Monday, July 30, 2012

Social Story for Playing Nicely

Here is a fun social story that I put together for a parent who was having some challenges with his child's behaviors at home. He shared that his oldest son was having difficulty playing nicely with his younger brother, not wanting to share toys and having tantrums at times. Here is the social story booklet that I put together for them. Whenever possible, I like to use actual photographs in my social stories because I think that children can relate to the story on a more personal level. (I have covered the photos and the boys names to maintain their privacy.) 
If you have difficulty reading the text, it says: 

I play nicely with my brother.
My name is Joe.
 I have a brother named  Bob.
Sometimes Bob and I play together.
Lots of times we have fun playing together.

But sometimes we both want to play with the same toy.

I don't like to share the toy with my brother. This makes me angry and I sometimes have a tantrum.

When I have a tantrum, I usually hit my brother, lean on him, and pull his shirt.

But if I hit my brother, and do those things, he will get hurt and won't
want to play with me any more.

I like to play with Bob.

When I don't want to share a toy with Bob, instead of having a tantrum and hitting, leaning or pulling Bob's shirt, I will watch a video on You Tube to make me feel better.

I like my brother. I will not hurt him.

Dear Readers, If you have found my blog to be helpful, please "like" my Facebook page and follow my blog...I'm trying to get my book published and this would be a great help! Thanks :) 

Notice that as an alternative to the negative behaviors (tantrum, hitting, leaning, etc.) Joe is given something else to do that makes him feel better. I specifically asked what he liked to do that would be a positive alternative to the tantrum (watch a video on You Tube) and included that in the social story. This could be listening to calming music, singing a song, jumping on a trampoline, or any other positive alternative.

Social stories are great tools for building social skills! 


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Squiggle, Wiggle Writer: Fun Therapy Tool!

Have you ever seen a Squiggle, Wiggle Writer? It is a great little vibrating pen that can be used in therapy, and kids absolutely love it! It is triangular in shape and slightly heavy, so it's great for helping a child learn to use more pressure when writing, especially when the vibration component is turned on. In order to maintain control of the pen, a child has to press down fairly hard. The vibration also increases kinesthetic awareness of the hand.

As you can see in the video, this child is not resting her forearm on the table. She's using whole arm movement to control the pen. After I prompt her, (on the second line) she rests her forearm on the table, which encourages her to use more wrist movement and finger dexterity for writing.

I also love these pens because they come with several small color cartridges. The cartridges can be used without the pen and their small size promotes a nice pencil grasp. As you can see in the video below, the student is struggling to maintain an appropriate grasp on the cartridge while forming a star. She keeps a nice open webspace the entire time, but she occasionally lifts her forearm off of the table and reverts to wrapping her thumb around her index and middle fingers, but with prompts and a little assistance, she is able to complete the task successfully. This is a great exercise for the intrinsic muscles of her hand (which are quite weak).

Squiggle, Wiggle Writer's  are available on Amazon and on most therapy websites.

Dear Readers, If you have found my blog to be helpful, please "like" my Facebook page and follow my blog...I'm trying to get my book published and this would be a great help! Thanks :) 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wonderful Blog: Notes From a Pediatric Occupational Therapist

I have to tell you about another wonderful OT blog, Notes From a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. It is written by Abby, a pediatric occupational therapist with experience working in school-based practice, early intervention (birth to three), and feeding therapy. She created this blog as a place to share her thoughts and ideas about pediatric occupational therapy, and to share resources with therapists, parents and teachers. It is an amazing resource that you need to check out!

She also has an amazing new feature called A Parent’s Perspective. Every week, she will be feature a family with a child (or children) with special needs to share their perspective on the therapy process, share their favorite resources, and share pictures of their fantastic kids! In fact, she is currently looking for more families to feature, so contact her at AbbyPediatricOT [at] gmail [dot] com if you are interested.

Here are Abby’s goals for the Parent's Perspective feature (taken straight from her blog):

1. Provide therapists with a parent's perspective on the therapy process, which will hopefully help therapists become more empathetic and reflective in their practice.

2. Connect parents of children with special needs to other parents in a similar situation.

3. Allow parents and professionals to share their favorite resources that make life a little easier/to help families share their thoughts on therapy with therapists.

Please visit Notes from a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and subscribe to Abby’s posts. You’ll be glad you did!

Dear Readers, If you have found my blog to be helpful, please "like" my Facebook page and follow my blog...I'm trying to get my book published and this would be a great help! Thanks :) 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Must-Have Resource: "From Rattles to Writing"

                            "From Rattles to Writing" by Barbara Smith, MS, OTR/L
                     Bonus! It's 10% off during the month of July at Therapro!

This book is a must have for therapists, parents, and any professional that works with young children! Are you in need of a solid resource full of fun, playful activities that help children build a strong developmental foundation? If so, “From Rattles to Writing” is for you! In this wonderful book, occupational therapist Barbara Smith shares skill-building games, songs, activities, and toys for children with and without special needs. The activities in this wonderful resource develop the visual motor and sensory processing skills that are necessary for a child to be successful in school. There are also specific strategies for improving pencil grasp, writing, and cutting with scissors. “From Rattles to Writing” is #1 on my list of highly recommended books! 

Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR/L is also seminar presenter and author of The Recycling Occupational Therapist. For more information, check out her website at: