The first session of Parent University for the 6 week winter series was a success at the Cotter Early Childhood Center on Friday, February 2nd!  The topic was Fine Motor Skills!  I have the pleasure this winter series to present to our families on this topic at all the schools listed below.   Click on Parent University Winter 2018 for the calendar of topics!

Come on out to see what Parent University is all about and to prepare your youngster!

“Parents are their child’s lifelong teachers”

Parent University Is Free To All Parents-
Parents of infants and toddlers, 6 months to 4 years of age sign up for a FREE 6 week session of Parent University beginning February 2nd. FREE books and resources!
Bring your infants and toddlers to these free classes to learn together and prepare your child for success!

Winter Session- Feb. 2 – March 16, 2018
(No Class on February 23, 2018 )
6 Week Series- Fridays 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Saturday Parent Fair- April 21, 2018, 9 a.m. -10 a.m.

Sessions will be held at these Dearborn Public Schools:
Cotter Early Childhood, Henry Ford Elementary, McCollough-Unis, River Oaks Elementary, Salina Elementary, and Whitmore-Bolles Elementary

For more information call (313) 827-6150

Below is an excellent resource from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, a resource of educational web tools and mobile apps for teachers and educators.  The direct link is http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2016/01/a-handy-chart-featuring-over-30-ipad.html for a printable PDF version of the chart.  This chart was taken directly from the website and it was categorized in four main categories.

Categories Apps
Apps for Dyslexic Learners

·         SoundLiteracy

·         What Is Dyslexia

·         Dyslexia Quest

·         Happy Math   Multiplication Rhymes

·         Read 2   Me

·         Phonics with Phonograms

·         Dyseggxia

·         DD’’s Dictionary: A   Dyslexic Dictionary

Apps for Autistic Learners

·         Sight Words

·         Sequences for Autism

·         See.Touch.Learn

·         Words on Wheels

·         Verbal Me

·         Autism iHelp

·         Autism/DDT Shapes

·         Autism DDT Letters

·         Speech with Milo

Apps for The Visually Impaired

·         ViA

·         Dragon Dictation

·         Light Detector

·         Color   ID

·         TapTapSee

·         Be My   Eyes- Helping Blind See

·         Talking Calculator

·         SayText

·         AccessNote

·         Visual Brailler

Apps for Learners with Writing Difficulties

·         The Writing Machine

·         iWrite Words

·         Letter School

·         Alpha Writer

·         ABC Pocket Phonics

·         Word Magic

Check out the article Reducing and Surviving Sensory Overload During the Holidays at http://lemonlimeadventures.com/reducing-surviving-sensory-overload-holidays-anxious-kid/.  It’s a great article that addresses tips for parents on how to cope with sensory needs during the holidays.   The main topics include:

  • What is Sensory Overload During the Holidays?
  • Signs of Sensory Overload
  • Tips for Reducing and Surviving Sensory Overload: Preparing for the Holidays, Survival Tips for Children, Survival Tips for Parents

The National PTA has designated the first week of May as Teacher Appreciation Week. Specifically, May 3rd is National Teacher Appreciation Day.  Teachers are our real-life heroes as they educate and support our children.  They do this on so many levels that goes far beyond the walls of the classroom!  I am so lucky to work with some of the best teachers around!  Thank you to all the teachers out there!  I appreciate all that you do!

Teacher Apprec. Teacher Apprec III

Teacher Apprec II

 

 

 

April has been a very busy month! I hold this month very close to my heart as it is Autism Awareness month, Month of the Young Child and OT month. As an occupational therapist I have worked with many children and adults with autism.  What is autism or autism spectrum disorder?  Autism is a developmental disability that causes significant difficulties with a person’s social characteristics, communication and behavior. People with autism demonstrate decreased social, emotional, and communication skills. Individuals may also repeat certain behaviors and have a difficulty with a change in routine.  Autism Speaks is a worldwide organization that is an excellent resource to learn more about autism.  Since the foundation of Autism Speaks in 2005, the organization “has grown into the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.” Please click on http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html or https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism to have an in depth description of autism, causes, symptoms, treatment, etc.

 autism 3 autismautism 2

 

Beginning in 1971 there was one week that was nationally recognized as the Week of the Young Child. However, in 1985 Michigan decided to dedicate the entire month of April to the Month of the Young Child (MOYC) with each week designated to a specific developmental area. This year the focus weeks were as follows:

  • Week 1 April 1 – 9 Physical Development
  • Week 2 April 10 – 16 Physical Development
  • Week 3 April 17 – 23 Emotional Development
  • Week 4 April 24 – 30 Cognitive Development

Please visit http://www.miaeyc.org/moyc.htm to access resources, activities and more information regarding the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children (MiAEYC).

In celebration to the MOYC, Cotter Early Childhood selected the month to display wonderful work being accomplished by the young students in preschool. The work was on display at the Administrative Service Center (ASC), Dearborn Public Schools.

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Lastly, in celebration of OT month here is some information taken directly from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) website at http://www.aota.org/Conference-Events/OTMonth/what-is-OT.aspx.

Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability. 

Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan. 

Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.

 

I am proud to be an occupational therapist as I help people to become more independent in life. I have worked with individuals from pediatrics to geriatrics, from mental health to physical disabilities.  I get to help put all the “puzzle pieces” together so individuals can live life to its fullest.  It doesn’t get better than that!

 

OT month 1OT month 2

Sleep patterns are so important for people of all ages in order to increase daily function and a healthy lifestyle.  So many times students come to school sleepy and have a difficult time staying awake because they didn’t get enough sleep the night before.  For many of those students it is because they go to bed too late for their growing bodies and that they don’t have a good bedtime routine.  Obtaining a bedtime routine for our children can sometimes be very difficult.  The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has published a TIPS sheet regarding bedtime routines for our youngsters.  Specifically, it gives suggestions to help your child relax to get ready for sleep, to help your child feel comfortable for bedtime, to make sure that your child is safe while sleeping alone, and to help your child become more independent in sleep.  Please click on the article, Establishing Bedtime Routines for Children, to access some great suggestions to creating a healthy routine.

 

 

The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA) has published several tip sheets for “living life to its fullest”.  One article, Building Play Skills for Healthy Children & Families, discusses what is play, why it is important and how to develop these skills.  Play is important at all stages of life, but many times it is referred to recreational activities for adults.  This article describes how to develop these skills to promote healthy living during early childhood (infants, toddlers and preschoolers), elementary age, middle school, high school and beyond.

Fine motor skills are very important for children to develop.  These skills require the use of the small muscles in your hands.  Fine motor activities include holding a pencil, coloring, cutting, stringing beads, playing games, buttoning, zipping, etc. This article, Help Your Preschool Child Develop Fine Motor Skills, explains what fine motor skills are, why some children have problems with fine motor skills, important hand skills children need to develop, and activities for developing hand skills.

Attached is an article that can be used as a guide of how to increase independence with self-care skills.  It highlights what children should be able to do at certain ages. The article describes how to teach your child how to complete daily routines independently. It gives suggestions of why children can become difficult to manage when learning to become more independent with self-help tasks, and what we can do when they refuse to complete a task.  Click on Teaching Your Child to Become Independent with Daily Routines  for direct access to the PDF file or go to the link where other good resources can also be found   http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/resources/family.html .

There are many ways to practice writing letters of the alphabet without using paper and pencil.  This article lists several fun ways to help a child to learn how to write the alphabet.  Check out this article for many multi-sensory approaches to writing!  Fun Ways to Teach Children How to Write the Letters of the Alphabet I have also added a couple other articles under the Handwriting tab.