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Handwriting: It is More Than Meets the Eye.

Written by Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR?L

Handwriting: a common topic of conversation among teachers, therapists, and parents. When attempting to assess a child’s handwriting and legibility skills, the child is typically asked to complete a writing sample, either by copying, self-generation or dictation, and the adult will look at the finished product, as well as the grasp. However, when the task of handwriting is broken apart, we find there are a lot of other skills that contribute to the success writing.

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Looking ‘Deep’ for Ways to Calm

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Looking ‘Deep’ for Ways to Calm

As adults, in our daily lives we are always naturally choosing techniques that calm and regulate us.  We have learned that chewing gum during a staff meeting helps us to stay alert or to fall asleep at night we need to have a blanket on us no matter how warm it may be.  These are those little things we do to feed our sensory systems.  Every day we all use coping mechanisms despite not having a diagnosis that includes sensory processing concerns.  From the time we were infants we began the process of trying to figure out what made us tick, but oftentimes it required the assistance of our parents.  For example, it was our parents who figured out that wrapping us in a swaddling blanket or providing us with a pacifier would quiet our cries.  Inherently we then began the process learning what our systems required.

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Ayres Sensory Integration 2020 Vision

Ayres Sensory Integration 2020 Vision

The year 2020 marks what would have been the 100 year birthday of Dr. A. Jean Ayres.  In commemoration of this milestone, professionals from all over the world have proposed the following vision:

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‘Weighing’ In On the Use of Weighted Items in Therapy

Written by Deanna Macioce, MS, OTR/L

With so much discussion in the realm of treatment for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), we find that there is little research to support many of the techniques, protocols, or methods used.  If you are an occupational therapist (OT) you find that you use the methodology you were taught, enhanced by the things you have learned from attending continuing education courses, picked up ideas from co-workers, or just used your creativity to find something that works through experience to address a sensory need for a child. And you find it to be effective by the changes noted in the child’s underlying neurological system, so you use it.  This is seen with treatments such as listening programs, spinning and brushing protocols, and the use of weighted items. It is known that if two individuals demonstrate issues in the same sensory areas, their needs, behaviors, and treatments are going to be different.  That is why OTs are known for using their little “tricks” be make treatment be successful, regardless of the research. If you are a parent, caregiver, or teacher you have seen the effects of some of these treatment techniques making a difference in the life of your child who is now more regulated, able to tolerate a movement he or she once couldn’t, attend better in school, or even sleep better at night.

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A Good Reliable Friend

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In our Blog, we are committed to encouraging a greater understanding of sensory integration and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Ultimately we hope to achieve progress in the overall understanding and treatment of these disorders.

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