Friday, October 28, 2016

Research on the Wilbarger Protocol

Therapists, teachers, and parents often ask me if there is any evidence for the Wilbarger Protocol.  The Wilbarger Protocol, also called the Wilbarger Therapressure Program is a treatment approach for sensory defensiveness that is often recommended by occupational therapists.  Unfortunately, there is a lack of quality research to support the use of the Wilbarger Protocol.  My colleagues and I recently had a study published on occupational therapy practitioners’ sources of training in the administration of Wilbarger Therapressure Program.  The study, entitled "Delivery of the Wilbarger Protocol: A survey of pediatric occupational therapy practitioners" was published in The Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools & Early Intervention in 2016.

We investigated the uniformity of administration and the diagnoses for which therapists recommend the protocol.  OTs from the United States completed an online survey investigating specifics related to training and implementation of the protocol.  Thirty-nine percent of the 153 respondents who reported using the protocol reported that they were trained by attending the workshop that the Wilbargers offer.  Slightly less than half (48%) learned how to administer the protocol through hands-on training from another occupational therapist, 7% learned through word of mouth from an OT colleague, 3% through online research, and 3% by other means.

The results suggest that practitioners utilize a variety of approaches related to the training and implementation of the Wilbarger Protocol.  All OT practitioners need to obtain the proper training before recommending and implementing program.  A standardized protocol for the protocol has not been published; therefore, therapists who wish to learn the protocol should attend the Wilbarger workshop.

Lancaster, S. L., Zachry, A. H., Duck, A., Harris, A., Page, E., Sanders, J. (2016). Delivery of the Wilbarger Protocol: A survey of pediatric occupational therapy practitioners. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 9(3), 2016.

Free Thanksgiving Coloring Pages!

Here are several free Thanksgiving coloring pages! Coloring is a wonderful way to improve a variety of different skills.  Fine motor skills and dexterity are required to hold and manipulate a crayon.  If the child doesn't use her thumb and fingers to hold the crayon, break the crayon into small pieces.  Coloring on a vertical surface using a small piece of crayon promotes a tripod grasp and finger flexion and extension, which are desirable!

Click on the following links for the free Thanksgiving coloring pages.


Color the Turkey

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The StayPut Mat Stabilizes Paper for Writing!

Do you know a child who is unable to stabilize the paper when writing? I’ve worked with a number of clients with hemiplegia who struggled with this issue. We tried a variety of approaches, including using a paper weight, taping the paper down,  and using a clip board, but none of these options were ideal. Fortunately, there’s a solution! The StayPut Mat!

When your client is unable to stabilize the paper when writing, try the StayPut Mat!  This is a non-slip drawing mat that stabilizes letter-sized paper for writing.  It’s has lightweight magnetic frame, and it’s durable, portable, and easy to use.  I love mine!  It's the perfect tool to add to your therapy bag!

For more information, visit, or you can purchase one by clicking HERE!