Utilizing Sensory Tools During Sessions

sensory toolsHands-on learning is important for children. Kids get more out of life experiences when they use their senses. It is important to remember this when you are working on lesson plans for sessions with an individual child or group of students. While many may think that sensory tools would only be used with children who are meeting with an occupational therapist, it is not true. These days, many incorporate sensory tools and projects into a variety of therapy sessions. The rationale for this is that many children have sensory integration concerns and it helps them. Read More »

Back to School Blues Be Gone

back to school bluesBack to school signifies the unofficial end of summer. Schedules change, homework begins, and stress may start to creep in for students and adults alike. This can make kids worry, sad, and nervous about the unknown in the school year ahead. It is a great time to use ice breakers to bond as a group together. Get to know each other, learn about who you are, and talk about what you will be doing in the upcoming academic year. Read More »

Setting Professional Goals for Upcoming Year

professional goalsAs the school year gets underway, it is important to take time to set your own professional goals for the year. While this may seem unnecessary, it will help you to stay focused and ready to work with your students. Flexibility is important, but it is helpful to have an organized plan on where you would like the year to go if all goes well. Read More »

Why Communicating Well with Parents is Crucial for Your Students

parent communicationAs a school-based therapist, especially in specialties like speech or occupational therapy, the ultimate purpose of your job is to help your students communicate and interact with the world around them. But no matter how many kids you’ve helped do just that during your career, there’s no guarantee that you’re an expert at applying the same principles you’ve imparted on those kids in your own life. Life’s ironies never cease. Now, this isn’t the time or the place to reckon with the various communication failures that may or may not have plagued your love life for the past however many years. That’s a whole other can of worms. But when it comes to matters concerning your job, well, communication is key – especially when it comes to interacting with your students’ parents, guardians, and other family members. No matter how significant the gains you make during the school day are, if you don’t foster a healthy relationship with whoever is looking after your students at home, it could all be for naught. Not only does a mutually communicative relationship with parents help ensure program continuity once students head home for the day, but if you are friendly - or at least cordial with - students’ families, everything is going to be a whole lot simpler and more pleasant for everyone involved. Read More »

Pinwheel Activities for Therapy Sessions

pinwheel therapy activityPinwheels are a fun summer item to pick up in store to use during the school year. Why pinwheels? They are small, easy to use, and flexible for a variety of activities. Pinwheels can help to calm a child down, make them actively participate in a session, and are also fun to use. Look around dollar stores and the toy or seasonal sections of retail stores. Consider taking sessions outside, so the kids can walk, talk, and bring the pinwheel with them for an activity. Read More »

Celebrating Summer Fruits and Vegetables

summer fruits veggiesFruits and vegetables are abundant in the summer months in most of the country. Local crops can be found at farmers markets and many local grocery stores, but kids in many places are unfamiliar with different produce options because they only have limited availability in stores by them. Take time to use fruits and vegetables are a starting point for some summer time sessions and sessions at the beginning of the school year. Check in with families to ask about food allergies. Make sure to also ask them about any special fruits or vegetables which may have cultural significance. Read More »