26 Mar 2011

OT in schools


Really awesome (temporary though) ruling that a severely disabled mother (due to suffering severe brain damage during birth to her triplets) can have visitation rights.

Two ideas for kids who press down too lightly while writing: Have them draw on TRIPLICATE paper (ie that carbon copy stuff). So they can see if it gets down to bottom layer of paper.  Or, use rainbow scratch paper with the tiny wooden dowels – have to do it kind of hard for the rainbow paper underneath to show up!

I made a new game last night called “Silly Sentences”…..You start a sentence with “The” and then you roll the dice and it corresponds to an adjective 1-12 on a list….you have to write down the adjective that corresponds with what you rolled. Then same thing for a noun. Then same thing for whatever the grammatical term is (preposition??) for “over the, under the, at the” etc. Then again for another location/place/noun whatever. So this would be like a group activity ideally – like 4 lists and 4 kids each get a chance to roll and find their word. You end up with silly sentences like “The funny bug crawls under the park” or “The green boy jumps over the sky”. You have them cup their hands while rolling the dice (work on developing those palmar arches) and you can also work on the visual scan component of finding their number/word on the list, plus of course, the main purpose, which is the handwriting. 🙂 Word by word.

So last night I very quickly made up this game and just came up with several lists of 12 words ie nouns, verbs, adjectives….in big print and put them in a sheet protector. You can modify this as you wish. Does this make sense???

A tip that is so basic that um, I only recently learned! Put a worksheet in a sheet protector and use dry erase markers on it to do the worksheet (ie one where you just circle a few things)….don't have to keep making copies and can re-use and the kids like the novelty of dry-erase….sheet protectors + dry erase markers = new fav thing 😉

I got a few tips from another school OT Libby that I will be posting shortly….and have a few other OT blog related emails I need to get through this week…but most of all I have tons and tons and tons of OT paperwork to get through this weekend so I can feel more organized with this new job! Loving working in the schools so far! All day long every day I think of stuff I want to share….of course by the end of the day I'm exhausted and have forgotten most of what I specifically wanted to share, and/or am too tired to write it up.

Today I was at 3 different schools and then I drove over an hour in Friday rush hour traffic to go spend evening with my Grandma….every Friday night I take her to dinner and then we watch a movie….although she just moved in with one of my aunts so we are waiting on the TV so no movie lately…tonight we went to a Marie Calendar's and had an early dinner of chicken pot pies and pies, hung out in her mini suite and read books and then I filmed her for about 30 minutes on my Flip as we chatted some about her childhood etc. She is lots of fun. 🙂 I am in love with her heat dish from Costco! So are the dogs.

Tomorrow I have Pilates early in the AM and then the rest of the day I pretty much just need to do OT, OT, OT, OT, OT….the pile of stuff to go through is so ridiculous. I love resources and therefore accumulate resources, hoard them, then get overwhelmed with how much I get and can't keep up. Vicious cycle I tell ya.

GOOD NIGHT….hopefully you WILL hear from me this weekend with OT ideas/tips/tricks/thoughts/e-mail/blog catch up!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 5

25 Mar 2011

AOTA Competition for Students

I hope more of you are doing the AOTA student competition to make videos! Here is a cute one! My friend/blog reader/OT student with a really hard name (so I will call her Annadhabahanadi this time but it changes every time), sent this to me!

My very talented classmate Becca made this for the student AOTA competition.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

23 Mar 2011


I totally just spent like an hour+ on OTExchange.com…you have to sign up to become a member but it's worth it! 🙂 A lot of school-based OTs on there (Tonya, I saw one of your comments! 🙂 )

Okay….now that I just got a lot of great information for general school purposes, but have done nothing specific for MY job, I better get back to work for a while!! My daily schedule these days looks like this: Get up at 6. Leave by 6:45am (because I got everything ready the night before). Get to school by 7:30am. See kids direct in pull-out, push-in,and do lots of consult (I am still shadowing the OT whose caseload I am inheriting by the way). Leave by 4pm. Go to Pilates/exercise, come home, shower, prepare for next day (clothes, food), and then do 1-2 hours of paperwork stuff. That will probably increase exponentially once I am no longer shadowing. 🙂 Then try to go to bed early! I am exhausted!

So tonight I wasted a lot of time on OTexchange – although it was useful stuff – so I better stop. notice I said that a paragraph ago but then went on to blabber. Oh well.

By the way, I got a message from a blog reader/now FB friend/OT student, Meredith, who said her classmate found my blog and liked it, then saw Meredith's blog on the sidebar! Small world! Thanks Meredith's classmate for liking my blog!!

So….two tiny tiny things I've seen recently…..AS ALWAYS DO ANYTHING I MENTION AT YOUR OWN RISK….I'm NOT recommending you try anything I say! Just sharing interesting/cool things! (IMHO that is). 🙂

1) Putting a small (2 inches??) bit of aquarium tubing on the end of a pencil to serve as a chewie for kids with oral motor needs. It's not quite as obvious as other things like “chewelry”. I have not tried this myself and I would want to research carefully first to make sure the tubing was safe to chew on (I think it is?)  and B) that the child was at no risk of choking on it.

2) An OT recommended that when using the tiny piece of paper towel (we're talking like an inch square) to wipe off the chalkboard slate used in the Handwriting without Tears program, she has the child raise the hand with the towel and then crumple it up using JUST that one hand in the air, to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the hand/promote in-hand manipulation, instead of using both hands to crumple it up. This is surprisingly hard for some kids!

OKAY ENOUGH PROCRASTINATION….that was two tiny bones….use at your own risk!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

23 Mar 2011

I was clearly wrong

when I said I would have a blogging blizzard this weekend. That Handwriting without Tears course really wore me out  this weekend (not hard, but a lot of material and a long time) – I have SO many random tips I am accumulating but I guess Im going to try for this weekend instead since I don't have any courses!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

20 Mar 2011

alright, get OTely excited

I am hoping tomorrow to do a massive blog blizzard as I try to devote most of tomorrow to OT stuff – catching up on school-related OT things I need to review in regards to BrainGym, Superflex, “Vision Efficiency” skills, Handwriting without Tears (I took the course yesterday and today all day), etc….so….look forward to it, I know you can't wait. Either can I. haha.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

15 Mar 2011

quick note on SillyBandz

Hey – I mentioned the SillyBandz as a fidget tool – notice I did NOT mention it as like chewelry – I doubt it's good for chewing on as it's thin and could easily break and be a choking hazard – definitely only for fidgeting with your HANDS, not your mouth. Just had to quickly say that!! 🙂 More later – am getting ready for work but wanted to clarify that.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

11 Mar 2011

Other idea of day

Sometimes when doing an assessment you have to calculate the child’s age EXACTLY and it can be a brain-challenger. I know there is a formula and I plan to re-learn it, but when you are feeling truly brain-dead, try this!

It’s an age calculator for assessments done by Pearson. Caveat, I have not tried this yet but I presume it is accurate. 🙂 If it tells you the kid is like 89, probably you should double-check the math.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3

11 Mar 2011

Working :)

So the paperwork is going through and I have started shadowing (tomorrow will be my 5th full day), and I will have gone to four schools total. I start formal training Monday and my first “real” day is coming up in a few weeks. Lots of names and students to remember. I can never talk in much specifics about my job (beyond to say it’s in a school district) but I do hope to start blogging soon about school OT in general….as one of my blog readers (and one of my OT school heroes) Tonya said, tongue-in-cheek, she just can’t wait to hear about the french fry people I promised to talk about, haha.

I am EXHAUSTED – and tonight need to write up my notes from today (each day I end up with about 4 full pages of notes from that day’s school), plus prep a little for tomorrow’s training by a developmental optometrist. So I’m going. I hope this weekend to share a little of the tips/tricks I am learning!

SCHOOL TIP OF DAY: The OT I am shadowing mentioned this. Consider using those SillyBandz(sp?) – those little rubber oddly-shaped bracelets that are so popular, as a fidget tool for kids. They wear them anyway and are really popular and kids can “fidget” with them without drawing attention the way they might with say, a Tangle. (I do think Tangles can work for some kids though).

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

4 Mar 2011

OT job

hi y'all….let me get the official paperwork under way before I say anything specific but I am pretty sure I have a job!! Starting immediately! Very excited….more news/information to come shortly when that paperwork is underway. Oh and I updated my sidebar with more new links based on recent comments, including Dani's, Matthew's, Motor Story, Linda's, and maybe a few more I am blanking on. And I added in TherapyFunZone.Com which is an AWESOME website/resource that I plan to stalk thoroughly…and hopefully soon add in my own ideas. For example I need to write about french fry people soon. 🙂

Alright….back to “work”…going through all my ten thousand bazillion OT binders searching for material applicable to this job. Plus I should try to get my taxes etc stuff done ASAP since I'm about to be much more busy!!

Thanks again all for your support. The comments/e-mails make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, much like a caterpillar! Hmm…note to self: work on my metaphors/analogies/similies/brush up on my clearly forgotten knowledge of English grammar

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 5

1 Mar 2011

Need your OT blog links! Updating my OT sidebar

Hi everyone,

After years of sidebar neglect (sorry beloved sidebar), I have updated the OT blog section and OT-related section, removing broken links. I have kept in a few blogs even if they haven’t been updated in literally years, because they may have posts that are still relevant/interesting. I have put Meredith and Kimberly’s, two new OT students, into the blogroll. I am a little behind on keeping up with new OT blogs, so if you have an OT blog that you don’t see on my sidebar, send me an e-mail or comment with your blog name and full link. And if you’ve sent me a mail recently with a question I haven’t responded to, feel free to re-send. I’m slowly culling out my mailbox of comments/questions related to my OT blog.

I recommend the two above plus also OT in Public Schools as a great source! Alright, now I’m going to put up all the papers I have scattered around me (in preparation for a recent interview) on the ALERT program (How does YOUR engine run??!), Sensory Dysfunction, TherapyFunZone resources, handwriting, Guidelines for OT/PT in Public Schools, my resume, information on the VMI, DTVP-2, HELP, and Sensory Profile, handwriting adaptations, etc. And I’m going to get off the computer now. But I felt it was time for an update and therefore a “blogging blizzard” so to speak.

Have a great day everyone.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 7