Sunday, May 20, 2012

Challenging Visual Perceptual Skills Using Tangram Puzzles


The visual skills that a person uses to understand, analyze, and interpret all that is seen are called visual perception. Tangram puzzles are a great activity to challenge visual perceptual skills. Tangrams are also great for helping to develop motor planning skills, spatial relations, and eye hand coordination, and to top it off, they require a child to use problem-solving skills! I use them frequently in therapy to help students with understanding properties such as shape, size, and symmetry. Click here to check out a few of my favorites that I use in therapy.


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Friday, May 18, 2012

Information about ADHD


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)- One of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood.

There are 3 subtypes
1)    Predominantly Inattentive Type: Difficult to organize or finish a task, doesn’t pay attention to details, follow instructions or conversations. Is easily distracted, frequently forgets the details of daily routines.
2)   Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: Fidgets and talks a lot. Can’t sit still for long. Restless, may be impulsive and interrupt. May not wait turn or listen to directions. May be accident-prone. Small children run, jump, and climb constantly.
3)   Combined Type: Symptoms of 1 & 2 are equally present.

Several Different Treatment Options
1)    Behavioral Interventions: Follow a Schedule; Get organized-put everything in the same place; Limit choices-don’t overwhelm the child on a test or at home; Give immediate feedback and consequences because the child may forget what happened. Remember, they are “in the moment.” Also- always praise effort!
2)   Medication: Parents need to consider pros and cons- side effects (weight loss & headaches)
3)   Parent Education: These kids may not respond to typical parenting approaches, so parents may need to learn about: organizational strategies, problem-solving strategies, coping skills.
4)   Teacher Education: Homework folder/binder, positive reinforcement, awareness of importance of self-esteem issues, different options for accommodations.


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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Speaking Wednesday Night: Advocates for Children's Education


I'm excited to be speaking tomorrow night for a new group called Advocate's for Children's Education (ACE). Here is some information about this wonderful group!
Mission Statement: By educating parents, teachers, and clinicians about learning differences, our goal is for each student to be fully equipped to be used as an instrument of God in whatever endeavor he chooses.

Next meeting

Wednesday, May 16th 6-7:30pm

Christ United Methodist Church
Memphis, TN

Wilson Ross Rm 401/402

Speaker: Anne Zachry, Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Topic: ADHD and subtypes, Auditory Processing, Sensory Processing, Dyslexia…What are they? 

What strategies and therapies help?
 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Fun Spring Fine Motor Activity

I wish that I could say that this was my idea, but it wasn't. I saw this cute picture hanging outside of a kindergarten class at one of my schools, and I had to try it out with my students! Just think of all the skills that are addressed with this one activity...

Tactile- Finger paint the blue sky.
Scissor Skills- Cut the toilet paper role in half. Snip the construction paper to make the grass.
Fine motor- "Scrunching" the tissue paper to make the tree leaves.
Gluing Skills- Glue on the t.p. roll, grass, and tissue paper leaves.
Fine motor- Peel the paper off of the butterfly and sunshine stickers, then place them on the picture. Perfect!

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Matching Colors AND Improving Fine Motor Skills!

The parent workshop was a great success. I was so excited to share ideas and suggestions that parents will be able to carry out with their children to work on a variety of skills. I could tell that the parents were eager to learn as much as possible, and that really excites me, because I'm a true believer in working together as a team for the children.

There is a cute activity that I shared in the workshop that addresses fine motor skills and coordination, while also teaching a child how to match various colors. All that you need for this project are an ice cube tray, a small bag of glass gems (found at dollar stores or Amazon), sticky back foam sheets (found at craft stores or Amazon), tongs, and a pair of scissors.


Cut narrow strips of foam and line the inside of each ice cube "slot" with a different color (see photo). Cut out small circles of corresponding colors and stick them on either side of a gem. If you don't want to use gems, you can use different colors of pom-poms.
Once you have lined all of the "slots" with foam and covered the gems with corresponding colors, it's time to have some fun. Give the child a pair of tongs, and have her pick up each gem and find the matching color in the tray and place the gem in the correct slot. You may need to provide some verbal cues at first, but it won't take long for your little ones to catch on!
video


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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Parents and Therapists Working Together


I'm so excited! I'm having a parent workshop tonight! It's called Parents and Therapists Working Together. The workshop will include a brief overview of school-based occupational and physical therapy services, and the remainder of the session will focus on a variety of strategies and techniques that parents can carry-over in the home setting to help their children with fine motor skills and handwriting. I'm giving this workshop with funds that I got from a grant through The National Education Association. I'm also going to two wonderful continuing education courses with funds from the grant. If you work for the public school system and would like to learn more about NEA grants for educators, click here.

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