31 May 2011

A walk through elementary school lane…

 I decided to go through my old papers from elementary school to see how things went for me. I started kindergarten when I was four years old with my twin sister at a private catholic school in CA. Apparently I was not a huge fan of work and was also quite adept at writing my name backwards 😉
I never ended up in OT and have pretty good writing, so I guess it’s true what they say about reversals being common until around age 7! 🙂

 Reversals are common until around age 7.

 I apparently wasn’t always interested in working…

 This picture is a little disturbing. I think a person is being attacked in the sky.

 Notice the combo of uppercase/lowercase, also common at first

 wasn’t exactly sure how to spell Elizabeth apparently…

 Oh look, our beloved grids were popular even way back then. Notice my name.

 I went to private catholic school. Crucifixion…

 My elephant looks A like a platypus and B a lot like the elephant I would draw today.

 Yep, say no.

 Dang look at how nice my handwriting got!

 I was surprised to see how I wrote my name…

 OWL! I want to do this activity with kids.

 Apparently we liked phonetic spelling back then too..

 I wanted to have like a thousand kids with very specific bedtimes 🙂

This picture is within an egg crate -c otton balls – I want to do this craft too.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 3

28 May 2011


i apparently meant to send this the other day and it failed and i didn't realize it….the first part talked about me being tired (so I deleted it, lol) but my PSs are semi amusing so I'm re-sending it….

PS: Making tennis ball friends (was it from school-OT.com or TherapyFunZone?
I can't remember) requires fearlessness….I used a clamp as I stabbed the
tennis ball so I could keep my fingers…..the kids like stuffing BUGS (like
Wal-Mart or Michael's cheap bugs) in their mouths! Fun to see tentacles
sticking out of his little mouth. One kid called the tennis ball a praying
mantis today…I said it sure was a fat one. 🙂 They also like sticking
pennies in their tennis ball mouths and then making them throw up. 🙂
PS2: I know I am a school OT now because I carry my apron in my car to wear
from school to school as I eat my lunch as I drive! (At stoplights or easy
things to eat, I swear I'm not like, eating a salad on the freeway, no hate
mail please)
PS3: I also know I am a school OT because my room at home looks like a toy
store exploded in it…never know when you'll find a purple centipede on the
floor  or a mouse-finger-light or what!
PS4: I am mad at TherapyFunZone and OT in Public Schools for constantly
putting up new posts that make me want to copy them!  🙂
PS5: I am delirious and going to bed…..

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

28 May 2011

a recent comment

Here is a recent comment….
Hi Karen, I love your blog. I just started OT school, in fact, we had our first day of class today. I learned a lot about what to expect from your earlier posts. I am sure you are overwhelmed with work especially coming down to the end of the year. However, it is not always necessary to post about it. As a former teacher, I know how easily a profession can get a bad rep for complaining about being tired or having too much work, and I don’t want that to happen to you or OT. Your OT posts are so helpful and your passion really shines through. I don’t want others to be turned away though or people to stop reading because they are constantly hearing how tired you are. If you are too worn out to blog, just put it off we’ll understand, I promise! Keep up the good work and I hope you get everything done without too much stress!

So when I read this it hurt my feelings even though I know its with perfectly good intentions and actually a really good piece of constructive criticism…I wanted to ask what others thought. I know I post a lot how tired/busy I am but I also mention it’s my own fault, usually. And I post that also to apologize for why I don’t post as much or as nicely as i’d like….but I’d rather post regularly poorly than not at all, mostly because of how search engine optimization works and to let people know I am stll alive.

The good news is I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope to be able to respond to quite a few FB comments, blog posts, emails, etc this weekend, and I think the worst of it is over!

So….i did want some feedback. Better to post less and stop saying how tired/stressed I am, or keep up with what I am doing ? I think in general I will try at least a little bit to be more cognizant of alienating people based on this comment. I hadn’t thought of if that way…

PS:I *do* appreciate the comment whether it hurts my feelings a little or not – it’s good for me to hear these things to grow from and ponder!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 10

26 May 2011

check out top link

go here, check out top link..its a SIXTY SEVEN page PDF handout of great crafts. I only skimmed a few (I need to be working on an IEP) but one that immediately caught my eye is snack butterflies! So cute! Check it out. If I understand correctly Laura Effinger who wrote an Egypt blog has developed this website. Don't quote me on that, I read it all a little too fast for comfort.

A lot of interesting blog network development going on behind the scenes…I have not been contributing/participating yet because I'm in IEP heck (cough) but I hope to catch up eventually!!

PS: Thanks Ashley B. for posting this link on FB.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

23 May 2011

Six IEPs this week

Six. So I am really extra extra phenomenally busy this week. Hence, I still am weeks and weeks behind on answering emails. My hope is that this upcoming 3 day weekend will allow me to finally answer some of those questions/comments!! :crosses fingers::

Hey, I just learned that some of the fishing lures are kind of cool and may be good sensory tools, I will explore further at Walmart soon. Also, apparently fishing weights can be a way to turn a pencil into a weighted pencil?

Also, since I discovered aquarium tubing is not FDA approved, I bought some refrigerator tubing that is non-toxic, ie for water line, but it's much more hard than the tubing that was so pliable. Hmmm. I wonder if it will work. It's still coilable, but nothing like aquarium.

And finally, don't forget that google is your friend! Some amazing stuff on there if you search!
So I just finished work on 3 IEPs, time for bed!


Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

22 May 2011

too Light pencil pressure

Thanks all for the great ideas on too heavy pencil pressure in a post below. VERY helpful. At the time I should have also asked for help with children who write too lightly!

Here is a hand-out I came up with for children pressing too lightly…if you have ideas you want to add, please comment. This is a combo of things I've seen on the Internet + a few of my own.

Too light pencil pressure:

1)   Before starting to write, provide lots of proprioceptive input to the upper body. Crab walks, animal walks, downward/upward dog yoga poses, straightening elbows and pressing straight down onto desk (weight bearing into arms) 10 times, having him push his hands together, and/or chair pushups where he puts his hands on his chair and lifts up his bottom x 10, are all great ways to do this. The more input the better.

2)   Consider trying a #1 lead pencil rather than a #2 pencil as it requires less pressure.

3)   Practice fine motor activities in general, including cutting, lacing beads, theraputty or play dough activities, using tweezers/tongs, finger puppets, buttoning, zipping, etc.

4)   Consider buying a weighted pencil, or making your own by supergluing or duct-taping some type of weight (perhaps using a nut of a bolt/nut combo, or some heavy washers) to the pencil, higher than his grip would be, of course

5)   Try using tiny golf pencils, and/or if he doesn’t like it, try using thicker/wider pencils.

6)   Get some blank carbon copy paper to put under his writing so that he can send a copy of his writing to a loved one, and it requires a lot of pressure to show up!

7)   Before writing, regularly use his pencil (both of you do this) to show a scale of “too light, just right, too dark” where you use shades of penciling to demonstrate this. Doing it regularly before writing will help remind him.

8)   After he writes, go through and point to each letter. Is this a ghost letter or a just right letter? Let him count the letters that are just right, and that’s how many minutes he gets for free choice time, or how many skittles he gets, or some other reward you want to use. 

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

16 May 2011


I spent the weekend babysitting my grandmother (update: got a great comment about not using the term babysitting. I am good about not using condescending language in general and I would never call it babysitting to her face, but it’s true I should use a more respectful term…so….I spent the weekend CAREGIVING for my grandmother) since she lives with my aunt and my aunt had to go out of town. There were all sorts of OT things I did with her in terms of getting her out of her chair, helping her in the shower, etc. All stuff that would have puzzled me pre-OT days. Down side is, I was up almost every hour with her last night, and I was already exhausted, so that certainly didn’t help.

So suffice to say, I have still not gotten to my e-mails. I apologize as I feel like I have quite a few new ones to respond to!

Tonight I bought Speedstack cups on Amazon.com (about 23 dollars and a great OT toy) + a poem book called What’s for Dinner? that are squirmy icky poems that I saw in a child’s 1st grade classroom. Not sure what i’ll do with the poems from an OT perspective but you never know! I have been making “tennis ball friends” – kids love them. The former OT I shadowed had them, plus I saw a thing on them at school-OT.com.

Okay got to get back to paperwork. Just wanted to tell y’all I’m not dead! Just not being a very good blogger lately. Still read every comment/e-mail, just slow (dead snail slow) to respond these days. Good news is, last day is a little over a month away, so I can get through IEP season! I think I can, I think I can!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

4 May 2011

iep season

So tired I could cry. 🙂 Sounds like a country song. I took a nap from 8 to 9 just to try and survive. I'm semi falling asleep at stop lights! Went to bed at 3 on Sunday night, 12:30 last night…(luckily I napped yesterday too)….it's almost 9:45 and I hopefully can be done with my highest priority stuff by 11:00::crosses fingers:::….today I had 10 minutes to eat lunch and I felt lucky! The day before I didn't get a chance to eat lunch or even go to the bathroom until 4:30pm. It's my own fault, I am new and trying to figure out too much, it was not this grueling when I was shadowing the OT whose caseload I inherited! I just need to speed up and get things under control. In the meantime, utterly exhausted. I've gotten several blog emails lately – it may be at least this weekend (or worse) before I reply, just FYI. Always happy to hear from people though! Just not quick to respond these days.

Let me reiterate that if I wasn't the perfectionistic OT that I try to be, I wouldn't be quite as insane with my schedule. More or less all my own fault. Don't be scared of school OT! (Although IEP season really is rough. My cat agrees, he is trying to help me write this). Okay I had to rant. Back to work.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

3 May 2011


well I was up until 3am last night working on IEPs so I am worn out! Now it's almost midnight and I want to head to bed soon but I wanted to quickly say I have been getting GREAT ideas in the comments section about kids who use too much pressure while writing! So check them out!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

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