Does your child think "Letters are Crazy"?

why letters are crazy?

Letters seem harmless.  They're are just lines and curves, right? Not really.

Your child has to put together so many skills to master these odd looking things.  And when all these skills clash together, your child thinks letters are CRAZY and would rather do anything else but look at them or learn them!

As an OT, I assessed the skills needed to recall and form letters.  I watched for years and broke down each part to see what was needed to help a child succeed.  

I also understood the difficulties kids faced due to my own learning differences, so with my personal and professional experience, I develop strategies - strategies that focus on gains/success/independence.

So if your child hates LETTERS, that's okay.  They just need a few steps broken down.  They need to learn the letters in a way that fits them.  

Where do you start --  when it comes to helping your child with letters? 

1. Find out what letters they know really well. That means no matter when your child sees that letter they know it no problem. Write it down.

2. Find out what letters are very confusing for them. Start slow - work on only a few letters at a time. Write it down. 

2. Find out what is more frustrating for your child in general: the letter name,  the letter sound, or making the letter (printing). Write it down. 

This is a great start. You will then know where to begin which is important for making a plan. 

Learning Letters will be one package offered in my new online  "Learn Their Way Program"  which I will be talking about more as the weeks continue.  This program is a monthly subscription to allow you to get their hands on the content they need and the support YOU need to move forward in supporting your child.  

Susan

Older kids need support too

older kids need support too!

Your child is heading to high school or maybe even university.  

You know they need support with their school work ...but it's a different type of support.

Your child may need some strategies that allow them to organize their schedules, read books at a quicker rate, and write with a minimal amount of errors (I only say this as my writing tends to have a few errors in it as well. We are all human.)

Your child may need to figure out how they learn even though they have managed to get through elementary and high school, they still need to understand their way of learning so they can move forward with confidence. 

You can label these skills as executive functioning, advanced writing or reading comprehensions skills ...they are a lot of labels out there but the real fact is your child has some skills that need support and strategies put in place so they can get their tasks done, whether that's school, work or life.

I have worked with a number of older students and these are some things they needed support with and your child might too:

5 ways older students may need support and strategies for school:

1. Communicating with teachers about their accommodations - how and when to do this.

2. Figuring out how to learning in a way that fits them and their needs (all needs...including social needs) 

3. Figure out what to focus on when it comes to excelling at school? (also known as their strengths)  And what does that mean for their course load and the courses they select? 

4. Knowing they (your child) are not alone when it comes to their learning.  Find someone your child can talk to or listen to their story so they feel they have the abilities to succeed in school. 

5. Managing their time and recalling what they need to work on and hand in (ummm ...we all need this to some extent as well!) 

So if you think your child is too old for support or strategies -- they are not!! As I mentioned above some the these skills, we can all work on the only difference is they need these skills now so they can select the right path for their future...which so very important! 

You got this!

Susan 

 

(OT) What do you do when YOU need support?

OTs: what do you do when YOU need support?

I gotta know!  

What do you do when you need help or support to figure out technology for your clients?

Yes..YOU! 


Do you ask questions? 

Do you google to get some facts/strategies? 

Do you download a random app list?  

Do you ask to watch others? 


You can put a WHOLE lot of effort into figuring out what to do, but if you don’t feel confident in using technology, the results will be limited. 

You might be wondering how to move a client from one skill to another using technology.  

Or, how and when to transfer skills away from technology. 

If you are using all your time to look for answers, you might be using up your precious time! 

I want YOU to be a confident OT. 

I want YOU to know exactly why you are using technology and how to use it. 

And I want YOU to be able to create your app list and customize apps for the client you have in front of you right now. 


So here’s what you can do now: 

1. I want you to think about a skill you love to assess.  (sensory, fine motor, visual perceptual, etc.) 
2. I want you to now look for all the technology that supports this one skill area.  (only this one area -- nothing more) 
3. I want you to think of a client that you already have on your caseload that needs support in this area (so you already know what skills they need to develop) 

4. I want you to try the app or technology with them (maybe it’s an app and the iPad or software and a laptop, etc.) 
Finally, consider if you are working either directly or indirectly with them as you use technology. 

5. Now I want you to observe -- what worked and what did not? When you do this, you will learn what skills the app will work on and what it doesn’t which is excellent for your client!  Now you have an idea of what will work for others with similar needs. 

6. Go through this cycle again and keep track of the apps and what they work on.  

You are now stepping into the world of technology and skill development!! Woo Hooo! 


But let's take this a step further and sign up for the iPads at School Program

to give you LOTs of strategies to use technology powerfully. 

Keep going and let me know how you make out in your technology adventures!!  

You got this!

Susan

P.S. The Summer time pricing for the iPads at School Program will be changing in September.  Don't miss it! $197.00 instead of $325.00. 

Strategy Sessions: What are Moms saying?

Strategy Sessions: What are people saying?

Feedback is so important.  I ask for it after I work with a client to find out what is working and what is not. You can read some of the comments listed below.  

Each of my Strategy Sessions are different as it depends on what the client needs and what level of support they are looking for.  It can be a one time session or multiply sessions.  


Strategy Sessions with Follow up Sessions

"My son was having difficulties getting thoughts from his head to paper. He was feeling discouraged when he was unable to work as quickly as classmates.

We were stressed over simple homework assignments. They were taking a long time and my son was frustrated.

The biggest takeaways from the Strategy Sessions was having the technology to make things easier for my son so he could write and edit his work. My son feels more confident and doesn’t feel bogged down by homework anymore. 

My son knows now that everyone learns differently and that’s okay. He knows now how to express himself better in what helps him make sense of things."


VIP Strategy Sessions

I was having a difficult time managing my time with my daughter, I was unsure if I should be working on first..it was all very new and overwhelming

The biggest VIP take away was having a schedule written up for our day and I felt I had a better grasp on making the most of my daughter’s day. I also felt like I was encouraged to just play and be her mom and everything didn’t need to be planned and structured

The Strategy Sessions helped us at a time where we were very overwhelmed and at a stand still.

After the Strategy Sessions, I felt much more confident and organized. I felt like she made gains quicker, and I spent less time figuring out what to do with our time and referred to the schedule and suggestions from Susan.


VIP Strategy Sessions

My son benefitted from the apps/programs allowing him to type his answers on the computer, organize his materials and the use of the pdf transfer sheets allowing him to answer questions on his computer reducing the dysgraphia challenge. He is learning to break down his work into more digestible pieces and encouraged to keep working and not give up. My son’s frustration is reduced by the reduction in the distractions during his learning time, his ability to meet his sensory needs when he needs it and then be able to continue with a minimum of interruption. 

The awesome by-product of all of this is that he can focus more on his school work and has freed him up to feel more willing to socialize knowing his learning challenges have been addressed.

My son and I felt encouraged and validated. Your clarification of his challenges, your confirmation of the strategies that had already been implemented and your further provision of strategies has increased his self-esteem and has encouraged him to apply himself with a more positive attitude.

My son was encouraged by the success he experienced and the respect he received from you working with him. He is now gradually building his self-esteem, recognizing that he is not inadequate but that his difficulties are a result of a specific learning needs. 
My son now uses technology to answer questions without having to be overwhelmed by the grammar piece. He can focus on his ideas and then return to his work to correct spelling errors with word search and then separately focus on grammar and sentence structure.


Parent Workshop

I learned more from you (Susan) in 1 hour than I have from others over the years. 


Stop waiting for Occupational Therapy Support

Stop waiting for support

Your child's on a very LONG waiting list for OT services or maybe no list at all. Now what? 

You know your child needs help and an Occupational Therapist was recommended but there's a 2 or 4-year waiting list.  That's a VERY long time to wait. 

Or you might not even have your child on a waiting list because they are "doing ok." but you know differently.

So what can you do?  

1.  You can decide to reach out and find out what options you have for support. Just do it!  You can start with me. Reach out and I will review what I can offer you. It's a good start.  

2. You can make a decision to support your child now.  If you find a professional that fits what your child needs.  You can make a decision to move forward. Ask if there are payment plans that fit your budget. 

3. You can get the support you need without waiting. Knowing that there are supports available without the long wait is good to know :) 

But we might be used to waiting (even though this frustrates us).  

And we might even be used to not paying for supports that are best for our child. We are used to paying for a phone, a mortgage, car expenses but not always other new expenses that will have life-changing experience (which means that they will cost up front but will have lasting effects.  I had to acknowledge this barrier myself. 

And I want you to know that even if you wait, you might NOT get the support you want because the therapist you get depends on who works in your area and what experience and knowledge they have.  They might be an incredible support in one area but not in the area your child needs support with. I don't say this to be negative but to let you know that waiting maybe not be a good option for a few reasons.
 
So do you wait?? (you decide)

Let review a simple case study to see what one Mom decided to do: 

A mom knows her child needs support but an Occupational Therapist can't be referred until they have a diagnosis.  

She finds the right OT fit after reading an article about an OT.  

She reaches out to find out what supports can be offered (and if this fits what her and her child needs). They decide the fit is right and work together for 3 sessions over 4 months.  There is  progress made not only at home but in the school setting as well due to the strategies and plans but in place.  Strategies were set up for the summer months. And a plan for ongoing support for the next school year.  4-5 sessions for the next year.  

Here's a child that was not referred to OT but still received OT support.  

So whether you have your child on a waiting list or they don't qualify for OT support -- you don't have to wait.  You can get started now and see the progress you and your child need to see.  

Does this mean you need to take your child off the waiting list? NO, of course not!  Stay on the waiting list but until then get some strategies and plans in place for when the OT arrives (and with the gains your child has made and the insight you have, you will be able to work with the OT to look at very specific areas for support).  It truly is a win-win set up. 

P.S. just in case you were wondering you can do this to with my strategy sessions. Don't wait.  Make a decision to get the support you and your child need now. 

Susan 

iPads are designed for OTs

ipads are designed for OTs

iPads are awesome.  I still remember when I bought my first iPad and started to play around with what it could do.  My mind exploded with possibilities. 

With the right app you could customize feedback and select what skill you wanted to focus on.  

Say what????

Seriously this was a turning point in my OT career!! 

But shortly after I started working with clients on the iPad, I read an email from an OT supervisor stating that OTs didn't need to know about iPads and apps when they were searching for a course for their OTs.   

I just about lost my mind! 

What are they talking about???  

Of course, OTs need to be using iPads and apps -- it offers something other approaches DO NOT. 

I was so passionate about OTs using the iPad that I designed my iPads at School Program for OTs.  

It took time to walk through what I needed to cover and how it all related to our profession. 

I started with the WHY.  

>>> Why do OTs NEED to use iPads (and technology in general) what does it offer our clients.  

>>> Why is it an incredible FIT when it comes to Occupational Therapy and skill development.  

The WHY was BIG.  This part of the program tends to shift how OTs view and use the iPad and apps.  

If you are questioning your role as an OT when it comes to the iPad and apps (or technology in general) don't sit and wonder anymore...get confident in what YOU can offer.  Add technology particularly the iPad and apps to your OT toolbox, so you are ready to support your client, and you can then address the questions others will ask you.  

I'm so passionate about OTs using technology that my program is now $197.00 instead of $325.00. Right now I'm considering this my summer rate for this year.  I want OTs to be confident and ready to use technology powerfully.  LET'S DO THIS OTS!!

Susan