OT TIP: Play-dough is a fun tool that occupational therapists use to help their students in many different areas. Here are just a few:
1) Sensory: play-dough can be used to help children that have tactile defensiveness, by putting their hands in and getting them “messy”. If your child is having difficulty touching the play-dough, you can have them wear plastic gloves until they can tolerate the dough on their skin.
2) Fine motor: Bury small items (beads, coins, etc.) and have your child find the items. Your child can also bury the items, which provides increased resistance to hands and fingers which helps to build fine motor skills.
3) Handwriting: On a dry erase board, write a letter and have your child roll the play-dough into “snakes”, one “snake” for each letter stroke. For example for the letter A, your student would roll two long “snakes” and one short “snake” and then place the play-dough “snakes” on top of each letter stroke.
*Rolling “snakes” with both hands at mid-line would be preferred, to incorporate bi-lateral coordination, which is important for handwriting.
Here is a website for making your own play-dough: http://www.playdoughrecipe.com/
Kristy Wood, OTR/L
SPEECH TIP: Answering Wh-Questions Who? What? When? Where? Gather or take pictures of common objects. Ask a variety of wh-questions for each object. Often there is more than one right answer. Here are some examples: Airplane What does an airplane do? Fly! Who flies an airplane? A pilot! Where does an airplane land? At the airport! Bowl What can we put in a bowl? Soup! When do we pour milk in a bowl? When we eat cereal! Where do we use a bowl? At the table! Cat Who takes care of cats and pets when they’re sick? The vet! What sound does a cat make? Meow! When do cat’s drink? When they’re thirsty! Where do cats climb? In a tree! Crayons What goes with crayons? Paper! When do we use crayons? When we draw a picture! Where do we keep our crayons? In the box! Irene Patry, MS, CCC-SLP
APE TIP: As an Adapted PE Specialist, I have found that whatever the disability is; using the same language over and over for the same skill helps the student remember the steps for that skill. Each time the skill is worked on, use the same language to re-teach & describe the steps for better comprehension & understanding. Working with a variety of special needs students over the years, I have found that many tricks work universally.
Wendy Vessels, Adapted PE Specialist
APE TIP: I have learned that teaching the same desired skill in many different ways keeps the students interested & engaged without causing bordum.Working on the same skill over and over can sometimes cause students to become bored; therefore, not putting out the effort needed to improve on the skill. This is why it is so important to change things up often to make sure the students remain interested and working hard.
Wendy Vessels. Adapted PE Specialist
SPEECH TIP: Play UNO—the Speech way! On each turn, use the following script to practice the S, Z or R sound: 1.) “There’s a _____ (color) _____ (kind) card.” 2.) “Here’s a _____ (color) _____ (kind) card.” 3.) “It’s your turn!” Be careful when you say the following words: S/Z: Six, Seven, Skip, Plus Two, It’s, Zero R: Three, Four, Red, Green, Draw Two, Card, Your, Turn S/Z&R: There’s, Here’s, Reverse Other sounds can easily be targeted & practiced, and scripts can be made for a variety of games.
Irene Patry, MS, CCC-SLP