Welcome Back-OT Services Update

Hello families!

I hope you had a safe, healthy, and fun summer. Based on the most recent guidance on virtual learning from the district, this school year I will be using Schoology to communicate with families, Presence Learning to provide virtual OT services to students, and in-person learning labs to service students directly. I will be using those platforms instead of this iBlog to share information. Schoology, Presence Learning, and learning labs are not fully up and running yet; once they are, I will contact you with more information. Feel free to email me at erickse@dearbornschools.org if you have questions, comments, concerns.


Ms. Erin

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Summer OT Home Program: Play!

I enjoyed working with your student this year and am looking forward to another year of learning. There are so many great skills that your child can develop through play in the summertime. Here are some summer play ideas. Have a great summer with your family! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ler5dRV9IvMGd0u6Tn65PI0aGeer7T_rllfrzIPArJM/edit?usp=sharing

Children learn through play

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Camping at Home

Summer is almost here! Camping is a fun summer activity. Here are some at-home camping play activities you can do inside or outside. Have fun! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wHZk-O82rE57lY1Nd9AQYwlq79zH4P6ne4KkvZNLim0/edit?usp=sharing

Camping at home ideas: build a tent, read a story using a flashlight, sing camping songs, make microwave s’mores, go for a nature walk, play board/card games

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Spring Handwriting Practice

This activity is for students who are working on writing letters with correct form/size and landing letters on the line during OT. Practice writing spring words or sentences on lined paper. Letters should land on the line–don’t let them float above or below! If your child needs help with spelling, write the word on another piece of paper (modeling landing letters on the line) and then let your child copy the word. Click the following link for lined paper and picture prompts. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MV0BKfI72ERxXbkMHkjzLXZp5r3zQO7HpEd5BwBvDJA/edit?usp=sharing

Writing Self Check: Did you…

  • Form letters correctly?
  • Land letters between the lines?
  • Land letters on the line?
  • Begin sentences with capital letters?
  • Put a period at the end of sentences?
  • Leave spaces between words?
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Visual Schedules to Establish Home Routines

Visual schedules help students develop routines and a sense of control over their daily activities. Visual schedules also provide visual cues for sequencing the steps of activities. The following link shows examples of visual schedules for a morning self care routine, morning school at home routine, as well as a blank schedule so you can make your own checklist based on your family’s routines. Visual cues include words for students who are able to read, and/or pictures for those who benefit from pictures to comprehend. Please contact me if you would like a personalized schedule for your student for a specific activity. I can add pictures of your student’s favorite book or TV character (or pictures of your student) to make the schedule more motivating! Visual Schedule Examples: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TS8gZ3ykXDBLWAv8aybLJhyFtXwSCIlm2rJcFjXNRbA/edit?usp=sharing

Morning Self Care Visual Checklist
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Make Your Own Adapted Books For Students with Physical Disabilities

Some children with limited fine motor abilities struggle to turn the pages of books independently. Thin pages are difficult to grasp. You can adapt book pages using common household items by adding page spacers to separate the pages and page turners (material that sticks out) to give your child something to hold onto while turning the pages. These adaptations make pages easier to turn so that your child can participate in the story time experience while also practicing reaching and grasping skills. Click on the following link to learn how to make adapted books for your child: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19qCnIhSfssd1s5hpasPp04s_atSZSOoBQ60zbybaoz8/edit?usp=sharing

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Gardening: A Therapeutic Activity

Gardens are great calming spaces for children. Gardening is therapeutic for the following reasons (and more):

  • Calming sensory space for learning, playing, relaxing
  • Develop fine motor/gross motor skills while planting/maintaining garden
  • Learn about responsibility/job tasks (watering the garden, weeding garden) 
  • Social bonding with family members through gardening
  • Provides healthy food 
  • Develop appreciation for nature
  • Opportunity for artistic exploration

Sensory gardens are spaces that stimulate the senses (touch, see, hear, smell, taste). You can create your own sensory garden at home, or go to a garden at a park, to learn about the senses. To learn about creating your own sensory garden, click on the following link: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1GhlObWJTZslKowGticC5WJWhTYfiUy0ok7ib-kLXhWg/edit?usp=sharing

Ms. Erin creating a sensory garden in her backyard.
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Strategies for Students with Disabilities: Fact Sheets from MDE (English and Arabic)

The Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education created some great fact sheets for families supporting students with disabilities during extended time away from school. It includes social stories, visual supports, schedules and routines, coping and relaxing tools, and more. Links to the documents in both English and Arabic are included below.

English: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/ExtendedTimeAway_FactSheet_686645_7.pdf

Arabic: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/ExtendedTimeAway_FactSheet_Arabic_687729_7.pdf

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Active Learning Spaces at Home

Children learn about the world through active exploration of things around them. Active Learning, an approach by Dr. Lilli Nielsen, provides learning opportunities for individuals with multiple disabilities through exploration of objects in their environment. Active Learning Spaces are environmental structures that facilitate this learning by making objects accessible. The spaces include common household objects, play objects, sensory items, etc. that the child can explore through touch and other senses. 

You can make Active Learning Spaces using common household items or play items from your home. Click on the following link to see examples of learning spaces you can make at home: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IP2VWoIKZyvHcoAXPMkVC4-xSQeJm1EgZ0HP0DMQjas/edit?usp=sharing

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Mother’s Day Butterfly Card

Make this simple butterfly card for your mom or someone that you care about to practice folding, cutting, writing, and drawing shapes. Click on the link below for step by step visual instructions. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ocGpqUAbTzPC0v35GRWPL8XpXRqUGrEl76MHjIyrN9s/edit?usp=sharing

Mother’s Day Butterfly Card

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