Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shoe Lacing Techniques?



I came across this blogpost, Running Shoe Lacing Techniques, regarding different ways to tie your running sneakers based on different issues you are having with your sneakers or feet.  I have never tried different lacing techniques to help the foot position of children.  For children with mild delays this might be an inexpensive technique to try to help support the foot.  Worth a look for pediatric PTs.  Would love to hear if others have had success with different shoe lacing techniques with children. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sworkit App - Physical Activity App

If you are looking for a work out app to provide to older children who receive occupational or physical therapy check out Sworkit.  This is a FREE app on your iOs device, android device or computer.  I have been checking this app and I am very impressed for older children through adults.

Basically you choose what type of a work out you are looking for - strength training, yoga and stretching.  You choose your workout length and the area of the body you would like to exercise.  Then it is all set to go.  The timer starts and you being the exercise for the time allotted.  If you are not sure how to perform the exercise just click on the video icon and you can view a video of the exercise.

This is a wonderful to add to your collection of apps that promote physical activity.

What a simple quick brain break for the classroom as well. 

If you have a child using it, they can email you their results of how many minutes they worked out.

Want to read more?  Check out 10 Apps that Get You Moving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Toy Review - Stenzzles

Stenzzles is a new type of puzzle created by ThinkFun.  I received a complimentary copy of the puzzle to review for the blog.  This sports collection Stenzzles was a fun, challenging layered puzzle.  Basically, you match the layers of colors in the puzzle to the picture provided.  There are 8 different cards that can be turned 8 different ways to complete the layered puzzle picture of various sports such as running, football and yoga.

Here are the pros for this toy:
  • challenges visual perceptual, visual closure and visual form constancy
  • small, compact and lightweight (perfect for tossing into a therapy bag for therapists on the go)
  • sneak in some physical activity by trying out some actions from the sports puzzles (complete the running puzzle followed by running in place or around the track)
  • accurate age description, definitely ages 8 through adulthood
  • novelty - I really enjoyed this different type of puzzle and I do not like traditional puzzles
  • encourages perseverance, focus and attention span 
  • encourages bilateral coordination to stack and match up the cards 
  • use as traditional stencils to trace the pictures
  • trace the stencils on paper and act out each sporting activity
  • would make a nice challenge activity for free time in a classroom
Here are the cons for this toy:
  • for some students (even ages 8 and up) this may be too challenging of a visual perceptual task resulting in frustration
Have any of you tried this new "puzzle"?  

If you want more information check out the ThinkFun website.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Motor Skills, Emotions and Autism


Autism published research on the relationship between motor skills, emotional/behavioral disturbances and autism.  The sample consisted of 22 children with Asperger's disorder (AD), 23 children with high functioning autism (HFA), 8 children with low functioning autism (LFD) and 20 typically developing children.  Two assessments were completed for each child: Movement Assessment Battery for Children to measure of motor impairment, and the Developmental Behavioural Checklist to measure emotional/behavioral disturbance.

The results indicated the following:
  • HFA group had more difficulty with motor items, such as ball skills and balance, than did the AD group.
  • significant positive correlations between impairments in motor proficiency (in particular ball skills and balance) and emotional/behavioral disturbance, autistic symptoms and communication disturbance.
Reference: Nicole Papadopoulos,Jennifer McGinley,Bruce Tonge,John Bradshaw, Kerryn Saunders, Anna Murphy, and Nicole Rinehart. Motor proficiency and emotional/behavioural disturbance in autism and Asperger’s disorder: another piece of the neurological puzzle? Autism November 2012 16: 627-640, first published on September 26, 2011 doi:10.1177/1362361311418692.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Just 7 Minutes a Day...


Recent research published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine looked at the physical activity levels of 600 Canadian children ages 9-17.  The research indicated that children needed at least 7 minutes per day of vigorous physical activity to prevent weight gain and obesity.

The data indicated that the children spent 70% of their time doing sedentary activities, nearly 23% was light physical activity, almost 7% was moderate physical activity and 0.6% was vigorous physical activity. The more vigorous the physical activity was the less likely children were overweight.

The researchers also determined that the expected health benefits of mild to moderate physical activity were not observed. The key component was participating in vigorous physical activity.

Reference: Jacqueline Hay. Physical Activity Intensity and Cardiometabolic Risk in YouthPA Intensity and Cardiometabolic Risk in Youth. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 2012; : 1 DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.1028  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thanksgiving Poses - Postural and Strengthening Exercises


Check out our latest sale ebook just in time for Thanksgiving therapy sessions or some activity ideas to send home over the break -  Thanksgiving Poses.

Rite Aid Health and Wellness Grant

Rite Aid is offering grants to programs that support health and wellness in the communities that Rite Aid operates.  The award amounts vary and it is available non profit organizations.  The grant application is due January 1, 2013.  You can find out more information here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gross Motor Function and Manual Abilities in Cerebral Palsy


The Journal of Child Neurology published research on the relationship between gross motor function and manual ability in cerebral palsy. Three hundred thirty two (332) Canadian children with cerebral palsy were included in the study. There was moderate overall agreement between the Gross Motor Function Classification System and Manual Ability Classification Scale Levels with a strong positive correlation. This agreement varied based on subtype of cerebral palsy and cognitive level.

The following results were seen:
  • moderate agreement among children with spastic quadriparesis and dysketic cerebral palsy,
  • fair agreement in children with spastic diplegia
  • poor agreement in children with spastic hemiplegia. 
  • children with cognitive impairment showed a higher correlation than those without cognitive impairment
Reference: Maryam Oskoui, Annette Majnemer, Lynn Dagenais, and Michael I. Shevell The Relationship Between Gross Motor Function and Manual Ability in Cerebral Palsy J Child Neurol 0883073812463608, first published on October 30, 2012 doi:10.1177/0883073812463608 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Technology and Written Productivity

The Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy published a research review on the effects of technology use to support written productivity in children with learning disabilities.  A search revealed 27 papers that met inclusion criteria.  The evidence in favor of using technology to support written productivity was a moderately low level and inconclusive.  Trends did suggest a positive influence of some technology on children's performance and behavior.  The authors of the study concluded that high quality research with newer technologies is needed.

Reference: Batorowicz, Beata; Missiuna, Cheryl A.; Pollock, Nancy A. Technology supporting written productivity in children with learning disabilities: A critical review. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, Volume 79, Number 4. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2182/cjot.2012.79.4.3  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Paper "Chain of Events"


Download this free template to make the paper "chain of events".  You can get the download at YourTherapySource.com.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Using Metronome Apps to Teach Gross Motor Skills

Lately, I have been using a free metronome app on the iPhone to help teach gross motor skills.  There are several metronome apps so pick the one that works best for you.  I downloaded this one since it was free and it works fine for my purposes.

Basically you can set the beat on the metronome to a fast or slow speed.  The tick tock on the metronome is an excellent way to teach children stop and go, self control, rhythm and motor timing.

After setting the metronome to a slow speed I instruct the student to only step, jump or hop on the beat.   I usually put tape, circles or use a floor ladder to designate where to step or jump.  On each tick they are to jump but only on the tick. It forces the child to listen and to stop and go on a beat.  Sometimes I will also move the iPhone back and forth as it ticks to provide a visual cue along with the auditory cue.  For some children we stay at this level for awhile - practicing different skills (clapping, stepping, jumping, hopping, etc) to the beat encourages motor planning, motor timing, reflexes and self control.  When they master moving to the beat, we progress to higher level skills that require similar motor timing - ie jumping jacks, skipping and jumping rope.  The kids seem to enjoy the predictable rhythm of the metronome.  In my opinion there appears to be immediate carry over of the isolated skill to other functional skills.

Next I plan on trying to use the metronome with gait training in children with cerebral palsy to help increase cadence.  

Have you tried using a metronome to teach gross motor skills?   

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Review on Cerebral Palsy


Pediatrics performed a systemic review in order to compile information on the rates of co-occurring impairments, diseases, and functional limitations with cerebral palsy into simple clinical findings. After reviewing 1366 papers 82 were appraised and 30 were included in the meta-analyses.

The results indicated the following for children with cerebral palsy:
  • 3 in 4 were in pain
  • 1 in 2 had an intellectual disability
  • 1 in 3 could not walk
  • 1 in 3 had a hip displacement
  • 1 in 4 could not talk
  • 1 in 4 had epilepsy
  • 1 in 4 had a behavior disorder
  • 1 in 4 had bladder control problems
  • 1 in 5 had a sleep disorder
  • 1 in 5 dribbled
  • 1 in 10 were blind
  • 1 in 15 were tube-fed
  • 1 in 25 were deaf.
You can view the entire article here.

Reference: Iona Novak, Monique Hines, Shona Goldsmith and Richard Barclay. Clinical Prognostic Messages From a Systematic Review on Cerebral Palsy. Pediatrics DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-0924 originally published online October 8, 2012.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November Digital Magazine for Pediatric OT/PT

Here is the latest issue of Your Therapy Source Digital Magazine for Pediatric OT and PT. If you can not view below go to YourTherapySource to download a pdf version.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Doodle Diaries

Check out this latest freebie - add to the doodle picture or squiggle and write a story about it.  It is available on dotted line and double line paper.  You can download the freebie at YourTherapySource.

Here is a picture of a completed doodle and story -