#AOTA17

10 Reasons Every OT Should Attend #AOTA17

<#AOTA17 is a must!  See 10 reasons why you HAVE to go!>

#AOTA17

I’ve been an OT for seventeen years, but I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d never attended the AOTA conference until #AOTA15 in Nashville, Tennessee.

My excuses were:

  • It cost too much
  • I’d have to miss work
  • None of my friends were going/ I wouldn’t know anyone

Two years ago, my old roommate from college asked me if I was interested in attending #AOTA15 in Nashville.

YES!   I’d been dying to go to Nashville, it was a chance to hang out with my former partner-in-crime for a few days, so I was totally in.

That trip totally changed my perspective on the AOTA conference. 

Truthfully, I had no idea what I’d been missing!

Now, I can honestly say that I’ll make every effort to attend the AOTA conference each year. I decided to write this article to convince the Occupational Therapy practitioners who are thinking “hmm maybe…” to   “YES!” for  #AOTA17.

Here are 10 reasons YOU should go To #AOTA17 in PhilLY!

*This post contains affiliate links

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Middle School and Handwriting

How to Improve Horrendous Handwriting When All Hope Is Lost

This post contains affiliate links.

Handwriting and Middle School

Middle School and Handwriting  – part 2

When I first learned that I was getting hired in the district where I currently work, I was beyond thrilled.     A school district job!  It’s like winning the lottery!

Then I heard the rest…

I would be split between two schools.

Okay…I can live with that.

Two MIDDLE schools.  Teenagers.  

Ummm, I’m not sure I can live with that!

I can still remember the creep of red crawling up my neck as I answered the principal on the phone. “Great!  Looking forward to it!”

A million scenarios ran through my head- Will they listen to me?  What if they’re rude? I’m so used to the little kiddos – will I be able to do it?  Butterflies were flying wildly in my stomach.  Self-doubt had totally set in.  

But to tell you the truth – I loved it. The kids were great. Teenagers are just big kids, full of laughter and good-natured mischief.

What really did stink?   All the Handwriting.  Oh, the handwriting.   

Reading messy handwriting is seriously torturous.  Like… comparable to squinting at the sun.handwriting and middle school

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How to Adapt Buttoning and Zipping For Your Child

<Buttoning and Zipping can be stressful and difficult to learn.  Check out these OT tricks to adapt buttons and zippers for your kid!>

 

Busy parents on the go have their plate full in the morning. Breakfast, washing up, brushing teeth, and finding backpacks all help create that chaotic school day morning.

Then don’t forget about getting dressed! 

When little ones can get dressed on their own, it takes a huge burden off moms and dads in the morning.  Buttons and zippers can be a major inconvenience.

BUT- there are some simple ways to adapt buttoning and zipping so that your child can do it independently.

Many toddlers and young school age children wear sweats and leggings to school to avoid the work of buttoning and zipping.

What about older children with weak fine motor skills?

What about children with physical limitations?

They should be able to wear jeans and other clothing just like their peers!    Here’s how.

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SNAPTYPE PRO

The App That Will Make You a Hero To Your Dysgraphic Students

<Students who struggle with getting their thoughts on paper and HATE writing  will LOVE this game-changing app called SnapType Pro.>


With two weeks left of school, the middle school was HOT and sticky.  The smell of sweaty teenagers who just didn’t want to be in school permeated through the hallways.  As I sat across from the teenager who “HATES writing”, I could see his face growing red.

The tears were building up.

And he still had one more essay to finish.

Having to concentrate on a final exam is just torture for anyone, but it’s even worse for a child with a disability.   

Thank goodness I found a way to help this poor child. 

square-hero-2

Does this sound familiar? 

If you know someone who is dysgraphic, you’re familiar with the symptoms.

  • Messy handwriting
  • Difficulty putting thoughts down on paper
  • Physically slow when writing
  • Difficulty with spelling
  • Organizing words and sentences is a challenge

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core strength

How To Support Your Child’s Core Strength Development Every Day

Back in the olden days, my parents had to walk to school 2 miles each way. Barefoot. Uphill. And they had to walk home for lunch, too.   Motor skill development wasn’t such a problem back then.

As a child, I never questioned how it was possible that it was uphill both ways, but now I get the feeling they may have been exaggerating.  Just a bit.

In today’s day and age, kids hardly ever walk to school.  Or anywhere, for that matter.  Even the ones who live down the block get dropped off by parents on their way to work.  I can see how this is easier during the morning rush and safer than letting your child wander the streets alone.  But kids need exercise.  And the truth is, there are easy ways to make sure you are supporting your child’s health and gross motor skill development every single day. Continue reading

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fine motor Scissors

Fine Motor Skills and Cutting

<Learn how to improve your child’s cutting skills with these simple tips from a pediatric OT. This post contains affiliate links>

How to Improve Your Child’s Cutting Skills 

“Cutting?”   The mom looked at me nervously…. “Um, I’ve never given my child scissors…. I don’t want him to hurt himself….”   Her face turned red.   “Should I?!”

The poor mom was panicking as she asked me about kindergarten.  She was totally nervous that her son wouldn’t be able to keep up.  Trying to reassure her, I asked how he holds his pencil and how were his cutting skills.  And instead of making her feel better, I made it way worse!   Uh-oh.

(This happens all the time, by the way.  Moms don’t realize that kids should be cutting WAY before Kindergarten. But really – if you are worried that your kid will hurt themselves when they are sitting with you in the kitchen, do you really want them learning how to cut while the teacher is also supervising 20 other kids? )

Nah – better to get them started before school so they know what they are doing.  It gives them a “leg up” on the rest of the kids.    You can always give them those little safety scissors if you are worried that they will cut themselves.   Or the playdoh scissors, which don’t have real blades.

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