Pediatric activity ideas for Occupational Therapists

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Swing Invention for Autism

Check out this video on a new swing invention for autism that a grandfather invented. Looks great for a sensory clinic or playground. You can view more info at the website for the Swring at http://swring.com/

Source: ABC News

Award-Winning Occupational Therapy Website Provides Easy Access to Activity Plans for Children

OTPlan logo imageIrvine, CA, September 07, 2010 –(PR.com)– The Internet now offers a new solution for parents and caregivers who want to help children develop motor skill acuity. The newly designed OTPlan.com is an innovative search engine that provides occupational therapists, parents and educators with simple and creative occupational therapy activities designed to help children master daily tasks. The site allows users to match the skills they want to practice with ordinary household materials to develop a detailed treatment plan.

OTPlan.com received a 2008 Maddak Innovative Product Award from Maddak, Inc., a New Jersey-based manufacturer of home healthcare and rehabilitation products. The award was announced on April 11, 2008 in Long Beach, Calif., at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) annual conference.

“OTPlan.com is unique because it allows the user to decide how to design a treatment plan,” said OTPlan creator Avital Shuster, MA, OTR/L. “Parents typically do not follow through with complicated home treatment programs that require them to purchase additional material. By offering a wide range of simple activities using common materials like cotton balls, kitchen tongs and clothes pins, OTPlan.com lets users search for specific activities that strengthen particular skills, increasing the likelihood that the program will be completed.”

A licensed and registered occupational therapist with the Irvine Unified School District, Shuster created the site while she was designing home therapy programs for children as part of her graduate work at the University of Southern California.

The website also serves as an interactive portal that encourages collaboration between therapists, educators and parents. Users can rank activities according to usefulness and share their thoughts on, and experiences with, particular activities and plans. Each activity posted on the website is reviewed by registered and licensed occupational therapists.

For more information, visit www.otplan.com

Tool kit determines disabled accessibility

Misericordia prof working with Pride Mobility engineers develops way to aid disabled.

EXETER – While teaching a Misericordia University class on the environmental aspects of disabilities, professor Denis Anson thought he saw too many “deer in the headlights” looks on student faces when explaining how to assess a place’s accessibility for the disabled.

“I realized you have to figure out a better way to explain and give students a better tool to do their assessments out in the real world,” said Anson, of Noxen. And so a quest began to create an easy-to-use tool kit to analyze a building’s compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

With the help of some design engineers at Pride Mobility Corp. in Exeter, Anson brought a prototype of the kit to a professional conference in Orlando last summer. It drew positive reviews and agreement from colleagues that there was indeed a market for it.

A year later, Anson has revealed the ADA-CAT, or Americans With Disabilities Act – Compliance Assessment Toolkit, 11 pieces that fit neatly into a nylon bag and weigh less than 4 pounds.

He demonstrated the kit throughout Pride Mobility’s offices Friday morning as employees watched.

From sound and light monitoring equipment to a device that tests to make sure a key can turn with ease for someone with hand strength problems, the kit had what many occupational and physical therapy workers would need to evaluate a home, business or public building.

The first batch of kits is being manufactured in Pittsburgh and retails for $499. But who will buy them?

“We aren’t sure yet,” Anson said with a laugh, but he has some ideas based on his personal experience.

“Anybody that teaches environmental assessment is going to buy this; any school with an occupational therapy or physical therapy program. If they have to teach environmental assessment, they’ll have to have it because there isn’t an easier way.”

Jay Brislin, a Misericordia graduate who studied occupational therapy and now works at Pride Mobility, said the kit “is pretty cool from a therapist standpoint. … It can tell you immediately whether you have a compliant home or not.”

Construction crews, architects and engineers, Anson said, often design and build without thinking about the needs of the disabled.

“If you walk through the world looking at what’s done you’ll see that architects don’t get it. They don’t think about what it’s like to be blind,” said Anson, who also serves as director of research for the Assistive Technology Research Institute at Misericordia University.

Coupled with the kit is an online program that allows the user to create a compliant checklist and a test guide customizable to the type of disability and the type of building.

Source: Tool kit determines disabled accessibility | The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA.