Monthly Archives: December 2016

My OT Christmas List

By: Laura Bueche, MOT OTR/L

If you are looking for the perfect holiday gift for your child, here are some ideas to give your little one the input they are looking for over winter break. I also included other helpful websites, stores and catalogs for children with special needs.

Heavy Work and Movement

sensory_ot

Cuddle Me Sensory Tunnel– Great for therapy requiring tactile input and crawling practice as well as for sensory seeking kids to cuddle in for comfort. $49.99

scooter-blog.jpgScooter board– Develops sensory processing, coordination, balance and agility skills. $19.25

trampoline_ot

Mini Kids Trampoline– Helps with muscle development, coordination and sensory processing. $68.99

wriggle_ot
Wiggle Sit Cushion– provides subtle movement input and is a great seating option that often helps with focusing, while developing balance skills and trunk control. $14.90

 Deep Pressure Toys

 

deep_ot

Weighted toys– A great sensory diet addition that provides comforting deep pressure input. $36.00

body_ot

Body Sock– excellent for providing calming/organizing deep pressure input, and for developing motor planning, spatial, and body awareness. $31.98

weighted-blankets_ot

Weighted blankets– Can calm anxiety and ease stress for some children with autism, sensory processing disorder, developmental disorders, and more. $ Prices vary

vibrating-pillow_ot

Vibrating Pillow– Provides a sense of calm. $17.95

Balance and Coordination Toys

balance-board_ot

Balance Board– helps develop the necessary skills for normal childhood activities which require good balance and coordination. $19.95

velcro-toss_ot

Velcro Toss– Great for practicing motor-planning and timing skills. $8.49

zoom-ball_ot

Zoom Ballgreat for bilateral coordination, motor planning skills, shoulder stability, and building upper body and core strength. $13.99

balance-stepping_otBalance stepping stones– Helps to improve balancing and coordination abilities. $29.49

 Tactile Exploration Toys

fidgets_otfidgets2_ot.jpg

Fidgets– Great for calming and alerting, to promote focusing and concentration, decrease stress, increase tactile awareness of fingers/hands and as a way to keep fidgeting fingers busy. $ Price Varies

orbies_ot

Water Beads – These make for fun sensory activities. $5.95

kinetic sand ot.jpg

Kinetic Sand– Great for a calming sensory experience and for tactile therapy play. $12.99

insta-snow-ot

Be Amazing Insta-Snow Jar– great for use in sensory tables for early childhood. $9.89

Adapted Toys

adapted-toys_ot

Santa’s Little Hackers– A seasonal toy drive to adapt toys,  making simple modifications to the electronics of toys and giving them away. These adaptations make the toys accessible to individuals with disabilities so they can play independently.

Other Adapted Toy Resources:

Adaptive Tech SolutionsAdaptive Tech Solutions is a therapist owned and operated company that provides adapted equipment for individuals with disabilities at affordable prices.

Beyond Play: Features switch toys which are wonderful way to teach cause and effect and can help children develop a sense of control over their environment and self-esteem.

Other Resources:

I’m looking forward to checking out this new store in the Chicago area, Spectrum Toy Store.

Toys R Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids – Prepared by the National Lekotek Center, the catalogue is available at your local “R” Us store.

And last but not least, view our Amazon Wishlist for therapist recommended toys and games for all children’s developmental stages at bit.ly/eswishlist.

Advertisements

Zika Season: It’s Not Over

By: Dr. Ingrid Liu, D.O.wellcomemd

It’s true, now that the weather is getting cooler, many locations will finally get a break from Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses. However, we Midwesterners like to escape the cold and travel to the tropics, so this is a reminder to pack insect repellent spray! The following are answers to some of the most common questions asked.

Where are the current outbreaks?

floridaThe best source of information is the CDC website where they have travel notices and the latest updates. Currently the only area in the U.S. with active spread from mosquitoes is in South Florida, near Miami. In fact, on October 13, CDC expanded it’s warning area where there are new Zika cases. Click here for specific advice for people traveling to South Florida.

What are the symptoms?

The vast majority of people who become infected don’t have any symptoms at all. However, if symptoms do develop, they include the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Eye irritation

Symptoms typically last for 2-7 days after an incubation period of about 2 weeks.

How is it transmitted?

mosquitoMosquito bites are the initial mode of infection. We now know that individuals can then transmit Zika to others via sexual activity long after the initial infection from the mosquito. There have also been a couple rare cases where it is unclear how the person contracted the virus.

How long is someone contagious?

There is currently research underway to determine this. The recommendations are that people who have traveled to an area with known active Zika abstain from sexual activity for at least 3 months, preferably 6 months if there was known infection confirmed by laboratory testing.

How is it diagnosed?

The Zika virus can be detected in blood or urine. However, there are a limited number of labs that perform this test and all have to be sent and reported via the Illinois Department of Health.

How do I prevent getting infected?

Insect repellent with at least 25% DEET (not for children under 2) is best and wearing light colored clothing helps prevent mosquito bites. Staying in cooler air conditioned areas also is advised. Condoms do protect against sexual transmission.

Is there any treatment?

There is currently no cure or medication for Zika infection and it will be several years before a vaccine is developed. If you have traveled to an area with active Zika cases it is recommended you call your physician with any specific questions.

Feel free to comment below or email me at iliu@wellcomemd.com with any questions you may have concerning the Zika virus, and I will make it a priority to get back to you!

Editor’s Note:
Dr. Liu has provided family medical care for thousands of patients of all ages over two decades and now. She is board-certified in family practice and licensed without restrictions. She currently serves on the board of Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley and is also a member of the Illinois Academy of Family Practice Committee on Mental Health. Dr. Liu is proficient in all aspects of primary care, but holds special interests in women’s health and travel medicine.  Read her previous post on new patient care models.

 

Tips for Practitioners and Specialists: Considering the Full Reality of Patients and Clients’ Lives

By: Sharon Pike, Parent Liaison & Jordyn Holliday, Communications Intern

Many parents will tell you that trips to the doctors office, specialists, etc. can sometimes make for stressful moments for children and families. When a child has complex needs, the level of stress can be increased. Once you consider factors and obstacles such as medical emergencies and other personal issues that a family may be dealing with, those appointments become tougher to make.

25_SheddJAMES.jpgIt is important for doctors and other specialists to be mindful and reevaluate the judgments they make on parents and caregivers. Before drawing conclusions on why a child may be missing appointments, it is imperative to consider the entirety of that child’s life.

Here are a few tips on how specialists can be more understanding of families:

  • Be Mindful: One important thing to remember is that in the vast majority of cases, no one is more concerned with the well-being of a child than that child’s parents and family. If there are appointments being missed or a lack of communication, there is likely a good reason behind it. Forming a solid grasp of this is a huge step in better understanding a client or patient.
  • Check for Signs: Often times, it is possible to gain a sense that something external may be happening in a child or family’s life. When you are visited by a patient or client, try to look for signals. Are there any noticeable signs of stress? Are there any patterns in appointment cancellations? Asking yourself these questions can lead to meaningful answers.
  • Appropriately Ask the Family: If you are unable to gain insight using the previous tip, think of a kind way to inquire information from the parent/caregiver. This can be done by simply asking how things have been going. By kindly asking how the child and family has been, or even asking about recent medical history, you are beginning dialogue that could help you understand the root of inconsistencies.

Acknowledging the lives of children and families outside of just the scope that you see them in as a specialist is a significant step in building better relationships with them. It’s important not to make assumptions, as they can often lead to uneasiness.

For more information on managing your child’s care and your own, connect with our parent liaisons and family services department at eastersealsdfvr.org/SocialServices.