Thursday, December 7, 2017

Postural Stability and Dyslexia

Postural Stability and DyslexiaPostural Stability and Dyslexia

Gait and Posture published research on postural stability and dyslexia.  The participants included 24 children with dyslexia and 24 children without dyslexia who were evaluated to determine the influence of foot soles and visual information on postural control.  To evaluate postural stability, the surface area, the length and mean velocity of the center of pressure and the Romberg Quotient (a percentage of the measured instability during eyes closed to that during eyes open) was measured in two postural conditions (with and without a 4 mm foam under feet) and in two visual conditions (eyes open or closed).

The results indicated the following:

  • the surface area, length and mean velocity of the center of pressure were significantly greater in the dyslexic children compared to the non-dyslexic children, particularly with foam and eyes closed.
  • the Romberg Quotient was significantly smaller in the dyslexic children and significantly greater without foam than with foam.

The researchers concluded that children with dyslexia are not able to compensate with other available inputs when sensory inputs are less informative (with foam, or eyes closed), which results in poor postural stability.  In addition, the researchers suggested that the impairment of the cerebellar integration of all the sensory inputs is responsible for the postural deficits observed in children with dyslexia.

 

The lead author of the study, Nathalie Goulème, Ph.D., recommends:

  • exercises on a balance platform challenging children to maintain their stability in different conditions i.e. eyes closed, unstable or visual stimulation in order to improve postural control and utilize efficient sensory strategies.
  • children to participate in sports, games and leisure activities that require eye-hand coordination and balance skills.

When children have difficulties maintaining postural control it involves more energy, therefore during higher cognitive load tasks such as reading attention is shared possibly decreasing learning capabilities.

Reference:

Bell, Katie. (2017) Dyslexia affects ability to adjust to impaired sensory feedback.  LER Pediatrics.  Retrieved from the web on 12/7/17 at http://ift.tt/2izq84G

Goulème, N., Villeneuve, P., Gérard, C. L., & Bucci, M. P. (2017). Influence of both cutaneous input from the foot soles and visual information on the control of postural stability in dyslexic children. Gait & Posture56, 141-146.

If you need more core strengthening activities for children check out:

The Core Strengthening Handbook

The Core Strengthening Handbook:  This download includes 50+ activities including:

  • Quick and Easy Core Strengthening Activities for Kids
  • Core Strengthening Exercises With Equipment
  • Core Strengthening Play Ideas

The Core Strengthening Exercise Program: This digital download includes exercises to help make core strengthening fun and entertaining for kids while promoting carryover in the classroom and at home!  FIND OUT MORE.

Postural Stability and Dyslexia

 

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Unwrapped – Free Holiday Visual Spatial Puzzle

Unwrapped - Free Holiday Visual Spatial PuzzleUnwrapped – Free Holiday Visual Spatial Puzzle

This FREE holiday visual spatial puzzle is a fun challenge to complete on any holiday.  Many of you work in school districts where there can be no mention of a specific holiday.  This printable is secular – gifts and presents.  Maybe you celebrate Christmas, maybe Hannukah, maybe it is a birthday party, whatever the holiday can you guess what is inside each gift when it is unwrapped?

Children will have to use their visual skills to estimate the size and shape of the gift and which toy fits inside.  Draw a line from the gift to the correct toy.  It is in black and white for economical printing and cute illustrations suitable for all ages.

If you need more difficult visual-spatial activities, check out Visual Spatial Mazes.  Need more seasonal visual perceptual activities?  Check out all of these titles for throughout the year.

To download your FREE holiday visual-spatial puzzle, sign up to receive our newsletter.  If you already receive it, just enter your email and you will be redirected to the download.

Unwrapped - Free Holiday Visual Spatial Puzzle

The post Unwrapped – Free Holiday Visual Spatial Puzzle appeared first on Your Therapy Source.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Selfie Elf Challenge – Get Kids Moving

Selfie Elf ChallengeSelfie Elf Challenge – Get Kids Moving

Are you up for a challenge to get the kids moving?  Download this FREE Selfie Elf Challenge at the end of the post.  See if the children can match the elf poses EXACTLY with their bodies and snap a photo.  Show the picture to the child and see if they notice any differences between their pose and the elf’s pose.

For example, ask the child if they are holding up the correct hand (right or left), do the facial expressions match and do the legs match (right and left)?  Repeat for each elf pose.

This would be a great partner activity – one child snaps the photo and checks for an exact match.  Then switch.

Want to do it as a group?  Snap photos of them all doing the same pose.

Don’t want to use a photo?  Just mimic the elf actions on the page.

Want to make this activity more difficult?  Call out a number and the child have to match that elf.  Call out 2 numbers in a row and the children have to match those two poses.  Call out 3 numbers in a row, the children have to remember the number sequence and match the poses in the correct order.  Continue all the way up to calling out 6 numbers.

Need more Holiday Activities?  Check out the December Bundle!

December Bundle Fine Motor Gross Motor Visual Perceptual Activities from Your Therapy Source

Sign up to receive our email newsletter to gain access to your FREE Selfie Elf Challenge.  If you already subscribe, just enter your email and you will be redirected to the download in a new tab.

Selfie Elf Challenge from Your Therapy Source

The post Selfie Elf Challenge – Get Kids Moving appeared first on Your Therapy Source.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Orthographic Processing and Handwriting

Orthographic Processing and HandwritingOrthographic Processing and Handwriting

Handwriting evaluations usually include legibility, speed, spacing and pencil grip but do you consider orthographic processing?  Orthographic processing is the ability to understand and recognize writing components such as spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.  Students with weak orthographic processing rely very heavily on sounding out common words that should be in memory, which can result in deficiencies in decoding skills and written expression.  In addition, there can be difficulties with letter recognition and letter reversals. If a student does not have the visual memory skills to recognize the shape and orientation of a letter, they are more likely to make reversal errors.

Cognitive Neuropsychology published research on how deficits in orthographic processing affect movement production during word writing.  The participants included children with dyslexia and dysgraphia.  To assess the impact of spelling process disorders on handwriting, participants had to write on digital tablets different categories of words: regular and irregular, common and rare, sensical (ex: futur) and pseudo, non-sensical words (ex: furut).

The results indicated the following:

  • writing irregular words and pseudo-words increased movement duration and dysfluency indicating that the spelling processes were active while the children were writing the words.
  • the impact of these spelling processes was stronger for the children with dyslexia and dysgraphia.
  • most dyslexic/dysgraphic children presented similar writing patterns.
  • the act of writing irregular and pseudowords had a particularly noticeable impact on the hand movements of dyslexic children.  When the spelling was so difficult it impaired some children’s efforts to write resulting in irregular, and sometimes, unreadable shapes.

The researchers concluded that the interaction between orthographic and motor processing add up to a significant cognitive load that may affect the handwriting of the children with dyslexia/dysgraphia.

References:

ACT Government and Training. Learning Difficulties Factsheet 7: What is orthographic processing? Retrieved from the web on 12/4/17 at http://ift.tt/2AJ1ysO

CNRS. (2017, November 28). Dyslexia: When spelling problems impair writing acquisition. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 4, 2017 from http://ift.tt/2iKZ99U

Kandel, S., Lassus-Sangosse, D., Grosjacques, G., & Perret, C. (2017). The impact of developmental dyslexia and dysgraphia on movement production during word writing. Cognitive Neuropsychology34(3-4), 219-251.

Handwriting Stations

Handwriting Stations includes the materials to create a handwriting station on a tri-fold or in a folder. The station includes proper letter formation for capital and lower case letters, correct posture, pencil grip, warm up exercises, letter reversals tips and self check sheet. In addition, there are 27 worksheets for the alphabet and number practice (Handwriting without Tears® style and Zaner-Bloser® style). This download is great for classroom use, therapy sessions or to send home with a student.  Find out more information.

Orthographic Processing and Handwriting

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

December 2017 Edition – Digital Magazine for Pediatric OTs and PTs

December 2017 Digital Magazine for OTs and PTs from YourTherapySourceDigital Magazine for Pediatric OTs and PTs – December 2017 Edition

After a short hiatus, the Your Therapy Source digital magazine is back up and running.  The magazine is a great way to catch up on recent research, activity ideas and freebies from the previous month all in one location.  View this month’s edition below.

Table of Contents
Your Therapy Source Digital Magazine December 2017

HOW TO GET STUDENTS READY TO LEARN AFTER BRAIN BREAKS OR RECESS
MOTOR PLANNING AND CEREBRAL PALSY
LINK BETWEEN READING, VISUAL PERCEPTION, AND VISUAL–MOTOR INTEGRATION
ONE SIMPLE WAY TO IMPROVE PARTICIPATION
TEACHING THROWING AND CATCHING TO CHILDREN WITH DCD
FINE MOTOR SKILLS LINKED TO NUMERICAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT
MOTOR OVERFLOW IN PRESCHOOL CHILDREN
EFFECTS OF YOGA ON AUTISM SYMPTOMS
HOW TO WRITE A SOCIAL STORY WITH VISUAL SUPPORTS
FINE MOTOR SKILLS, VISUAL FUNCTION, AND READING IN CHILDREN
LESS AFFECTED HAND IN UNILATERAL CEREBRAL PALSY
GROSS MOTOR SKILLS, POSTURAL STABILITY, AND AUTISM
YOUNG PEOPLE’S ATTITUDES ABOUT STANDING FRAMES
COLOR CUT GLUE FOR DECEMBER – SCISSOR SKILLS PRACTICE
ELEPHANT HOLIDAY HAT – SCISSOR AND FINE MOTOR ACTIVITY
DIRECTIONALITY WORKSHEET – WHICH WAY IS THE ANIMAL FACING?  

 

Sign up to receive our email newsletter to access the magazine.  If you already receive our emails, just enter your email address again and you will have access to the magazine.  A new tab will open with the FREE PDF version of the magazine.  To stay updated daily follow the blog.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Young People’s Attitudes About Standing Frames

Young Peoples Attitudes About Standing FramesYoung People’s Attitudes About Standing Frames

As therapists, we frequently recommend standing frames for children with cerebral palsy or other developmental disorders.  A question to ask yourself is do you frequently check for ease and comfort of use with the client? This is a question that needs to be asked over and over again. Children grow and change so rapidly. Comfort and ease of use for any device (be it a computer, stander, wheelchair, adapted toilet, etc) needs to be constantly assessed.

Child: Care, Health and Development published research on a semistructured interview with 12 young people with cerebral palsy regarding the positive and negative experiences regarding standing frame use.  The interviews revealed that some young people:

  • reported that although standing frames can be painful, it should be endured to improve their body structure and function.
  • feel excluded from their peers, and others feeling as though standing frames helped them “fit in.”
  • are not offered a choice about how and when they use their standing frame.
  • that there are challenges to standing frame use such as manual handling, interference from siblings, and the lack of aesthetically pleasing standing frame designs.

The researchers recommend an exploration of each young person’s personal goals and experiences as well as therapeutic outcomes is necessary when prescribing standing frames.

Remember not to just ask the parent, teacher or caregiver but check with the clients themselves.

Reference:  Goodwin, J., Lecouturier, J., Crombie, S., Smith, J., Basu, A., Colver, A., … & Roberts, A. (2017). Understanding frames: A qualitative study of young people’s experiences of using standing frames as part of postural management for cerebral palsy. Child: Care, Health and Development.

Read more on standing frames:

Dosing for Standing Programs

Standing Program and Cerebral Palsy

Effects of Standing Programs on Walking in Children with Cerebral Palsy

More resources for children with cerebral palsy:

Teaching Motor Skills to Children with Cerebral Palsy and Similar Movement Disorders - A

Teaching Motor Skills to Children with Cerebral Palsy and Similar Movement Disorders: The ELECTRONIC version of Teaching Motor Skills is a must-have reference for all therapists who work with children with cerebral palsy.   Whether you are a beginner or experienced therapist you will find the information concise, informative and very helpful to carry out everyday functional tasks including stretching with children with cerebral palsy. The book provides activity suggestions throughout the developmental sequence such as head control, tummy time, sitting, transitions, walking and beyond.  There is also great information that reviews additional interventions for children with cerebral palsy such as bracing, surgical and medical management.  The author, Sieglinde Martin, is an experienced PT and a mother of a child with cerebral palsy. FIND OUT MORE.

Therapeutic Play Activities for Children Download

Therapeutic Play Activities for Children digital download includes 100 play activity pages and 12 tip sheets. The play activities encourage the development of fine motor skills, bimanual skills, rolling, crawling, tall kneeling, standing balance and cruising with a strong focus on children with cerebral palsy.  FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION.

 

The post Young People’s Attitudes About Standing Frames appeared first on Your Therapy Source.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Elephant Holiday Hat – Scissor and Fine Motor Activity

Elephant Holiday Hat - Scissor and Fine Motor SkillsElephant Holiday Hat – Scissor and Fine Motor Activity

This adorable holiday hat is FREE from Your Therapy Source.  It is one of the templates from the Holiday Hat collection.  Children can practice coloring, scissor skills and pasting.  Step by step visual directions are included for the children to learn how to create the Elephant Holiday Hat.  Print out the color or black and white template and get started.  Get the complete Holiday Hats digital download here.  It includes 11 awesome templates in color and black and white.

DOWNLOAD ELEPHANT HOLIDAY HAT

Holiday Hats from Your Therapy Source

Need more December activities?  Check out these titles (PS every title has a free sample page to download):

December Fine Motor Gross Motor Visual MotorDecember Fine Motor, Gross Motor and Visual Motor Packet

December Multisensory Handwriting Activities

December Multisensory Handwriting Activities

Christmas Poses - Postural and Strengthening Exercises with a Christmas Theme

Christmas Poses

December Visual Perceptual Puzzles

December Visual Perceptual Puzzles

Finish the Holiday Picture - December Edition

Finish the Holiday Pictures – December

Christmas Doodle Find

Christmas Doodle Find

Print and Create Fine Motor Projects – Christmas

Print and Create Fine Motor Projects Christmas

Elephant Holiday Hat

The post Elephant Holiday Hat – Scissor and Fine Motor Activity appeared first on Your Therapy Source.

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