Classroom Considerations for Teachers and Kids with Special Needs Episode 15

In this episode I discuss possible considerations for teachers to use with children in their classrooms. These ideas could benefit both kids with and without special needs. Strategies are given for ways to potentially increase their attention to tasks as well as help them be calm when being over active or “wound up”.

Research Article: http://ajot.aota.org/article.aspx?articleid=1851485
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2011, Vol. 65, 393-399. doi:10.5014/ajot.2011.000554
Wittfitt Website: https://www.wittfitt.com/product-category/stability-balls/

email: allison@mymidwesttherapy.com
website: http://www.mymidwesttherapy.com/
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mymidwesttherapy/

Child Development
Sensory Processing
Occupational Therapy
Special Needs


Weighted Sensory Lap Pad


Weighted lap pads can be a calming strategy to use with kids who are feeling fidgety and wound up or anxious. The weight on their lap can provide some deep pressure which could be enough to make them feel calm and ready to sit and learn.


Chew Stixx Pencil Toppers


These chewable pencil toppers are great for those kids who feel the need to chew on things like pencils, pens, clothing, etc. These are meant for chewing and biting to help fulfill the sensory need. Use with supervision and discard at the first sign of wear and tear.


Gymnic Disc-O-Sit Inflatable Seat Cushion


This inflatable disc seat cushion can be used with kids who have that need to keep moving while they are sitting in one place! The disc can be used at home or in school for kids to sit longer while eating meals or doing school work at their desk. Also, great for circle time with the younger kids who need their own space to sit during this group activity.
The discs are lightweight, durable, and very easy to use!


Bottles and Cups in Infant and Child Development Episode 14

On this episode we take a look at a research study that determines what causes the most injuries to children under 3 years of age with regards to bottles, sippy cups, and pacifiers.
Then, you get an Occupational Therapists perspective on teaching kids to drink from an open cup or straw cup when transitioning from bottle drinking.

Research Study Information:
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/129/6/1104.full.pdf
Sarah A. Keim, Erica N. Fletcher, Megan R. W. TePoel and Lara B. McKenzie. Pediatrics. 2012;129;1104; originally published online May 14, 2012; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-3348.

See Amazon links for:
Reflo Cups: Reflo Smart Cup, Green
Take N Toss Cups: The First Years Straw Cup, Take and Toss, 10 Ounce,, 8-Count

email: allison@mymidwesttherapy.com
website: http://www.mymidwesttherapy.com/
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mymidwesttherapy/

Child Development
Infant Development
Sensory Processing
Oral Motor
Special Needs


Take N Toss Straw Cups


Take N Toss straw cups are great for teaching kids how to drink from a straw. You can give the cup a little squeeze and some of the liquid will come up through the straw. It is not completely spill proof, but usually only a little will spill out if it gets tipped over. They are light weight and easy for little hands to hold as well.


Reflo Smart Cup


This cup is a great way to start teaching children to drink from an open cup with potentially less spilling than with an open cup. You can allow them to have some independence without worrying about the entire drink spilling right away if the cup tips over.
The cup has a round piece that fits down inside the cup above the liquid. It has small spaces all around the edge of the round piece that will allow liquid to easily flow out when the cup is tipped up. However, the entire amount of liquid will not pour out at once. It will flow through the spaces into a smaller stream for drinking with a more controlled flow than with just an open cup.


“W” Sitting Effect in Child Development Episode 13

On this show, I talk about the effects of “W” sitting in child development. Whether or not to correct kids who are “W” sitting is apparently a controversial topic! However, as an Occupational Therapist in early intervention, I work with kids who have special needs or developmental and motor delays so my perspective is pretty clear. When kids have developmental or motor delays for whatever reason, they often have weakness in their core muscles (tummy, sides, and back). “W” sitting can allow this weakness to continue which could make their school aged years more difficult than they have to be.

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Research Article on W Sitting and Flatfoot
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00431-010-1380-7
Chen,KC., eh, CJ., Tung, LC. et al. Eur J Pediatr (2011) 170: 931. Doi: 10.1007/s00431-010-1380-7

https://consciousmovements.com/the-brilliance-of-w-sitting-learning-to-play-for-another-way/
Owens, Buffy. The Brilliance of W Sitting. Conscious Movements. Web. 5/22/2017

http://ilslearningcorner.com/2016-01-primitive-reflexes-the-answer-behind-w-sitting-and-how-to-fix-it/
Primitive Reflexes: The Answer Behind W Sitting and How to Fix it. Integrated Learning Strategies Learning Corner. Web. 5/22/2017.

Flat Foot (Pes Planus)
http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tc/flatfoot-pes-planus-topic-overview#1
Web MD. Flatfoot Pes Planus Topic Overview. Web. 5/22/2017.

Femoral Anteversion
http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/f/femoral-anteversion/symptoms-and-causes
Boston Children’s Hospital. Femoral Anteversion Overview. Web. 5/22/2017.

Today News Story on W Sitting
http://www.today.com/parents/why-w-sitting-really-not-so-bad-kids-after-all-t69806
Pawlowski, A. Today. Why W Sitting is Really Not So Bad for Kids After All. Web. 5/22/2017.

Child Development
Sensory Processing
Special Needs


Gymnic Physio Balance Therapy Gym Ball 12 inch (30 cm)


These therapy balls can be used with kids to increase their core muscle strength and endurance for sitting. 12″ size is good for toddlers, but you may want 25″(65 cm) or 36″ (75 cm) for slightly older kids. It depends on if you want their feet to be able to touch the ground or not when they are sitting on the ball. They will be able to use their feet for stability if they touch the ground, but if their feet do not touch the ground they will need to use more of their core muscles (tummy and back muscles).


Primitive Reflexes and Special Needs Episode 12

On this show, I discuss some of the primitive reflexes we are born with or are present early in life. Specifically I talk about the following reflexes: Moro, Rooting, Palmer, ATNR (Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex), Spinal Galant, and STNR (Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex).
Information on what happens when these reflexes do not become integrated at the correct age, and how this can affect kids when they get to a school age.
I share a research study on Reflexes in Kids with ADHD versus kids without ADHD. That study can be found at: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03379591

STNR for Teachers of School Aged Kids: http://ndcbrain.com/assets/stnrinformation.pdf
Additional information on primitive reflexes: http://www.whattoexpect.com/baby-behavior/newborn-reflexes.aspx
ATNR Information: https://spectrumkid.com/primitive-reflexes/asymmetrical-tonic-neck-reflex-atnr-explained/

Email: allison@mymidwesttherapy.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mymidwesttherapy/

Child Development
Special Needs
Developmental Milestones
Sensory Processing