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.