The Frugal OT Series: Festive Fine Motor Trees

This super cute holiday tree packs a lot of bang for your buck. So many fine motor skills are addressed in this time efficient craft. Perfect to do during therapy sessions, as a class, and/or at home with your little one. Children will be pleasantly challenged by the fine motor demands that will result in a sweet holiday craft ready to gift to a loved one. All the supplies can be gathered for pennies on the dollar at your local dollar tree.

How to Create a Sensory Smart Classroom or Home

When teachers and/or parents think of how they can support the sensory needs of their students or child, they often have ideas of elaborate sensory rooms that boast expensive fancy equipment. I am here to tell you that while this is a fantastic option, it is not the only option!  You can provide meaningful sensory experiences using regular household and or classroom stuff. In this post, I will explain how to create a sensory smart classroom or home.

Sensory Processing Disorder Unveiled and Explained

In this post, I will explain what sensory processing disorder (SPD) is in simple, everyday terms. My hope is to bring insight and understanding to this very complex, often confusing, condition that many children have. About 1 in 20 children have SPD.

The Frugal OT Series: Fine Motor Monsters

These cute little monsters are perfect for building fine motor skills. Run to your local Dollar Tree and grab a container of Play Doh. Pop over to the craft section and toss some wiggle eyes into your basket, grab a bag of beads and a box of toothpicks and you are all set! Children will enjoy making a cute little monster of their own. Of course, while working on the following fine motor skills.

How to Teach Kids of ALL Abilities How to Tie Shoes: Modified Techniques

Learning how to tie shoes can be quite daunting for a child with fine motor issues.  It may not seem like it, but there are many underlying skills needed in order to master this complex task.  Typically developing children are usually able to accomplish this skill around the age of 4-5 years old.  By kindergarten, it is expected that children will be able to manage their own laces when they’ve come untied.  Oftentimes, children with fine motor difficulties and/or executive functioning difficulties have a very hard time learning to tie shoes. I see a lot of parents give up on teaching their kids how to tie their shoes because it seems like they just won’t get it or it takes too much time. If a child can’t tie shoes, there are many fashionable alternatives today. Elastic, no- tie laces have come a long way! But before you go down that road, please try the methods in this post. Five methods are presented here. The first two are rather traditional methods, the final three are adapted to make it much easier. Before throwing in the towel, give these methods a shot. If successful, it will surely build your child’s confidence and independence with their self-care skills.

The Frugal OT Series: Puffers for Pennies

Pufferfish made out of pool noodles, how fun!  Run to your local Dollar Tree and grab a few pool noodles, one goes a long way.  You can make 20 or so pufferfish from just one pool noodle.  Pop over to the craft section and toss some wiggle eyes into your basket, grab a box of toothpicks and you are all set! Children will enjoy making a cute little pufferfish of their own. Of course, while working on many fine motor skills.

What Are Heavy Work Activities and Who Should Do Them?

What is heavy work? Heavy work is any type of activity that provides resistance to the body by way of pulling or pushing.  Resistance could be created by something pushing against the body like water in the swimming pool, or the body pushing against the floor such as doing push-ups.  Pulling on resistance bands, andContinue reading “What Are Heavy Work Activities and Who Should Do Them?”

How to Improve Handwriting Legibility: Spacing

This post focuses on how to help kids learn how to space between and within words or improve visual processing skills (spatial relations).

Letter Reversals, Should You Be Concerned?

What are letter reversals?  Letter reversals simply means writing letters backward. Letter Reversals are actually quite common in all children.  They typically resolve by the age of 7.  By third grade reversals may still be present, but only occasionally.   In typical development, it takes time for children to gain a solid picture in their minds of what each letter looks like.  Then they must come up with and carry out the motor plan required to mimic the visual image in their brain.  Believe it or not, there is still more to developing the skill of handwriting, but that is not the focus of this post.  Here I will focus on the topic of reversals.  

Eight Handwriting Strategies for Children With Autism

It is with great enthusiasm that I share an article that I’ve written for the outstanding publication Autism Parenting Magazine. In the May 2021 issue, I share strategies that parents can use to prepare their children for the handwriting demands of kindergarten and beyond. These strategies are also recommended for teachers, those who homeschool, or anyone who provides care for children with autism.

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