Sunday, April 27, 2014

Guest Post by Dr. Beverly Moskowitz, OT & Handwriting Expert!

I’m pleased to introduce Dr. Beverly Moskowitz, this week’s guest blogger for Pediatric OT Tips! Dr. Moskowitz is a true handwriting expert! She is also a nationally recognized speaker with 38+ years of experience as a pediatric Occupational Therapist and a specialist in educationally based practice.

In 2010, Bev launched Real OT Solutions, Inc.  Its mission, as both a service and product-oriented business is to provide consumers with Effective, Efficient, Affordable and Fun solutions to school needs.  Guided by the research and literature, Bev formalized and tested an innovative method to teaching handwriting that resulted in fast, immediate and lasting changes.  The result is the Size Matters Handwriting Program—a comprehensive approach that is measurable, fiscally responsible, adaptable, easy and now… proven. 

Do you suffer from Handwriting Headaches? 

-  Completing practice pages diligently but still not transitioning your children to legibility?
-  Struggling to build printing carryover from home and therapy to the classroom or other writing assignments?
-  Losing the battle to technology?


Stop whatever strategy you have been using to date.  Neat printing is not that hard.  Neither is it about the variable you’ve probably been drilling.

Chances are that your workbook, verbal feedback, visual references and more have been focusing on the forms of each letter or number. 

But here’s a news flash.  It is not about form.  There are 62 different forms when you add up all the upper case letters, lower case letters and numbers.  Rather, it’s about size.   Letter Size.  When you focus on Size, form follows.  Not the other way around.  And when you correct errors in letter size, you’ll see an immediate difference in the consistency, and thus readability of the written page.

And here is even better news.  There are only 3 sizes.   When children concentrate on making their letters touch the writing lines in all the right places, there is an immediate and dramatic change in readability.  Yes, you’ve read that right.  Children catch on quickly, empowered by the knowledge of what makes letters Star-Worthy and why others need more work.

Stars.  Dice.  Spaghetti.  Meatballs.  Singing.  Dancing.  Could these all be features of a proven approach to teaching and remediating handwriting?  You bet.

Stay tuned to learn more.  Or sneak a peak at the Size Matters Handwriting Program at  

Research, evidence, Key Concepts and The Rules are coming soon.  You can and will get handwriting under control. 

Dear Readers, If you have found my blog to be helpful, please "like" my Facebook page and follow my blog...Thanks :) 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Visual Schedules Help Children with Changes in Routine

Children diagnosed with autism or Asperger’s syndrome often get anxious with changes in routine. If your child frequently becomes anxious when her routine is altered, you may want to try using a visual schedule. Once a child becomes accustomed to a visual schedule, this can drastically reduce tantrums, meltdowns, and acting out. Here is how to make a basic visual schedule that may help transitions go more smoothly for autism and Asperger’s children.
If your child can read, write the name of each task that you would like him to complete on two or three small squares of card stock. You can customize the difficulty to your child's developmental level. If he is unable to read, take snapshots of what you want him to do (or of him completing the task). You will also need a word or image that represent a reward that your child is motivated to work for. Cut each of the words/images into a small square and laminate them.
For the "base" of the visual schedule, use an entire piece of cardstock. Take a marker and outline each word/photo card then write 1, 2, 3, etc. inside each square. You will also need to attach small pieces of velcro to the "base" as well as to the word/photo cards. (See image below.)
Position each square in the order that you want the tasks completed and place the reward in the final square. Show your child the visual schedule and say, "look, first you are going to read, then you will write, then you can play on the "sit-and-spin" (or computer, or whatever the motivational item/activity might be). Once your child completes the first part of the task, have him remove the first square. Continue down the visual schedule until your child earns the reward. Be sure to tell your child, "good job, you did your work, now you get to spin/play, etc."
I hope that you find the use of a visual schedule to be helpful with transition time!

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