Friday, November 30, 2012

Save Time and Words--Use Photos for Documentation

Some teachers I work with probably think I'm the school photographer rather than the occupational therapist, but I love to take photos of cool stuff in classrooms.  I own an inexpensive Samsung camera that I've dropped so many times the battery falls out when I open the latch to remove my memory stick.  Because the falls have disturbed the battery connection I must wait about 10 seconds between photos, since the battery moseys along to recharge the camera, taking its own sweet time.  I think that makes me line up my shots more carefully since each one is devouring precious seconds of time with the kiddos.  Despite these tiny problems I do love this particular camera, since it takes such clear shots and they're exactly what I'm aiming for.
Pencil/Scissors Grasp and General Hand Use--1st Quarter

Following the example of my tech-savvy OT buddy, Lauren, I've been including photos in my student reports for a few years.  It saves so much time when writing, since you can simply write, "...adapted tripod grasp (see photo)..." rather than taking two lines to describe what each IP is doing.

Also, I'm trying to use photos more frequently in my data collection, to visually describe a student's progress over time.  Parents and non-OT colleagues can see the positive changes without me having to put them into so many words.

This photo sheet for data collection was created in Microsoft Publisher, since I find it easy to use when you have to move photos around and quickly resize them.  For reports I just insert photos when writing in Microsoft Word.  You Mac folks probably can do this in your sleep.

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