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Toy Recommendation Guide 2013

21 Oct

Here it is… The ultimate toy recommendation list… Now if only I could afford 1 of each of them…

Check it out:

Promoting OT as an Operational Therapist

8 May

In honor of OT month (I know…I’m a few days after the month of May), I thought I’d share my 5 minutes of fame as an “operational therapist” 😜.

A coworker and I were on the local news in April to talk about what it means to be a pediatric occupational therapist. It was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed every minute of it! I was a bit nervous about being on live tv! As I was watching the video online, critiquing my every move of course, I happened to notice the tag line under my name said “Operational Therapist.” Oops!! Poor editing department. I’m sure they just knew they had it right. Oh well! Here’s to being that “Other therapist”… You know.. The “operational therapist”.. The one that does pretty much everything PT and ST don’t do..” Hehe.. The last part is all in fun. Nothing personal. 😄


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!




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:

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: 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!

Toy Tuesday Button

Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders

14 Nov

I recently purchased a CE on CD from PESI entitled Autism and Feeding Problems by Elizabeth Strickland, MS, RD, LD. The CE was very educational and well worth the amount I paid for it! One of the topics I found very interesting was the idea of picky eaters and problem feeders and the differences between them. Elizabeth encouraged all clinicians, therapists, counselors, psychologists, behavioral specialists, etc. to use the terminology to describe two very different types of children. I am making a valid effort to discuss this terminology difference with the parents of my children who are problem feeders as well as educate the pediatricians who send us referrals to increase the likelihood that problem feeders will be identified and referred to the appropriate feeding therapy.

Picky Eaters:

1. Decreased variety of food (<;30 foods)

2. Roods lost due to burn-out can be regained after ~2 weeks

3. Able to tolerate new foods on plate, touch, or taste

4. Eats as least 1 food from most food groups/textures

5. Adds new foods to repertoire in 15-25 steps (around 6 exposures on plate before attempt to eat)

*Do not recommend feeding therapy. Picky eaters will expand their diet over time with positive reinforcement and extinction of negative behaviors (praise the good, ignore the bad)

Problem Feeders:

1. Restricted range of foods (<20 foods)

2. Foods lost due to burnout are not regained

3. "Falls apart" when presented new foods

4. Refuses entire categories of food groups or textures

5. Adds new foods in greater than 25 steps

*Recommend feeding therapy with an OT or ST who has a specialty in feeding

For more information, details, etc. view to purchase the CE on CD.

What experience do you have with feeding therapy, picky eaters, and problem feeders? Any information is highly appreciated!!

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