Thursday, July 2, 2015

Research: Standing Programs, Hip Flexibility and Cerebral Palsy

Standing Programs and Hip Flexibility -

Pediatric Physical Therapy published research on the results of a daily standing program and physical therapy on 13 children with spastic diplegia.  The participants were Gross Motor Functional Classification Level III.
Each child used a custom fabricated stander from 12-14 months of age to 5 years of age.  Hip abduction range of motion was evaluated with goniometry at the start of the program and at 5 years of age.
The results indicated that hip abduction was 42° at baseline and 43° at 5 years.
The researchers concluded that although the small difference in range of motion was not clinically significant, it indicated that it is possible to maintain hip abduction ROM in the spastic adductor muscles of children with cerebral palsy with a daily standing program during the children's first 5 years of development.
Reference:  Macias-Merlo et al.  Standing Programs to Promote Hip Flexibility in Children With Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy.  Pediatric Physical Therapy: Fall 2015 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 243–249. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000150
Teaching Motor Skills to Children with Cerebral Palsy - Motor Skills to Children with Cerebral Palsy and Similar Movement Disorders - A Guide for Parents and Professionals -  Find out more at

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fine Motor Fun with Paper Clip People

Paper Clip People from fine motor skills, bilateral skills and separation of the hand with this super cute activity - Paper Clip People.  Download the printable and see the directions at

Monday, June 29, 2015

Patriotic Printables

July 4 freebies from
Here are three FREE printables for July 4th or any patriotic day.
Practice reaction time and visual skills with the Red, White and Blue Game at
Practice visual discrimination, visual motor and figure ground skills with this July 4th Hunt and Find activity at
Practice scissors and lacing skills to make this Flag Mobile at

Friday, June 26, 2015

Research: Heart Rate, Motor Skills and Children with Autism

Heart Rate, Motor Skills and Children with Autism - & Behavior published research on 20 children – 10 with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 10 control subjects to determine how the heart rate adjusts during different physical tests.
Each participant was evaluated using the Eurofit Physical Fitness Test Battery with constant heart rate monitoring. In addition, their parents completed the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales.
The results indicated the following:
1.  both groups show the same trend of heart rate increase (during exercise and also during the maximum effort).
2.  children with ASD presented a significant lower heart rate compared to the control population.
3.  children with ASD showed lower results than controls on plate tapping test, vertical and broad jump tests and the sit up test on the Eurofit Physical Fitness Test Battery.
4.  Children with ASD and higher number of falls on the Flamingo balance test
5.  children with ASD had lower force on the handgrip test
The researchers concluded that the significant heart rate decrease of the ASD group during physical test could be due to an alteration of the cardiac response. Also, their results concur with previous studies indicating that children with ASD exhibit a lack of motor abilities such as balance and executive functions.
Reference:  Marion Pace and Véronique-Aurélie Bricout. Low heart rate response of children with autism spectrum disorders in comparison to controls during physical exercise. Physiology & Behavior.  Volume 141, 15 March 2015, Pages 63–68
Possums-Tail Video from

Possum’s Tail  – Ride magic scooter out to the swamp and explore with little Possum, who wants to find her balance, even though she was born without a tail! Climb across a canyon, hang upside down in a tree, hide from hungry alligator, and like Possum, find your determination.
Possum’s Tail video encourages:
balance and fitness
strength and flexibility
alignment and concentration
self control and self regulation.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Free Schedule Form from Therapy Planner

Here is a free schedule form from Therapy Planner 2015-2016.  This planner will help you stay organized with your student caseload, attendance, lesson planning, IEP meetings and more.
Here are some pictures of more of the forms you get with this great organizer for the 2015-2016 School year:
Therapy Planner from

And more forms….

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Printable - Find and Color Your Name

FInd and Color Letters of Your Name from is a simple activity to help children work on visual scanning, visual discrimination, letter identification and coloring skills.  If the child can not color in the lines, you could use dot markers or colored stickers to identify the letters in the child's name.  You can download it at Your Therapy Source here
Letter Hunt from
 The Letter Hunt ebook includes 26 hunt and find puzzles. For each letter of the alphabet you find and circle 13 upper case letters and 13 lower case letters. Use a pencil to circle the letters, small stickers, dot markers and color in the picture when completed. The ebook is in black and white.  Download a sample page with some ideas of how to use the letter hunts at

Monday, June 22, 2015

Research: Sensory Overresponsivity in Children with Autism

Neurobiology of Sensory Overresponsivity in Children with Autism - Psychiatry published research on the neurobiological basis of sensory overresponsivity (an extreme negative reaction to sensory stimuli) in youth with autism.  Since more than half of youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have sensory overresponsivity (SOR)  the researchers wanted to use functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the differences in brain responses, habituation, and connectivity during exposure to mildly aversive sensory stimuli in 19 youth with ASDs and SOR compared with youth with ASDs without SOR and compared with typically developing control subjects.  The mean age in both groups was 14 years and the majority in both groups (16 of 19 each) were male.
The results indicated the following:
1.  compared with neurotypical control participants, participants with ASDs displayed stronger activation in primary sensory cortices and the amygdala. This activity was positively correlated with SOR symptoms after controlling for anxiety.
2.  participants with ASD with SOR subgroup had decreased neural habituation to stimuli in sensory cortices and the amygdala compared with groups without SOR.
3.  Youth with ASD without SOR showed a pattern of amygdala downregulation, with negative connectivity between the amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex.
The researchers determined that “youth with ASD and SOR show sensorilimbic hyperresponsivity to mildly aversive tactile and auditory stimuli, particularly to multiple modalities presented simultaneously, and show that this hyperresponsivity is due to failure to habituate”. The subset of youth with ASD without SOR were able to regulate their responses through prefrontal downregulation of amygdala activity. The researchers recommend that intervention should include minimizing exposure to multiple sensory modalities and building coping strategies for regulating emotional response to stimuli.
You can read the entire full text article here
Reference:  Green SA, Hernandez L, Tottenham N, Krasileva K, Bookheimer SY, Dapretto M. Neurobiology of Sensory Overresponsivity in Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorders. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online June 10, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.0737.
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Sensory Mini Books to help determine sensory preferences from

Mini Sensory Books –   This electronic book includes 7 sensory mini books, 7 sensory charts, 7 sensory four square strips and over 100 picture word cards. The mini book titles include: TOUCH, MOVE, ATTENTION, CALMING DOWN, EAT, SMELL and LISTEN.  Find out more at
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