Friday, March 24, 2023

Fun Activity for Visual Perceptual Skills!

Making and copying designs with foam shapes is a great way to have a child work on their visual perceptual skills. Start by having the child create a simple design using 3 to 5 shapes. You can then copy the design that they created.

Next swap it up. You create another design, and ask the child to make one just like yours. If the first one you create is too challenging, simplify it by using fewer shapes.

When your child is able to copy the designs independently, gradually make them more complicated so that the child has a "just right challenge!"

The foam shapes are available on Amazon.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Pincer Grasp Activities


When a child holds a small object between the tips of the index finger and thumbs, this is called a superior or refined pincer grasp. The superior pincer grasp typically develops by 12 months of age, but it may develop a few months earlier in some babies.


Pincer Grasp Activities


Incorporating activates into an infant’s regular routine is a great was to help develop the pincer grasp. At snack time, provide small food items such as Cheerios and put each piece into a different section of a plastic ice tray. This will encourage baby to use a pincer grasp when reaching in to grasp the pieces. I would recommend taping the ice tray to the table or highchair tray so it doesn’t slide around. Here are a few more activities to help develop a pincer grasp.


1.     Peel off stickers small “kids” stickers and place them on a piece of paper.

2.     Tape a piece of contact paper to the wall with the sticky side facing outward. Have your child pick up small pom poms or cotton ball pieces and stick them to the contact paper.

3.     Cut several colorful straws into small pieces. Have the child pick up one piece at a time and drop it into a water bottle.

4.     Take a kitchen whisk and stuff it full of small pom poms and have your child remove them.

5.     Playing with toys that require a pincer grasp provides opportunities for practicing the skill, which is how motor learning occurs. Practices improves muscle strength and coordination, and it will also improve your little one’s confidence!

Monday, January 16, 2023

The Importance of Reading!!!



Early exposure to reading increases a child’s chances of future academic success. Reading experience, as well as exposure to rich conversations, help improve a child’s vocabulary and ability to communicate.

This is not good news for children who live in poverty. Research has found that there are a dozen or more books per child in neighborhoods with average incomes; however, in poor neighborhoods you will only find one book for every three hundred children. Additionally, there is significantly less conversation between these parents and their children. These issues lead to limited exposure to reading for children living and poverty.

What does this mean? By the time they are school age, these children have 25% of the vocabulary than children from middle-income neighborhoods, which puts them below the national norms with language and prereading skills.

Many organizations in the United State are working to decrease this gap, by making books available to those who cannot afford them. They are working to increase the access of low-income families to books. For more information, visit their websites.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library 

Reading is Fundamental

First Books

Photo Credit: Stephen Andrews @ Unsplash

Friday, November 4, 2022

How early can ADHD be recognized?

How can a parent know if their 3 or 4 year old has an attention problem? Is it possible to recognize Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) before a child starts to grade school? Dr. Mark Mahone, director of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Maryland says yes. He feels that it is important to identify ADHD as early as possible because of the impact that it has on a child’s academic performance in school. Interestingly, warning signs of this disorder frequently appear in preschool, around age 4. By school age, the Centers for Disease Control reports that one in 11 school children have been diagnosed with ADHD.

The following early signs are associated with ADHD.

  1. Avoids tasks that require sustained attention for up to one to two minutes.
  2. Does not maintain interest in a task after several minutes, and switches to another task.
  3. Is more verbal and noisier than same-age peers.
  4. Climbs on furniture and other items when directed not to.
  5. Unable to hop on one foot by four years of age.
  6. Is constantly restless, wiggling feet and hands and not wanting to stay seated.
  7. Puts self in danger because he exhibits no fear.
  8. Not cautious of strangers
  9. Displays inappropriate aggression with peers.
  10.  Frequent injuries (broken bones or stiches) because of impulsivity.

Of course, any time a parent has concerns related to their child’s development, they should consult with their pediatrician.

Source: Psychology Today

Friday, August 19, 2022

Sleep Problems Solved: Get Cool Koala Child-Friendly Bedtime Meditations!!!

It can be challenging, and sometimes nearly impossible, to get your kids to fall asleep quickly and get a good night's rest. Now, there is a solution to this problem! Cool Koala, created by music therapist Ryan Judd, is a program of relaxing, engaging, bedtime meditation sessions. Ryan’s intuitive and deliberate approach to his work with children is evident in this amazing product. Every evening, your child will have access to a unique, child-friendly guided meditation. With fun characters like Cool Koala, Busy Beaver, and Cranky Cat, your child will look forward to relaxing and going to bed. Not only will your nighttime routine go more smoothly, but your child will also gain skills that will help them relax, focus, and find peace on a day-to-day basis moving forward. I highly recommend Cool Koala Meditations!


To learn more about Ryan Judd, visit his website, The Rhythm Tree!

Friday, June 10, 2022

VOTE NO for the proposed AOTA Bylaws changes!


Dear reader,
      If you are an AOTA member, please VOTE NO for the proposed AOTA Bylaws changes! The AOTA Board of Directors has put forth a full set of “New” Bylaws.   There are major changes put forth that will impact your representation and voice in the Associations affairs.  
     Some of the proposed changes include but not limited to: 

1. Changing the means method for which slating and voting for certain key positions will occur;
2. Establishment of an Executive Committee to take action on behalf of the Association with limited input;
3. Eliminates state/geographical representation in the Representative Assembly and reduces the Assembly membership to 23 “appointed” positions;
4. Restructuring of the Executive Board membership with the elimination of a separate Treasurer and Secretary and elimination of voice or vote representation from State Association Presidents and other key groups that support the membership.    
5. Revises language from “requiring” that the Board provide AOTA membership with an Annual update of activities and affairs to “may provide” which leaves it up to the discretion of the Board versus mandating this occur.

The vote for the AOTA revised bylaws is open now through June 24th. Please VOTE NO!!!!



Wednesday, May 25, 2022

How to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

In one year, all across this country, approximately 2,500 infants die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS. SIDS awareness is critical. If you are not familiar with that term, SIDS is the unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant during sleep. Prior to 1992, most babies in the United States slept on their stomachs. In 1992, after researchers discovered that infants were approximately 12 times more likely to be found on their stomachs than on their backs when they had died of SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that all infants be placed to sleep on their backs or sides. Later, the side position was eliminated from the recommendation because infants could roll from their sides to their stomachs in their sleep. Since that original sleep position recommendation was made by the AAP in 1992, 50% fewer infants have died from SIDS. Putting babies to sleep on their backs turned out to be a simple and effective way to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome!

                                                               Photo Credit: Free Digital

Following these recommendations reduces the risk of SIDS.

  • Position your infant on their back to sleep. 
  • Use a firm, flat sleep surface.  
  • Your baby can be brought into your bed for feeding or comforting, but return your baby to her back in her crib when you are ready to go to sleep.  
  • Bed-sharing is not recommended for any babies.  
  • Room share by keeping baby’s sleep area in the same room where you sleep, ideally for the first 6 months.  
  • Keep soft objects, loose bedding, or any objects that could increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation out of the baby’s sleep area.  
  • Do not let your baby fall asleep on nursing pillows or pillow-like lounging pads.  
  • Never place your baby to sleep on a couch, sofa, or armchair.  
  • It is fine to swaddle your baby. However, make sure that your baby is always on her back when you swaddle her.  
  • Try giving a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.  
  • Set up a separate but proximate sleeping environment.  
  • Do not smoke or use any nicotine products during pregnancy or around your baby. Secondhand smoke increases baby’s risk of SIDS. 
  • Avoid alcohol, marijuana, opioid, and illicit drug use during pregnancy. 
  • Don’t let your baby overheat. She should be lightly clothed for sleep, with the bedroom temperature remaining comfortable.  
  • Use a crib, bassinet, or play yard. These have safety standards. Never let your baby sleep on a couch, armchair, cushion, or adult bed.  
  • Avoid commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS. Research reveals that sleep positioners (flat or wedged mats with side bolsters) pose a risk of suffocation because a baby can get trapped and suffocate between the sleep positioner and the side of a crib or bassinet. 
  • Don’t let your baby share a bed.  
  • Breastfeeding is recommended.  
  • Pregnant women should receive regular prenatal care.  
  • Do not rely on home monitors as a strategy to reduce the risk of SIDS. 
  • There is no evidence that home monitors decrease the incidence of SIDS. 
  • Keep immunizations up to date. 
Dear Readers, If you have found my blog to be helpful, please click here and "like" my facebook page...I would really appreciate it! Thanks :)