Saturday, January 23, 2016

Typical Infant Development--Month 8

Want to see some excellent photos of "normal" (the professional term is "typical") motor development?  This post by one of my buddies features her little guy at age 8 months.  Fantasic skills.

Also, catch a glimpse of her daughter's grasp of a pen--age 2 1/2 years.  Great precursor grasp to tripod and look at her "helper" hand so easily stabilizing the paper.Motor Development

Thursday, January 21, 2016

It Just Might Snow Tomorrow

So I hear...

Wonder if I'll get to take some more snow pictures this weekend?  Our light dusting of snow last weekend made the driveway look real "purdy."

Practicing with 3-D Letters

Yesterday morning a little Kindergarten girl and I practiced making letters the 2-D and 3-D way.  I vote for 3-D.
 I would have used 4 long strips to make each "M" but there weren't enough to go 'round.
Also didn't have any circle/half circle shapes handy so we used my articulated ruler, which she adored.  You can guess the letter she made, right?
This sweetie usually crushes her thumb against the pencil in a tight, lateral pinch.  This hand position is very difficult for her to maintain, especially keeping that nice "O" in the thumb-web space.  But, it is important for the fine movements needed during writing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

So Out of Date

Since my own PCs (personal children) are more than old enough to vote...I am hugely out of touch with most of modern culture, especially if it pertains to anyone born before me.  Of course, the fact that I only listen to the radio a couple of hours a day and some of that is unfamiliar to most people I know (have you ever heard of Writer's Almanac?), you can probably imagine how limited the breadth and depth of my musical knowledge might be.

But, you can learn a lot about music culture by listening to this podcast:
Note:  Self-serving link alert!

So, when the little guy I see a couple of times a month started singing a song this morning, I was clueless about the lyrics or the background.  His astonished mom said to me, "You haven't heard about the 'Fox" song?"  Well, the minute they walked out of school I ran to the computer to look it up.  Yes, I do know about the Internet.

"What Does the Fox Say?"

And, if you want to venture into foreign territory and just, maybe, hear something beautiful to start off, or top off, your day tune your dial to this short radio program:

Friday, January 15, 2016

Innovative Class Business

When you sell cards for a class fund-raising project you've got to think ahead.

Hmmmm...what holiday is coming up in February????  I think it's.......

Valentine's Day!
Two high school classes for students with autism ran their first sale featuring Hanukkah and Christmas cards and they are now ramping up their efforts to have enough items to sell for Valentine's Day.  Stationery Central

It takes some heavy-duty fine motor coordination and strength to fold this thick paper
into n'little envelopes.

Very debonair card design on the lower left!
These students will be featuring their class business and products during a county-wide Resource Day in early February; bet some impressed visitors will be placing last-minute orders for these pretty cards!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Critter Crayons

One morning this week a little Kindergarten student was so excited to show me her new crayons--critter crayons!  She said the yellow one (Mr. Monkey) did not color very well, but the others are great.  So cool and motivating!

Sorry, don't have info on the manufacturer but I've heard that crayons are easy to make at home....

Monday, January 11, 2016

OT and High School Students with Autism

Many of the special ed teachers I work with in high schools are very familiar with how to help students with autism practice/prepare for the experiences they'll typically encounter during the high school years.  This is a very helpful resource from AOTA, for OTs and others, when working with students who are living with autism spectrum disorder during the high school years:

Friday, January 8, 2016

Playing Indoors in the Snow

One of the instructional assistants in the high school class for students with autism was so excited to show me a great activity this morning, based on this post:

Playing Indoors in the Snow

3 cups of baking soda + 1/2 cup of hair conditioner = great indoor snow

Here we go:

Have a whole cup and a half cup measuring set out on the table.  Ask the students to choose the needed size, based on the recipe.

Just stir.  Take turns.  Observe grasps...

I think stirring by hand would work, too.

Dump it all on the clean table and start squeezing.

It really does clump together, like real snow.

It really does hold together long enough to make a snowman.

Gather up the remnants and squeeze again.

There's the snowman.  Just needs a little decoration.

Your snowman won't melt, but he won't firm up like bread dough, either.  I say, take him apart and make something new.  Maybe...a polar bear?
Measuring, firmly grasping the mixing spoon and keeping the bowl from flying all over the table, touching the cool, silky mix and thinking of an object to create, asking a neighbor to share materials--many skills to practice.

Thanks to Kerry J. for her Pinterest sleuthing and sharing this idea with me!

Update--used this activity with two middle schoolers yesterday during a combined Speech-OT session and it was very interesting...the students were a little hesitant to touch the "snow" but they also loved the cool feel of it.  Even the student who had difficulty holding the snow in her palm was willing to pinch little bits of it so she could "make it snow" on the adults' hands!

The SLP got loads of concepts snuck into the activity.  Gave the leftovers to the students' teacher for more fun this week.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"Concussion" and Brain Injury Assocation of Virginia

Very glad to read this article in our local paper, on the topic of brain injury:

Brain Injury article

Think about how many families will be helped by Ms. McDonnell's words.  If you have a passion to share information about your area of knowledge--go for it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Yes, It Really Does Snow in Virginia

For all the non-believers out there who think we never get snow in the south:

Well, it snowed a little.  Yes, for about 30 minutes, total, and it all melted immediately upon hitting the warm ground.  However, I think there will be more to come!

Seeing the pretty snowfall was exciting and made the first day back to work after two weeks of vacation seem a little more do-able.