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Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

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Occupational Therapy

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  1. Occupational Therapy

    Classroom Suggestions Compiled By: Marion Good, OTR/L, Denise Grunden, OTR/L 2012
  2. Table of Contents Grasp Patterns for School Tools Handwriting Suggestions Organization Suggestions Sensory Suggestions
  3. Grasp Patterns Functional Grips on writing implements include: Three Point Grip
  4. Grasp Patterns Continued Functional Four Point Grasp Pattern
  5. Grasp Patterns Continued Alternative Three Point Grasp Pattern
  6. Grasp Patterns Continued Mature Scissor Grasp:
  7. Handwriting Suggestions 1. Check student position at desk/ table with chair. Feet flat on floor, hips, knees, and ankles at a 90 degree angle. The desk/ table height is correct when the elbows are 2” below the surface height.
  8. Tip: You can begin by: 1. Switch the chair height. 2. Lower or raise the desk height. 3. Not preferred, you may add a foot support (i.e. phone books stacked, aerobic step, old textbooks).
  9. Handwriting Suggestions Continued 2. Work in different positions (i.e. standing at white board, sitting/ lying on stomach on floor with a clip board. 3. Grip and Wrist Positions – pictures on pages 4 & 5 wrist should be up or extended. 4. Try different writing tools (i.e. use of short pencil, large primary pencils, crayons, markers, dry erase crayons, china pencils, gel pens), try different pencil grips available, stencils or templates, stamps/ magnets of letters and numbers, proper paper positioning (i.e. right handers angled to left; left handers angled to right), paper should be stabilized with other hand, and different types of paper/ adaptive paper.
  10. Organizational Suggestions 1. Color code folders by subject and a separate homework folder. 2. Schedule on desk, board, etc. Schedule could be in picture symbols, words, and/ or with analog time noted. 3. Visual Cue cards on desk or teacher’s lanyard for reminders. 4. Post signs and label areas in room (i.e. reading centers, writing centers, quiet corner). 5. Clip board to organize papers. 6. Workbook tabs to find correct page (i.e. paper clip, bend or cut corner of page, tear out work sheets from workbook prior to lesson for students).
  11. Organizational Suggestions Continued 7. Visual and/ or Auditory Timer. 8. Storage cubicles. 9. Study Carrel/ Science Fair Project Board. 10. Study Guides 11. Supplemental Notes supplied by teacher or another student.
  12. Sensory Suggestions 1. Auditory (Hearing) Headphones to reduce noise Background music for calming Individual music to alert or calm with headphones. Use a soft voice to calm and an increased, toned voice to alert.
  13. Sensory Suggestions 2. Gustatory (Oral) Taste. Chewy, crunchy foods to alert and increase attention (i.e. raw fruits/ vegetables, licorice, gummy snacks, pretzel rods, Starburst, Sour patch kids, cinnamon candy. Blowing activities( i.e pursed lip breathing, bubbles, blowing through straw at cotton balls). Suck, Swallow, Breathe - use of a refillable water bottle at desk.
  14. Sensory Suggestions Continued 3. Olfactory (Smell) Be cognizant of student/ staff preferences. Alerting scents include: eucalyptus, peppermint, and citrus. Calming scents include lavender, vanilla, and rose. Be mindful that scents may elicit memories (pleasant/ unpleasant). Example: The smell of baking chocolate chip cookies (memories of holidays). Be aware of Halitosis (unpleasant breath) of students/ staff members.
  15. Sensory Suggestions Continued 4. Proprioception (Heavy Work) For Calming and Organizing examples include: Stacking chairs/ rearranging desks Carrying materials/ books in a crate for a classroom job. Pushing/ Pulling Carts or rolling recycle bins. Jumping jacks Cleaning whiteboards and desks.
  16. Sensory Suggestions Continued 5. Tactile (Touch) Play in tubs of rice, beans, macaroni (hands). Play in textured materials (i.e. water, play-doh, shaving cream). Try writing tool/ material alternatives (i.e. grippers, felt tip/ gel pens, layers paper, textured paper, sandpaper under paper. Fidgets (i.e. stress balls, velcro, silly puddy, pipe cleaners, Wiki Stix, clay).
  17. Sensory Suggestions Continued 6. Vestibular (head/ ears in relationship to gravity)Movement opportunities. Alerting and Calming examples include: Movement opportunities when the head is bent or down (touching toes). Yoga for Kids. Student rocking their body while sitting on the floor or in a chair (fast – alerting/ slow – calming).
  18. Sensory Suggestions Continued 7. Visual (Sight) Examples for Calming include: Natural lighting, incandescent lighting. Colored overlays (blue, green) Visual Timers, Visual Schedules, Visual Cue Cards (aid in transitions). Color coding of subject and homework folders.
  19. References American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA):  OT Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 2nd Ed., (2008) CE on CD - Sensory Processing Concepts and Applications in Practice., Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA Murray-Slutsky MS OTR, Carolyn, Paris PT M.Ed., Betty 2005 Is It Sensory or is it Behavior. Harcourt Assessments Inc.