Why Should We Work In That Position? Specials and Products

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Why Should We Work In That Position?
Do your students sit in their chairs? Or try to stand at their desks?  When they are in their chairs do they slouch or fall out of the chair?  Are other positions hard for them to hold?  
When you have your child completing an activity you don't have to  just sit at a table and do it.   Have them lay in prone, sit on the floor, stand at the wall, kneel, or side sit.  Just remember to grade the activity to how difficult the position is they have to hold.  For example, don't have them completing a 48 piece puzzle for the first time in prone.  
​Why lay in prone?  Prone position is when your child is lying on the floor on their stomach.  This position requires upper body, neck, and trunk strength to hold. Watch that your child is not hiking their hip when lying in prone and that their hips are flat on the floor.  Lying in prone, your child can complete a puzzle, coloring activity, play a game or do their homework.  In addition to working on upper body strength, they are also strengthening ocular motor muscles as they move their eyes to scan their environment.  
Why Sit on the Floor? ​When sitting on the floor, your child is activating their trunk muscles to hold themselves up.  Have them sit with their legs crossed in front of them or Taylor sit.  Many children try to sit with their legs behind them in a "w" sit position which you want to try to avoid.  Have them sitting on the floor to play a board game with their peers.
​You are also working to elongate and stretch muslces when sitting on the floor.  Have them sit with their legs straight out in front of them.  Are muscles too tight?  Are they avoiding sitting in a taylor sit position? 
​Why Stand at the Wall?  ​For all around strengthening! Many children sit in a chair and will slouch against the back or lean their head and body on the table.  Tape a paper to the wall when completing handwriting tasks, this will make your hild work on upper body strength and endurance.  
​Why Sit in a Side Sit Position?  ​When your child sits with their legs to one side, this is a side sit position.  They may have one arm on the floor to support themselves but in this position you can promote midline crossing.  For example, sitting with their legs to the right, and left hand on the floor supporting their body, your child has to use his or her right hand to reach across body to pick up an item. 

A Position Twist on The Statue Game
Do you remember the statue game?  Put some music on and when the music stops you freeze like a statue.  The first person to move sits out.  Well let's put a twist on that game.  Have your group moving around the room, except for one child and when you say "statues" everyone has to stop in a position.  
The one child that did not participate now has to look around then turn away from the group.  When he turns back around he has to see which children changed positions.   Can he/she remember who was in a different position?  
Have your children decide whoe is going to change positions or assign a different child each round.  

Sensory Breaks In School, Product Features, and Specials

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Sensory Breaks In School
How many of you have recommended sensory breaks in the classroom but there just "isn't any time to do them"? Or have been asked for more information on sensory breaks? Do you have children that need a break but don't know how to get the right input?  Here are some activities that you can recommend or use in the classroom/school setting.

Heavy Work Activities
For your children that need some heavy work to help calm or focus here are some easy activities you can incorporate into their daily routine.  
Help move chairs or desks throughout the classroom when necessary 
Carry books or a crate of books to and from the library 
Bring notes or books to the office 
Bring packages of paper to and from the copy room, maybe they can help deliver to classrooms if teachers have their own printer 
​Carry a crate with class lunchboxes to and from the cafeteria 

Some More Activities 
These may need some space in the back of the classroom or hallway and may be more appropriate for younger students 
  • Marching, jumping, jumping jacks 
  • Wheelbarrow walking or animal walks such as bear walk, crab walk, or frog jumps 
  • Play hopscotch 
  • Log rolling 
  • Roll over child with a therapy ball or bolster 
  • Yoga positions  
  • Wall or chair push ups 
Lycra Body Blanket: You just need to stretch, push and move around as you explore the space around you. The stretchy pushback quality of the fabric provides a whole-bodies-worth of proprioceptive feedback.
Focus Lappy: While using the Focus Lappy students remain in their seat longer and bother their neighbors less. Additionally, users tend to be calmer and more focused with better attending and greater patientce.

Sensory Fidgets for the Classroom
There are so many fidgets out there from fidget spinners to sensory squeeze balls!  Some schools have banned fidget sippners.  Let's educate teachers and staff about fidgets and how helpful they are for some students!  Not all fidgets are spinners!!! 
Here are some items you can use that don't cost a lot and can be hidden easily in the classroom. 
  • Velcro- Place sticky back velcro on the underside of your child's desk 
  • Pipe Cleaners- can use as either a fidget wrapped around finger or around the top of pencil 
  • Twist Ties- fold and twist around the top of pencil
Why a finger fidget kit? Use of finger fidgets can influence a clients level of energy and arousal. Many children have not found what works for them or what they have found is making their teachers crazy!
Find some great fidgets that work for your children and leave them in a "sensory box" to share in the classroom.  One fidget may not work all the time for one student so having a box to pick from may help your students explore what works for them! 

Dysgraphia: What Is it? What Do We Do About It?

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Dsygraphia: What Is It?
Dysgraphia effects a person's handwriting and fine motor skills.  According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, the following are signs and symptoms of dysgraphia.  
  • Illegible print or cursive writing (even with more time given and attention to task) 
  • Inconsistent writing, such as upper and lower case usage, irregular size, print and cursive mixed, irregular slant to letters 
  • Omitted words or letters 
  • Awkward grasp or hand position when writing 
  • Inconsistent spacing between words 
  • Difficulty visualizing letter formation 
  • Increased amount of time to complete work 
  • Poor spatial planning 
  • Complaints of sore hand, unusual grasp 

What Can We Do To Help?
Here are some strategies to use to help your child with dysgraphia. 
  • Use wide ruled paper or graph paper 
  • Use a computer for longer assignments 
  • Teach strategies to deal with stress 
  • Use oral exams 
  • Reduce copying 
  • Provide notes from a note buddy 
Redi-Space Paper:  This patented writing paper designed to improve legibility, was developed by occupational therapists specializing in handwriting remediation. All sheets, front and back, are printed with innovative cues for impacting proper spacing.
Hi-Contrat Black Raised Line Paper: Why are most writing papers lined in green? Don't know. Well, this specialty paper actually has raised black lines! The rich black is a high contrast against the bright white paper. Helpful for low vision children, and others who need more awareness of the lines.