Monday, August 30, 2010
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?
5. Does the toy encourage social, speech, sensory or emotional development? Not every toy needs to accomplish this goal but it would be an added benefit.
Toys 'R Us produces a guide every year entitled Toys"R"Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids. To get more information on the guide visit the Toys 'R Us website.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Pediatric therapists can assist in encouraging peer interaction in inclusive settings. Here are several ideas.
1. Adapt tools: During any activity, some tools, parts or pieces of a game may need adaptations to decrease the amount of motor skills necessary to use the tool. Keep a few pieces of the games adapted at all times that way the children can freely pick and choose during free play. Add scarves, velcro mitts, easy to hold balls, etc. in ball area so choices are available at all times.
2. Modify rules: Change the rules of games that require extensive motor skills. For example, instead of kick ball have the children roll the balls down a ramp. Have the children rename the games so they can choose the games with the modified rules without confusion.
3. Start off easy: If you want to have the child practice motor skills with peers, perhaps start off a group without any motor skills involved at first to engage the children. For example, perform a short puppet show on what the activity will be and then have the children participate in the actual activity.
What ideas to you use to encourage all children to play together?
Reference: Karen E. Diamond, Soo-Young Hong. Young Children’s Decisions to Include Peers With Physical Disabilities in Play Journal of Early Intervention June 2010 vol. 32 no. 3 163-177
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Mini Movement Breaks:
Download of 60+ quick
sensory motor activity cards for
school, home or therapy clinic.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
"We saw robust MSI in the typically developing kids from 100 and 200 ms after sensory stimulation reached the brain's cortex, but in the ASD kids, MSI occurred significantly later—at about 310 ms—and at a much lower level."
Reference: Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Autism research Finds Empirical Links Between Multisensory Integration and Autism. Retrieved from the web on 8/24/10 at http://www.einstein.yu.edu/home/news.asp?ID=564
Friday, August 20, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Previous blog post on grant writing.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
The start of the school year is approaching or here for some of you. Start the year off right with these tips to get organized:
- Create an organized caseload list of your students. Include all information such as teacher's names, parents' names, emails, phone numbers, addresses, frequency and duration of therapy sessions. If you have all the information on one handy list it will make it much easier to contact the team members throughout the school year.
- Check your caseload versus workload. It can be very difficult to stay organized if there is not enough hours in the day to complete your daily job. Try filling out this caseload/workload calculator to determine if your workload is appropriate. This calculator helps you to determine exactly how many minutes per week you are spending on different services including paperwork.
- Use forms to streamline paperwork. It is much easier to stay on top of mounting paperwork with pre-made forms. Check out School Based OT Forms or School Based PT Forms.
- Be prepared with data collection. Create different forms or use retail data collection tools to follow students closely regarding attaining goals. You can create free forms using Google Docs for goals. Check out this blog post, Collecting Data in the School, Home or Clinic, for more information on using Google Docs. Try The Scale of Sensory Strategies (S.O.S.S.) Tool Kit™ for data collection for sensory diets.
- Leave time for paperwork. Don't forget to schedule paperwork time into your schedule. Perhaps the last few minutes of a therapy session you can jot down a quick note. Use a voice recorder following each session that transmits to text for you. Make it routine so it does not pile up on you.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Pediatrics published research on young children with autism and their feeding habits. Questionnaire data was compiled on 79 children with autism at 6, 15, 24, 38 and 54 months of age. Results indicated the following for the children with autism compared to control group:
- late introduction of solids after 6 months with slow feeding characteristics
- children were reported to be "very choosy" and "difficult to feed" from 15-54 months
- at 15 months their diet was less varied
- at 24 months they were more likely to eat different meals than their mothers
- 8% at 54 months had a special "allergy" diet
- overall ate less vegetables, salad, fresh fruit and fizzy drinks
- at 38 months consumption of Vitamins C and D were less
- no differences were seen in body mass index, weight or height at 18 months or 7 years
- no differences in energy intake or growth
Reference: Emond, Alan, Emmett, Pauline, Steer, Colin, Golding, Jean
Feeding Symptoms, Dietary Patterns, and Growth in Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Pediatrics 2010 126: e337-e342
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
- lower systolic blood pressure
- lower pulse pressure
- lower perceived stress reactivities to cognitive stress.
The researchers suggest that walking to school may reduce stress throughout stressful moments during the school day. In addition, it is recommended that parents and teachers should foster physical activity throughout the school day since it is not known how long stress reduction will last following active play.
If the children are unable to walk to school, perhaps start a walking group before school starts. Children can come and walk on treadmills or outdoors before the school day begins. No time in the morning, schedule a 15 minute morning break for children to walk at a self selected pace outdoors. Still can not make the time? Try our Mini Movement Breaks for quick sensory motor activity ideas to complete in the classroom.
Mini Movement Breaks: Download of 60+ quick sensory motor activity ideas for school, home and clinic use.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Now consider children with learning disabilities, developmental disabilities or any type of disability. Does the negative stereotypes of the labels effect their learning in addition to their self esteem? Unfortunately there are definitely teachers who never forget a child's label and it effects a child's ability to learn. Do children work too hard at times ultimately ignoring the strategies they were taught to learn in the first place? What differences do you notice when children are reminded of negative stereotypes?
As therapists, do we predict motor behaviors based on negative stereotypes? Here are several ways to avoid negativity:
1. Always be positive. Instead of stating this might be difficult of challenging, assure the child that they can complete the skill or task.
2. Create goals that are attainable. Make sure that during every therapy session a child achieves at least one goal.
3. Reinforce positive qualities. Capitalize on a child's strengths to achieve other goals.
4. Review simple learning strategies. If you notice a child is trying too hard, review the task in simple steps to reinforce that they know how to accomplish the task.
Posters and Cards
Reference: Negative stereotypes shown to affect learning, not just performance. Retrieved from web on 8/10/2010 from http://www.physorg.com/news199370906.html
Monday, August 9, 2010
In my opinion, there should be a better way to achieve the goal of improving motor skills in children with autism. First and foremost, it is called early intervention and identification of autism. I am a big supporter of people interaction. Just like therapeutic massage works significantly better when delivered by a human versus a massage chair, in my opinion socialization improves with human contact. I understand the theory that the robot is more predictable and perhaps more motivating at first, but at after awhile this would get boring. In addition, aren't many Wii games predictable and motivating? Can't someone develop this as a Wii game for much less money? Is this robot going to jump, hop and skip? Perform fine motor tasks to copy? Currently the robot can shake hands, take a bow and do Tai Chi. I know the grant is to create a much more complex robot, very curious to see the end result.
Is this just one more electronic device to add to children's lives to take away from everyday play?
Reference: Krane, B. Robots Speaks the Language of Kids. Retrieved from the web on 8/9/10 from http://www.physorg.com/news200229593.html
Friday, August 6, 2010
Reference: William E. MacLean, Raymond C. Tervo, John Hoch, Mark Tervo, Frank J. Symons Self-Injury among a Community Cohort of Young Children at Risk for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities The Journal of Pediatrics
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Reference: Western diet link to ADHD. Retreived from Physorg.com on 8/4/2010 at http://www.physorg.com/news199613918.html
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Reference: Todd Neale. Deficits in Early Infancy May Point to Autism. Retrieved from MedPage Today on 8/2/10 at http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/Autism/21474