Thank you for your interest in the Connecting for Kids Baby Octopus Project. This page will introduce you to the project and provide you with all the information you need to join the #babyoctopusproject movement!
Connecting for Kids is a nonprofit with a mission to provide education and support to families with concerns about their child. We serve families in Cuyahoga and Lorain counties with children younger than 13 years of age.
Why the Octopus?
We often meet families who are struggling with their child's behavior. Many of these families are told that their child is going through a phase or that "it's a boy/girl thing." They often continue to struggle in silence, embarrassed or afraid for their child.
These children are the volcanoes (who hold it together through the school day, only to erupt as soon as they come home), the lone wolves (who steer clear of their peers and play alone), the crashers (who smash into everyone and everything) and the zoomers (who go from one thing to another with an exhausting speed). When their families discover that the root of these behaviors is often sensory, they find hope.
We chose an octopus as our mascot because it has eight tentacles - just like there are eight senses. Our team is currently working on creating educational materials featuring Ollie (is it Oliver or Olivia? We won't tell!) that will help families to learn about sensory processing issues and raise awareness in the community. Our goal is to distribute these materials to local preschools throughout our service area.
Sensory processing issues occur when an individual is unable to process information using the senses. Children with sensory challenges may be sensitive to loud noises, crave deep pressure, or become quickly overwhelmed when there is too much to process at once.
Studies suggest that as many as 1 in 20 children may be affected by sensory processing issues (Ahn, Miller, Milberger, McIntosh, 2004).
While most people think of the five senses (sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing), there are actually eight. Proprioception, vestibular and interoception also impact the way our bodies process information.
to delivering educational materials, we will be providing a small
octopus fidget for each child. These fidgets may be a family's first
introduction to helping their child overcome sensory issues. By
asking our community to help in making the dolls, we believe that we can
also bring awareness for families who deal with sensory issues on a day to
partnered with a local crochet designer to develop a pattern and are
requesting doll donations from the crochet community. To learn more
about how you can join the #babyoctopusproject movement and donate your own dolls, please see our donation guidelines, submission process and download a copy of the crochet pattern or knit pattern.