Optometrist vs. Opthamalogist: What's the Difference? Product Features and Specials

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Optometrist Vs. Opthamalogist: What's the Difference?
Opthamology  deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eyeball and surrounding orbit.  
Optometry deals with  examining the eyes and visual systems for defects or abnormalities as well as the medical diagnosis and management of eye disease
Why are they important to your child?  Does your child have difficuty with reading, writing, or copying skills?  Maybe they omit letters when copying from the board or reverse letters when writing.  Have they had their vision checked?  
An opthamologist will test their sight and acuity, the anatomy and physiology of their eyes.  A developmental optometrist will look at how their eyes work together 

Some Signs Your Child Might Need A Developmental Optometrist
  • Headaches with near work
  • Burning itchy or watery eyes 
  • Skipping or repeating lines when reading 
  • Difficulty copying from chalkboard 
  • Tilting head or closing one eye when reading 
  • Omitting letters or words with reading 
  • Misaligning numbers or digits 
  • Poor reading comprehension 
  • ​Holding papers and books close to face 
  • ​Losing items 
  • Difficulty completing written work within an appropriate amount of time 
  • Difficulty forming letters correctly 


What Your OT May Assess In The Area of Vision
Figure Ground: ​The ability to locate an object within a background such as in hidden pictures. 
​Visual Closure: ​The ability to identify an incomplete figure, necesary in forming letters 
​Visual Discrimination: ​The ability to recognize the differences in figures or pictures 
​Short Term Visual Memory: ​The ability to recall a figure or letter when it is removed from vision 



What Is Midline Crossing? Specials and Featured Products

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What Is Midline Crossing?
Crossing midline is the ability to move your hands, feet, and eyes  together and across the other side of the body.
Crossing midline requires the involvement of many skills including: body awareness, hand-eye coordination, muscular strength, and  brain communication.
The ability to cross midline is important at both, physical and brain level.  If your child is crossing midline then their right and left sides of their brain are communicating with each other.  Physically, a dominance will be determined with stronger fine motor skills present on that side.  
A strong hand dominance is very important!  While some children are ambidexterous, this is very rare.  A strong dominance is important for good fine motor and handwriting skills.  

What You will See If Your Child Is Not Crossing Midline:
-When an object is placed on the right side, they will use their right hand to pick it up.  If placed on the left, they will use their left hand to pick it up.
- May not reach out of center to catch a ball
- Will use different feet to kick a ball depending on which side the ball is rolled to
-  Switching hands to complete handwriting tasks 
- Not crossing or integrating lines with figures such as X, or +

Usually by four years old a definite dominance is set and bilateral skills are mastered by your child.  If they are not here are some actvities and ideas you can use to help promote midline crossing. 

Midline Crossing Activities
​1. Draw a Large Racetrack on the Write and Wipe Board or large piece of cardboard.  Have your child take a small car and with one hand drive around the track.  They may have to reach up, down, left and right to move the car.  
2. Infinity Loop (Figure 8): Whether you draw it and have your child trace it or have them draw it, this is a great way to promote crossing midline.  Have them repeatedly trace over the loop with one hand.  
3.  Flashlight Tag: Have your child holld the flashlight with both hands and follow your light with their flashlight across the ceiling, walls or floor.
4.  Wipe the table with one hand and make sure you get the whole table from right to left!
5.  Painting on a large canvas or wall- reach up and over trying to get every spot! 
6. Simon Says with midline crossing positions.  Give your self a hug, touch right hand to left knee, touch left hand to right foot, etc.  
7. Windmill Exercises:  Standing with their feet apart, have your child put their arms straight out to the sides (like a scarecrow).  Now bend and touch right hand to left foot, stand and touch left hand to right foot.  How many can you do? 
​8. Midline March: You can play musical chairs, have a relay race, or just march around to music but when you march your right hand has to touch your left knee, then your left hand has to touch your right knee!! 
​9. Hand Clapping Patterns: Simon says with clapping.  How many claps or different hand movements can your child copy? 
​10. Fast Pace Follow the Leader: How quickly can your child follow different movements involving right and left sides.  
Midline March 
Infinity Loop 


Dyspraxia, apraxia, speech dyspraxia... What's the difference?

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Definitions:
The textbook definition of apraxia and dyspraxia is: "a lack of the ability to plan and coordinate body movements to complete a motor task."
Apraxia typically refers to the loss of a motor function. This is often the result of a stroke or other kind of injury. Children who have experienced an injury, after typical development may become apraxic.
Dyspraxia or developmental dyspraxia refers to children that never developed the skill of motor planning. Verbal dyspraxia is the motoric inability to form words or sentences.

Steps of Motor Planning:
Motor planning or praxis requires many prerequiste skills such as body awareness, spatial organization, sequencing and basic motor skills to name a few.
  1. Ideation: The first step is having an idea of what you want to do through completion. 
  2. Execution: Carrying out the plan. Sequencing the steps and coordinating the movements to engage in the task.
  3. Feedback: This is the step that is often over-looked. Did the plan work? Did it go as smoothly as possible? What should be adjusted for next time.
This is Rupert. He wants to join his friend on a lilypad in the pond (ideation).
His 1st plan was to just jump... but he didn't make it (execution).
He used that feedback to form a 2nd plan: I will jump from on top of this log to the rock, then to a lilypad... 
It worked! I wonder if I can go back a different way? (Confidence to keep planning & trying)

What dyspraxia may look like:
  • Frequently mistaken as lazy or clumsy
  • May bump into things or trip often
  • May quickly break toys that require manipulation, like a car that transforms into a super hero
  • May watch others play rather than participating
  • May "talk" their way though an activity or use verbal skills to avoid tasks they perceive too challenging 
  • Avoids playing with construction toys and puzzles
  • May have trouble following verbal directions
  • May find sports and games at gym difficult and may avoid them
  • May impulsively jump into an activity, then appear "stuck", not sure what to do next.


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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.