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Early Intervention: An Occupational Therapists Point of View

May 25, 2014 in Special Education Articles by Doug Goldberg

To correctly begin this article we have to start with, " ONCE UPON A TIME”. You may new be sitting with a puzzled look on your face, but let me explain. Lets look at students A, B, and C:

Student A is a 15 year old student who's teacher is ready to fail him because of his poor handwriting.

ONCE UPON A TIME.......when the same student was 4, he was unable to keep his alphabet aligned on his wide ruled paper nor was he able to complete simple mazes. His visual motor integrational skills were not addressed when he was young and is now a hindrance to his progress.  Read the rest of this entry →

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Happiness ~ What Every Parent Wants: Mission OT

October 6, 2013 in Special Education Articles by Doug Goldberg

Every parent just wants his or her child to be “happy”.  That is their bottom line.  Therapy, academics, home life, whatever, “just makes my child happy”.  Anyone who has worked with children for any length of time has had this said to them repeatedly over and over again.

It is really not their fault.  Ingrained in the American psyche and in our Declaration of Independence is the “right to pursue happiness”. But their definition was not about stars, stickers, yellow smiley faces and such.  Jeffersonian interpretation of “happiness” had more to do with virtue, doing well within your community, good conduct and good citizenship. (Jon Meacham, Jefferson: Profile in Power)

Aristotle had it even more precise, and perhaps he might be called (stretching it a bit) the author of the foundations for the rationale of occupational therapy.  Aristotle wrote, “happiness…is at the end of action”.  Read the rest of this entry →

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by Jess

Occupational Therapy: More than just handwriting!

July 24, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Many children who have an IEP receive Occupational Therapy (OT) as a related service to address poor handwriting.  While handwriting referrals are an appropriate use of Occupational Therapy services and OT’s are well equipped to address handwriting challenges that impact learning, illegible or sloppy handwriting can be a symptom of more significant processing or motor challenges and poor handwriting is not the only type of symptom that educators and parents should be considering when determining the need for OT services.  Occupational Therapy is an underutilized and often misunderstood discipline, that can serve as a valuable resource to address many IEP related goals.  Read the rest of this entry →

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by Jess

Feeding Therapy: Treating the Whole Child

July 23, 2012 in Special Education Articles by Jess

I have the fun of meeting a LOT of cute kids in my practice as a feeding therapist and  likewise, the honor of meeting some great parents.  Sometimes the kiddos have Down syndrome or a gastrointestinal tube for liquid tube feedings or autism or for one reason or another are just darn-picky eaters.  Know what the common denominator is among all these families, regardless of a child’s diagnosis?  STRESS.  Parenting a child who does not eat well is STRESSFUL and it’s a very unexpected problem to have in a family.  I have never met a new mom who cradled her brand new baby and said,  “Gosh, I hope he eats his broccoli.”  It never occurs to a new parent that their child will have difficulty eating.  Read the rest of this entry →

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My Son’s Favorite App Developer

January 25, 2012 in App Review by Doug Goldberg

A couple of months ago I gave a presentation on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for my local Parent Training Center. All of the Staff for this organization are parents of children with special needs. When I arrived early to set up I was met by a staff member and her son who has autism. As I was setting up I couldn’t help noticing the staff member’s son writing on the blackboard. In about ten minutes he had written down the names of all of the United States Presidents in order. I stopped what I was doing and walked over to his Mom and asked if he was learning about the Presidents in School. I don’t know about you but I can’t remember most of the Presidents names let alone their order. I know all of the early Presidents, the ones that led during specific events in U.S. History and all of the Presidents during my lifetime but the rest I have forgotten. To my amazement she said her son had learned all of the U.S. Presidents from an iPad app. She went on to explain that this was the third app her son had played from this particular developer. The first app had taught him all about the States in America, the second had taught him about all of the Countries in each Continent and this latest app the Presidents. I was hooked, who is this developer and what are the names of the apps. Read the rest of this entry →

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The Cutest Therapy App for only 99 cents: Coookie Doodle

January 23, 2012 in App Review by Dennise Goldberg

Last week I attended a workshop about Apps for kids with Special Needs. We reviewed many Apps, but the one that everyone seemed to like the most was Cookie Doodle. You begin by selecting your cookie recipe. The next screen is a list of ingredients, including the measurements, along with pictures of each one. You move each ingredient into the mixing bowl, thus exercising the child’s fine motor, language and sequencing abilities. Read the rest of this entry →

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Occupational Therapy & Fine Motor Apps

January 18, 2012 in App Review by Doug Goldberg

What is Occupational Therapy in Schools?

Occupational therapy can help students succeed in academic performance and social participation. Occupational therapy practitioners use their unique expertise to help children with and without disabilities be prepared for and perform important learning and school-related activities to fulfill their roles as students. In the school setting, occupational therapy practitioners support academic and non-academic outcomes, including social skills, math, reading, writing, recess, participation in sports, self-help skills, prevocational or vocational participation, and more. They are particularly skilled in facilitating access to curricular and extra-curricular activities for all students through support, design planning, promoting healthy routines, and other methods. The goal is for students to build upon their strengths while developing academic and social skills necessary for future independent living.

* From the American Occupational Therapist Association

Below is a list of popular Social Skills and Life Skills apps for the iPad:













If you are the creator or developer of a Special Education Product, App, Book or Assistive Technology Device and you would like Special Education Advisor to review your product please contact us via the contact us form.  We will be putting together both App Lists by category similar to this one as well as doing more in depth App Reviews on individual apps.


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by Jess

The Importance of Play

June 21, 2011 in Special Education Articles by Jess

Research suggests that children’s social imaginative play helps build executive function skills, including self-regulation. A child pretending to be a king may sit longer and more regally on his “throne” than a child who is simply asked to sit still.

Imagination can boost our self-control. Teachers of young children take advantage of this when they quiet a class walking down the hall with, “Let’s pretend to be little mice.” Pretend play strengthens memory and impulse control as children plan a play scenario and act it out, choosing appropriate additions to the storyline and rejecting interruptions and distractions. Read the rest of this entry →

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