Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Make It, Take It--a Weighted Lap Pad for Students

Last Thursday a bunch of OTs on our staff spent a couple of hours getting stuck in duct tape and spilling rice all over ourselves--it was fun!  We used this tutorial to make different sized weighted lap pads for use with students:  http://otinpublicschools.blogspot.com/2014/12/rice-duct-tape-baggies-thats-all-you.html

Thank you, Lauren, for the publicity!
Here are some photos from our session--Susan donated lots of pretty duct tape from home projects and that sure made the plain lap pads more interesting.



When you run out of hands...



Tie-dye duct tape--wowie zowie!


Add a handle for attaching fidget toys.

Different sizes for different size laps.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Getting Back into the Swing of Things

Yep, we started back to school yesterday; students start September 8th.  That means we have a little bit of time for the "extras" of life at work. 

My OT buddy, Susan, and I decided to hurry up and plan a "Make It, Take It" session tomorrow afternoon on how to create a weighted lap pad.  Prep is simple because we have a blog post with the directions Making a Weighted Lap Pad and several handouts from the MCV/VCU http://www.sahp.vcu.edu/departments/occu/ OT students who helped us with creating adaptive equipment last spring.

If tomorrow's training goes well we hope to conduct more sessions for our OT staff and for teachers of students in special education, if our supervisors approve.  A couple of years ago Susan Custer, OTR/L, and I wrote a paper on serving students with significant cognitive impairments and we have oodles of ideas from that project.  Why not stretch out of our comfort zones and share the info we learned from preparing that paper???

Here's an adorable student checking out an adapted storybook.  Her eyes didn't always help her explore her world but her fingers were eager to learn!


  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Nice Summer Surprise

A good friend called me a little while ago to let me know that an essay I wrote earlier this summer was published today in our local paper--yippee!  Thanks to the Lord!

Functional Sewing and Good Memories

Hey, it was the '70's





Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summer Break is Almost Upon Us

Yes, it's true.  At this time tomorrow I will be enjoying my first evening of summer break.



Summer is my time to reconnect with friends, spend lots of hours digging in the earth and take day trips to view the beauty of Virginia.  Sample Summer Fun  De-cluttering is a big passion of mine and you can read some of my posts on this beloved topic in my other blog:  Blog B  New posts will be coming soon!

My school OT blog will take a little rest until school starts up again in late August.  Relish your summer!

Update:  6-12-15  In the clear--work all done.  Enjoying the good life.  Thanks be to the Lord.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Student Loan Forgiveness

To encourage all those new OT grads to apply for jobs with public school systems...

...this is the program one of our newer therapists is using to reduce the overall cost of paying back her student loans:

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service

She estimates that she is having a large percentage of her grad school loans "forgiven" via this program from the U.S. Dept. of Education.

Something to ponder.  Work in public schools!  You can keep your general OT skills sharp by sweating away in hospitals, clinics and assisted living facilities during the summer months.  Or, you could travel, drink coffee and just enjoy life during the summer, like I hope to in just two more days.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Smoothies for Summer

My SLP buddy and I ended our "College Cooking" groups with a personal favorite--Smoothies!

Students were not required to consume the end product; several shared with classmates or eager adults.  Our high school students with autism don't always trust us when we tell them something tastes good, so they relax a little when they know they don't have to actually put anything in their mouths.

As usual, my buddy created the board with picture symbols needed for the task:

So the fun began--students practiced ripping off the seal from the ziplock top bags and put their fruit selections into the blender.  The orange juice wasn't quite defrosted so students had to use a spoon to scoop the concentrate into the blender.  For this smoothie we just used ice and orange juice for the liquid, no frozen yogurt.



We did add a little water so the mixture would blend, then it was time to brave the blender and listen to the very loud grinding and feel the vibration of the contraption as it whirled the chunks of ice and fruit.



We discovered that some batches were very, very tart due to using too much OJ concentrate.  However, we managed to drink them up without too much grimacing.

Summer and Smoothies--looking forward to savoring some homemade concoctions in another week or so!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Let's Do Some Personal Math Before School Ends

Hmmm..if you look at the book lists on the right side of this blog you can easily compare the number of books I've read while using the elliptical machine (or home treadmill) vs. the number of books I've read while driving during this school year.  3 vs. 13.

There are days I'm driving between schools for at least 1.5 hrs.  Add on the drives between additional schools and to/from work and it makes sense that I had the time to read almost 15 books from late August until now.  What bothers me is that I spent so few hours on exercise equipment this school year!  Sure, I exercised to a few movies instead of listening to books--mostly North and South (British version, not Civil War version) and Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth version, of course), but I definitely spent more time sitting than exercising this year.  Very bad for health!

Here's to a summer of digging in the garden, hiking and kayaking!  It'll be here soon.

Dutch Gap, Chester VA

James River, Richmond VA

Riverside Drive, Richmond VA