28 Nov 2013

I am thankful for ….

(I need to do one specifically for OT, maybe later tonight! Gotta go get ready to go to my aunt’s!!) HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
I am thankful for…my ability to be concise and the people who crack up laughing at that statement. For love, light, bliss, berries, serotonin, and glitter. Peacock feathers, classy emeralds, gaudy purples, darkly turquoised blues. Angels shooting stars, Grandma’s love and ice cream.
The platypus and pangolin, artichokes and armadillos. Sauteed mushrooms, slowly moving sloths and slithering snails. Roly polys, caterpillars, dogerpillars. Burrito babies, irridescence and feathers. Tinsel and trees. Resting and rolicking. Artistic license. Word invention. That my mother only threatens to kill me when in situations involving poor punctuation. Like now. Energy and healing. Heroes of all types. Sacred circles and hula hoop dance. The kindness of strangers, the kindness of acquaintances, friends, family, being loved and loving. Shampoo and unconditional love. Rocks and shells, minerals and gems.
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

27 Nov 2013

Fwd: Expected Typing Speed (WPM) for Children, Common Core Standards

Hi all, 
Typing Speed Standards are PROBABLY 5 words per minute (WPM) x grade level, so a 4th grader should be at roughly 20 WPM.
I know this is not coming from a formal Common Core Standard page, and I didn’t research it enough to find an origin although I tried briefly. However, it sounds reasonable to me – 5 WPM per grade level. Thoughts?
Most relevant paragraph although page was great for many pieces of information: 
How fast should kids type?
As a general rule, keyboarding speeds should be measured as “5 words per minute (wpm) x grade level”.  Therefore, a student in fifth grade should have a goal of at least 25 words per minute and a sixth grade student should have a goal of 30 wpm.
Remember this is meant for general education, so if the children we work with in occupational therapy (OT) are not as fast,  that’s okay and we can work on it with many different approaches. Hoping I can write up typing teaching strategies soon! 
Also, sorry about that test taking strategies PDF. Need to shorten it and make it not explode when the site is opened. Soon! I’m at work right now. 

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

24 Nov 2013

Retro Baby :)


An awesome book review of Retro Baby written by our very own OT blogger/awesome clinician/writer, Anne Zachry….can’t wait to get a copy soon. 🙂 I 100% agree with her…retro is the way to go, yo 😉

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

23 Nov 2013

Holding babies in NICU – video – OTs can work here too


I will come back to clarify more later, but this video has gone viral and it shows some of the NICU pieces…which is where i am headed right now, to go hold sick babies. 
OTs can work in NICUs too, although it’s advanced/skilled so nothing you can jump into. MORE LATER
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

20 Nov 2013

Multiple Choice Test Strategies and Problem-Solving

Many of my children with IEPs, as well as some prospective OT students who are taking the GREs, or even graduate school students, struggle with multiple choice tests. This is confusing to me as multiple choice tests are a GIFT – the answers are in front of you. I can do well on a multiple choice test when knowing almost NOTHING about the subject because it’s just problem-solving and strategy.

Hope these strategies help. It’s a lot of words, four pages, and I will try to go back and make it just short phrases, but for now, this is what you get. Suggestions welcome on other ways to help people approach tests!


*I have no idea how to make this not just explode in front of you. I will try to figure it out soon so it’s a nice tidy PDF download and not crazy.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

18 Nov 2013


**I should clarify that I mean “typically developing” children as I know the iPad and other similar devices can be miracles for children who struggle in various areas!


I completely agree. I don’t care how educational the game or show is – SCREEN TIME IS HORRIBLE FOR CHILDREN!!!!!!! They should not be interacting with screens! They need to develop via real life activities and play, lots of running around, spinning, jumping, crawling, carrying things, experimenting with textures and abstract objects, using their eyes to focus on near and far distance, learning the world around them…
Screen time is not great for any kid, but especially the youngest ones – I truly believe one of the reasons the kids heading into school today are SO much more delayed in basic motor skills than in the past (visual motor, ocular motor,gross motor, fine motor, sensory motor, etc) is partially due to such extensive screen time. Lots of other reasons too.
And yes, I’m hypocritical as I know screen time is super motivating and easy to use and I sometimes use it too. Just don’t be fooled that it’s good for kids for more than a few minutes at a time a day. Ideally none.

*As I mentioned at top – certain cases and situations, especially for children with difficulties, are exceptions to the rule – but overall, for typically developing children, it is not ideal. And I realize the article linked is not exactly a high-level evidence article, but I do see that more and more professionals are realizing the harm it is doing. 

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 2

17 Nov 2013


Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

15 Nov 2013

"You're Miss Awesomeness?"

A little girl mentioned she was going back to her room, and the boy I needed was in there. I wrote a little Post-it note for her to give it to him, saying “Dear Kid X, Please come to Room 202 to see Miss Awesomeness. PS, I drank mean juice this morning!!!!”

She skimmed it and looked at me and said “Ohhh, you’re Miss Awesomeness?” in the tone of “Ooohhhh, so that’s whose name I have heard.” I was like ISN’T IT OBVIOUS!!!!!! 😉 
I hadn’t thought about it quite that way – many of my kids reference coming up or going to see Miss Awesomeness, so I guess for classmates who don’t typically see me, it’s like hmmm who is this mystery lady.
I looooooove my kids. They melt me up daily. I wish so bad I had an extra five thousand hours a day to give each one of them all they need, daily, and also have enough time to BLOG about it, Pinterest it, etc. I have so many pictures I take of projects I want to share for example. Last few days has involved typical FCS as I now call it, aka Functional Classroom Skills, but I’ve also been adding in BUBBLE LETTERS, WACKY LOOP BRACELETS, basic 3-D shapes that look cool, and ZENTANGLES. All of which work on amazing skills but in ways that make them proud. More later when my eyeballs are not fusing shut. 
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

15 Nov 2013

Dinovember – Celebrate fun!


I freaking LOVED this description/photographs of these parents staging elaborate dinosaur figurine events during November. Kids will remember that kind of silly whimsy all their lives. Kids these days seem to get plenty of screen time and structure time so it seems like they get more than enough play, but I would argue there is an INCREDIBLE deficit in more elaborate, unstructured, spontaneous play or appreciation of creativity just for the fun of it.

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

12 Nov 2013

Super cool study on "occupation" with older adults



Great study done. Essentially asking older people to do puzzles and basic “cognitive” tasks didn’t do much, but if it was made meaningful/intriguing, they did awesome after a 14 week study. The digital photography group did the best, although there were other great combinations as well. I recommend skimming the article above, the take-away message is definitely the philosophy that occupational therapy espouses – activity without meaning is nearly worthless. Activities with meaning dramatically improve a variety of skills. 
I see it in my own life. I think we all do. Give us challenging tasks and whether we succeed depends heavily on motivation and meaning
One of my first “real life” examples of the importance of meaning was on a Level 1 OT 2-week fieldwork in a rehab setting, working with a patient who needed to improve standing tolerance. We did small activities that were “meaningful enough” while standing and he would tolerate roughly 3 minutes before needing to sit and take a break from it. I found out he was a big traveller and liked to talk about going all over the United States. I went and found a dollar store USA-states puzzle and asked him to pull out the states he loved the most and tell me about his adventures there, while completing the puzzle. He stayed up nearly eleven minutes as he was so engrossed. His activity tolerance that time was approximately THREE TIMES as long, due to MEANING.  OCCUPATION.
Survive + Occupational Therapy = Thrive
NEW TSHIRT LOGO BABY! It may already exist…usually my brilliance is always found to be too late 😉 ahahahaha
Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none