It’s Better Speech and Hearing Month!

May is Better Speech and Hearing month, and we are excited to share some resources to help you celebrate!

First, the moms at the blog iMums will be having a BSHM event from May 1 to May 14. If you have not explored this blog before, you should take a look! They regularly review apps related to speech therapy. The BSHM event will feature app giveaways and an Ask an SLP feature as well!

Also, one of our terrific SLPs, shared this resource from the site, Consonantly Speaking. There are 14 links to free printables to celebrate BSHM with teachers, our students, and their families!

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Awesome Opportunity – This Friday!

Hi therapists!

There is a great, free event in the community happening this coming Friday. The local chapter of TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) is having a meeting Friday, May 3rd at 7:00 pm, and they will be featuring Bill Ziegler. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator, and will be presenting on app for children with autism, as well as the accessibility features incorporated into the iPad!

The details

Date: Friday May 3rd iPad; Unexpected Opportunities Speaker: Bill Ziegler
Time: 7:00-7:15pm parent support & networking 7:15pm Introduction & Meeting Presentation
Location: Saint Alban’s Episcopal Church 3625 Chapel Road Newtown Square, PA

For more details, visit the TACA website here.

More Summer Fun (OT and PT version!)

Run-8
Run-8 (Photo credit: Flicktone)

Here are some more terrific resources to share with parents!

The first is from MamaOT, a guest-post written by pediatric OT Abby Brayton-Chung, titled “5 things your school OT wishes you would do this summer

Our own PTS, Inc. website has an Parent Resources section, with many ideas for areas of child development, including a Physical Therapy section!

Community Run/Walk events are also a great opportunity for families of our students to stay active for a cause!

Upcoming events include:

The Great Race – May 11th in West Chester, PA

24th Annual Kennett Run – May 18th in Kennett Square, PA

The Dragonfly Forest 5K Walk/Run – May 19th in Phoenixville, PA

Bonus! This run benefits Dragonfly Forest camp for children with autism and medical needs.

Makin’ Bear Tracks 5k Run, 1 Mile Jr. Run, 1 Mile Walk and Kids Fun Run – July 20th in Boyertown, PA

Summer fun!

Summer Shoes
Summer Shoes (Photo credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis)

Summer is quickly approaching, and with the warmer weather comes a break in school-based therapy services for many of our students. This is the time of year that parents may be expressing an interest in maintaining the gains made over the school year. Do you have a “go-to” resource, book, or other activity to support our student’s engagement with their therapy goals?

Lisa Geary, a speech therapist who blogs at Live Speak Learn LLC, has useful and attractive materials to create a summer packet for her students. Check out her Teachers Pay Teachers store here!

Stay tuned for more ideas to help you build an activity packet for your discipline!

“Green” therapy ideas for recess!

Recess has been a frequent topic of late in the literature, and nearly everyone can agree that recess is important to child development and school participation. Recess can be an excellent time for children to practice the skills they have been learning in therapy. Physical activity, problem solving, social interaction, sensory input, the possibilities are endless!

Here are some fun ideas to encourage students to use what they have learned in OT, PT, and Speech, or to re-energize an end of year therapy session. As an added bonus, all of these activities have a “green” component!

Bubble snakes – This is a great way to reuse those water bottles (and old socks!) and provide students with oral motor input!

Snake bubbles!

Fizzy sidewalk chalk – Made of safe ingredients you may already own, students can draw a hopscotch pattern, obstacle course, road to travel, or letter and shapes. A great way to practice gross and fine motor skills outside in a social way, this activity is even more fun when the squirt bottle is added to create the fizz!

I Spy – Update this game with an old pair or sunglasses, or reuse the disposable 3d glasses from the movie theater. Take the lenses out, and whoever is wearing them needs to follow the clues provided by his peers to find the secret item!

Local Pediatric Conference – Next Week!

Next Thursday, May 2, Nemours/DuPont Hospital will be hosting a day long conference. Presenters will include physical and occupational therapists, including Debbie Thorpe, and Jane Case-Smith, and topics will include Adaptive Fitness and Recreation, Vision and Concussion, and Re-entry to School Following Brain Injury.

The deadline to register is tomorrow, April 26th. It is $140 for professionals, and offers PTs .675 CEUs (pending). Check it out and register here!

Happy Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day! Holidays are excellent for adding a little fun to any therapy session. Here are some resources for ideas and materials for incorporating a little “green” into your therapy week!

Speech and Language Therapy
A speech therapist at the blog, Speech Room News, has collected a number of free, Earth Day activities here. She provides a short description and photo of each. Several of these activities address fine and visual motor skills as well.
Another free Earth Day activity packet can be found through Crazy Speech Therapy’s Teachers Pay Teachers store. (Blog, store
Barnes & Noble has compiled a list of Earth Day books for children – link.

Occupational Therapy
Ripping paper, including junk mail – A great activity for hand strengthening and a heavy work break. Sorting times for recycling – Can address many areas of performance, including vocational skills and following directions
Folding donated clothing – Self care, sequencing, and so much more!
Also, check out some of the Earth Day worksheet ideas an SLP has listed here, there are a few craft and handwriting activities on her list!

Physical Therapy
Reusing materials is a great way to celebrate Earth Day! These two bloggers (links here and here) repurposed cans and cardboard boxes to create a large version of the popular game Angry Birds.
Also, many schools have, or are building gardens, on their campuses. Gardening is a great opportunity to address many areas of physical performance, and can support students working on navigating terrain safely, building activity tolerance, and strengthening core muscles.

What are your favorite Earth Day activities? Do you have a favorite book, craft, or game that is appropriate to the holiday? Can you think of a “tried and true” therapy activity that could be made a little greener?