Learn How to Make a Christmas Tree.  Great Activity!!! Cut and paste link below and it will bring you straight to You Tube Demonstration!


Research shows that Sensory Integration works with Autism!

Autism Speaks:

Study Finds Sensory Integration Therapy Benefits Children with Autism

December 03, 2013
Small but rigorous study backs parent reports that sensory integration therapy improves daily function in children with autism
A new study backs parent reports that sensory integration therapy improves daily function in children with autism. The research, led by occupational therapists at Philadelphia’s Jefferson School of Health Professions, appears online in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. The study was funded by an Autism Speaks treatment research grant.
Autism’s symptoms often include difficulty processing sensory information such as textures, sounds, smells, tastes, brightness and movement. These difficulties can make ordinary situations feel overwhelming. As such, they can interfere with daily function and even isolate individuals and their families.
“This study is one of the first to show that a therapy is effective in helping to ease such sensory difficulties in ways that improve daily function,” comments child psychologist Lauren Elder, Autism Speaks assistant director for dissemination science.
Sensory integration therapy, as practiced by occupational therapists, uses play activities in ways designed to change how the brain reacts to touch, sound, sight and movement. While the therapy is not new, it has remained somewhat controversial.
“Part of the problem has been the many different techniques that have been used under the name sensory integration,” Dr. Elder notes.
In their study, the Farber researchers combined two measures to improve the reliability of their assessment. They used the recently developed Sensory Integration Fidelity Measure to ensure that each therapist was delivering the intervention in a manner faithful to its principles. They also used a proven goal attainment scale to objectively measure benefits against parent-set goals for each child.
For example, a parent of a child who wakes during the night due to extreme sensitivity to sounds might set a goal of improving tolerance of ordinary noises and sleeping through the night. For a child who hates touching food, the goal might be to decrease touch sensitivity to the point that the child can comfortably eat a meal.
Researchers randomly assigned 32 children with autism, ages 4 to 8, to one of two groups. Over 10 weeks, the control group received “usual care” with standard speech, behavioral and other therapies for autism spectrum disorder. The experimental group received the same “usual care” plus three hours per week of sensory integration therapy.
Assessors who didn’t know who was in which group met with parents before and after the intervention to set goals and assess progress.
At the end of the study, analysis showed that the children in the sensory integration group scored significantly higher on attaining their goals. In addition, standardized tests showed that the children receiving sensory integration therapy required less assistance from their parents in self-care and social situations.
"The rationale is that by changing how sensations are processed by the brain, we help children with autism make better sense of the information they receive and use it to better participate in everyday tasks," says lead researcher Roseann Schaaf. Dr. Schaaf's group plans future studies that will include additional outcome measures and follow children for longer periods to see if improvements remain over time.
For more perspective, see “Sensory Integration: Changing the Brain through Play,” by occupational therapist Alison Wheeland, who is completing a doctoral residency with Autism Speaks.

Do you feel Lucky? Cyber week at PFOT!

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We once again are having a "Holiday Helper Lottery"!  To enter, simply place an order anytime before Wednesday @ 12 am and enter coupon code: lucky  

It's that EASY to Enter!      

Any order - Any size - Anywhere! All entry's will be shuffled, and a winner selected at random. That lucky Holiday Helper will get a gift certificate equal to their FULL order- INCLUDING SHIPPING charges! 

         So are you feeling lucky?

Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday -Did you know?

  • Consumers nationwide spent $59.1 billion last year during this four day weekend.
  • Shopping on Cyber Monday peaked at 11:25 am last year.
  • Most popular items bought on Black Friday 2012 were clothing and accessories.  Department Store purchases were most popular online.
  • The majority of people shopping on Cyber Monday are at work. 

"PFOT Shop to Give" Donation Program

Giving is a part of the season - It’s also a very busy time of year! (There's: Shopping, Baking, Decorating, Wrapping, People to see, Reindeer to feed…)

Let's team up and make it easy to donate while you shop!

Simply, place an order and enter the Organization's Code in the Coupon Box at checkout, and we’ll take care of the rest! A portion of your order will be donated to the Charity you have chosen. A note will be added to your packing list acknowledging your donation.

That’s it – Easy as pie!

Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation - SPD

St Judes Children’s Hospital – Code: STJ

Humane Society – Code: HS

American Cancer Society – ACS

Ronald McDonald House – RMH

Thanksgiving Trivia and Turkey Day Specials

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Thanksgiving Trivia

Here are some Thanksgiving fun facts! See if you and your students can answer them correctly.  Find the answers on our Specials Page by clicking the picture to the right. 

  • What balloon has been in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade the longest?
  • What is the weight of sweet potatoes eaten each Thanksgiving in America?
  • Which President declared Thursday November 26th be celebrated as Thanksgiving Day? When did that date change?
  • Besides a Thanksgiving side dish, what were cranberries used for by the Native Americans?
  • How many pounds of turkey are eaten on Thanksgiving Day?

Turkey Day Fun

We have probably posted this every year but it has become a tradition in classroom groups and at home, so for those of you who may not have seen the "Making Butter" post, here it is:

You need:

Small glass jar with cover and heavy cream

  • Pour heavy cream in the jar, filling jar about one third
  • Now Shake!!  Have your kids stand up, jump around, and dance while they are shaking
  • Your heavy cream will turn into butter, make sure you check after shaking for a minute or two.  Too much shaking will give you whipped cream
  • When your butter is done, remove from the jar and enjoy!!         

Don't throw those jars out!! When you are finished with your butter, clean out the jar and use it for this fun craft!

  • Clean and dry your jar and cover.  Fill with gold glitter, brown paper or you can paint the inside brown.  Cover and turn over.  (This is your turkey's body)
  • Trace your child's hands on construction paper- at least two hands and cut them out. 
  • Paste the hands to the back of the jar and glue google eyes and orange triangle to the front, to make a face!
  • Now you have a turkey centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table. 


Turkey Week Specials

Email Special- Free shipping on all orders over $40.00.  Remember to enter coupon code TDAY13 at checkout. 

Orders within the contiguous United States.  Sorry, not valid on drop shipments. 

To Cursive or Not To Cursive...

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To Cursive or Not to Cursive...

Last week another state voted to keep cursive writing (and memorization of multiplication tables) as a requirement in their schools curriculum, even though it is not part of the new Common Core Educational Curriculum Standards. That makes 7 states (California, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Utah) who have made the decision to keep cursive writing.

(The Common Core Curriculum  has been adopted by 45 states and is to be fully implemented by the fall of 2014. The Curriculum doesn't prohibit the teaching of cursive writing - it just doesn't include it.)

Did you know that:

  • To read cursive, you usually have to be able to write in it.
  • In early times, cursive was used as a way to distinguish the literate from the illiterate.
  • Legal documents, such as contracts, mortgages, wills, and banking, all require a signature.
  • Cursive signatures are more difficult to forge than those in print. So it may discourage some fraud or credit card theft.
  • Recently, during a very public trial in Florida, a 19-year-old witness couldn't  read a document because it was in cursive.
  • Research shows, that more areas of the brain are used for cursive writing than for keyboarding.
  • The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are all written in cursive.

What can you do?

  • Talk to your local school officials and board of education.  Express your concerns and request they continue cursive writing in the curriculum.
  • Teach your own children and grandchildren how to read and write cursive.
  • Start a Cursive writing club at school or with neighborhood friends.

Loops and Other Groups Cursive Writing Program

Mary Benbow, OTR. (a renown hand development specialist) designed this wonderfully easy and imaginative way to teach cursive handwriting to students from second grade through high school. 

Letters are taught in groups that share common movement patterns.  This taps into the kinesthetic system which allows students to "feel" and visualize letter formation.  Easy to remember auditory and motor cues are used to help aide students in learning. Groups like "Clock Climbers" and "Kite Strings" engage students and lead to quick success.

Complete programs, packs of 10 workbooks or individual workbooks make this perfect for home or school.

Handwriting Without Tears- Cursive

Developed by Jan Olsen, OTR this program uses the multi sensory approach with tactile, kinesthetic, auditory, positional, and spatial cues as well as manipulative's and 2 lined paper to teach students cursive writing. 

Teachers guide and workbooks for each grade build upon success. Workbooks available individually or let us know what quantity you need for bulk packs.

Free Shipping AND More Free Shipping!

Here at PFOT, we try to offer you a mix of classic "must have" items, as well as "cool" new products. Active participation is always easier when students are excited, motivated and engaged. Take a moment to check out your closet, then check us out and let us ship your new items for FREE - AND we'll also send you a free shipping voucher to use on a future order!* But all good things must end... this week until Friday at midnite!

(*Must select Free shipping at checkout AND use coupon code CCFREE at time of order. $40 minimun, new online orders only, free ground shipping within 48 states only. Excludes drop ship items & other items indicated with a *.  Voucher will be sent with order. $40 min re-order, voucher can be used 1/1/14-2/28/14, other restrictions may apply. Offer expires Fri 11/22/13)


*Much information provided by huffington post.

Do you know these Wacky November Holidays?

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Fun and Wacky November Holidays

November is chock full of wacky holidays- almost one for each day!  Here are just a few;

  • November 9th is Chaos Never Dies Day
  • November 15th is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day
  • November 16th is Button Day
  • November 23rd is Cashew Day
  • And of course, Turkey Day!!

Story Starters for NovemberMake up a Holiday!

You can write sentences or a story.  Have your children design a card or illustrate a way to celebrate what holiday they would celebrate.  See how creative they can be!

  • What holiday would you make up? 
  • How would you celebrate?
  • Draw a logo to celebrate your holiday. Design a flag or decorations that you can use. 
  • Are schools, banks, and the post office closed on your holiday? Or do you celebrate in school? 
  • Celebrate with cake and ice cream or is it a backyard bbq day?

Messy Play- Cloud Dough

You only need 2 ingredients! Flour and Baby Oil

- Mix 4 cups of flour and 1/2 cup baby oil together

Mix in a bowl or on a tray.  Squeeze it into a ball.  Build a mountain then roll over it with a toy car.  Use one finger and write letters and numbers.  When your done, bottle it up and save for next time. Have fun!

Newsletter Special: * Buy 3 Get 1 Free Sale *

Zoo Sticks- A GREAT tool for little hands! Use them to pick up game pieces, pegs, or our spiney balls.  Or even more fun- use them to eat with!

Buy 3 zoo sticks and get 1 free in an order placed before Friday November 8, 2013. 


PS.   Please share with friends and followers!