Tuesday, August 20, 2013

This is what happens when two OTs go out to dinner...

We all get bored waiting for dinner, right?!

 Use the napkins and make some origami! Have your child copy your design and then see what she can come up with on her own!

Take a look around the table and use a variety of media! Sugar packets make nice details on a house.

Origami has several benefits:
  • Motor Planning
  • Sequencing
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Attention to detail
  • Spatial-temporal skills
  • Bilateral motor coordination
  • Fine Motor Coordination and dexterity
  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity

Who can make the prettiest bouquet?

This is just like the dog that we use to test children with Lucy Jane Miller's Miller Function and Participation Scales (M-Fun)

This is our attempt at duplicating the fish on the M-Fun!

Stop the food fights and try origami, instead!
Do you have any interesting strategies to occupy the kids at restaurants?

Michelle Yoder, OTR/L

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Five Favorite Fidgets for Back to School Success

Magic Loops
Fidgets are great for kids and grown-ups to keep our hands busy and foster attention and concentration.  My office manager uses a variety of fidgets at her desk to sustain focus at the computer or while she is on those long phone calls with insurance companies.  The kids love walking by her desk to see her latest strategy. 

Tangle Jr.

For school, silent fidgets are important so that other students are not distracted.  Fidgets can be used at the desk during instructional periods or when students have to quietly sit still at circle time.  They can be a great strategy to sustain attention for homework, too.


I love when I walk into a classroom and see a bin of fidgets that the students have access to when they feel the need to fidget.  Or, some children like to store their fidgets in a pencil box in their desk.  Talk to your students about what might work best for them. Encourage all students to use the fidgets, but be sure to set expectations and rules for fidgets.

Fidget Pencils

My five favorite (silent) fidgets are:
1.    The Fidget Pencil
2.    Tangle Jr.
3.    Boink
4.    Inside Out Ball
5.    Magic Loops
Inside Out Ball

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Flower Power!

About 17 years ago, when I worked for Easter Seals, I treated a girl named Jennifer who had Rett Syndrome.  I loved working with Jen. She had the best smile and awesome thick hair.  Her family was wonderful, too.  When I left to open up Touchstone, I lost touch with Jen and her family, but I think of her often.

Today, while getting a coffee, I found a stack of bookmarks sitting at the counter near the cashier.  The cute flowers, bright colors and the word believe caught my attention. "Believe in the power to cure Rett Syndrome" it said.  I flipped it over to see RettGardenofHope.org; growing hope for girls with Rett Syndrome. Once again, I was reminded of Jen and the hope her family had for her.

So, what is the Garden of Hope? I know that you've seen the puzzle pieces for Autism awareness and the shamrocks for MDA.  Well, this is the same thing, but with flowers for Girl Power! (Rett Syndrome is a genetic, neurological disorder that affects mostly girls.) You can start your own Garden of Hope at your church or school to help find a cure for Rett Syndrome!  Go to gp2c.org to find out how you can help raise awareness and support research for Rett Syndrome.  They have already discovered that re-introducing a protein that the brain needs may help reverse the symptoms!  So, put on your gardening gloves and sew some seeds!

Tell me about your Garden of Hope or how your girl power has helped a child!

Michelle Yoder, OTR/L