Thrive Parenting

Online Support Group For parents of kids who need some "extra supports"

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Thrive Parenting Week 2

During the training time of week 2 of the Thrive Parenting Support group, Melissa Porcaro, an occupational therapist from Richland, Washington, led us in a discussion about meeting the sensory, proprioceptive and vestibular needs of kids while stuck inside during the coronavirus stay at home orders.

Melissa is the owner of Can Do Kids in Richland, Washington where they believe that Play is a child’s work and therapists use appropriate sensory integration techniques to engage patients in fun and motivating activities which address each child’s treatment goals.

She is an expert in, among other things, sensory issues and laying the foundational work for kids who may not be considered “neurotypical.”

If you could use some ideas for keeping kids emotionally regulated or just from bounding off the walls then you’ll want to watch or listen to the conversation.

Additionally there was a round table discussion about how screen time effects children and some alternatives to using screen time to babysit kids during the coronavirus crisis.

our Special Guest

Melissa Porcaro

Melissa Porcaro

Occupational Therapist

Dena will be challenging us during our large group time to use our most valuable resource in helping our kids during the coronoavirus pandemic and give us some practical tips to make the most of this time.

Melissa is an Occupational Therapist with over 25 years of experience working with children and adults. She graduated from Texas Woman’s University in the Houston Medical Center in 1990 with four years of experience in my field. She studied for several months to receive a Sensory Integration and Praxis Certification (SIPT). Together with a partner, she began a private practice in Houston, Texas in 1992.

After 8 years in business and two (of the three) children, Melissa pursued a career in the “domestic engineering” field. This included many moves and world travel. During that time she was afforded the opportunity to teach and learn alongside her children as they traveled within the U.S. and abroad.

After living in the Tri-Cities for over 9 years — observing the struggle families were having trying to find answers to their children’s difficulties, and with the encouragement from friends and other professionals — she began sharing her experiences within the community. CAN Do Kids, LLC was born. It is a pediatric clinic employing Occupational Therapy techniques with a sensory integrative approach.

Our hosts

Jennie & Lynn Owens

Jennie & Lynn Owens

Jennie is a foster parent trainer and Author of the book Dancing with a Porcupine. Lynn is counselor, founder and co-owner of Canyon Lakes Family Counseling. Together they have parented over 100 kids including the 4 they adopted.

Here is a list of resources discussed this week:

Disconnected: How To Reconnect Our Digitally Distracted Kids

Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time

Ultimate Brain Breaks: Cards with great ideas for keeping kids moving in a way that helps with neurological growth and organization

Thanks to Michelle H. with a lot of great resources from Relationship Development Intervention with Young Children: Social and Emotional Development Activities for Asperger Syndrome, Autism, PDD and NLD 

Parents are invited to continue the conversation at our private online facebook group


Some products/tools mentioned that can be used with your kids

Sensory Sox

Hiker’s Hammock

Therapy Ball

Mini Trampoline


Pod Swing

Swing Tent

Bean Bags

Register for Future groups

Want to attend a future group live? Just Register Here. Space is limited so registration is required

What else have you missed?

We record a portion of the large group time so that ideas shared there can be available to everyone even if they couldn’t make it to the meeting.

Staying Sane while Staying Home (with kids)

Staying Sane while Staying Home (with kids)

Jennie & Lynn Owens interview parents from around the world who share their top tips for making the most of staying at home with their kids during the COVID-19 pandemic

#1 Best Resource to Help your Kids During the Pandemic

#1 Best Resource to Help your Kids During the Pandemic

Thrive Parenting Week 4 At week four of the Thrive Parenting support group, Licensed Mental Health counselor, adoptive mom, super grandma, and one of our amazing small group leaders, Dena Johnson, lead our large group in thinking about the best resource to help our...

You don’t have to wait for wednesday night!

The conversation happens all week long in our private facebook group. Here you can ask questions, get ideas, vent, or just share your favorite new meme. We also post a video of the large group times on our new Youtube channel. Connect with us anytime online.