity

Many workplaces have recently focused on diversity, equity and inclusion in their hiring practices. While these efforts are admirable, too often, inclusive hiring practices haven’t included people with neurodiversity and disabilities. And yet, we know there are many benefits to hiring a diverse staff. But a diverse workforce is about more than just hiring. Workers need support throughout their careers. 



7 Tips for People with Disabilities to Use in Their Next Job Search
7 Tips for People with Disabilities to Use in Their Next Job Search

One in five adults in Minnesota has a disability: that’s a significant part of the population. Of this population, the U.S. Department of Labor reports, “In 2021, 19.1 percent of persons with a disability were employed.” That means about 4 out of 5 people with disabilities aren’t working. But that doesn’t mean that disabled people can’t find work or shouldn’t seek employment. As more employers are committed to hiring inclusivity, they should recognize that people with disabilities can be valuable members of their workplace. Here are 7 tips to help people with disabilities find success in their next job search.



How does Universal Design Benefit All People?
How does Universal Design Benefit All People?

Braille, bathroom grab bars and wheelchair ramps. Most people have encountered some design modifications that make spaces more accessible for people with disabilities. But design modifications aren’t just for people with disabilities. In recent years, universal design has become a more far-reaching concept focused not just on accessibility but also on equity. 



4 Things You Should Consider to Support People with Disabilities
4 Things You Should Consider to Support People with Disabilities

Having a disability is a lot more common than most people realize. Not all disabilities are visible. People have learning challenges or chronic illnesses that you can’t see as easily as someone who uses a wheelchair. And as people age, their bodies change, and that can mean they become disabled. You likely know someone with a disability, whether you realize it or not. Here are 4 things you should know to support people with disabilities.



How Should You Handle Your Child’s First Crush?
How Should You Handle Your Child’s First Crush?

Exchanging notes, chasing them on the playground or doodling their name on a notebook. A child’s first crush is exciting. You might be tempted to dismiss puppy love, but the truth is, crushes prepare children for future romantic relationships. Here’s how you can help your child understand these feelings and react appropriately.



Why it’s Okay to Change
Why it’s Okay to Change

You probably remember what you wanted to be when you grew up. Maybe it was a basketball player or a dancer. Then you watched an Indiana Jones movie and decided you wanted to be an archaeologist. Life has a way of changing our plans.  You might've joined the basketball team, but ended up sitting on the bench. But maybe while on the bench, you loved figuring out all the statistics for the team, and you ended up majoring in finance and now work for a bank. Change is a normal part of life. You may decide to change your career, hometown, relationship or hobbies.



What Challenges do Parents Face in Accessing Mental Health Care for Children?
What Challenges do Parents Face in Accessing Mental Health Care for Children?

Children are struggling with their mental health. The situation is so serious that leading doctors’ groups have issued an urgent warning. That means many worried parents are struggling to access the mental health care their children so desperately need. Here is what a Hennepin County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative survey revealed about the challenges parents are facing in accessing mental health care. 



What does a Healthy Morning Routine Look Like?
What does a Healthy Morning Routine Look Like?

You’ve heard the phrase, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But what you do before breakfast is important too. Creating a healthy morning routine can improve your mood and productivity and help you make better decisions throughout the day. Here are some ways you can get your morning started right.



How To Help Teen Girls Combat Stress
How To Help Teen Girls Combat Stress

Being a teenager can be difficult, particularly for young girls. Their bodies are changing. They’re probably thinking about the future and may be unsure what path to take. The pandemic has further complicated the process of growing up, with limited social interaction and more things to worry about. A recent study has some interesting findings about how we can help teen girls combat stress.  



8 Ideas to Help Teachers Support Their Mental Health
8 Ideas to Help Teachers Support Their Mental Health

Teachers give so much of themselves every day. They strive to ensure each student receives a good education, despite often limited resources. The pandemic has only increased the workload for teachers. It’s a lot to handle, and it’s no wonder many teachers are struggling. Teachers can have a hard time giving themselves the same level of care they give their students. But caring for yourself is important. Here are 8 ideas to help teachers care for themselves and support their mental health.



What Does Sensory-friendly Mean?
What Does Sensory-friendly Mean?

When you walk outside into bright sunlight, you might blink to adjust to the light or reach for a pair of sunglasses. Your sense of sight has been temporarily overwhelmed by bright light. Many people with autism — as well as people with anxiety, ADHD and other disabilities — experience sensory sensitivity. Fraser Sensory Supports and Training Program Manager Gina Brady says that sensory sensitivity is like always walking around in bright sunlight with no sunglasses.



What to Expect at the Fraser Festival for Autism, presented by Central Roofing Company
What to Expect at the Fraser Festival for Autism, presented by Central Roofing Company

The Fraser Festival for Autism, presented by Central Roofing Company, is a free, fun, sensory-friendly festival on Saturday, May 7, 2022, in the North Parking Lot at Mall of America. All are welcome. The festival helps raise funds and awareness to support autism programs and services for your neighbors, friends and family members. Here are some things you can expect when you attend the festival this year.



What You Need to Know About Autism and Stimming
What You Need to Know About Autism and Stimming

You might have seen someone doing repeated noises or movements in public, like flapping their hands or making a certain sound repeatedly. If you know someone with autism, you might recognize this behavior as stimming. Stimming is self-regulating behavior that involves repeated movements or noises.



What You Need to Know About Your Child’s Speech Development
What You Need to Know About Your Child’s Speech Development

Hearing your child’s first words is a moment parents look forward to with anticipation. Will they say, “Mama,” “Dada” or “doggy?” But we know children develop at different rates. To make it easier for parents, the CDC recently released new developmental milestones for children. Clarifying developmental benchmarks for parents is a great idea. However, some changes are causing concern among speech-language pathologists.



What does Attending the Festival Mean to Families with Autism?
What does Attending the Festival Mean to Families with Autism?

The Fraser Festival for Autism, presented by Central Roofing Company, is a free, fun event with therapy animals, food trucks, giveaways and activities. But for some families, the festival offers a rare opportunity to participate in an event without fear of being judged or having to leave because their needs aren’t accommodated. This week, we’re sharing why Nikki Newman and her son Tristan attend the Fraser Festival for Autism, presented by Central Roofing Company, and what having an event like this means for them.



How to Support Children While They Learn and Explore Their Gender Identity
How to Support Children While They Learn and Explore Their Gender Identity

Teaching your children about their bodies and gender can feel awkward for parents. You may feel unsure how to explain gender. Or maybe you have noticed your child is exploring gender in a different way than you’re used to seeing. Here are a few ideas about how to teach your child about gender and to support them while they explore their gender identity.



Answering Your Questions About Gender and Personal Pronouns
Answering Your Questions About Gender and Personal Pronouns

In the U.S., many children are taught gender is a binary: male or female, man or woman. What you may not realize is that gender is a socially constructed idea. To be a man, you must act tough and drive a truck. To be a woman, you must like pink and cry easily. But many people reject these gendered expectations. 



Why Crawling is So Important for a Child’s Development
Why Crawling is So Important for a Child’s Development

The CDC recently released new developmental milestones for children. The changes are meant to provide clearer benchmarks for parents. However, one of the changes has some occupational and physical therapists concerned. Previously, the CDC listed crawling as a target for babies by 9 months. However, crawling has now been removed entirely from the CDC’s new milestone guidance.



What You Need to Know About Negative Thinking
What You Need to Know About Negative Thinking

Everyone has gotten down on themselves at some point. After failing a test, you might have told yourself you just weren’t smart enough for college. Maybe you weren’t invited to your cousin’s wedding, so you decided Cousin Mark hates you. Negative thinking can have a powerful influence on your life. It can increase depression and anxiety symptoms. Negative feelings can also be overwhelming and paralyzing. Here are a few ideas on how to handle these feelings.



4 Ways to Re-Evaluate Your Expectations and Cope Better Right Now
4 Ways to Re-Evaluate Your Expectations and Cope Better Right Now

We’ve just nearly completed the second year of the pandemic. While vaccines and other treatments are available to an increasing number of people, the pandemic isn’t over. You may feel like the days are too much the same, and you may be struggling to cope with the continued uncertainty. You’re not alone. Many, many, many other people are struggling too. So maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how we look at our feelings, responsibilities and expectations.

 



Here's How Trauma Affects the Body and How You can Prevent Long-Term Impacts
Here's How Trauma Affects the Body and How You can Prevent Long-Term Impacts

Stressful situations happen every day, ranging from minor to major events. People get stressed when they have a big project due at work or are planning a get-together. People also face major stressors like losing a loved one, having mental health issues, insecure housing or even abuse. When you experience stress, you might not realize that it also impacts how your body functions.



5 Ways to Help Your Child Manage Social Anxiety
5 Ways to Help Your Child Manage Social Anxiety

Maybe you remember being the new kid at school. Or perhaps you got nervous about going to a slumber party. Being a kid can be hard, especially if you have social anxiety. Here are 5 ways to help your child manage their social anxiety.



Does Volunteering Improve Your Mental Health?
Does Volunteering Improve Your Mental Health?

People are drawn to volunteering as a way to give back to their community, but volunteering can make you feel good too. Though many volunteer opportunities shut down during the beginning of the pandemic, organizations have now figured out ways to keep both volunteers and staff safe, while they support their community.



How to Encourage Joy Through Art-Making
How to Encourage Joy Through Art-Making

As a kid, you probably loved dipping your fingers into brightly colored paint and smearing it all over a blank piece of paper. Or maybe you remember the joy you felt when you opened a new box of crayons. You might not make time for such simple pleasures as you get older. But seeking out joy is incredibly important for your mental and physical health. One good way to reconnect with a sense of joy is through art-making. 



How to Help Your Child Deal with Bullies
How to Help Your Child Deal with Bullies

When you think about a bully, you probably imagine a very specific image: maybe a boy with a flat top and a leather jacket. Or perhaps your childhood bully was the girl next door who tormented you throughout sixth grade. And with technology, a bully can be almost anyone behind a computer screen. As a parent, you want to protect your child from bullies. While you can’t necessarily stop bullying from happening, here are 8 ways to help your child deal with bullies.



Are You Fighting the Pandemic Blahs?
Are You Fighting the Pandemic Blahs?

As the pandemic drags on, our ability to cope has been pushed to its limit and then some. While vaccines have created more freedom for many, life hasn’t exactly returned to normal. Many people are still working from home and aren’t traveling or going to many events. Is it any wonder you may find yourself feeling a little blah? Organizational Psychologist Adam Grant says the feeling you may be experiencing is languishing. 



5 Ways Teachers Can Make their Classrooms More Sensory-Friendly
5 Ways Teachers Can Make their Classrooms More Sensory-Friendly

As a teacher, you help shape children’s minds, inspire their curiosity and teach them many new things. You’re also in charge of a room full of kids with different learning styles and a variety of abilities and talents. With the increased prevalence of autism, you likely also have kids in your classroom who are on the spectrum. Children with autism often have sensory processing sensitivities, but other children may also struggle with sensory processing. Here are a few easy and relatively inexpensive ideas to support students with sensory processing sensitivities and make your classroom more inclusive.



6 Ideas to Help You Navigate the New Hybrid Work Environment
6 Ideas to Help You Navigate the New Hybrid Work Environment

Working remotely quickly became the norm for many during the pandemic. Now some employees are trickling back into the office. But many are doing a combination, creating a much larger hybrid workforce. The flexibility is wonderful, but there are also challenges. If you’ve found yourself struggling with a hybrid work environment, you’re not alone. Here are six ideas to help you be more healthy and productive, both at home and in the office.



What is Dysthymia or Persistent Depressive Disorder?
What is Dysthymia or Persistent Depressive Disorder?

Most people are familiar with depression. You’ve probably also heard of postpartum depression and maybe even major depressive disorder. But the term dysthymia — pronounced dis-thigh-mia — also known as persistent depressive disorder, you’ve likely not encountered before.



How to Manage Difficult Family Dynamics During the Holidays
How to Manage Difficult Family Dynamics During the Holidays

Holidays are a time to get together with your family and celebrate. But for people who have complicated relationships with their family members, the holidays can be an incredibly stressful time. Maybe your cousins always make fun of your outfits, or Uncle Larry consistently asks when you’re getting married. Here are five ideas to help you manage complicated family dynamics during the holidays.



5 Things You Need to Know About Pursuing an Autism Diagnosis as an Adult
5 Things You Need to Know About Pursuing an Autism Diagnosis as an Adult

One reason autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is diagnosed more frequently now is simply, we understand more about autism, the traits and how it presents in people. For young children and their families currently seeking a diagnosis, this is great news. But there is a generation of adults who weren’t diagnosed as children who may now find themselves wondering if they might be on the spectrum. In this blog, our Fraser experts answer some common questions you might have as an adult pursuing an autism diagnosis.



Why Apologizing is Good for You and Your Relationships
Why Apologizing is Good for You and Your Relationships

We all make mistakes. Maybe you mispronounced your new coworker’s name, were late meeting a deadline at work or forgot your sister’s birthday. Or perhaps you said something hurtful to your partner during an argument. While messing up is perfectly normal, how you react can make all the difference. Here is how and why you should apologize. 



How have People with Anxiety Managed During the Pandemic?
How have People with Anxiety Managed During the Pandemic?

The pandemic has been hard on nearly everyone’s mental health. Many people who didn’t have mental health issues before the pandemic are now struggling with depression, anxiety and feelings of isolation. But what about people who had mental health issues before? In this blog, we meet two women, Katie and Amanda, who have anxiety disorders. Here Katie and Amanda answer questions about how they’ve dealt with their anxiety during the pandemic.



Here’s How to Help Your Child with Autism Access Nature
Here’s How to Help Your Child with Autism Access Nature

Spending time outside is good for you and your kids. But for kids with autism, being outdoors can be challenging. Nature is unpredictable, and many people on the spectrum struggle with change. Some also have sensory sensitivities, which means they may experience sensory overload when encountering bright lights, loud noises or new smells. The good news is some parks and outdoor recreation spaces are working to become more accessible for people with autism.



The Pandemic Burden: It’s not Just Adult Women being Negatively Impacted
The Pandemic Burden: It’s not Just Adult Women being Negatively Impacted

You’ve likely heard how the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women. More women have lost their jobs. Women are more likely to be shouldering the caregiving burden. And for young women, particularly women of color, the negative impact of the pandemic is even worse. 



Here’s Why Remote Work is Beneficial to People with Disabilities
Here’s Why Remote Work is Beneficial to People with Disabilities

During the pandemic, many have adjusted to a new reality: working from home. For many in the disability community, being able to work remotely has long been a goal. Here are some ways remote work is beneficial to many people with disabilities.



When Should You Worry about Your Kid’s Picky Eating?
When Should You Worry about Your Kid’s Picky Eating?

Many kids are picky about what they’ll eat. Chicken nuggets, hot dogs and buttered noodles are known as staples of kids’ diets for a reason. But for some kids, it’s more than just being picky.



Why You Should “Tilt” Instead of Aiming for the Perfect Balance
Why You Should “Tilt” Instead of Aiming for the Perfect Balance

We’ve all heard of the elusive, perfect work-life balance. Or maybe you have a friend with perfect hair, an immaculate house, well-adjusted kids and a thriving marriage. But what you aren’t seeing is that your friend hired a housekeeper, and maybe she stays up until midnight every night trying to cram it all in. In other words, perfect work-life balance is a myth. We simply don’t have time to do it all, all the time. That’s where the idea of tilting comes in. 



Why Employers Should Consider Hiring People with Autism
Why Employers Should Consider Hiring People with Autism

As more people are diagnosed with autism, the percentage of the population on the spectrum grows. But it may not be easy for all of them to get a job. Some individuals with autism may have barriers to employment. Of course, people with autism also have much to offer. Though each individual with autism is unique, certain traits are more common in people with autism.



8 Ideas to Create the Perfect Outfit for the 2021 Fraser Gala
8 Ideas to Create the Perfect Outfit for the 2021 Fraser Gala

Imagine you’re in a swanky jazz club in New Orleans. The room is dimly lit, candles bathing each table in a warm glow and walls are painted a deep blue. The crowd is both effortlessly cool and undeniably glamorous. Jazz music floats your way. Such is the vibe of the 2021 Fraser Gala, presented by U.S. Bank. Here are eight ideas to help you create the perfect outfit for the gala. 



5 Ways to Fight the Sunday Scaries
5 Ways to Fight the Sunday Scaries

The weekends are a time to recharge for people who work Monday through Friday. But for many of us, Sundays are fraught with dread. This phenomenon is so common, we’ve even coined a term for it: the Sunday scaries. Here are 5 ways to fight the Sunday scaries.



How to Make Your Home More Accessible
How to Make Your Home More Accessible

If you don’t have a loved one with a disability, you may not worry about your home’s accessibility. But the truth is, our bodies change as we age, and so do our needs. And universal design isn’t just for people with disabilities. Here are some ways you can make your home more accessible with universal design ideas.



How to Reach Out to Someone Who is Struggling with Suicidal Thoughts
How to Reach Out to Someone Who is Struggling with Suicidal Thoughts

You likely know someone who has struggled with depression, and you may also know someone who has considered suicide, whether or not you’re aware of it. While thinking about suicide isn’t the same as acting on it, the decision to attempt suicide is often made quickly, and the consequences can be permanent. The good news is experts also believe suicide is the most preventable kind of death, and almost any action can help prevent suicide.



Are Teen Girls More at Risk for Depression and Anxiety?
Are Teen Girls More at Risk for Depression and Anxiety?

Teens are often portrayed as moody and difficult to please. With changing bodies and hormones and increased independence, adolescence can be a difficult time of transition. It’s not too surprising then that teen boys and girls often face depression and anxiety. But are girls more prone to anxiety and depression?



How to Prepare for the Minnesota State Fair for Individuals with Sensory Processing Sensitivities
How to Prepare for the Minnesota State Fair for Individuals with Sensory Processing Sensitivities

People who have sensory processing sensitivities experience sensations as either more or less intense than the rest of us. They may find the sights, smells, noise, bright lights and crowds of the fair overwhelming. Fraser Sensory Supports and Training Manager Gina Brady has partnered with the Minnesota State Fair to create a social narrative for the Great Minnesota Get-Together.



5 Ideas to Help Your Child Make Friends
5 Ideas to Help Your Child Make Friends

There are many reasons kids and adults struggle with making friends: they’ve moved to a new town, they’re shy or perhaps they’re just unsure how to interact with others. But having friends is important to a child’s development. Here are 5 ideas about how to help your child make friends.



What are the Benefits of Fidgets?
What are the Benefits of Fidgets?

Fidget toys are everywhere these days. There are Pop Its, squishies, monkey noodles, chewlery, finger squeezers and, of course, stress balls. While fidgets can be fun for kids, both big and small, these can also be an important tool for children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism and sensory processing sensitivities.



7 Things You Should Know About ADHD
7 Things You Should Know About ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is best-known as a childhood disorder. However, people with ADHD can have lifelong issues with paying attention, impulsively acting out or sitting still. This can result in damage to relationships, education, employment and an individual’s sense of self-worth.



How Toxic Masculinity Harms Boy’s and Men’s Mental Health
How Toxic Masculinity Harms Boy’s and Men’s Mental Health

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “Boys will be boys.” It’s often used to excuse behavior when boys act out. It may seem like a harmless thing to say, but using this phrase to excuse those behaviors perpetuates the ideas of toxic masculinity. According to Healthline, “Generally, toxic masculinity is an adherence to the limiting and potentially dangerous societal standards set for men and masculine-identifying people.” 



8 Questions Your Kids Might Have about Autism and How to Answer
8 Questions Your Kids Might Have about Autism and How to Answer

The CDC states that now 1 in 54 U.S. children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by age 8. That means your children will likely know or meet someone with autism. As a parent, you may struggle with how to explain ASD to your children. Here are 8 questions your children might ask about autism, how to answer these questions and teach your children about autism.



How can Physical Therapy Help Your Child?
How can Physical Therapy Help Your Child?

Most people probably think of physical therapy as a way to recover from an injury or surgery. But physical therapy can also help children struggling with their physical development. Children with autism or children who have intellectual disabilities often have physical differences that occur simultaneously. Physical therapy can help restore and improve mobility and strength for your child and help prevent or limit physical disabilities. 



What Should you Share about Your Kids on Social Media?
What Should you Share about Your Kids on Social Media?

Social media has changed much about our lives. With a couple of clicks, you can find out what your third-grade boyfriend is up to now, or check out pictures of the new, hot restaurant without leaving home. But for parents, posting photos and information about your kids can get tricky. Here are some things to consider when you think about posting pictures, videos and information about your children online.



Avoid These 5 Common Ableist Words and Phrases
Avoid These 5 Common Ableist Words and Phrases

You may not be familiar with the term ableism, but you’ve likely encountered ableist language without realizing it. Ableism perpetuates the idea people with disabilities are inferior. Ableism appears in our language, and many everyday phrases or words perpetuate harmful stereotypes. Here are five ableist words and phrases to avoid.



What are the Benefits of Working at a Nonprofit?
What are the Benefits of Working at a Nonprofit?

Having a healthy paycheck is important, but for many, the work they do is about more than the bottom line. You want a career you feel passionate about. You want to support others in your community. You want to work to build a better, more inclusive world. If these things are important to you, you may want to consider a career in the nonprofit world. Here are a few of the benefits of working for a nonprofit.



How to Help Your Children Take Care of Their Mental Health
How to Help Your Children Take Care of Their Mental Health

The fear, anger and sadness of the past year has taken a serious toll on kids. According to MPR News, “In a recent University of Minnesota survey, sixth through 12th graders across the state said getting help with mental health was one of the biggest challenges they were facing.” As a parent, you want to do everything you can to care for and support your children. You can’t control everything, but you can teach your kids how to respond to difficult situations. Here are few ways to help your children care for their mental health.



5 Ways to Cope as You Re-enter the World
5 Ways to Cope as You Re-enter the World

With vaccines more readily available and CDC and state guidelines loosening up, you can start doing more things safely, like going out to eat, attending concerts and gathering inside with family and friends. But we’ve spent the past year isolating from other people and worrying about catching or passing on a deadly virus. These concerns won’t magically disappear overnight. Here’s how to cope when you start to re-enter the public sphere.



Why Some Experts Think Ideas about Autism and Empathy are Wrong
Why Some Experts Think Ideas about Autism and Empathy are Wrong

Most definitions of autism include the idea that individuals with autism struggle with socializing and communication. It’s also believed  people with autism have difficulty understanding social interactions and lack empathy. But as more studies have been conducted and people with autism have shared their perspectives, we are beginninng to understand these ideas about autism and empathy may be misguided. 



How to Talk to Your Kids About Racism
How to Talk to Your Kids About Racism

For families of color, discussing racism isn’t an option. White parents may have brushed aside a conversation about race by telling their children that race shouldn’t matter. But we know that race does matter — particularly in the U.S. The effects of racism can be deadly for Black, Indigenous, Asian Americans and other people of color. Talking about racism is how we move forward and start to eradicate the systematic inequalities it creates. Here are some ideas to help you begin these conversations with your children.



6 Ways to be Kinder to Yourself
6 Ways to be Kinder to Yourself

We all have good days and bad days. But many of us are very hard on ourselves and engage in extremely harmful, negative self-talk. What about instead of calling yourself a failure, you acknowledge you failed and then practice self-compassion? Here are six ways you can boost your mental health and be kinder to yourself.



How to Find a Therapist that Works for You
How to Find a Therapist that Works for You

Deciding it’s time to start therapy is a big decision, and finding the right therapist can feel overwhelming. But there are some things you can do to make the process easier. Fraser Licensed Psychologist and Site Manager Dr. Ruth Swartwood offers some advice to help you find the right therapist. 



10 Things to Check off Your Self-Care List
10 Things to Check off Your Self-Care List

Self-care might conjure images of soaking in a tub or enjoying a nice massage. While a spa day is refreshing, self-care can also impact both your physical and mental health, even providing long-term benefits. This self-care list encourages you to slow down and truly focus on what is best for your mind and body. Here are ten ideas to get you started.



Why Should You Create a Sensory Bin for your Child?
Why Should You Create a Sensory Bin for your Child?

Sensory play is beneficial for kids because it stimulates multiple senses at one time. This helps make learning more meaningful and effective. Creating a sensory bin for your kids is one way to encourage sensory play. Sensory bins can be particularly beneficial for children struggling with language, children with developmental disabilities or those with food or sensory sensitivities.



Why are Girls Less Frequently Diagnosed with Autism?
Why are Girls Less Frequently Diagnosed with Autism?

Numbers from the CDC suggest that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is 4 times more common among boys than girls. But people within the autism community and a number of researchers believe the gap between boys and girls is actually much smaller than that. Let’s explore why girls with autism may not be diagnosed, or not diagnosed until later in life. 



How do Therapy Animals help People?
How do Therapy Animals help People?

A bunny, a llama and a rat walk into a parking lot at Mall of America — does that sound like the beginning of a joke? Well, on Saturday, May 1, these furry friends from North Star Therapy Animals will be joining the Fraser Festival for Autism, presented by Central Roofing, at Mall of America, to bring joy to attendees.



Check out Our Recommendations for the Best TV Shows, Movies and Books that Positively Portray Autism
Check out Our Recommendations for the Best TV Shows, Movies and Books that Positively Portray Autism

Autism awareness and acceptance is increasing throughout the world, and we know representation matters. Having TV shows, movies and books with complex and interesting characters with autism is important. We reached out to some of our Fraser experts to get their recommendations for some of the best TV shows, movies and books that positively portray characters or people with autism. 



How to Talk about an Autism Diagnosis with Family and Friends
How to Talk about an Autism Diagnosis with Family and Friends

Having your child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can elicit a mix of emotions. You may be happy to have an answers, but feel sad because your child’s life might be different than you imagined. You’re also likely nervous about telling your friends and family about your child’s diagnosis. Here are a few tips to help your friends and family understand and know what to expect.



Watch Out for These 6 Signs of Gaslighting
Watch Out for These 6 Signs of Gaslighting

Have you ever been told you’re overreacting? That you’re oversensitive? It’s a tactic commonly used by someone who is gaslighting you. According to NBC News, gaslighting refers “to a specific type of manipulation where the manipulator is trying to get someone else (or a group of people) to question their own reality, memory or perceptions." Here are 6 signs of gaslighting.  



5 Creative Ways to Fundraise for the Fraser Festival for Autism, presented by Central Roofing
5 Creative Ways to Fundraise for the Fraser Festival for Autism, presented by Central Roofing

The goal of the Fraser Festival for Autism is to support Minnesotans with autism and raise awareness and acceptance in the community. Maybe you’re already planning to join us at the festival on Saturday, May 1, at Mall of America. Check out some fun ways to raise funds, and you could even win some Fraser swag!



Stay in the Moment with Mindful Meditation
Stay in the Moment with Mindful Meditation

Think about it: When was the last time you watched TV without scrolling through your phone? Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment and to accept things in that moment. Here are the steps to begin a mindful meditation practice.



5 Ways You Can be a Mental Health Advocate
5 Ways You Can be a Mental Health Advocate

People with depression are told to “snap out of it,” or those with anxiety to “just relax.” But we know someone with depression can’t just snap out of it. That’s why it’s important to normalize mental health challenges. Here are five ways to normalize mental health issues by becoming a mental health advocate in your community.



What is Emotional Intelligence?
What is Emotional Intelligence?

While you’re likely aware of your emotions, managing those feelings, as well as those of other people, can be trickier. Emotional intelligence helps you interpret and understand feelings and manage your reactions to those feelings.



How to Navigate Ambiguous Loss During the Pandemic
How to Navigate Ambiguous Loss During the Pandemic

We’re all coping with grief of some kind. You might have lost a loved one or a job. You miss your routines, gathering with friends and family, feeling safe, being able to attend events and make plans. The list seems nearly endless. Our lives have changed completely, and we don’t know when things will change back, which is where the ambiguity comes in. Here are some ways to cope with ambigous loss. 



10 Ideas to Create a Memorable Staycation this Winter
10 Ideas to Create a Memorable Staycation this Winter

While the pandemic continues, most people are putting travel plans on hold. A beach destination might be out of the question, but that doesn’t mean you should forgo a vacation. Here are 10 ideas to create a relaxing and memorable staycation this winter. 



What are the Therapeutic Benefits of Music?
What are the Therapeutic Benefits of Music?

Music causes powerful emotional reactions. Research has found music can help people manage pain when recovering from an injury or surgery. It helps with concentration and has been shown to help children’s brains develop. Music is also an important part of Fraser’s history.



Creating Work-From-Home Balance: How to Manage Life and Work While Working Remotely
Creating Work-From-Home Balance: How to Manage Life and Work While Working Remotely

Many of us will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future. Here are some ideas to help you balance work and life while working remotely.



4 Easy Steps to Create a Vision Board
4 Easy Steps to Create a Vision Board

You’ve likely heard the phrase: new year, new you. While you might not want that kind of dramatic transformation, a new year does present a good time to re-evaluate your goals. A vision board is a visual representation of your goals, and it can make it more likely that these things happen. 



6 Ways to Cope if You have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
6 Ways to Cope if You have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Winters are long in Minnesota. Along with cold temperatures come snow, ice and shorter daylight hours. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) “is a type of depression that's related to the changes in seasons." Here are a six ways to combat the symptoms of SAD.



How to Navigate the Terrible Twos
How to Navigate the Terrible Twos

We’ve all heard of the terrible twos. While no one wants to be on the receiving end, it’s typical for children from 1 to 4 years old to display this type of behavior. That doesn’t mean you should let bad behavior go. Here are some ideas to navigate the terrible twos.



Why Positivity can be Toxic
Why Positivity can be Toxic

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “good vibes only.” But the idea that you can will happiness into existence can be problematic.



5 Realistic Personal Goals You Can Set for 2021
5 Realistic Personal Goals You Can Set for 2021

Next year offers the promise of a vaccine for COVID-19, but 2021 will still hold a lot of uncertainty. While there will be many things you can’t control, you can still make plans for the new year. Here are 5 ideas for setting realistic personal goals in 2021.



9 Ideas to Keep Kids Active during the Winter Months
9 Ideas to Keep Kids Active during the Winter Months

While there is nothing wrong with sipping hot chocolate and enjoying time on the couch, remaining active — even when the weather turns — is good for your body. It’s also important for your child’s well-being. Here are 9 ideas to help keep your child active this winter



BIPOC face Significant Challenges in Receiving Mental Healthcare
BIPOC face Significant Challenges in Receiving Mental Healthcare

The pandemic has caused an increase in mental health issues for many people. For Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), an increase in mental health issues is further complicated by provider bias, mental health stigma and personal and historical trauma.



How to Navigate Difficult Conversations about COVID-19 Safety Precautions with Friends and Family
How to Navigate Difficult Conversations about COVID-19 Safety Precautions with Friends and Family

As we enter the winter and the holiday season, the U.S. is experiencing a second surge of COVID-19 cases. Many people are finding themselves navigating awkward conversations with family and friends about when, how and if they should get together. Here are a few ideas to help you navigate these conversations with respect.



4 Things You Might Not Know About Fraser Community Living
4 Things You Might Not Know About Fraser Community Living

Fraser believes in inclusion and independence for peoples of all abilities, including the individuals who make their homes in Fraser Community Living. Here are 4 things you might not know about Fraser Community Living and its residents.



Avoid 5 Potential Pitfalls and Create a Sensory-Friendly Holiday Experience
Avoid 5 Potential Pitfalls and Create a Sensory-Friendly Holiday Experience

The holidays often feature excess, and for people with sensory processing sensitvities, that can be overwhelming. Here are some tips from Fraser Sensory Inclusion Specialist Gina Gibson to help you create a sensory-friendly holiday for your loved ones.



5 Ways to Create a Self-Care Sanctuary at Home
5 Ways to Create a Self-Care Sanctuary at Home

Creating a comfortable, cozy space at home is important for your mental health, particularly during long Minnesota winters. Here are five ways you can create a self-care sanctuary at home.



What is AAC, and How Do You Know if it’s Right for Your Child?
What is AAC, and How Do You Know if it’s Right for Your Child?

Holding your finger up when you’re on the phone — we all do it. What you might not realize is that every time you communicate nonverbally like this, you're using a form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).



How to Create a Work from Home Setup that Works for You
How to Create a Work from Home Setup that Works for You

Many people suddenly find themselves working from home. Here are a few ideas to help you create a work-from-home-space that is good for your body and doesn’t necessarily involve a separate room and a desk.



“Doomscrolling” is as Bad for your Mental Health as it Sounds
“Doomscrolling” is as Bad for your Mental Health as it Sounds

You may not be familiar with the term “doomscrolling,” but you’ve probably done it. You scroll through your social media feed, read about all the bad things happening and lose anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. And now you feel worse about the state of the world. Here's how to avoid it. 



How to Celebrate Safely this Fall
How to Celebrate Safely this Fall

Though this autumn might look different, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the season. Here are a few ways to celebrate safely with family and friends.



6 Tips for Hosting the Best Watch Party
6 Tips for Hosting the Best Watch Party

While many of these get-togethers are on pause, you can still gather with your “quaranteam” or “pandemic pod” for a fun watch party to celebrate The Fraser Annual Benefit, presented by U.S. Bank. Here are 6 tips for hosting the best Alice’s “Through the Looking Glass” themed watch party.



How to Spot Speech Delays When You’re Raising a Child in a Bilingual Home
How to Spot Speech Delays When You’re Raising a Child in a Bilingual Home

Doyle shares some things to watch for in a bilingual child, and what you can do if you believe your child has a speech delay.



6 Ideas to Create the Perfect Look for Alice’s “Through the Looking Glass” Virtual Fraser Benefit
6 Ideas to Create the Perfect Look for Alice’s “Through the Looking Glass” Virtual Fraser Benefit

Whether you decide to watch the virtual Fraser Annual Benefit with your cat or your family, we encourage you to let your imagination fly and dress like you’re escaping to Alice’s fantasy world. Here are 6 ideas to help you create that perfect “Through the Looking Glass” look.



How to Process Your Feelings Through Making Art
How to Process Your Feelings Through Making Art

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many people find themselves struggling with a range of emotions. Making art can be a good way to process your feelings and improve your mood.



How to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One
How to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One

Losing someone you love is never easy, and the grief can feel like too much to bear. Here are some ideas to help you cope. 



7 Ways to Help Children Manage Anxiety as They Return to School
7 Ways to Help Children Manage Anxiety as They Return to School

Back to school looks much different this year. Here are seven ways parents can help their children manage anxiety about returning to school.



How to Understand Social and Emotional Cues When a Person is Wearing a Mask
How to Understand Social and Emotional Cues When a Person is Wearing a Mask

Masks make it difficult to gauge whether the person you’re talking to is smiling or frowning. So reading nonverbal cues becomes trickier. Here are three ways to decipher what people really mean when they’re wearing a mask.



4 Ideas to Help People that Struggle with Masks
4 Ideas to Help People that Struggle with Masks

The CDC recommends people wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and Minnesota has  issued a mask mandate. But some people find masks difficult to wear. Here are some tips that may help. 

 



What are Sensory Processing Differences?
What are Sensory Processing Differences?

You’ve probably heard of sensory processing, but may not be sure what it means. The way people respond to the senses varies greatly, and when misinterpreted by the brain, it can lead to sensory processing difficulties or dysfunction.



4 Misconceptions about Therapy
4 Misconceptions about Therapy

Getting help for your mental health is often stigmatized. But talking to a therapist can be extremely beneficial. Don't let misconceptions stop you from getting help you need. 



How Does Your Mental Health Affect Your Physical Health?
How Does Your Mental Health Affect Your Physical Health?

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health, and the two are tightly linked. 



5 Things You Might Not Know about Louise Whitbeck Fraser
5 Things You Might Not Know about Louise Whitbeck Fraser

Louise Whitbeck Fraser faced extreme personal adversity in her life, but still managed to start a school for children with special needs in her home. Read more about the Fraser founder's extraordinary life. 



How to Prepare (Your Mind) For an Outside Event
How to Prepare (Your Mind) For an Outside Event

Even with safety precautions, the idea of attending an event currently may make some feel anxious. But there are things you can do to help prepare yourself mentally for an outdoor event.



11 Tips to Soothe People Who Struggle with Car Rides
11 Tips to Soothe People Who Struggle with Car Rides

For people with autism, sensory needs or other disabilities, even a short car trip can be hard. Here are some strategies to help make your next car ride a positive experience for your loved one. 



8 Ways to Give Back and Support Your Community (From Home)
8 Ways to Give Back and Support Your Community (From Home)

As the pandemic continues, many of you may wish there was more you could do to help your neighbors and community. While most nonprofits have suspended in-person volunteering, there are still plenty of ways you can support your community while you stay home.



4 Common Issues Adoptive Parents Face
4 Common Issues Adoptive Parents Face

Adoption presents unique challenges. While each family is different, here are four common issues adoptive families face.



What You Need to Know About Postpartum Depression
What You Need to Know About Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is more common than many people realize, and it is a serious mental health issue. 



How to Do Occupational Therapy in a Small Living Space
How to Do Occupational Therapy in a Small Living Space

Therapies that require movement, like occupational therapy, are challenging in small living spaces. Here are some occupational therapy activities that work for families in smaller living spaces.



Fraser Experts Recommend the Best Autism, Mental Health and Special Needs Books for Kids and Adults
Fraser Experts Recommend the Best Autism, Mental Health and Special Needs Books for Kids and Adults

Our therapists shared some of their favorite books for children, teens, parents or anyone who wants to better understand the unique challenges faced by people with special needs.



How to Stay Connected While Social Distancing
How to Stay Connected While Social Distancing

Not being able to see the people you love is hard. Here are a few new ways to connect and have a little fun with your family and friends.



How to Help Your Child Get a Good Night’s Sleep
How to Help Your Child Get a Good Night’s Sleep

If your child struggles with bedtime, here a few ideas to help with the transition and to ensure he or she sleeps better.



When is it More Than Just Being Sad?
When is it More Than Just Being Sad?

It can be hard to know if what you’re facing is sadness, depression or it’s time to reach out for help.



What Happens During a Telehealth Session for Pediatric Therapy?
What Happens During a Telehealth Session for Pediatric Therapy?

Fraser Occupational Therapist Gina Gibson answers some questions about what occurs during a typical Pediatric Therapy telehealth session.



8 Tips to Help Your Child with Special Needs and Typical Needs Do Homework
8 Tips to Help Your Child with Special Needs and Typical Needs Do Homework

Here are some tips from Fraser mental health professionals, so parents can manage their time, while helping children with both special and typical needs do their schoolwork.



12 Easy Ways to Help Burn Energy and Calm Children of All Abilities
12 Easy Ways to Help Burn Energy and Calm Children of All Abilities

Here are some easy resistance activities to help prevent meltdowns and calm and soothe children (and adults) of all abilities.



Why is it Called Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Why is it Called Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Many people are familiar with the term “autism spectrum disorder.” But many may not understand why autism is considered a spectrum.



5 Ways to Manage your Mental Health during the Coronavirus Pandemic
5 Ways to Manage your Mental Health during the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has placed us in uncertain times. People are getting sick and facing job and financial losses. While many of us are worried about our physical health, taking care of our mental health is important too.



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