Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Apps by Practice Area--Courtesy of the American Occupational Therapy Association

Hey OT buddies!  The AOTA just posted a new and improved list of apps, by practice area.  Several of the practice areas may pertain to us folks working in the schools, so take a look:

List of Apps from AOTA

Friday, September 20, 2013

Looping Countdown Timer for Behavior Training

 Looping Countdown Timer

Must have missed this the last time I reviewed this wonderful website.  This is my answer to trying to remember to set the little manual timers I use with some students, when I'm trying to "catch them working hard" so I can give them points toward their smiley faces  Smiley Face???.  Whew!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Modeling Clay--the next step up

Are You Ready for Modeling Clay???
Yesterday a teacher buddy recommended a brand of clay for elementary-age students, but I must have written the name down wrong because I couldn't find it via my Internet searches.  Oh well,  I came across this interesting post from an artist-daddy and it inspired me to break out of my rut and try some modeling clay with students.  I'm no artist but some of my students are and I think using the clay will provide them with great proprioceptive input to their finger joints, in an age-appropriate kind of way.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Desk Fidgets--Avoiding Flying Objects

Have a student who enjoys fidget toys while waiting for her turn or during transitions?  Here's a way to keep the items tethered to a desk, just in case the student also likes to toss her fidgets around the room.
Be sure to include items that your student especially likes.  Our girl likes music and the colors pink and purple!

You don't have to use a gait belt--a length of unused surgical tubing or some other suitable material might be a better choice--you know what's best and safest for your student.

Monday, September 9, 2013

DIY Ping Pong Table

One of my classes for high schoolers with autism has a beautiful, long "conference" table and large, tall work tables--they are all perfect for using as temporary ping pong tables...eye-hand coordination, balance and vestibular challenges, peer interaction opps...here we come!

DIY Temporary Ping Pong Table video

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Make Your Own Exercise Bands from Recycled T-Shirts

One of my high school classes for students with autism uses exercise bands for upper body strengthening and endurance, as well as an age-appropriate activity to relieve stress.  However, providing classy, name-brand Theraband for several students to use during a group session can get a little pricey, so we're trying another type of bands to start out the new year--made from recycled t-shirts.

Look for an extra-large men's t-shirt, preferably clean.  Measure and mark several inches from the edge
(my first bandwidth was 6").

 Cut through one layer at a time.

Single band--25" from side to side
 Here are three bands and an additional smaller band made from the sleeve of the shirt.

Snip a little border design at the edge of the smaller band and it becomes a cute ponytail  holder.

Of course, these bands don't stretch as uniformly as commercially-made products and I think you'd have to hunt around to find t-shirts with different stretch resistance, but it does provide decent resistance when exercising the arms and hands.  Let's see how it works this year.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Botanical Garden Accessbility

The cloudy day didn't let my little camera capture the beauty of the gardens, but I think you can see how clever and beautiful accessibility was built into this "ramp" to the sunken water garden area.  So gorgeous.

Here are more photos of the garden today:
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden