Sunday, February 28, 2010
The first one is entitled A Preschool Teachers Back to Basic Guide to Hand and Fine Motor Skill Development. This article is also appropriate to distribute to parents of babies and young children. It explains the importance of tummy time, the influence of too much screen time, the drawbacks to electronic toys and more. There are simple tables to view on appropriate fine motor development and suggested activities to encourage hand development.
The second article is entitled Managing Sensory Processing Disorder in the Preschool Classroom. The author defines sensory processing disorder and recommends a 4 step process for teachers. The four step process includes identifying children who may sensory processing issues, communicating with parents and therapists, empathizing with the child and strategizing how to help. There is some clear tables indicating signs of sensory processing disorder.
Friday, February 26, 2010
The first I tested was Letter Tracer. This app was $0.99 when I purchased it. I really liked the simplicity of Letter Tracer. The letter is shown in capital or lowercase. There is a voice over to say each letter and number aloud as it appears on the screen. You can change the settings so that you can "write" with different colors and pen size. You can also change the voice from male, female or child. The touch screen picks up the child's finger rather easily which is a plus. Although, there is no guide for where the child to draw the actual strokes of each letter. You can choose between having a stencil of the letter as seen on the right side or no stencil and a blank screen for the child to write the letter.
The second one I tried was ABC Letters Tracing Lite. This app was free for the lite version. I tested the lite version which only goes from the letters A-F. The benefit of this app is that it demonstrates the actual strokes of each letter for the child to follow. Each letter is said aloud with the phonetic sound of each letter. You can choose to view the strokes or to just trace over the letter. There is nice visual and verbal feedback when each stroke is completed. If you choose to follow each stroke, the child must be very precise. This can get frustrating for the child. He/she is doing the correct stroke but the touch screen does not register it exactly resulting in negative feedback (i.e. sorry, try again...). If the child does not follow each stroke and just chooses the tracing option, he/she does not need to be as precise.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
1. Parents fears that children's skills are not sufficient for preschool admission?
2. Is the focus too strong on grip and handwriting at such a young age?
3. Lack of information regarding all the other skills that occupational therapists are trained in?
Any other thoughts on the article?
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This is a great activity to encourage fine motor skills, tactile input and creativity. The big bonus - can be simple or very complex so it works well with kids of varying abilities. Here are the full directions for Fabric Creations.
Give this one a try!
Friday, February 19, 2010
Reference: Speltz M, et al "Case-control study of neurodevelopment in deformational plagiocephaly" Pediatrics 2010; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-0052.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Reference: Simple tests in babyhood ‘could point to children who need help with learning’ Retrieved from the web on 2/18/2010 from http://www.cls.ioe.ac.uk/news.asp?section=000100010003&item=557
Lots of early childhood and elementary school celebrate the 100th day of school. For most schools this day is rapidly approaching(or perhaps past so you can use these ideas next year). Here are some suggested activities that celebrate the 100th day and encourage sensory motor skill development:
1. 100 Day Snack Mix: Ask each child to bring in 100 small food items. Mix together a large snack mix. The children will have to manipulate the small items, count them and follow several steps to create the recipe. This activity will encourage fine motor skills, motor planning and perhaps expand food tasting.
2. Hide and Seek: Hide 100 small objects in the sand or rice table. Have a large chart near by and the children can put one object in each box until all 100 are found. This can be a great small group activity. This activity encourages fine motor skills, tactile input and counting skills.
3. 100 Day Exercises: Perform 100 of several different exercises. Count by tens to have some variety and to keep the children's interest.
4. 100 Day Toss and Catch: See if the children can partner up with different kids. Throw and catch a bean bag, soft ball or beach ball. Keep tally marks and see if a child can accomplish 100 catches. If not, can any kids partner up to equal 100 catches.
5. 100 Day Walking Club: Start a walking club on the 100th day. The goal will be to walk 100 minutes per week. Give each participant (students and staff) a chart to keep track of their walking. Provide prizes for anyone who is able to walk 100 minutes per week until the end of the school year. Print out this 100 Day Walking Chart to get started.
Click on the link below to preview the document.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
iphone and ipod applications for (Special) Education
Do the children that you work with use any of the above technologies?
Monday, February 15, 2010
Friday, February 12, 2010
Looking forward to these results! The could open up an large opportunity to change motor skills in children with cerebral palsy.
Reference: Medical College of Georgia (2010, February 11). First FDA-approved stem cell trial in pediatric cerebral palsy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 12, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/02/100211121812.htm
Reference: Northwestern University (2010, February 11). New clue why autistic people don't want hugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 12, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/02/100211121758.htm
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
- eat evening meals as a family at least 5x/week
- get at least 10.5 hours of sleep per night
- have less than 2 hours of screen time per day
have a 40% lower chance of obesity compared to preschoolers who have been exposed to none of the routines mentioned above.Need some ideas for kids when you turn off the television? Check out our sensory motor activity books or fine motor activity books.
Read previous post on getting children to fall asleep faster.
Reference: Anderson, Sarah E., Whitaker, Robert C.Household Routines and Obesity in US Preschool-Aged Children Pediatrics 2010 0: peds.2009-0417
The authors state that the limited number of participants was a significant limitation of this study. The researchers recommend further research to determine the proper amount of weight to be added to a weighted vest for there are no standard guidelines.
What percentage of body weight do you recommend for weighted vests? Do you collect data on whether the weighted vest is benefiting the child? Scary to me that the use of weighted vests are common practice and there is very limited research to back it all up.
Reference: Brian Reichow, Erin E. Barton, Joanna Neely Sewell, Leslie Good, and Mark Wolery Effects of Weighted Vests on the Engagement of Children With Developmental Delays and Autism Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities 2010 25: 3-11
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Reference: Winnie W. Y. Hung, Marco Y.C. Pang Effects of group-based versus individual-based exercise training on motor performance in children with developmental coordination disorder: A randomized controlled study. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. Vol. 42/2010 (2): 122-128.
Sensory Motor Group Activities A to Z. Summary: Download of an electronic book of over 50 sensory motor group activities for every letter of the alphabet plus over 20 printable sheets to compliment the activities.
If you work with any children or adults who are moderately to severely disabled you may want to learn more about one switch access. OneSwitch.org is a comprehensive website on: how to adapt electronic gadgets and computer controls for one switch access, ideas for one switch use, gaming suggestions and more. Worth a look.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Do you see a higher rate of these symptoms in mixed handed children?
Reference: Rodriguez, Alina, Kaakinen, Marika, Moilanen, Irma, Taanila, Anja, McGough, James J., Loo, Sandra, Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta Mixed-Handedness Is Linked to Mental Health Problems in Children and Adolescents Pediatrics 2010 125: e340-e348