Fall 2016 Newsletter
10 Ways to Ask “How Was School Today?”
(And get more than a 1-word answer)
- What was the best thing that happened at school today? (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?)
- Tell me something that made you laugh today.
- If you could choose, who would you like to sit by in class? (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class? Why?)
- Tell me a weird word that you heard today. (Or something weird that someone said.)
- If I called your teacher tonight, what would she tell me about you?
- How did somebody help you today?
- When were you the happiest today?
- When were you bored today?
- If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?
- Where do you play the most at recess?
Adapted from this blog post from Simple Simon and Company.
Pumpkin Goop: for tactile input
1 cup corn flour
½ cup water
Add a few drops yellow and red food coloring to make orange
Add pumpkin “guts” seeds and some pulp. Add some pumpkin spices if you wish for added olfactory input.
Think the books and school supplies that your child is carrying in a backpack slung haphazardly across one shoulder are harmless? Think again. Heavy loads carried by more than 79 million students across the U.S. can cause low back pain that often lasts through adulthood. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2010 nearly 28,000 strains, sprains, dislocations, and fractures from backpacks were treated in hospital emergency rooms, physicians’ offices, and clinics. “A child wearing a backpack incorrectly or that is too heavy can be contributing risk factors for discomfort, fatigue, muscle soreness, and musculoskeletal pain especially in the lower back,” says Karen Jacobs, EdD, OTR/L, CPE, clinical professor of occupational therapy at Boston University, and an expert on school ergonomics and healthy growth and development of school-age children. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) urges parents and caregivers to consider the following when selecting a backpack this school year: Appropriate size. Make sure the height of the backpack extends from approximately 2 inches below the shoulder blades to waist level, or slightly above the waist. Shoulders. Backpacks should have well-padded shoulder straps that can be worn on both shoulders so when packed with books, the weight can be evenly balanced by the student. Hip belt. Backpacks with a hip or chest belt take some strain off sensitive neck and shoulder muscles and improve the student’s balance. Fit. Just as your child will try on clothes and shoes when back-to-school shopping, experts say it is important to try on backpacks, too. “The right fit should be your top criteria when selecting your child’s backpack,” says Jacobs. “If you order online, be sure that the seller has a return policy just in case the backpack is not quite the best fit for your child and needs to be exchanged.” When school is back in session, check that the child’s backpack weighs no more than 10% of his or her body weight. If it weighs more, determine what supplies can stay at home or at school each day to lessen the load. If the backpack is still too heavy for the child, consider a book bag on wheels.
Adapted from AOTA.ORG
School Tips for Parents
Academic Success & Social Participation
Occupational therapy can help students succeed in academic performance and social participation. Occupational therapy practitioners use their unique expertise to help children with and without disabilities be prepared for and perform important learning and school-related activities to fulfill their roles as students.
Tips for Academic Success
- Establish a homework buddy system with another student in the same class to promote good study habits and monitor missed work due to absences.
- Monitor the amount, intensity, and length of time that completing homework requires to assess stress levels and maintain a healthy balance of schoolwork and leisure time.
- If sensory components inherent within school environments such as lighting, smells, and sounds affect your child’s school performance, consult an occupational therapy practitioner.
- Help your child develop self advocacy skills necessary for independence by encouraging him or her to ask questions and express his or her needs in school.
Tips for Social Participation
- Participate in community resources such as PTA, school-sponsored activities, and recreational facilities that strengthen your child’s sense of belonging and build friendships.
- Promote extracurricular activities that interest your child and use his or her strengths.
- Provide leadership opportunities for your child that make a notable contribution such as completing chores for neighbors or reading to a younger student.
- Ask for help when needed. The school team is ready to listen and will answer your questions.
- Model positive behavior by listening to your child’s concerns, demonstrating problem solving, and making healthy lifestyle choices for you and your child.
- Monitor your child’s habits and routines in sleep, diet, and activity. Note any significant changes, and share this information as appropriate with school medical professionals.
Occupational therapy is a science-driven, evidence-based profession that enables people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health and prevent—or live better with—illness, injury, or disability.
Adapted from AOTA.org
Meet the Office
Staff Monica Wielinski has over 20 years in the health care field, starting with being a CNA at her hometown nursing home. She then moved to the hospital front desk, which also included being a dispatcher for the local police, fire and rescue. Additionally, Monica has worked in a Physical Therapy clinic and spent over 14 years at a chiropractic clinic. Monica loves kids and kids usually take right to her. She is enjoying getting to know our families and the kids’ unique individual personalities.
Metro Therapy has 2 reserved spots directly in front of our suite for your convenience. You may also park in any unmarked stall. Please see Monica or your child’s therapist for more information regarding loading and unloading spots.
Clinic Closure for Holidays
Metro Therapy will be closed Nov 24th and 25th for Thanksgiving. If your child has sessions to make up, consider completing those during MEA break Oct 19 to 21, Metro Therapy will remain open!
Follow us on Facebook for posts about clinic happenings, updates and insightful information.