Check out this awesome video about how the proprioceptive system affects learning and behavior! It’s a great tool for explaining to friends, teachers, relatives about why your child is having difficulty at school or home.
There’s an app for that February 26, 2010
One of the perks of being in Austin (aka “Silicon Hills”) is that we have tons of technological resources. Sometimes those resources are intuitive tech savvy parents. Recently, one of our parents designed two iPhone apps that are a big hit with his daughter, who has sensory processing disorder. Below are descriptions of each app, and he’s provided demo videos of each at the following website:
LetterTrace (free app)
LetterTrace is a program to help children learn to write who have coordination problems. You can change size of the trace such that just a touch will cause the letter to be drawn, or you need to actually trace the letter to complete it. It’s automatically detected when a character is complete, at which time the character name is heard, and the next character is drawn.
It does the alphabet or numbers from 1 to 99. It does it in both English and Spanish. You can display the letters in upper or lower case. There are two modes, letter trace mode and doodle mode. In doodle mode, you can just draw, albeit with a limited set of colors.
You can search for the app on your iPhone or click below:
fingerCount (.99 cents):
FingerCount is a game for small children to learn numbers and letters in both English and Spanish.
On the surface, fingerCount is eye and ear candy that allows your child to move characters around on the iPhone/iPod, providing visual and audio feedback which encourages extended play.
On a deeper level, fingerCount is a learning tool that teaches children their numbers while at the same time using the multi-touch iPhone interface to integrate concepts of quantity. It can also be used by anyone to learn Spanish or English by teaching numbers and the alphabet in a fun way.
In addition, fingerCount aids in hand-eye coordination and spatial relationships.
Finally, you can use flexible nature of fingerCount to create games with your child to support creativity and encourage interaction with those around them.
I love that LetterTrace has so many options so kids of all abilities can play and learn! There may not be an app for everything, but it looks like there’s an app for everyone! Way to go!
Just another example of how creative our parents are and a great reminder to us therapists to tap into their ingenuity more often. Are you a parent with a great idea or discovery? It doesn’t have to be something as complex as creating an iPhone app, but we’d love to hear about therapeutic games or equipment you’ve “invented” so we can share them with other parents. Please comment if you do!
Living Life To Its Fullest. April 9, 2009
April is OT Month!
“Occupational therapy helps people of all ages and abilities live life to its fullest. By taking the full picture into account—a person’s psychological, physical, emotional, and social makeup—occupational therapy enables people to achieve their goals, function at the highest possible level, concentrate on what matters most to them, maintain or rebuild their independence, and participate in everyday activities that bring meaning to their lives. ”
Visit the American Occupational Therapy Association website (www.aota.org) to find out more about OT.
To find out if your child could benefit from OT, check out this helpful page on the KidWorks website (http://www.kidworkstherapy.com/WhatIsOT.htm)
Saddle Up! February 27, 2009
Did you know using a horse in conjunction with Occupational Therapy treatment has several benefits?
Essentially, therapy horses are used to facilitate movement and sensory experiences. It can be used with a variety of different diagnoses including individuals with Autism, Aspergers, ADD, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, Sensory Processing difficulties, and many other Neurological and Orthopedic conditions.
The benefits include improved posture, muscle tone, balance, coordination, attention, motor planning, sensory processing, and many times improved speech and language. In addition the child develops a respect for animals and learns to connect emotionally with the horse.
The American Hippotherapy Association states that “hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes.”
Four lucky clients at KidWorks were recently chosen via a lottery to participate in our upcoming horse program. We hope it will be a valuable addition to our services and hope we will have the opportunity to do more in the future. Check back for more updates!
Latella, D. & Langrod, S. (2008). Hippotherapy: An Effective Approach to Occupational Therapy Intervention. OT Practice, Vol 13(2), 16-20.