30 Dec 2012

Army OT guy, great article


Go to that link to read the details which will link you to the Washington Post article.
I presented with Erik (Army OT guy) this past year and we will be presenting again together (along with several other awesome social media peeps) and I would like to say that yes, he is as amazing as this article makes it sound!
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

30 Dec 2012

The Grinch That Stole Blogmas….

Hoo-ha, I am SO SUPER CLEVER. Look at that title. Amazing.

Just kidding, I’m stupid. Or rather,as my twin sister likes to remind me, I’m a “dumblebee” (you have to pronounce it like bumble). 
With the holidays has come chaos, and poor grammar, but I think this upcoming week (I have one more week off) will bring blog magic as I catch up on reviews etc.
Recent question asked by a sophomore in college who wants to go into OT school: “Can I start setting up volunteer/internship/observation experiences now for my graduate school application, or is it too early?”
Answer: It’s not too early to START, but it’s way too early to FINISH. If you want to start getting in your hours and experiences, GO FOR IT…the earlier the better, for your application, to show a long history. But if you think you can whip them all out soon and get it over with…. it will not look good.
So start accumulating experiences…just don’t stop 🙂 
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

21 Dec 2012

We are officially on break…

…one of the many perks of being in the school system…not that I get paid diring it but nice to have a break.

I included a picture of an attempted glitter manicure…and a page of ginger bread accoutrements that one of my first graders was expected to cut out…yikes!!!

Also a picture of a recent sunrise I woke up to 🙂 and finally a picture from a recent late night of work at one of my schools…we ordered in some minestrone soup and one of the teachers lit a candle which made me laugh. 🙂

It was sweet how many presents I got addressed to miss awesomeness…Always makes me smile. Probably about 10 percent of my kids give me small gifts for the holidays which are of course appreciated but not expected or necessary. I think Starbucks gift cards are definitely the most common 🙂 I enjoy buying my friends drinks!

I am hoping that this next two weeks will allow me to catch up on some reviews!! I have tried out some new apps enough by the makers of dexteria to have pros and cons of each. And taught several kids how to tie their shoes using tying is a snap laces. 🙂

Well typing all of this on my phone is tough so I guess I’ll stop now. Thanks for the kind comments, emails, texts, Facebook messages, etc on my sweet black cat. I am hoping this next two weeks will be both productive and restful and healing!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

19 Dec 2012

My kids..


I read this article and how teachers call their students “my kids”.
Well I’m obviously an OT working in elementary schools and not a teacher, but same story. I ALWAYS refer to them as “my kids” ie “Oh my kids would love this” or “I am buying this for my kids” ….that’s how I see them. Sometimes I forget what that sounds like to a stranger and then they ask, oh, how old are your kids? (assuming I am the mom). Then I am like Oh, no, sorry, I mean the kids I work with.
But to me? They’re just my kids. 🙂 
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

17 Dec 2012

I don't even know what to call this…


Awkward photos.
I know I’ve blogged about this before but it’s so weird I have to blog about it again because it keeps swimming in my brain, trying to figure out why.
The left is a picture of a pencil grip with a pipe cleaner threaded through it and a cocktail sword (which has been mostly broken off) on it too.

For whatever reason my kids are fascinated by it. And I have several kids who tend to fist their non-dominant hand while writing, and holding this object makes them happy. Don’t ask me why.

Cats are people too

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

17 Dec 2012

Good news, bad news….

Bad news first…

1) I had Black Cat put down on Saturday morning. A vet came to my house. It was peaceful, but sooo sad. I cried my eyes out. Not literally, that would suck. 
2) I still don’t have my blog mojo…lots of pictures taken and thoughts “made”, my neurons still have little blog cells, but alas, I’m missing that final missing piece of “actually posting it”….hope I find that piece soon. But it’s the holidays, maybe it will show back up in January. Bet nobody is reading this anyway. I’m still in a discouraged state! 
Good news;
because that’s where I just posted the following status…
Today I threw the Lycra “blue ghost” body sock into the washing machine, then gave my “monster cheese” a talcum bath to get it back to normal, then moved my purple spikey “sea urchin” to put something down…no escaping pediatric OT! Not to mention I have literally 45 pounds of blankets on my bed…my 30 pounder (last year’s birthday present) and a new 15 pounder (this year’s birthday present…it took six weeks to get…sensacalm.org) 🙂


So I guess that wasn’t technically good news, but at least it wasn’t dreary, right? I have been enjoying using http://www.tyingisasnap.com/ for my practice shoe for kids to use and they enjoy it. 

Only four more days of work till break! (And no, I am not paid when on break, that part is a bummer). But definitely a perk of working in schools. 🙂

Okay, gotta do a few work emails I just realized, in prep for tomorrow, so since its almost 10pm I better do that so I can go to bed!

Today I had my weekly volunteer shift where I held babies at the hospital! I’m getting better and better at calming down “drug” babies! 

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

11 Dec 2012

Having a rough week!

My blog mojo and my general brain mojo have been lost this week. I’m feeling down, partially because I’m putting my 20 year old cat down this next Saturday, partially because I’m a little overwhelmed, partially because of the darkness of December, etc etc.

I have soo much to share and soo much to say about my beloved field of occupational therapy, but right now my life consists of work, Pilates, work, work, work…the boring paperwork part of work, not the fun stuff. 
So…..be patient with me please! I’m still taking photos of things to share from OT sessions, and making notes of stuff, but haven’t had the energy to move it into blog fruition. Just trying to get through each day – I wake up each day uncertain of how I can even get through the day. Somehow I do, but it takes a lot more energy than normal. 
I’d appreciate kind thoughts my way! Hope you all are having a nicer December than I currently am! It will get better I’m sure 🙂
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 5

8 Dec 2012

Hi, Teach123 Fans: Lava Paper!

Hi Teach 123 Fans who came from here:

I was thrilled to see that Teach123 had posted our lava paper! (I created it originally but was just drawing it in on paper each time, Tonya of TherapyFunZone.com used Photoshop to make my dreams come true). 

Anyway, Teach123 has an AMAZING blog with great ideas for teachers and I originally found her through Pinterest where she showed off a genius idea for reducing visual clutter as well as helping not overwhelm a child who sees a ton of work in front of them.

Cut a file folder into strips. The shorter the attention span, the smaller you will cut the strips. I cut this one into 3 parts. Students open 1 flap at a time and always begin at the top and work their way down. Students complete the work that they can see when a flap is open. “

We were trying to think of what to label that amazing idea while in an IEP meeting the other day. All thanks to Teach123. So….I digress.

Basically because of this pin, I found Teach123 and spent a lot of time checking out her ideas. I think teachers have GREAT ideas for OTs and vice versa! I saw a post where she had a picture of some handwriting paper she had used and decided to write her to see if she was up for trying some lava paper out. 

Long story short (okay it’s a short story but long story sounds way better), she posted it on her very popular blog. And yes, yay, I’m excited about the traffic, but by far I’m most excited at the idea that teachers (and therefore their kids) will benefit.

I know I’m biased, but I do use the lava paper EVERY DAY and it is quite helpful for a ton of my OT kids. Sometimes they get a little too into the action and start sending off worm attack lines etc. For the first time or so they get the paper, there’s that novelty period and exploration period so let them have a little fun with it please. But after a few times, they need to follow the rules of the paper without adding extra lines etc.

Some of my kids love to make a little mistake so they CAN use their eraser superhero powers and save the letters. I’m okay with that if it doesn’t get excessive because ERASING is a great skill to learn too! 

Check out how your kids are erasing. Bet some of them are inefficient. Show them the proper method to use that power (ie close to the tip, small movements, etc)

I digress again. The point is, thank you for coming over, thank you for following Teach123 because she has amazing ideas, and please check out www.therapyfunzone.com because she made the paper a reality and also has TONS of great ideas! I love her pencil obstacle courses!

You can also find me at pinterest at
www.pinterest.com/funkist/ot-ideas which have a lot of great ideas for things you could potentially do in the classroom as crafts. 🙂

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

8 Dec 2012

Does music help attention? Does white noise help attention?


Something I saw in I think Smithsonian magazine about using music to help your brain. I liked what they noted about people with attention deficits and how they may calm down in a paradoxical way – ie how taking the equivalent of speed calms them while it “speeds” the rest of us up. Very interesting neurologically.

Anyway, the thing about anxiety – that USED to be the case for me, that when I was frequently (severely) anxious, I listened to Enya while lying in a dark room and practicing diagraphagmatic breathing. But eventually when I thought of Enya it made me anxious because the two became so linked. So then I could no longer listen to  Enya without that association of being panicked. So sometimes it turns on you! My new favorite is Native American Indian flutes, the Canyon Trilogy, by R. Carlos Nakai. Many of my kids in special ed also really enoy it.

This reminds me that I want to do a post soon about white noise. Some studies have come out showing that white noise or classical music can be very helpful for concentration for SOME PEOPLE – especially those with ADD. But for those with “regular” concentration, it can actually be harmful to our attention. When I was in 7th grade, we had a history teacher who was big on playing classical music during our tests. He had good intentions and I know there were/are studies showing classical music helps. But it was a novel stimulus and I know for me it actually made it much harder to concentrate. Try white noise apps for your OT kiddos with ADHD to use while working, and see if it seems to help them out. (In our district our 3rd graders and higher have individual iPads so it would be easy for us to implement but maybe not so easy in most districts). But be careful of using classical music/white noise with ALL children. Better to use as a case by case basis.
Oh. Guess I don’t need to write a new post about white noise, I just wrote it. 😉

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none | Tags: , , , , , , ,

8 Dec 2012

hit my sensory limit…

hit my sensory limit for the week. Having a very quiet Friday night at home…..but going to write down some children book ideas before bed. Have been saving pictures and stuff to post to the blog.

The most recent post about OT Niche from a contributor….I don’t know how to fix those headers and stuff. 🙁 
And I’m back to 280 new mails on gmail whoopsiedoodles…..
Hope I get some blog mojo back soon! 
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none