Monday, January 26, 2015

Kiddie Fisherman's Vest for Proprioceptive Input

I promise I haven't been online shopping at work!

Looking for an improvement to my makeshift rice bag/duct tape weighted items for kids I came across this post:

If you've tried a therapist-made or parent-fabricated weighted vest with your student and feel that it is helpful, maybe it's time to step up to a cool fisherman's vest that is probably quite durable and washable.  Use safe objects as the weights and you're all set. 

Varidesk--the perfect Valentine's Day gift for me...

I'd rather have one of these than another pretty bracelet...Uncle Grumpy (DH), are you listening?

Haven't seen one of these adjustable computer risers up close and personal, but it looks very promising and a lot less expensive than a full-desk with hydraulic riser for standing while you work.

Maybe this company will start making adjustable computer stations for treadmills???  Please do.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Shoe Tying Videos

Just found this link:

The photos and videos seem very clear.  There are three methods shown/demo'd for tying shoes.

Lions, Tigers and Elephants

These little animal beads have saved the session for me many times over.  Students really love to hold them and are motivated to write animal names more than just regular words.

It doesn't look so great, but this student's grasp really is better in this photo compared to how he usually holds a pencil or crayon: 
This student loves Scooby and will work hard to earn a sticker.  Pretty good letter formation for Lion, I'd say!
Poor elephant--we need a little more practice until we get his name legible.  I modeled the letter formation for the student but it's a long word and has some very twicky letters in it.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Big Sister, Little Sister

The fidget mat production continues!  This fabric was not as thick as the initial mats I made, first attempt so it turned out to be pretty floppy.  That allows the little slider bead to move around too easily--no challenge!  If you look closely you'll see the white stitching that makes the maze.  Adorable fabric but not quite a fine motor challenge to improve prehension like my first attempts.

What's a frustrated OT to do?  Try combining fabrics to increase the stability and experiment with no maze and a smaller bead.  Turned out pretty well:

The mat on the right has no maze and one side of it is very soft, cashmere-like synthetic felt.  It has a 1/3" bead inside instead of a 1" flat, oval slider bead like the mat on the left.

Big Sister and Little Sister.  Let's see which one works better for the student; a sweet little kindergartner with the need to hold a soft fidget item in her hands from time to time during the school day.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Aiming Toward Ship-Shape

Two minutes prior to this photo being taken, all these little scraps of student work were folded, crumpled and/or shoved into my planner or hiding at the bottom of my work tote.  Not ship-shape!

During therapy sessions I force myself to label each collectable with the student's name and the date, but that's it.  For the remainder of this school year I'm going to try real hard to put these scraps of "evidence" into a single, clear page protector until I have time to prep them for the student files.  Although I take photos of student work for evidence of their progress, it's important for me to collect hard copies of their work during the year so I can show the families how their child has progressed during the school year, since I don't always have a computer handy during our meetings.

Is it a fidget box? Is it a way to practice spelling? Is it a way to study word families???

Clear "jewelry" boxes, ABC beads, thin felt--combine them to make a bunch of school-related things:
  • By lining it on the bottom and up the sides and adding the letters of the student's name or a favorite superhero it makes a sort-of quiet fidget toy.  The student has to shuffle the box around until the letters line up correctly to spell a word across the lower edge.
  • Work on spelling by inserting "mystery" words that the student unscrambles and arranges in the correct order.
  • Put the core letters of a word family inside the box (the "ear" for bear, dear, near, hear...) and have the student write the missing first letter on a piece of scrap paper.  
Personally, I like the fidget box idea the best.  Need to find a way to make it completely quiet so I can use it myself during long meetings when I need to stay alert.

Friday, January 2, 2015

52 New Foods Challenge

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas break.  The food challenge at my house is avoiding immediate consumption of the gifts of chocolate, cookies, liquid refreshments, homemade blueberry pies.....

However, many parents may have noticed for the first time that their little sweeties eat very differently than other young members of their extended families and friends.  Here's a program that was featured in my local newspaper today, and it sounds very OT-ish:

Getting kids involved in the kitchen via a child-centered approach, thinking about one new food to try at a time (just-right challenge,) building independence in an important self-help skill--wowie zowie--OT principles in action!