Monday, March 27, 2017

Happy Occupational Therapy Month Free Posters to Print

Happy OT Month Helen Keller Quote

Each year I have been creating new posters to print to wish everyone a happy Occupational Therapy month in April.  This one happens to be one of my favorites but perhaps I say that every year.  It is a Helen Keller quote – “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”.  This quote speaks miles.  Occupational therapists do an amazing job of supporting people to help improve function and the quality of life.  I have added this printable to the FREE pack of Happy Occupational Therapy Month posters to print.  This free packet now has 8 OT Month posters with a pediatric theme!


Looking for printed posters?  Check out all of our PRINTED line of pediatric therapy posters.




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Friday, March 24, 2017

New Book on Idiopathic Toe Walking

Taming Idiopathic Toe Walking EbookRenowned Occupational Therapist, Ileana S. McCaigue, OTR/L  and author of Typical Classroom Sensory-Based Problem Behaviors & Suggested Therapeutic Interventions and Autism Sleeps™, has written a new book entitled Taming Idiopathic Toe Walking: A Treatment Guide for Parents and Therapists.  This new book provides a non-invasive, efficient and effective sensory treatment strategy for children and adolescents that display atypical toe walking.   It serves as a definitive manual for children and adolescents that display atypical toe walking behaviors. Inspired by the overcoming of toe walking by numerous children during her years of practice, McCaigue’s professional expertise and personal experiences are fused into a vitally, powerful resource.

Taming Idiopathic Toe Walking Cover

This book is an easy-to-read guide for parents and pediatric, rehabilitation therapists with information on the categories and treatment of atypical toe walking behaviors. This manual explains when toe walking is considered developmentally unusual for a child’s age, and idiopathic or done for no known reason. Idiopathic toe walking is often associated with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, Specific Learning Disabilities, Developmental Delays and other disabilities with sensory processing difficulties, but can occur with typical children, as well. This book serves as a thorough resource for use of an alternative treatment strategy to “calm” the toes, and enable a typical walking pattern in those challenged with idiopathic toe walking.  The ultimate goal is the prevention of tendon shortening and resultant limited motions of the ankles and feet from prolonged toe walking that can ultimately lead to the need for injections, bracing or at worst, surgery, to remediate the muscular imbalance.

Taming Idiopathic Toe Walking: A Treatment Guide for Parents and Therapists provides step-by-step instruction of how to make “Toe Tamers”, a unique remediation tool that provides the sensory input that a child or adolescent with idiopathic toe walking needs to overcome this potentially serious problem behavior. A protocol and usage guide is available for: 1) How heavy to make the Toe Tamers, 2) How to apply them, 3) How often they should be worn, and 4) How long to use them to calm the toes. This would enable relaxation of the feet to stand with full weight bearing on the floor with or without socks and shoes.  In addition, a HOME Program sheet is included in English and Spanish to instruct parents on the rationale for applying the Toe Tamers, as well as when and how to effectively use them.

Additionally, forms are available for logging the impact of the Toe Tamers. A record and graphs are included to track progress on the length of time, as well as the reduction of heel height, as the Toe Tamers effectively help the toes to lower the entire foot onto a flat surface.

As the author explains, her book introduces a sensory treatment strategy for idiopathic toe walking that all should consider exploring.

“Children with idiopathic toe walking whose feet are always bouncing on their toes, seem to calm their bodies down after their feet are relaxed. If you think about it, when your feet hurt or figuratively scream at you internally, you cannot relax your body. So, it would make sense that by calming the toes and relaxing the feet, that these children’s bodies would relax overall, as well! It is by providing the sensory input needed by these children’s feet, that their toes can lower and enable a typical pattern of walking.  Using a holistic, sensory strategy in lieu of more traditional interventions will give their feet the input needed to help them overcome this problem behavior,” says McCaigue.

The book is unique in the marketplace due to the author’s own successful use of its methods over a lifetime of experience.  “I personally implemented the strategies outlined in this book over the past 27 of my 40 years as an Occupational Therapist working with children. I hope this easy-to-make, therapeutic, sensory strategy will help many children with idiopathic toe walking, and prevent the need for surgery or other more invasive treatment techniques. My goal is to help children with the least restrictive, most effective and efficient way to remediate atypical toe walking,” McCaigue explains.

About the Author:

A 1977 summa cum laude graduate from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia, Ileana S. McCaigue, OTR/L.  She is a nationally certified/ registered and licensed Occupational Therapist, author, program developer, holistic clinician and educator with 40 years of experience. Her professional career and expertise include a continuum of care. These range from the neonatal intensive care unit to pediatric concerns in the home, school and community for developmental delays, especially for strategy implementation to manage sensory-based problem behaviors.

Ileana has worked in a variety of pediatric settings that included over 20 years with Special Education students in public schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She currently works with children in several clinics and at community sites. Ileana also sees private clients with special needs to provide home and community based treatment as needed, including sensory integration therapy, interactive metronome and other brain-based interventions to improve sensory-based problem behaviors. She also serves as a holistic consultant providing recommendations to facilitate the development of a “wellness home” environment for children and adults.

Ileana was the recipient of the Barbara S. Grant Award from the Georgia O.T. Association for her dedication and lifetime of outstanding service, as well as a recipient for the Maddak Award in the area of physical disability.

Taming Idiopathic Toe Walking Cover

PURCHASE Taming Idiopathic Toe Walking: A Treatment Guide for Parents and Therapists

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Balance and Coordination of Boys with Intellectual Disability

Balance and Coordination Levels in Boys with Intellectual DisabilityAdapted Physical Activity Quarterly published research examining the balance and coordination of 123 boys (ages 8-18) with intellectual disability (ID) but without Down syndrome.  The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2) was used to measure 6 items for balance, 5 items for upper limb coordination, and 6 items for bilateral coordination.

The results indicated the following:

  • mean scores for balance,upper limb coordination and bilateral coordination were consistently below BOT-2 criteria for the boys ages 8-18.

The researchers concluded that overall motor skills of males with ID are below the competence expected for children and adolescents without disabilities.

Reference:  Pitetti, K., Miller, R. A., & Loovis, M. (2017). Balance and Coordination Capacities of Male Children and Adolescents With Intellectual Disability. Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly, 34(1), 1-18.




25+ Bilateral Coordination Activities – Download of 28 bilateral coordination exercise sheets including QR codes with links to video demonstration of exercises. Also includes hand out explaining bilateral coordination.  FIND OUT MORE.


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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Influence of Time Pressure on Handwriting in Children with ASD

Influence of Time Pressure on Handwriting in Children with ASD

Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders published research on the influence of time pressure on the handwriting of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  The purpose of the current study was to determine the handwriting profile of children with ASD across both non-speeded and speeded conditions, with particular focus on spacing difficulties and handwriting errors. In addition, the researchers examined the relationships between handwriting and both intellectual and motor skills under different task conditions.

The subjects included 23 boys with ASD, matched with 20 controls, aged 8–12 years old.   Each participant completed a modified version of the speed subtest of the Handwriting Performance Test and each wrote a simple phrase (cat and dog) five times in each condition.

The results indicated the following:

  • no significant group differences were identified for handwriting errors or spacing between words in either condition.
  • the ASD group demonstrated greater variability relative to controls, particularly in the speeded condition.
  • significant negative associations were identified between motor proficiency and handwriting errors in the non-speeded condition.

The researchers concluded that motor processes have a significant role in overall handwriting proficiency, but motor ability may influence the handwriting process to different degrees, depending on the nature of the task.  The lack of group differences with respect to handwriting errors and spacing between words may suggest that children with ASD have the ability to compensate for underlying motor impairment when completing a well-practiced writing task.

Reference:  Grace, N., Rinehart, N. J., Enticott, P. G., & Johnson, B. P. (2017). Do children with ASD have difficulty handwriting under time pressure?. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 37, 21-30.

Handwriting Rubrics

Handwriting Rubrics – This is an electronic book of 26 rubrics to assess handwriting. A rubric is a scoring guide to judge performance on a specific task. Have you ever wanted to quantify handwriting skills such as letter formation, speed or copying? Handwriting Rubrics can be used as assessment tools to quantify an individual’s written productivity. By using the rubric, each individual can be scored based on the same criteria.   FIND OUT MORE.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Are You Ready to Work Clip Chart Freebie

Are You Ready To Work Free Clip Chart

Are you ready to work?  Are You Ready To Work Clip Chart helps students to identify their state of regulation and ability to learn using visual supports.  Each color category represents different emotions or levels of alertness.  The students can decide how they are feeling and clip the clothes pin to the correct color.  The chart provides students with a visual representation for self regulation.

Are you ready to work clip chart from Your Therapy SourceThe colors represent the following:

BLUE – Tired, Bored, Sick or Sad

GREEN – Calm, Focused or Ready to Learn

YELLOW – Wiggly, Upset or High Energy

RED – Mad, Angry or Out of Control

You can download your free clip chart when you subscribe below.  You will be directed to the download page after you enter your email.

Self Regulation Skills Curriculum

Check out the Self Regulation Curriculum for an effective, time-efficient structured system to provide classroom breaks, improve self-awareness and self advocacy and teach specific self-regulation skills so that kids have tools to use in their classrooms. This system will get kids moving, give them the benefits of a brain power boost [from getting their heart rate up], give them heavy work and isometrics to help them calm down, and help them learn techniques to quiet and control their bodies in order to return to their academic work.  Find out more information.

The post Are You Ready to Work Clip Chart Freebie appeared first on Your Therapy Source.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Where is the Therapist Clip Charts

Where is the therapist? Clip CHart

Check out these adorable, new Where is the Therapist clip charts to indicate where you are in the school building.  Therapists are frequently traveling throughout the school from classroom to classroom or traveling from school to school.  These signs will certainly come in handy for when school staff needs to ask a question or stop by for a visit during the day.  They are only $1 per discipline!  It includes 5 signs for each related service – 3 in color and 2 in black and white.  The black and white versions have a similar pattern to the popular adult coloring pages if you are feeling crafty.  The last sign can be edited to include 8 different phrases that you choose.  You can type or write the phrases.

Where is the Speech Therapist Clip Chart on Door Where is the Door PT Clip Chart Where is the OT Clip Chart Door View

You will want to print the signs on card stock and laminate for durability.  Just grab a clothes pin and indicate where you are.  Color in the black and white version if you want or have the students help you color it in!

Where is the photos

Get more information on the clip charts.

Where is the OT, PT or Speech Clip Chart



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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Food Tactile Play and Food Preferences

Tactile Play and Food Preferences

As parents and teachers, how many times have you said to children, “stop playing with your food”? There is evidence based research indicating an association between food tactile play and food preferences in children.  A recent experimental study examining preschool children and their parents, indicated that children in a sensory fruits and vegetable play condition tried more fruits and vegetables than both children in a non-food sensory play task and children in the visual fruits and vegetable exposure task.  It not only occurred for the five foods used in the activity but also three additional foods that were not used in the activity.  The researchers concluded that sensory play activities using fruits and vegetables may encourage fruit and vegetable tasting in preschool children more than non food play or visual exposure alone (Coulthard & Sealy, 2017).

A previous study evaluated children and their parents’ enjoyment of a tactile play task, measures of food neophobia (aversion) and tactile sensitivity using questionnaires.   The results indicated strong associations between parent and child scores across all three measures of food neophobia, tactile sensitivity and tactile play enjoyment. The variables most strongly related to child food neophobia were parental neophobia and enjoyment of tactile play (parent and child).  The researchers concluded that tactile processing is associated with food neophobia (Coulthard & Sahota, 2016).

Need some ideas for tactile food play?  How about trying some of the suggestions below on a large tray or bowl.  Children can finger paint, scoop, pour and explore for a tactile play experience.

  1. yogurt
  2. frozen peas or other frozen vegetables
  3. baby food
  4. pureed fruit for paint
  5. smashed bananas
  6. smash cooked vegetables (let the kids smash it, then play with it)
  7. wash the fruit and vegetables
  8. slice fruit and vegetables


Coulthard, H., & Sahota, S. (2016). Food neophobia and enjoyment of tactile play: Associations between preschool children and their parents. Appetite, 97, 155-159.

Coulthard, H., & Sealy, A. M. (2017). Play with your food! Sensory play is associated with tasting of fruits and vegetables in preschool children. Appetite.

Therapeutic Food Survey

Therapeutic Food Survey: Do you have students who need interventions due to sensory, self-help, oral, and oral-motor problems such as chewing, swallowing, touch, taste, or texture? Do you want a tool to help you work hand in hand with your client’s family to prioritize and set goals?

This Therapeutic Food Survey can be used to:
• Discover what and how much your client is and is not presently eating.
• Interview family members about history and family goals.
• Narrow down vague descriptions and create hard data.
• Use data to establish achievable goals.
• Use data to document progress.


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