Thursday, June 22, 2017

Beach Find and Color – Hang Ten Dude

Beach Find and Color

Beach Find and Color Hang Ten Dude is the latest freebie from a new Beach Sensory Motor Packet.  Practice visual discrimination and visual motor skills searching for these fun, cute surfer pictures.


Beach Sensory Motor Packet

This freebie is from the Beach Sensory Motor Packet of 20+ games and activities to encourage fine motor, gross motor and visual perceptual skills.  Find out more.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Trunk Control Measurement Scale for Children

Trunk Control Measurement Scale for Children

The Trunk Control Measurement Scale is a clinical tool to measure trunk control in children with cerebral palsy.  Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology recently published research examining the reliability of the Trunk Control Measurement Scale (TCMS) with its subscores, in children with neuromotor disorders.  In addition, the discriminative validity of the TCMS was assessed by comparing the TCMS scores with the Functional Independence Measure for children.

The participants in the reliability study included 90 children, ranging in age from 5 years to almost 19 years old and 50 participated for the discriminative validity study. The results indicated the following:

  • reliability was excellent.
  • change in the TCMS total score of six points (10%) can be considered a true change.
  • TCMS subscores appeared to be clinically relevant because children with less than around 80% of the static balance score, less than 55% of the dynamic reaching score, or less than around 35% of the selective movement control score needed support for daily life activities.

The researchers concluded that the TCMS is a reliable and clinically relevant assessment for children aged 5 years and older with different neurological impairments.

Click here to view the full Trunk Control Measurement Scale.

Reference:  Marsico, P., Mitteregger, E., Balzer, J., & Hedel, H. J. (2017). The Trunk Control Measurement Scale: reliability and discriminative validity in children and young people with neuromotor disorders. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 59(7), 706-712.

If you need core strengthening activities for children check out:

The Core Strengthening Handbook

The Core Strengthening Handbook:  This download includes 50+ activities including:

  • Quick and Easy Core Strengthening Activities for Kids
  • Core Strengthening Exercises With Equipment
  • Core Strengthening Play Ideas


The Core Strengthening Exercise Program: This digital download includes exercises to help make core strengthening fun and entertaining for kids while promoting carryover in the classroom and at home!  FIND OUT MORE.

Trunk Control Measurement Scale for Children

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

How To Be a Successful Pediatric Therapist Coach

Successful Pediatric Therapist Coach

Are you confused by the question, how to be a successful pediatric therapist coach?  Maybe you don’t coach basketball, baseball, tennis, etc so you are baffled.   Think of coaching as another word for educate.   If you are a pediatric therapist, you are involved with families, teachers and school support staff.  Whether you work in the home as an early intervention provider, in a clinic or in the schools, a major part of your job is to educate parents or teachers on how to help children.  Instead of a one time discussion or phone call with a parent or teacher to educate them on something regarding a child, coaching is an ongoing process.  Most likely you are doing some form of coaching already you probably just didn’t call it that, you just called it your job!

Here are additional details about coaching.  The basics of coaching include:

  1. modeling of the desired behavior or outcome – therapist shows the parents, teacher or staff how to teach a certain skill.
  2. opportunities for practice by the learner – the parent, teacher or school staff practices the same skill you modeled while you are watching.
  3. providing feedback – you offer suggestions, tips and more demonstration if necessary to help scaffold learning.

To put these three basics into practice is not as easy as it seems as you probably know already.  Time constraints is probably the biggest hurdle.  Schedules are overpacked and sessions run overtime so the day is frequently spent running or playing catch up.  Here are a few suggestions to become the best pediatric therapist coach you can be.

To begin with establish the learning goals that have been identified as a priority by the parents, teachers or children based on your setting. To work on a goal that you think is super important as the therapist but the children, families and teachers see as no issue is a waste of time. The top goal is to ensure you are all on the same page about the goal.

Try providing the coaching and practice within relevant contexts.  This is the hardest part as a pediatric therapist due to our time and location constraints.  This is easiest in an early intervention setting.  Get creative here and try changing IEP requirements to minutes over a certain amount of days versus 30 minutes/3 times per week.   Push into the classroom inviting school staff to model your behavior. Invite parents into the school so they can observe you directly.  If these are still not an option, video yourself and the child (with permission) and provide a copy to the parent.  Provide handouts and directions to the parents and teachers.

Make sure there is time for evaluative feedback and self-reflection.  After you model teaching the desired skill, take the time to observe and provide feedback.  Ask questions to the parents, teachers and children such as: what helped the most? did the handouts help? what can we improve? what are suggestions for the future?

A huge benefit to coaching is providing parents and teachers the skills to support their child’s learning throughout daily routines, which can lead to an increase in the caregiver’s involvement and follow through.

Reference:  Branson, D. PhD. A Case for Family Coaching in Early Intervention. Young Exceptional Children. Vol 18, Issue 1, pp. 44 – 47. First published date: January-27-2015. doi 10.1177/1096250615569903

If you need hand outs and resources to provide to parents and teachers to provide a review of the skill set or additional information, check out all of our resources here.  Some specific hand out titles include:

What? Why? How? Series 1-4 Collection

Therapeutic PLAY Activities for Children

25 Tip Sheets for School Based Therapists

Successful Pediatric Therapist Coach

The post How To Be a Successful Pediatric Therapist Coach appeared first on Your Therapy Source.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Using Toys to Support Development in Infants and Toddlers

Using Toys to Support Development in Infants and Toddlers: Children develop physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively through play.  And of course, children of all ages enjoy playing with toys. Providing the proper toy selection to support development in infants and toddlers can be a difficult and overwhelming task especially for new parents, therapists or teachers.  Here are suggestions to make the right choices when it comes to using toys to support development in infants and toddlers:

The main goal is to select toys that are safe and suited to the child’s age, abilities, and interests.  Here are several questions to answer to determine if a toy is appropriate for a specific child:

  1. Is the child interested in the toy? The child must be motivated to actually use the toy.
  2. Can the child physically use the toy (adapted if necessary)? If the child can not independently or with minimal assistance use the toy the child may not be motivated to explore the toy.
  3. Is the toy appropriate for the child’s cognitive level?
  4. Is the play space at home or school appropriate for the toy?

Select toys that encourage development within and across the domains of childhood development such as language, fine motor, gross motor, social, emotional and cognitive skills.

Creativity using basic, household materials can stimulate play and encourage infant and toddler development across all domains.

In order to facilitate childhood development, toys selection should be intentional.  For example, select simple play materials for infants and toddlers to encourage cause and effect skills, tactile input, vocabulary development, motor skills and more.  Try the following ideas to start:

  • Construction type toys – i.e shoe boxes, cereal boxes, fabric blocks, plastic blocks, wooden blocks, etc.
  • Open ended toys – i.e. large cardboard boxes to explore, scraps of fabric to pull and touch, fabric for peek a boo games, pots and pans, plastic “tupperware” type containers, etc.
  • Books – Board books are wonderful for little hands to explore.  Read to children starting at birth at least 20 minutes per day.
  • Puzzles – For young children, a puzzle can be trying to fit an object into a muffin tin, a ball into a basket or stuffed animals into shoeboxes.  For older children, you can increase the difficulty but decreasing the size of opening.

When parents, day care providers, teachers and therapists are informed about proper toy selection, play and developmental skills are stimulated across all domains.

If you need more information about infant and toddler development check out these great resources:

The Infant and Toddler Handbook, written by Lauren Drobnjak PT and Claire Heffron MS, OTR/L,  is a 30-page downloadable ebook packed with reader-friendly information about the developmental motor milestones you can expect in kids ages 0 through 5.

The second half of the book is full of development-boosting fine motor, gross motor, and sensory activities divided by age range so you can find exactly what you’re looking for depending on the ages of the kids in your therapy practice, classroom, or home.  Find out more.

Developmental Milestones Handout PackDevelopmental Milestones Handout Pack, written by Lauren Drobnjak PT and Claire Heffron MS, OTR/L, is the ideal resource for sharing information about baby, toddler, and preschool development with parents and caregivers.  Find out more.

Reference:  Guyton, G. (2011). Using toys to support infant-toddler learning and development. YC Young Children, 66(5), 50.

Using Toys to Support Development in Infants and Toddlers

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Fidget Spinner Yoga – FREE Printable

Fidget Spinner Yoga from Your Therapy Source

The Fidget Spinner Workout has been a huge success with hundreds of people downloading it to get kids moving while using their fidget spinners.  I decided to create another printable to incorporate yoga poses into the fidget spinner workout.  You can download your FREE Fidget Spinner Yoga at the end of the post.

After you sign up for the newsletter you can download your free Fidget Spinner Yoga (if you already subscribe it is still free for you – just enter your email and you will be redirected to the link).

Print the fidget spinner yoga page on cardstock and laminate for durability.  Tape a colored triangle to create an arrow on one of the three circles of the fidget spinner. Place your fidget spinner in the middle of the big spinner. Spin the fidget spinner. When it stops, determine which yoga pose the spinner landed on. Spin the fidget spinner again and perform that yoga pose that it previously landed on for the entire time the fidget spinner spins.  It’s that simple!  Spin and pose… spin and pose…

Have you seen all of our other yoga products for kids?  Check out the following titles:

  1. Yoga Cards and Game Ideas
  2. Yoga Moves Visual Cue Cards
  3. Scooter and Me Bundle includes 9 Videos & 16 Self-Regulation Flash Cards Mp4 download of three videos combining stories + creative movement + Yoga + Brain Gym®
  4. Yoga for Every Season
  5. All of our yoga titles are listed HERE

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

CIMT, Bimanual Therapy and OT Home Programs

CIMT Bimanual Therapy OT Home Programs

CIMT, Bimanual Therapy and OT Home Programs: The British Journal of Occupational Therapy published a research review to determine how bimanual therapy and modified constraint induced movement therapy or constraint induced movement therapy (CIMT) methods are used for occupational therapy home programs.

A literature search was completed and 5 studies met the inclusion criteria.  The research review revealed the following:

  • family collaboration, strategic use of outcome measures, construction of the program within the home environment and occupation-focused goals and activities were commonly used methods.
  • enhanced descriptions of intervention context, getting the child’s input for goal development and challenges in occupational balance were considered gaps in the programs.

The researchers concluded that using bimanual therapy and CIMT in an OT home program requires the combination of motor and non-motor approaches, core OT skills and respect of family preferences.  They recommended that the child help in goal setting to improve participation.

Here are 4 suggestions when providing CIMT, bimanual therapy and OT home programs:

  1. Encourage the child to participate in goal setting.
  2. Suggest activities that match the child and family’s goals.
  3. Demonstrate ways to grade the activity so that it is the just right challenge.
  4. Create the home program in the child’s natural environment in the home i.e. use the child’s own toys or materials from around the house.
  5. Use a variety of outcome measures to determine progress.

Reference:  Milton, Y., & Roe, S. (2016). Occupational therapy home programmes for children with unilateral cerebral palsy using bimanual and modified constraint induced movement therapies: A critical review. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 0308022616664738.

Therapeutic Play Activities for Children Download

Do you work with young children with cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities or delays?  Are you in search of new, creative ideas for your therapy sessions?  Do you need home exercise program sheets to encourage carry over of therapeutic activities? Do you need simple ideas that use materials that you have around your house, therapy room or classroom already?  Do you work with children who receive constraint or bimanual therapy?   Therapeutic Play Activities for Children includes 100 play activity sheets with a photo of the activity, purpose of each activity and materials list.  The 12 tip sheets include topics such as modifications, peer interaction, guided play, prompts and several specifically for children with cerebral palsy.   The play activities encourage the development of fine motor skills, bimanual skills, rolling, crawling, tall kneeling, standing balance and cruising with a strong focus on children with cerebral palsy. Find out more information.

The post CIMT, Bimanual Therapy and OT Home Programs appeared first on Your Therapy Source.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Color Cut Glue Scissor Summer Practice

Color, Cut, Glue Summer Scissor Practice

Here is another fun freebie for summer time – Color, Cut, Glue Summer Scissor Practice.  Everyone loved the Spring time scissor activity so why not create a Summer time scissor activity.  You can download your FREE copy at the bottom of the blog post.

All you have to do it print the three pages or choose either sailboat, fish or flower pot to print.  Color the black and white pages.  Cut out the different shapes.  Assemble and glue the shapes onto another piece of paper to create your Summer picture.

This is an excellent activity to practice scissor skills, coloring and visual spatial skills when you assemble the picture.

If you need more information on the development of scissor skills, check out The Scissor Skills Book.  This digital download is a huge resource for anyone who works on scissor skills with children. Written by the Functional Skills for Kids (FSFK) team of 10 pediatric physical and occupational therapists with years of experience in the field, The Scissor Skills Book is the ultimate resource for tips, strategies, suggestions, and information to support scissor skill development in children.

The Scissor Skills Book is a 81 page PDF document that is delivered electronically. The book includes the following chapters:

Chapter 1: Developmental Progression of Scissor Skills
Chapter 2: Teaching Your Child to Use Scissors
Chapter 3: Gross Motor and Scissor Skills
Chapter 4: Fine Motor and Scissor Skills
Chapter 5: Visual Perceptual and Scissor Skills
Chapter 6: Sensory Processing and Scissor Skills
Chapter 7: Attention Challenges and Scissor Skills
Chapter 8: Helping Kids who Struggle with Scissor Skills
Chapter 9: Creative Ways to Practice Scissor Skills with Kids
Resources for Typical and Adaptive Scissors, Cutting Materials, and Further Information

Find out more information on the Scissor Skills Book.

Color, Cut, Glue Summer Scissor Practice

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