Unplug; Get Messy

Welcome to my new blog!
I am so excited to share my knowledge about sensory processing, motor development, play, social skills, general child development and Occupational Therapy. As the owner/director of Dynamic Kids, teacher and local and national lecturer for Summit Education I have been able to share my knowledge with countless therapists and teachers over the last 31 plus years. I work with the greatest group of OT’s, PT’s and ST’s and still work directly with children and their families. I want to start this blog with a topic that is important to me and a true concern for our society. It is about the use of media and technology.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a new policy statement about media and screen time based on the prevalence of its use in our society. They discourage media use for children under 2 and make the following recommendations. They have issued the following important points that we feel parents should be aware of.

* Be wary of media promoted as “educational”.
* Unstructured play time is essential for developing brains.
* Interactions with people are critical and how children learn.
* Shut off background media and do not expose children to adult media.
* Parents are discouraged from placing a television in a child’s room and letting them view right before bed. This leads to poor and/or irregular sleep schedules.
* It has been shown that children that have been exposed to heavy media use are at risk for language delays in Kindergarten.

The key to everything in life is moderation. Advances and changes in society should always be viewed with careful thought and deep understanding of their pros and cons. At Dynamic Kids, we feel that the increased use of media and technology products has led to a decrease in young children’s exposure to sensory and motor experimentation and learning. Media and technology is not meant to replace sensory and motor activities but to enrich and enhance them. Use of media and technology as a replacement for these experiences has led to an increase in motor, language, learning, social and behavioral deficits in children. Creative play, independent play and problem-solving are at risk when children are repeatedly told what to do by adults and devices which can also negatively impact development.

Over the next few posts we will give you simple suggestions for activities that stimulate your child’s development. But for now we will recommend that you UNPLUG, GET MESSY!

Happy New Year Year!
Robbie Levy MA, OTR/L
Director/Owner-Dynamic Kids