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Promoting OT!

6 Jan

Hello! I have to brag a minute. A patient I see was featured in his local newspaper. It was a great article and I wish I could post the whole thing! It really advocated for OT, PT, and treatment in the schools. He described what his OT does with him (that’s me!), and stated his favorite therapy is when he gets to move his hand! He is a great young man and a joy to work with! Great stuff!

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TheraTogs Wunzi

5 Jan

Hiya everyone! New and cool stuff I thought I’d share with everyone. Most pediatric therapists have either heard of TheraTogs or used them in their practice. TheraTogs has released a new design specifically for early intervention, the TheraTog Wunzi!

Most parents of infants with low muscle tone and delayed motor development hear reassurances from their pediatrician; however, sometimes infants do need more help to assist their postural and motor development.

TheraTogs highlighted 3 urgent needs for infants with developmental deficits:
1. Optimizing sensory input and body awareness
2. Establishing strong core alignment and postural control
3. Engaging in “massed practice” of optimized performance to gain improved function

The inventor of TheraTogs stated, “Babies with sensory and motor issues can’t wait for their difficulties and deficits to become so obvious that pathomechanical strategies and habits are established.”

How often do I see that?? Statements such as, “They’ll grow out of it,” or “Maybe they are just slower than the typical baby,” or “Let’s wait and see what they look like in 6 months.” As a pediatric therapist, I know how important it is to provide early postural and neuromotor development before compensatory strategies develop.

The Wunzi is available in 5 sizes for children 0-24 months. It is designed similar to the traditional “onesie” and therefore requires very little training on how to put on the garmet. There are no buttons, zippers, or snaps; only embedded closure tabs of Velcro. A Limb Kit is sold separately to include limb positioning cuffs and straps to promote age appropriate limb alignment and function.

Now, how do we get insurance to pay for them?! Research!

TheraTog Wunzi

For more information, visit their Web site: http://www.theratogs.com/Wunzi.aspx

You Might be a Pediatric Therapist if…

3 Jan

1. You know NDT isn’t a wrestling move
2. You know SI doesn’t mean sports illustrated
3. You ask friends and spouses if they need to go “potty”
4. You get really good at spelling words like ” candy, mom, and playground” so kids don’t hear
5. You’ve found crayons and highlighters in your laundry
6. You save random household products to use for “therapy tools”
7. You shop for toys for yourself
8. You refer to your patients as your “kids”
9. You know Hippotherapy doesnt involve hippos
10. You impact the lives of children and their families to enhance their independence and development in order for them to grow and learn.

Leave me comments with more!!

Toy Tuesday: Player’s Choice

1 Jan

Hi there! I was going through the mail and stumbled across an edition of the Advance For OT Practitioners magazine. The featured article on the front caught my eye and was titled, “Players choice: Picking Toys to Help Children Learn and Grow.” The article did a great job discussing the views of a pediatric PT, parent, and representative from Toys R Us when it comes to picking out toys for kids. Some things were similar but some things were very different and kind of surprised me! I don’t tend to look for where and what toys are made of but it was important to the parent. It will be interesting if that changes for me once I have my own kids!

My favorite part of the article was the link given by the TRU rep: http://www.toysrus.com/differently abled
Toys R Us has a link with different resources for differently abled kids including safe play tips, ten tips for buying toys, and a list of toys identified by 10 different categories to build various skills. These categories include: auditory, language, visual, tactile, gross motor, fine motor, social skills, self esteem, creativity, and thinking. I also really enjoyed reading the top ten tips for buying toys:
1. Multi-sensory appeal
2. Method of Activation
3. Environments the toy will be used
4. Opportunities for success
5. Current popularity
6. Self-expression
7. Adjustability
8. Child’s individual abilities
9. Safety and durability
10. Potential for interaction
Check out the website for more details. Also check out the website for a great list of safe play tips.

For over 20 years, Toys R Us has released this publication for parents. It’s awesome! Hope you enjoy!

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Fine Motor Friday: Marshmallows and Toothpicks

9 Nov

Hello hello! Time for Fine Motor Friday! For this week I will be sharing one of my most favorite things to do with marshmallows and toothpicks! It can be used with a multitude of ages, as young as around 4 to as old at you feel appropriate (each client has different likes/skills). The oldest I’ve used this activity with was a 15 year old. 🙂

Supplies:
Bag of mini marshmallows
Box of toothpicks

Extras if desired:
Paper plates to hold supplies
Pictures/ideas to copy and construct

I came up with some ideas to have the kids I work with copy, varying from simple to more difficult on the back (including a complex 3D cube!). I placed mine in a sheet protector to keep it from getting sticky! Have the child copy the pictures, guiding, imitating, and provides cues as needed. Another fun thing to use this activity for is brainstorming new designs using higher level executive function skills.

Fun, sticky, educational, and great for developing fine motor and visual perceptual skills!

Caution: some children will want to eat them…some therapists may want to eat them too… 🙂

Enjoy!

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You Might Be An OT If…

6 Nov

1. PROM no longer means high school dance
2. Your available ROM has nothing to do with your computer
3. You know that occupation is more than a job
4. You diagnose yourself with every new condition you know.
5.You have to explain what you do for a living.
6. You know that playing games is a part of therapy.
7. You use shorthand when writing emails or text messages
8. You know that OT does not mean Over Time
9. You attempt to guess the diagnosis/disability of strangers
10. You focus on helping people achieve independence in all areas of their lives.

Love this! Can you think of any more????

Super Duper Handy Handouts & OTis

1 Oct

I absolutely love free, awesome, printables…yes, I said free! These handouts are great for brief education to parents, caregivers, and teachers. I keep a copy of the ones I use the most in clear sleeves in a binder. Then I can just send it through the copier when I want to give it to someone.

http://www.handyhandouts.com/search.aspx

Handy Handouts are a component of Super Duper Inc., a great place to purchase toys, games, and other learning materials.

http://www.superduperinc.com/

One of my favorite, and very unique, things off of this Web site is the Yogarilla Exercise and Activities Card Deck. OTis, the OT gorilla, teaches traditional and original yoga poses in an exciting way! 55 yoga poses, color-coded by starting positions, and 110 activities compile this colorfully illustrated card deck. Yoga has been shown to help children understand how their bodies and minds work together. The yoga poses (10 standing, 10 seated, 10 prone, 10 spine, and 10 hands and knees) help to improve fine and gross motor skills, sensory processing, attention, communication, and cognition. Also included are: 3 partner poses (two children work together in a pose) and 2 breathing poses (improve awareness of breath and breath support). Check it out! All I need to go with my cards is a stuffed toy Gorilla in an OT t-shirt!

http://www.superduperinc.com/products/view.aspx?pid=OTSC8609#.UGjxjo7R1FI

Hope you enjoy!
~Amy

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