Warm-Up and Stretching Activities for Kids

By Kelsie McGladrey, PT, DPT

A proper warm-up and stretching routine is essential to preventing injury during active play and can help improve performance. In cold weather, the warm-up becomes even more important. Many youth teams are moving away from a routine warm-up. This places your child at a higher risk for injury. It is […]

FUN Indoor Activities for Kids

By Kelsie McGladrey, PT, DPT

The cold weather is here, and with it comes rain and even snow. Being inside for the majority of the day makes it difficult to keep your child active. Here are some fun ideas to try when you’re stuck indoors!

Tape Shapes

Painters tape can be used to make many […]

Fun with a Yoga Ball!

By Kelsie McGladrey, DPT

A yoga (or therapy) ball is a great tool for children! There are many different exercises for strengthening, balance training, and sensory input! The yoga ball can be a great way to help motivate children to participate in gross motor and fine motor play! There are many positions and variations to […]

AAC Myths!

Why Alternative and Augmentative Communication Helps Verbal Language Development

By Daniel Miller, MA, MS, CCC-SLP

Some children (and adults) with speech and language disorders do not produce verbal language on their own, and require assistance to develop functional communication skills. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can help these individuals and their families select an appropriate AAC modality […]

Shelley Morassutti – NEW OT!

 

We are happy to have our new Occupational Therapist, Shelley Morassutti , OTR/L on board at BP&HT!

Shelley received her degree in Occupational Therapy in Manitoba, Canada, and has been happily working in pediatrics for thirty years.  In 2004 she relocated to the Seattle area of the United States.

She is passionate about learning and growing, she […]

Why custom Hand, Elbow and Shoulder Splints (Orthoses)?

 

By Joe Bullert, MOT, OTR/L

When driving up to the Hand Clinic you may see our sign which declares our aim to “restore abilities from shoulder to fingertips”. This isn’t hyperbole. If a person is having trouble with their arm or hand, it’s very likely we can help them. To do this we have a […]

5 Ways to Avoid Hand Pain While Holiday Crafting

By Kimberly Alquist

Most people who enjoy knitting may experience pain or discomfort in the hands or wrist at some point. The repetitive actions involved with knitting exposes one to the development of a number of conditions, the foremost being Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, trigger thumb or De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis.

Both conditions can cause pain, discomfort and impaired function of the wrist […]

The Alert Program: Fast, Slow and Just Right

By Shelly Moore, COTA/L

“The ALERT program assists students in understanding the basic theory of sensory integration related to arousal states.  The primary focus is to help children learn to monitor, maintain, and change their level of alertness so that it is appropriate to a situation or task.”  (Williams, Shellenberger)

The ALERT program provides a vocabulary […]

Casting Dynamic Ankle Foot Orthotics

By Martye Baylock MS, PT

Early in my career I served rural patients. Many patients had issues with walking, muscle tightness, muscle tone, and being able to move independently.  Many of my patients were in need of bracing and orthotics, but the nearest place for them to be cast for these could be up to […]

3 New Fall Groups

We are excited to be announcing three new groups this fall; Gymnastics, Keyboarding and Handwriting. Each are eight weeks long and start next week.

Gymnastics Clinic – 8 Weeks
Starts Fri, Oct 28th 6:30pm, 8+ year olds
Starts Sat, Oct 29th 5:00pm, 4-7 year olds
In this group kids will be participating in gross motor activities geared toward improving […]

Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7355 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2017-06-28 13:12:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-28 21:12:47 [post_content] => By Kelsie McGladrey, PT, DPT A proper warm-up and stretching routine is essential to preventing injury during active play and can help improve performance. In cold weather, the warm-up becomes even more important. Many youth teams are moving away from a routine warm-up. This places your child at a higher risk for injury. It is important to add a short warm-up routine to your child’s schedule if they are not receiving one at their practices and events. There are different types of warm-ups and stretching routines that involve both static and dynamic activities.  Each individual can personalize their routine to match their physical level and capabilities.
  1. An individual’s routine should consist of an easy warm-up to loosen the muscles and get them ready for the event. This can consist of easy walking, jogging, or full body movement activities.  This is an easy way to start too ease into your routine and gets the heart rate to rise.
  2. As you are getting warmed up it is beneficial to add both static and dynamic stretches to prepare for your event. Static stretches should address the big muscles such as the quads, hamstrings, calf musculature, low back, and shoulder girdle. A low prolonged stretch will allow the muscles to relax, lengthen and be ready for activity.
  3. A dynamic routine should also be included. This consists of an active stretches. This could include: lunges, high knees, kickbacks, arm circles, and trunk twist. Dynamic stretches should be performed in a slow controlled motion to allow the muscles to lengthen and contract in preparation for the higher level activities during their event or game. [caption id="attachment_7360" align="alignright" width="236"] Ben_Kerckx / Pixabay[/caption]
This routine does not have to be a long activity. It can be set up to be a concise warm-up individualized for your child’s event. It is important that the stretches are not rushed and are performed with proper form. Proper form is essential to prepare the muscles for the strenuous activity and allow your child to use their muscles in the most efficient manner. At the end of the game or event, do not forget to add in a short cool-down period. If your child’s event/sport consists of high activity level the will benefit from a short walk to allow their muscles cool down. Following the cool down walk, a short routine consisting of large muscle stretches will help prevent injury and soreness. Talk to your physical therapist to develop a warm up and cool down individualize for your child. [post_title] => Warm-Up and Stretching Activities for Kids [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => warm-stretching-activities-kids [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-28 13:20:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-28 21:20:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.bpandht.com/?p=7355 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7277 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2017-02-20 12:55:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-20 20:55:50 [post_content] => By Kelsie McGladrey, PT, DPT The cold weather is here, and with it comes rain and even snow. Being inside for the majority of the day makes it difficult to keep your child active. Here are some fun ideas to try when you’re stuck indoors! [post_title] => FUN Indoor Activities for Kids [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => fun-indoor-activities-kids [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-20 13:01:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-20 21:01:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.bpandht.com/?p=7277 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7223 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2017-01-16 10:28:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-01-16 18:28:08 [post_content] => By Kelsie McGladrey, DPT A yoga (or therapy) ball is a great tool for children! There are many different exercises for strengthening, balance training, and sensory input! The yoga ball can be a great way to help motivate children to participate in gross motor and fine motor play! There are many positions and variations to keep things interesting. Here are some ideas: Prone (lying on your stomach): Lying on your stomach over the ball can be a great way to strengthen your trunk and shoulder girdle. Depending on the size of your ball, you can have your child lay across it using their hands on the ground to balance; or if the ball size is too large and your child cannot reach the ground you can support them at the hips or feet to prevent falling. Having your child weight bear through their arms is a great way to build shoulder strength and give them sensory input. You can add to the challenge by having them reach for toys. Start with the toy below shoulder height and slowly increase the height for an increased challenge. An additional challenge can be added by having your child reach across midline to reach for the toy. Other fun ideas can include puzzles, sorting objects, drawing, and board games. Supine (lying on your back) Start by having your child stand in front of the ball or seat them on it. They can slowly lower themselves backwards while you support them at their hips. At this point you have a few different exercise choices; you can have your child bear weight through their arms to be in a supported bridge position—this serves as a great way to get input through their upper extremities. You can also have them pick up a toy from the ground and return to sitting for a good core strengthening exercise. Seated on the ball The ball can serves as a chair in many daily activities while allowing them to work on their balance, posture, core control and receive extra sensory input. This can be while they are doing homework, eating dinner, playing video games or watching a movie. While sitting on the ball they are able to bounce and wiggle some for extra sensory input through their pelvis/spine. The decreased stability of a ball versus a chair helps the children activate their core muscles while sitting. It can work as a great way to work on their posture. For an added challenge and fun you can play games on the ball.  You can encourage your child to practice reaching across body while playing with toys on a mirror or magnets on a fridge. An increased challenge could involve reaching down and across to pick up a toy from the floor and then returning to upright. For another core activation activity, encourage your child to march in place while on the ball. For increased difficulty you can encourage them to kick out forward one leg at a time. Exercises off the ball There are many other uses for a yoga ball that do not actually involve playing on the ball.  One exercise involves “rolling” your child. This exercise serves as a great way to provide deep pressure to the entire body. Have your child lay flat on the ground. You will roll the ball across them putting mild pressure through the ball to “squish” them.  Another way to provide deep pressure is too have them complete supine leg kicks. Have your child lay on their back in an open room. Make sure there are no breakable items in close surrounding areas as the ball can sometimes go off track. Ask your child to lift his legs while you roll the ball towards their feet. They then get to kick the ball back to you. This exercise provides good input through the bottom of their feet. Tips and Tricks -There are many types and sizes of yoga balls depending on your use. The size will be affected by your child’s size and your goals with the ball.  Often times getting a medium size will allow your child to be able to use it now and when they grow! There are also other shapes and textures. Often times you will see “peanut” shaped yoga balls. These balls are also great and can be used for most exercises list above. The textured ball will depend on your child’s preference. Some children prefer more texture while others do not. This will also affect the type/amount of sensory input provided through the contact with the ball. Talk with your physical or occupational therapist to help decide which ball is best for you. - Use a taped pool noodle in a circle to help corral your ball while you are sitting on it or storing it. -Yoga balls are versatile exercise tools for children of all sizes.  Talk to your physical or occupational therapist about a more individualized exercise plan for your child. [post_title] => Fun with a Yoga Ball! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => fun-yoga-ball [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-16 10:28:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-16 18:28:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.bpandht.com/?p=7223 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7209 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2016-12-13 15:53:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-13 23:53:32 [post_content] => AAC Device Why Alternative and Augmentative Communication Helps Verbal Language Development By Daniel Miller, MA, MS, CCC-SLP Some children (and adults) with speech and language disorders do not produce verbal language on their own, and require assistance to develop functional communication skills. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can help these individuals and their families select an appropriate AAC modality to best suit that person’s needs. “AAC” stands for “Augmentative and Alternative Communication.” This can come in many forms, including “no-tech” AAC, which usually takes the form of gesture and sign language, “low-tech” AAC such as a picture exchange to communicate desires and visual schedules to help with transitions and expectations, and “high-tech” AAC, which includes electronic devices which can produce speech at the press of a few buttons. AAC is intended to open up a path to functional communication skills for individuals who do not produce verbal language, or whose verbal language is limited or very difficult to understand. AAC can be a supplement to existing verbal communication (“augmentative communication”) or it can fill the role of verbal communication for children and adults who do not produce any (“alternative communication”). But there is a persistent concern among families who learn about AAC as an option, particularly for the families of young children who are not yet speaking. Will using AAC give the child an “easy” option, so that they never need to learn to speak? Will using AAC cause a child to stop using any speech that they may already use, or prevent them from learning more? The answer to these questions is, simply, no – in fact, there is evidence that use of AAC actually supports the further development of verbal language skills. In 2006 Millar, Light, & Schlosser published a meta-analysis of the available research into AAC and speech development. A “meta-analysis” is a study which systematically reviews a number of studies, typically performing a statistical analysis to determine whether a particular effect is significant across multiple studies. The meta-analysis authors found that, while many of the available studies had flaws in their experimental designs (such as lack of a control group), there were a small number of studies which provided high-quality empirical evidence regarding AAC and verbal language development. Studies investigated individuals with a number of different developmental disabilities which typically have an associated speech-language disorder, including Autism, Down Syndrome, and unspecified global developmental delays. Their conclusions? Best evidence showed that all but 1 of the 17 individuals (adults and children) who participated in intervention with AAC showed gains in their verbal communication as well. There was never a negative impact, and the one participant who did not show gains in verbal communication was a 36 year old male who simply showed no change – all of the children involved in intervention with AAC demonstrated gains in verbal language. There are two theories behind these gains. One is that use of AAC bypasses the cognitive and speech-motor challenges that some individuals have in producing verbal language. This allows the individual to more rapidly acquire the “idea” behind communication, and to begin communicating functionally. Once these skills begin to take shape, verbal language development will follow. Verbal language is faster and more efficient than AAC, and individuals will learn and use the fastest and most efficient means of communication available to them. The second theory is that using AAC reduces the pressure placed on an individual to communicate verbally. This may indirectly facilitate verbal language development, as learning can be hindered by communicative pressures. In fact, even without AAC, when working with young children age 2-3 who are not yet speaking, one of the first intervention strategies is to modify the child’s communication environment and the way in which caregivers interact verbally with the child. This includes a decrease in the number of questions we ask and an increase in comments (so: “I see a carrot!” instead of “What’s this?”). Why? Because decreased communicative pressure is known to lead to an increase in communication. Hopefully this article has provided some insight into the advantages of AAC and has helped to dispel myths surrounding it. AAC does not prevent or replace verbal language development in children who have that capability, and in fact quite the contrary: AAC has been shown to facilitate verbal language development. Millar, Light, & Schlosser conclude that AAC should not be treated as an “either-or” intervention strategy, and should not be a last resort. For nonverbal children or children with limited verbal output, AAC is a valuable intervention tool for speeding the development of functional communication and verbal language. Millar, D., Light, J., & Schlosser, R. (2006). The impact of augmentative and alternative communication intervention on the speech production of individuals with developmental disabilities: A research review. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 49, 248-264. [post_title] => AAC Myths! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => aac-myths [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-13 15:53:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-13 23:53:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.bpandht.com/?p=7209 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7202 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2016-12-06 13:27:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-06 21:27:10 [post_content] => shelley_lo-res   We are happy to have our new Occupational Therapist, Shelley Morassutti , OTR/L on board at BP&HT! Shelley received her degree in Occupational Therapy in Manitoba, Canada, and has been happily working in pediatrics for thirty years.  In 2004 she relocated to the Seattle area of the United States. She is passionate about learning and growing, she worked in a variety of pediatric settings; acute care NICU,  PICU,  general wards,  rehabilitation hospitals, schools, daycares, homes, and clinics in rural, isolated and urban settings; across all age groups. She also owned and ran a multi-disciplinary private practice in Canada for twelve years. With training as a feeding therapist (SOS trained), she assessed and treated individuals as well as developed and ran feeding groups. She has completed training in sensory integration, attention, behavior, cognitive, brain injury and neurodevelopmental assessment and treatment has guided my therapeutic reasoning.  She has special interests in the area of feeding, cerebral palsy, deaf/blind, autism, brain injury, sensory integration and behavior. Her family consists of two grown children, a husband, labradoodle and a very old cat. In her spare time you can likely find her being active; walking, hiking, running, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing, gardening, traveling, cooking; often with friends or family. [post_title] => Shelley Morassutti - NEW OT! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => shelley-morassutti-new-ot [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-06 13:44:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-06 21:44:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.bpandht.com/?p=7202 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7184 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2016-12-01 10:07:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-01 18:07:02 [post_content] => 20161111_173901_1480448250668 20161116_120122-2 By Joe Bullert, MOT, OTR/L When driving up to the Hand Clinic you may see our sign which declares our aim to “restore abilities from shoulder to fingertips”. This isn’t hyperbole. If a person is having trouble with their arm or hand, it’s very likely we can help them. To do this we have a fully-stocked bag of tools at our…fingertips. One of these is custom splinting. Custom splinting is the use of temperature-sensitive thermoplastics to either immobilize or mobilize structures to promote healing or function. Hand therapists are experts in fabricating these splints (also known as orthoses) for patients. So...how is a custom splint made? Well the steps are fairly straightforward, but making the splint takes a lot of skill and practice. Because the splint is fitted to each patient’s particular anatomy, we first create a pattern which is then used to cut out a template from a sheet of hard thermoplastic. This template is then heated to over 160 degrees to cause the temperature-sensitive material to become pliable. After it cools down, the material is placed and molded directly on the patient, providing a fit matching the curves and contours of the client. Splinting is a very effective way to facilitate a patient’s recovery for a variety of conditions. img_5680 img_5675 A common group of diagnoses for which splinting is indicated is repetitive use disorders. These include tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis, trigger finger, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many others. These type of conditions are caused by overuse of muscles that cross a specific joint or by compression caused by the joint motion itself. Wearing a splint prevents movement of the relevant joint which allows irritated structures to rest, and, along with a therapy program, can resolve symptoms. We also frequently see people after surgery where positioning of healing structures is critical. A custom splint places the hand or arm in the proper position to protect the integrity of the surgery and allow affected structures to heal properly. An “off the shelf” splint is rarely a good idea after most surgeries as a tailored fit is required to influence very specific joints, accommodate any hardware (e.g. pins), and allow for swelling that often occurs after a surgical procedure. The splint can also be cut down over time to allow more movement as healing progresses. Another group that benefits from splinting are those with degenerative arthritis. Osteoarthritis often first manifests at the joint at base of the thumb, also known as the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint. The CMC joint gets a lot of use, especially for those that have occupations that require forceful use of the thumb (like hand therapists!). This joint can break down over time, leading to joint instability and painful subluxation. A custom splint provides the external support the thumb needs to compensate for the internal support the joint no longer provides. Patients often realize immediate pain relief with use of a splint and, with accompanying education from the therapist, become more functional with daily activities. imag3031-2 Though splinting can be highly effective for a wide variety of conditions, it is only an adjunct to treatment. Long-term splint wear is rarely indicated and should be weaned based on healing and symptoms. Splint wear without a therapy program can lead to joint stiffness, weakness, and other problems. Splinting can prevent further injury, but does not repair the body. Splinting and a comprehensive therapy program work hand-in-glove to resolve the underlying pathology while preventing further structural damage. At the Hand Clinic, we specialize in treating the upper extremity and splinting is one tool we use to help patient recovery and return to their desired activities. If you would like to find out if you are a candidate for a custom hand, elbow and shoulder splint (Orthoses), contact our hand clinic at office@bpht.com or 425-892-2243. [post_title] => Why custom Hand, Elbow and Shoulder Splints (Orthoses)? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => custom-hand-elbow-shoulder-splints-orthoses [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-01 10:08:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-01 18:08:11 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.bpandht.com/?p=7184 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7175 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2016-11-15 14:45:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-15 22:45:46 [post_content] => By Kimberly Alquist Most people who enjoy knitting may experience pain or discomfort in the hands or wrist at some point. The repetitive actions involved with knitting exposes one to the development of a number of conditions, the foremost being Carpal Tunnel Syndrometrigger thumb or De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. Both conditions can cause pain, discomfort and impaired function of the wrist and hands, which not only impact the knitting itself, but other common day to day activities. If you are experiencing prolonged pain in the wrists and hands we recommend seeing a hand therapist, to effectively manage symptoms and avoid pain. Here are a few key tips to practice at home too. knitting   1) Watch Your Posture Poor posture is a common contributor to pain in the hands while knitting. Awkward positioning of the back, neck and arms can lead to compression of the nerves, resulting in pain and discomfort. Keep your back straight and shoulders down to avoid slouching, which can compress the nerves in the neck. Resting your arms on a table or the arms of a chair may also compress the nerves.   2) Be Sure to Take Plenty of Breaks Knitting can be very engrossing and often hours may go past where you take no breaks at all. Especially if you are working on a difficult project or to a strict time limit, you might find yourself working non-stop for hours, and this can be a huge contributing factor to hand or wrist pain. Setting an alarm clock at frequent intervals is the best way to manage this issue. Walking around, stretching your arms and hands, back, neck and shoulders is a great way to manage the stress that knitting places on your body. hand-pain 3) Be Aware of Any Pain or Discomfort Listen to your body. While taking frequent breaks is a good way to ensure you are giving joints and muscles necessary time to rest, it is also important to be aware of any pain or discomfort in your wrist or hands. If they are aching, stop and stretch – don’t push through. If you are experiencing any chronic symptoms like shooting pains, numbness or impaired function, be sure to stop and to speak with your hand therapist.   4) Watch Your Technique Even the slightest changes in technique can help effectively manage pain and discomfort. The continental knitting technique is proven to be easier on the hands, and there are many other styles which can be used to relieve the repetitive stress knitting places on the hands and wrist. If a particular project is proving to be placing too much strain on you, switch to something a little easier. A little change can go a long way.   5) Keep Your Hands Warm While Knitting Cold, tense muscles can be a key contributing factor to pain in the hands while knitting. Be sure to work in a comfortable environment and to keep hands warm. As with any other strenuous exercises, having a warm up routine is crucial too. Stretching your hands and fingers is an excellent way to increase blood flow to the muscles and to loosen them up.   Treatment of Hand and Wrist Pain If you suffer from severe pain in the hands during or after knitting, be sure to speak with your hand therapist for advice and treatment. Splinting may be required for more serious conditions in order to promote healthy movement. splint   A therapist can also provide you with: A splint or custom hand-made orthoses to rest your affected muscles and joints. If you have any questions regarding a condition you have or to schedule an appointment, feel free to call us at: Bothell Pediatric & Hand Therapy 425-892-2243. We will be more than happy to help!   [post_title] => 5 Ways to Avoid Hand Pain While Holiday Crafting [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 5-ways-avoid-hand-pain-holiday-crafting [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-15 14:52:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-15 22:52:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.bpandht.com/?p=7175 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7166 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2016-11-03 11:23:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-03 19:23:58 [post_content] => alert-group-summer By Shelly Moore, COTA/L “The ALERT program assists students in understanding the basic theory of sensory integration related to arousal states.  The primary focus is to help children learn to monitor, maintain, and change their level of alertness so that it is appropriate to a situation or task.”  (Williams, Shellenberger) The ALERT program provides a vocabulary for parents and children to use to help increase a child’s awareness of their arousal level, to help parents learn to recognize arousal levels in their children and gives children “tools” to use to help regulate their arousal or energy level. Every day children (and adults) are exposed to sensory information.  Sounds, smells, tastes, bright lights, movements, touch sensations.  Some of us go through the day unaware of these things or with the ability to tune most of it out.  Others of us may feel like running away when we hear a loud sound or feel sick riding in the car or walking on an uneven surface, we might chew on our pens or finger nails when we are stressed or have to wear sunglasses to block out even a little bright light, or we may be irritated all day by a tag in our shirts.  Sensory integration is the ability to integrate sensations in a meaningful and productive way.  Our senses give meaning to the world around us and when our brains can’t make sense of, or integrate that information we may respond with anxiety, act out, or become frustrated and dysregulated. The first step in the ALERT program is learning vocabulary words associated with it.  The analogy of an engine and colors are used to describe a person’s alertness.  Sometime our engines run FAST (RED), sometimes they are SLOW (BLUE) and sometimes our engines are JUST RIGHT (GREEN).  When our engines are FAST/RED we might be angry or very excited, our bodies are in constant motion, unsafe and we can’t focus our attention to be productive.  When our engines are SLOW/BLUE our engine is tired or feeling sick or bored, our bodies aren’t moving much and we are unable to focus and be productive. When our engines are JUST RIGHT/GREEN our bodies are safe and focused on the task at hand.  It is important to reinforce this vocabulary at home by parents labeling themselves and the child, “I see you jumping off the furniture and being unsafe, your engine is RED,”  “I just woke up, my engine is BLUE.” And, by having your child label what they see in others (T.V. characters, people at the store)  This will reinforce the vocabulary which is the foundation of the ALERT program and help to increase a child’s awareness of their alertness level.  And, ultimately the child will be able to identify their own alertness level when asked. Once a child is familiar with the vocabulary and can state where their alertness level is, they need to learn about the tools that will help them to bring their engine back to just right when they are dysregulated.  There are 5 types of tools; Mouth, Move, Touch, Look, Listen.  Tools are individualized which means they may work for one person and not another.  Some tools will help to increase alertness and some will help to decrease it.  Exploration is key in finding what each child is drawn to.  Some people are oral sensory seekers and putting something in the mouth is a way to change their alertness.  Sucking, blowing, chewing, or crunching all help to regulate our engines.  Some ideas are sucking on a water bottle with a rubber straw, blowing bubbles, deep breathing, chewing gum, eating sweet, sour, crunch or chewy foods. Movement can help decrease alertness from FAST to JUST RIGHT or it can increase alertness from SLOW to JUST RIGHT.  Walking, running, pushing, pulling, jumping jacks, sitting on therapy ball, swinging are just some ways we can move our bodies to change our alertness. Touch tools are things we feel or fidget with that help to change our alertness.  Temperature, texture, light or firm touch affects all of us differently.  Some ideas are holding a fidget such as putty, tapping a pen on the desk, pulling a rubber band, fidgeting with jewelry, holding a soft stuffed animal, a warm bath, a weighted blanket or a hug. Watching fish in an aquarium, a clean work area as opposed to messy one, bright lights vs dim lights, these are all Look tools.  Bright lights are alerting and help us wake up in the morning, dim lights are calming and help us fall asleep.  Other Look tools, reading a good book or staring at a campfire.  Listen tools such as Music or sound engages more brain systems than any other stimulation.  Loud noises are alerting or increase our engine speeds, quiet sounds are calming.  Some people focus better with silence while others need some background noise. More ideas are falling asleep to the sound of a fan, walking outside in nature, the sound of the ocean, listening to books on tape. As adults, we use “tools” throughout the day, usually without being aware of it. They are just a part of our lives.  The ALERT program seeks to help children understand their alertness level, engine level or energy state and helps them find things they can do or tools they can use to help them get back to just right in order to focus and function appropriately in a given situation. The ALERT Program runs for 8 weeks and each group has 3-5 children who are the same age. If this sounds like something that could help your child, contact our office to find out when our next group starts. [post_title] => The Alert Program: Fast, Slow and Just Right [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => fast-slow-and-just-right [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-03 11:26:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-03 19:26:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.bpandht.com/?p=7166 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7155 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2016-10-25 15:02:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-25 23:02:59 [post_content] => martye-cheesy By Martye Baylock MS, PT Early in my career I served rural patients. Many patients had issues with walking, muscle tightness, muscle tone, and being able to move independently.  Many of my patients were in need of bracing and orthotics, but the nearest place for them to be cast for these could be up to an hour or more away.  I decided as a young, new graduate to find a way to educate myself in a way that I could become the resource these parents, patients, and families needed. Cascade DAFO (Dynamic Ankle Foot Orthotics) has dynamic properties, multiple options of styles, fit, and ease of communication. That is what I love about this company.  Fortunately, they were offering a class on casting, fitting, and brace selection only a couple of hours from where I was living.  I signed up immediately!!! What I Learned: ·         How to properly cast for custom orthotics.  This involves making a cast of the patient’s feet and ankles that Cascade DAFO can then use to create an orthotic that is custom molded to the patient’s body.  This allows the brace to work in an optimum way providing individualized results for a patients. ·         How to select the appropriate style of brace for a patient.  Many factors go into selection of an orthotic for a patient.  It is very important to analyze gait, movement patterns, and transitions.  A brace should be the least restrictive it can be and still provide the patient with the stability and dynamic properties they need to function toward independence. ·         How to fit the brace upon receiving and adjusting as needed to maintain a brace that is comfortable and functional for the patient. Training a patient through gait training and functional gross motor skills training when they receive an orthotic is very important.  A brace or orthotic is typically needed because of an issue with muscular control, be that strength, range of motion, muscle tone, or motor planning.  It is very important to remember that a brace or orthotic is not the therapy the child needs.  The brace may be helping the child with proper foot positioning, muscle facilitation, tone inhibition, or other issues, but physical therapy is what is needed to then strengthen, stretch, re-educate musculature, and gait train.  The goal is for a child to develop these muscular skills themselves to decrease the bracing needed over time. Throughout my 17 year career as a physical therapist, I have been analyzing, selecting bracing, casting, fitting bracing, and training with orthotics.  I still get excited every time a patient receives a brace or orthotic that changes the way they function and interact with their environment.  I get even more excited as they transition to bracing with less support and learn to control their own muscles and bodies for improved independence in their world!! martye-dafo [post_title] => Casting Dynamic Ankle Foot Orthotics [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => casting-dynamic-ankle-foot-orthotics [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-25 15:08:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-25 23:08:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.bpandht.com/?p=7155 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7150 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2016-10-18 16:13:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-19 00:13:00 [post_content] => We are excited to be announcing three new groups this fall; Gymnastics, Keyboarding and Handwriting. Each are eight weeks long and start next week. gymnastics_children Gymnastics Clinic - 8 Weeks Starts Fri, Oct 28th 6:30pm, 8+ year olds Starts Sat, Oct 29th 5:00pm, 4-7 year olds In this group kids will be participating in gross motor activities geared toward improving balance and coordination through gymnastics specific skills. The clinic will focus on drills and skills to promote full body movements and increased body awareness in a fun and supportive environment. Businesswoman using laptop and typing an e mail
Keyboarding Skills - 8 Weeks Starts Wed, Oct 26th 6:30pm, Ages 8+ This group will teach basic keyboarding and digital citizenship for children 3rd grade and above.  If your child has already mastered basic keyboarding skills, they can still join us and benefit by developing continued fluency in typing both sentences and paragraphs.  In addition to working on developing fluent typing skills, kids will also work to develop the foundational visual perceptual and fine motor coordination skills needed to succeed in this task.  
020516_handwriting_0031_edit_web Handwriting Skills - 8 Weeks Starts Mon, Oct 24th 6:30pm, Grade 3rd and 4th Starts Tue, Oct 25th 6:30pm, Grade 1st and 2nd In this group kids will be participating in gross and fine motor activities such as crafts, obstacle courses, drawing and games to promote visual motor skills, attention to task and fine motor development to promote success in handwriting tasks
Now enrolling. Contact the BPHT front office for more information. 425-481-1933 [post_title] => 3 New Fall Groups [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 3-new-fall-groups [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-18 16:13:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-19 00:13:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.bpandht.com/?p=7150 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )