Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What is missing since we quit OT?

Its been almost a year since The Boy's pediatric occupational therapist (OT) 'graduated' him because he was doing "so well".    I was glad for the break from appointments and bills, and planned on continuing what I had learned with him at home.

Its been a couple of months since we both agreed that he needs to go back.  Today he will go to a new pediatric OT practice for a two-hour evaluation, to see what services they believe will benefit him.  I'm excited, because we have been quite stuck without a weekly visit to encourage him and hold him accountable to the at-home exercises!

Here are some things I've noticed lacking, since we don't have the accountability of an OT.

  • He will not do the recommend exercises or techniques, even when he knows they will help him calm down
  • I will not remind him to do the daily preventative routines, including special music, brushing and joint compressions, heavy work routines, and more.  Its a big job and a lot of work to stay on track, and once I am out of that routine....I cannot get back to it.  Between my resistance and his, it ain't happenin'.
  • I can push sensory explanations for his behavior to the background, without the regular reminder that he really does have a difference from others...he just looks so normal, LOL
  • He has less motivation for trying new foods because no one will be asking him on Tuesday what he's been eating.
  • The release and centeredness that came from that actual OT session, reminding him of how good he does feel when he follows the routines.
What sort of things do you miss when your sensory kiddo skips a session or has graduated from OT?

The Sensory Spectrum

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Review of Overlap Maps

(I was given a free copy of Overlap Maps activity ebook in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.)

What a unique concept!  This may just be me, but I find the relative size of countries fascinating.  At http://overlapmaps.com, you can drag countries to and from anywhere!  Of course, this is educational in and of itself. :)

To take it a step further and make it school-ish, you can purchase (for $4.99 until 5/12/2014 through Educents) an activity ebook, which is a 57 page PDF explaining the concepts of the different kinds of maps (including why distortion occurs on flat maps), how to use Overlap Maps, and ten lessons.   Each lesson has facts to learn, a map activity and review questions, and is intended to be short and sweet.  You can print out the lessons and work through them with your child, or have them do it on their own (just make sure not to give them the answer key at the end ;) ).

I made my own Overlap Map, imposing Brazil over Kentucky.  You can see it hereKentucky is where I am, and I knew Brazil was big, but wow!

As a Charlotte Mason style educator, I typically shy away from contrived activities and worksheets.  However, I see Overlap Maps as a nice supplement to geography.  For example, we are studying Marco Polo in AO Year 3, following his journey from Venice to China, back across China, India and the east coast of Africa and back again, etc.  I think overlaying China, India and Africa over each other, comparing to Kentucky and Italy would be a fun way to look at the maps, as well as being memorable.  I won't be using the Overlap Maps ebook as indicated (fill out the answers), but I do think going over the facts in each lesson and doing the activity will be beneficial for my kinesthetic, big-picture, right-brained learner. :)