Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

In 32 years working as an occupational therapist, I've only encountered two clients who have reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

However, now I am privileged to see and hear first hand from a friend how her middle school-aged daughter is fighting to live as normal a life as possible, in spite of the pain she endures every day.  Here is my friend's testimony of how her family has been affected by RSD, and what she has learned through it so far.  It is a spiritual testimony.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big Lots $1.88 Assistive Technology Device

Today was an "in the office" day, so I grabbed my classy PT friend at lunch and said, "This is a Big Lots day--wanna go?"  About once a month I go across the street from our office and cruise the aisles at B.L.--looking for cheap deals on crackers, school supplies and ideas for working with students.

I felt a little embarrassed because my PT friend is, how shall I put it, classy.  She's from Belgium and goes home each night to enjoy a little wine, cheese and crackers with her husband before making a well-seasoned dinner.  I fit into B.L. perfectly but she kinda stands out from the rest of us bargain hunters.  However, she bought a six-pack of tube socks today so I guess she might end up being a B.L. convert.

Perusing the stationery/school supplies aisle my eye was snagged by a group of brightly-colored compasses.  In the past I've tried adapting compasses by making a quarter or half-dollar sized, thin disc of tagboard with non-slip webbing attached to one side.  If you punch a tiny hole in the center of this disc you can make a non-slip coaster for the point of the compass and this allows the student to swivel the compass around more easily to draw a circle.  However, it still slips around a little and the point of the compass sometimes punches a hole into the drawing paper and even the table surface.

Hanging next to the compasses were packs of magnetized clips.  A big smile came over my face and I grabbed my classy PT friend to hurry up and get back to the office.  Once there I ripped off the clip from the quarter-sized magnetic base and found that the little opening on the top of the magnet was just right for the point of the compass.  Putting it on a metal surface, such as a bookcase or cookie sheet, works great for drawing circles with the compass.  As my classy friend who speaks four languages would say---Viola!