OT makes walks a sensory adventure in Bucks!

by Kathryn Wallace

In Bucks County, our Occupational Therapy department organized a workshop to help revamp the hallways and meet the needs of the students. The students in our school take daily walks around the building. These walls will give the students may opportunities to interact with a variety of sensory experiences. We are so excited for them to be mounted! A big THANKS to our wonderful OT Department.

More Customized Chairs from the “Cardboard Fairy”

by Sandy Masayko

These beautiful customized chairs and slant boards not only meet children’s seating needs, they reflect the children’s interests and are very attractive. All of this adaptive design work has been done by our talented and valuable Cardboard Fairy, Dorothy Hess, who meets with the children’s therapists to determine best seating. Thank you, Dorothy, for continuing to work with the children who are served by Easterseals!

Ocean Themed Speech Day

by Sarah Dubrow

I always love pairing a fun book with a sensory activity to get kids excited about speech therapy, and any ocean themed book will work! Stories that are repetitive are much more engaging for children, because they can feel confident about what’s coming next.

This book, Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck and illustrated by Valeria Petrone is an awesome repetitive story that keeps kids engaged with vibrant pictures and words that kids can learn quickly.

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Skills to Target:

Language –       Ocean themed vocabulary

–       3 – 4 word utterances

(e.g., I see a __)

–       Pragmatic skills like waving “hi” and “bye” to the animals

 

 

Speech –       Various speech sounds

–       Syllable pacing (Turning books into a songs helps kids follow and sing along!)

 

 

 

 

And… For the Sensory Activity!

Once we finished reading our ocean story, I let the kiddos find different sea creatures in a variety of sensory bins. They were able to find and label the various sea creatures they saw in the story. We also talked about the different kinds of textures and feelings in each bin (cold, rough, squishy, wet etc.).

From left to right, I used sand, water with blue food coloring, and water beads or Orbeez (you can get these on amazon or at Target).

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RECIPE FOR LANGUAGE – Incorporating Language Into Cooking for Developmentally Delayed Children

by Sarah Dubrow

Recipe Steps

  1. Pick a simple recipe (Or add miscellaneous ingredients into a bowl)
  2. If possible, have toys that resemble the cooking supplies
    • Or give your child safe real materials
  3. Decide what words or phrases you would like to target with your child
  4. Use the provided strategies throughout your cooking session to elicit communication from your child.

Techniques to Increase Language Use

  • Modeling – Hold objects close your mouth and say the target word. Having them make eye contact with you will draw their attention to you and help with imitation
  • Descriptive Play – Describe what your child is doing as they are doing it . For example, you might say: “You are putting the flour in the bowl”
  • “More” – Give your child only 1-2 pieces of something or give them less of what they need. This will encourage them to ask for more
  • Repetition – When your child wants a certain item (or you are giving them an item) model the word 2-3 times before proceeding. After you model the word 3 times, give them what they want

Ingredients” (Useful Words)

  • Adjectives: Big, Small, Cold, Hot
  • Prepositions: In, On, Under, Behind
  • Nouns: Mommy/Daddy, Spoon, Bowl, Cup, Food, Drink, Mouth, Fingers, Hands, Belly/ Tummy
  • Social Words: More, Please, Thank you, All Done, Help
  • Verbs: Want, Drink, Eat, Clean Up, Mix, Stir, Shake, Pour, Dump
Common First Words Adapted from: The Rossetti Infant Toddler Language Scale (2006)

Other Language Rich Situations

In addition to cooking, use other daily activities to enhance language development.

  • Going Shopping: Line up empty boxes or toy foods and have your child “go shopping” for foods they want or enjoy
  • Singing: Incorporate familiar songs or sound effects into your cooking routine. For example, using “Clean up” song when the activity is finished
  • Daily Routines: If a cooking session is too complex or time consuming, the provided techniques can be incorporated into other daily activities such as snack time, brushing teeth, dressing etc.

Other Helpful Online Resources:

http://mtbt.fpg.unc.edu/morebaby-talk/10-ways-promotelanguage-and-communicationskills-infants-and-toddlers

https://www.zerotothree.org

http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/Parent-Stim-Activities.htm

http://www.talk.ku.edu/materials/

Tool for monitoring media time

by Kathryn Wallace

I am constantly looking for resources for parents who want meaningful ways to engage with their children. I found this great idea tool to promote engagement through limited/supervised media time. You simply put in your child’s name and age. It sets you up with a media plan. The best part is that it was created by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Take a look and I hope you find it helpful!

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Cardboard Fairy Is Still at Work!

by Sandy Masayko

The Cardboard Fairy, also known as Dorothy Hess, is still spreading her magic around to Easterseals children. Her latest creations include custom-made chairs, trays, benches and steps. Dorothy is not only a talented designer, she is also an artist who decorates her creations with pictures of items that have special meaning to the child or family. She has fabricated items for children in our schools as well as young children in the community. We are grateful for Dorothy’s work and dedication in creating beautiful and functional equipment.