Something like that. It's a work in progress. Ideas?
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Something like that. It's a work in progress. Ideas?
Sunday, May 27, 2012
|So I like to collect clear take-out containers when I am eating out, because I think it's sometimes fun to store stuff in them where the kids can see it. I guess it could become like a giant I Spy thing.|
Saturday, May 26, 2012
I am going through tons of paperwork due in a few weeks. I was pretty good about it in the fall, not so much in the spring. But in early Spring I had a lot of stuff going on personally and my grandmother died (I miss her so much!!) so I guess I got behind and never quite caught up, especially in the redundant documentation area. So. A few weeks to get it all done. I came home around 940pm tonight from a friend's house and did about 2 hours of work - I also did hours yesterday night as well. I'm CLOSE to being done with paperwork for one of my four schools. The smallest, easiest, school, but hey it's a start right? :)
I like to keep EVERYTHING as a sample including my part in it, so I usually end up with one piece of paper with a few of my own words, plus their paper. I need to be better about re-using paper instead of grabbing fresh each time. But I also need the paper to be clear and uncluttered. I found one paper where I had randomly taught a 4th grade girl how to draw a three-dimensional cube. In a million years I could not draw one myself except that I was taught how once (two overlapping squares, connect the lines). On another one I was showing a child how to draw a star. Sometimes putting aside your plan for a minute and showing the child something to increase their confidence is really important and helpful because it lets the child fit in better. :)
I'm attaching a few random pictures. I wanted to include a specific one but alas, I did not find it, so I threw in some funny ones. And one is my grandma with my Alabama cat.
I love this blog because it helps me reflect. Some minutes, hours, days, weeks I feel like a bad OT, and other times I feel like an awesome OT. Getting to write about OT, share about it, think about it, helps me love my profession more and more. I wish I could swallow a magic OT pill that would magically give me another 30 years of experience and knowledge. But since that doesn't exist, guess I'll just keep chugging along. I JUST started my second year of school OT practice last month, which is technically not even true considering summer vacation, but we'll go with the flow. Plus one year of adult physical dysfunction work before that. It feels good to finally have a year or two under my belt. :)
Blah blah blah, its almost midnight and I am delirious. Tomorrow is a new day....a new day to do paperwork, haha. Hope everyone is having a lovely holiday weekend.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
2) I got some seamless socks to sample. Keep in mind if you're one of those people with kids who can not STAND seams....a lot of websites now exist to help you with that problem. Obviously it's more expensive than Wal-Mart, but at least a solution exists. Note: I was over 18 before I went to Wal-mart for the first time. It was not part of my childhood experience. But I spent a lot of time there in Tennessee and Georgia, lolol. People of walmart dot com? So true. Go at like eleven at night for the "best" experience :) I shouldn't drink haterade though, they are the ONLY place that has my beloved rectangular firm corkboards....
3) My stray cat has found his voice. His name is Stray Cat because he is a stray. But we've been feeding him for about 5 years and he regularly sleeps on my bed, so, well, I dunno. But anyway, he has started Meowing. It's driving me nuts. I prefer mute animals. Last night, I was up at LEAST five times between midnight and 6am with these two cats (Stray Cat and Black Cat - who is my 20 year old fragile cat). Meowing, or opening doors, or checking on them, etc etc. Guess I know what it's like to have to wake up a lot for a baby......speaking of which I just heard a meow and it's our NEWEST stray cat, White Cat, peeking his head in my bedroom to eat their dry cat food. Oh, and the racoons eat it. And the black crows. Fun times. That wasn't an OT tidbit, but I'm an OT dictator, so you have no choice but to bear it. Sorry.
4) Today we had an incident and a cop was in the principal's office - I could see him through the window taking notes and my first comment was "He has a pretty good pencil grip". I love when parents complain about their child's handwriting and/or grip in the IEP meeting, then I watch them sign the IEP sign-in and their grip and HW is horrendous. THE APPLE DOES NOT FALL FAR FROM THE TREE!!!! That is of course not always true. But sometimes when I meet parents I am like "ohhhhhhhh". Then suddenly a lot more things make sense. I really enjoy meeting the parents. I'm super big on regular communication with parents.
5) I'm still in paperwork hell. I got through two annual IEPs today - 3 more annuals, 3 triennials, and 3 initials to go in the next 11 days of work. Not to mention treatment and evaluations for those triennials and initials.
6) For those of you who are not into school or pediatric OT....if you hit around BEFORE march 2009, in that 9 months before, I had three three-month rotations. First in outpatient pediatric clinic in semi-rural Mississippi which included home visits and satellite expansion, then an acute care hospital, and finally a locked geriatric psych ward. Fun times, I tell ya. So you might find stories from back then.
7) A lot of the OT students who started following me years ago...are now OTs themselves. Super fun to watch their journey!! Love it!!
8) I have lots of OT paperwork to get done before June 8th....but I will have several days without a car, stranded in an empty house, in Alabama, after June 8th, where I plan to go through my emails etc from the blog.
9) I'll stop now. Although as soon as I stop I'll remember something else to say.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
Woo-ie! Only 13 days of school left for me. 4 more days this week, 4 next week because of Memorial Day, then 5 more. My last day is June 8th - a week early - because I'm heading to Scandinavia for a month! Starting with a surprise party for my host father (I was an exchange student for a year - my junior year of high school) in Denmark, then to Northern Norway and Oslo and Aamot, a tiny rural town about an hour and a half southeast of Oslo, where I lived. We don't typically treat kids the last week or so anyway since it's a lot of celebrations, etc. (I guess you still might if you have really low level kids) ANYWAY,
In the last 13 work days, I have FIVE annuals, 3 triennials, and 3 initials. At least. That's barring any panicked parents calling last minute meetings. Annuals mean I have the yearly IEP meeting with the team about a kid. Triennials are the 3-year review evaluations, and initials are well, yeah, initials. The triennials and initials mean I have to evaluate the child and write up reports along with the IEP part. Annuals are just the IEP part. And then I have to annotate all the goals of my kids. And get all the paperwork in. Especially for billing. Etc. Gonna be a busy 13 work days...and I'm sure weekends and nights as well. Gotta get crackalackin'.
Today I hit 3 schools, was there by 7:20. Left around 4. Didn't stop for lunch until around 2:30 when the kids were out. Had to give out sensory processing measure (SPM) questionnaires, observe children, check in with teachers, do treatments, etc. My day got kind of uh, skewed because of multiple plays at multiple schools.
Today after school I was sitting in the learning center and one of my little first graders enters and brightly says "Hi Miss Karen, are you going to steal me today?" It was super cute. I laughed. I am bad about using that phrase, "Can I steal you for a little while?" because I forget that my little hyper linguistic kids are going to pick up on that!
I have to admit I've hit a new low in email life - 485 new emails in google, not to mention about 1,000 to go through again that I've looked at once, and then 2,000 to file in my work box. I'm pretty good about getting the important stuff done, but the little things get forgotten when my boxes are that full, boo. Last summer i had over 1,000 and I got it down to under 100 - so I guess that will be this summer's goal too.
Well, I'm trying to blog daily, even if the daily blog ends up being informal (ie my reflections for the day) rather than one of the many posts I need to finish writing about conference etc.I have 3 weeks to get my life in order before I am gone for about 5-6 weeks (hey robbers: the rest of my family will be home, don't get excited) - let's hope I get motivated. Today was a long busy day so I guess I'm going to not beat myself up for not doing more paperwork/blogwork tonight.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
I started scrolling through it and I wish I had it when I was doing physical dysfunction! Amazing sample. I love Jan Davis. :)
Friday, May 18, 2012
When you see kids just writing darker over writing, or doing a poor job erasing, you probably just think the child is being lazy. BUT for the most part, it's more likely the child genuinely has trouble erasing. Watch the child erase and I bet you will see he does it an inefficient angle or in an awkward manner which makes it challenging. (Or maybe even just turning the pencil around is inefficient - kids who use their chest or other hand to turn their pencil around, or drop it on the paper and pick it back up, etc) Eventually, they often give up and just start writing darker over their mistakes. We assume that by older grades, a child just naturally knows how to erase. Not always true. Do eraser exercises - writing letters, rotating pencil within their one dominant hand, and then erasing at an efficient angle/manner. TEACH THEM. SHOW THEM. Do NOT assume. And OTs - I think that erasing is an area we tend to forget - at least I historically have - but erasing is pretty important too! :)
I also talked briefly about quiet fidgets (like a pipe cleaner, a piece of string, etc), DESK ORGANIZATION (another REALLY important area that gets overlooked), and OFFICE SUPPLIES - exposing the kids to rubber bands, staplers, paper clips, folding, etc etc.
My two main points were this.
1) Kids today may be little academic geniuses because of all their educational screen time, and know how to do all these advanced skills quite early, but developmentally, many of them are the lowest they've EVER been (in comparison to past years of classes) in terms of their physical strength, gross and fine motor coordination, ocular motor skills, eye-hand coordination, etc. This is of course a quite sweeping generalization, but most of the teachers I speak to express concern over the increasing rise of children coming through that are lacking basic foundational skills, as they were skipped in order to achieve academic skills. So, AWARENESS that they might be in 2nd grade, but still need to be taught things like how to erase properly - and that it's less likely laziness and more likely ignorance.
2) I realize that teachers today are really stretched for time - it's not like 2nd grade teachers have time to just work on fine motor skills. So everything I talked about included easily accessible and cheap materials, most of which could be incorporated into "fun time" activities without the kids even realizing the point behind it. And/or activities that can be done while waiting in line, taking a 15 second break, etc - just tiny little things they can incorporate into their day due to awareness of its importance. Or they may even be doing these things and not realizing what they were working on....so again, AWARENESS.
Tomorrow I'm hiking up a mountain with some friends from work for a birthday party! Guess I should try to get some sleep. Must work on a new product review this weekend + some conference blogging as well. Yes, all those papers are still waiting for me to deal with them.
Oh....someone said something recently in a comment that made me go Ooooh. I have been so bad about posting about OT in a more global sense, instead of just pediatric school OT. I will try to remember to occasionally post more about other areas - and if anyone who reads this wants to do a GUEST posting, just like Ravi did a few days ago on disability rights, it is certainly appreciated.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
I asked Ravi to write a piece for my blog as I thought it would be interesting, considering his historical perspective of OT. We've been corresponding since I first started this blog in 2007. Thank you, Ravi, for taking the time to write this. :)
My background with Occupational Therapy is rather idiosyncratic. Although born with spina bifida and requiring crutches and leg braces to ambulate, I had no surgeries after age 11. Raised by a mother who was a paediatrician and a father who was an engineer, we did not spend much time in hospitals or medical clinics in my childhood. And so when I acquired a disability rights consciousness as an undergraduate and in law school, I assumed that occupational therapists were more or less the same as physicians or PTs: i.e. pain inflicting authoritarians who require crips to strip on command and uncritically follow orders. I can distinctly recall going to a movie in the 1990s that was being shown on campus in a space that was later devoted to an OT conference and wanting to tell off all the arriving OTs about the social model, i.e. the proposition that it is structural barriers that are at the root of the problems faced by people with disabilities.
Some years later, when I was doing my doctoral studies, I met some OT students who were members of an accessibility committee on which I served. I became friends with one and was soon in for a huge shock. I expected her to defend the medical model as I understood it: segregation and all the horrors that accompanied it like sterilization. Much to my surprise, I learned that OT is client centred and the more I learned, the more I became convinced that most OTs work in a paradigm that is not that different from the social model. As a lawyer, the practical dimension of problem solving in OT appealed to me. The purely abstract aspect of disability studies has always been problematic: yet another dissertation about the portrayal of the sex lives of women with disabilities in Jane Austen's novels is not going to necessarily advance the movement for accessibility for people with disabilities today. As I met more and more occupational therapists during my career as an academic and also as a client, it was also remarkable how virtually all OTs had more or less the same caring personality, i.e. extremely happy like Karen Dobyns but maybe without quite the same degree of eccentricities. Many are as passionate about disability rights and equality for people with disabilities as disability studies scholars.
And yet today I think there remains a deep divide between scholars who identify with disability studies and those who identify with rehabilitation. It does not need to be this way. Each discipline can learn from the other. OT is a deliciously innovative discipline (although I am still waiting for a device that will allow crutch users to get through ice and snow) that can truly benefit from engaging in respectful dialogue with disability studies scholars as equal partners. We need occupational therapists to come to disability studies conferences with an open mind. Even ten OTs who chose to attend the Society for Disability Studies conference in the United States (coming to Orlando June 19-22, 2013) and the Canadian Disability Studies Association conference (coming to Waterloo, Ontario at the end of this month) would make a huge difference, both financially and more importantly in terms of intellectual cross-fertilization. These conferences generally have low registration fees and are open to all. And I would hope OT conferences would make more serious efforts to invite disability studies scholars and advocates to their events. In the short term, even informal meetings over cookies and cake can generate valuable results. The key is to have a dialogue.
Ravi Malhotra is Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, a graduate of Harvard Law School and a disability rights advocate. He may be reached at email@example.com
Sunday, May 13, 2012
I have this one child with autism who once introduced me as "This is Miss Karen, and she is NOT an alligator." Well, I thought that was a great introduction. Very clarifying. AHAHAHA loved it. Anyway, sometimes when he sees me now he'll say "Hi Miss Karen, are you an alligator?" His aide confirmed he asks no one else this question, just me. Not sure where that link came from but I love it. I don't have an alligator hat, but I think this hat is pretty awesome (it belongs to my mom)....maybe I can switch him over to a shark or monster or whatever this hat is. Karen Dobyns, occupational therapy shark.....
This is one of my lovely (and few) girls. Her mother granted me written permission to use her hands in this video (waves at my boss). This was an occupational therapy session where we focused first on origami (note a piece of it in the corner under the computer) and then on typing. The origami was a visual-motor challenge for both of us.... ;)
I wrote in washable non-toxic marker on her fingers ASDF and then JKL; so that she didn't have to lift her fingers to find the right key; we played a free typing game on the Internet focusing on beginning, home row only, ie words like sad. The point of the game was to type out words which made these space things dissapear....we had a little trouble with her isolating her "S" finger but overall she did phenomenally. :) I was so proud of her. I highly recommend writing on their fingers when first working on learning home row. I know they make typing gloves etc too, but so far this low-tech/low-cost way has worked for me, and the kids don't mind at all (I obviously ask permission, lol). Anyway....hope this video works and doesn't show up just as a photo. Guess we are about to find out! (I am publishing through Picasa). Note: It came through as a photo so I went back and had to export the video etc. Boo, technology, lol.
So I needed to dump my photos onto the computer from my iPhone so I can take pictures today, so then I got into a quick photo spree of Picasa to Blogger....but now it's time for me to join my mummy. We're headed to lunch, then dessert at Fruitlandia for pico de gallo (a fruit salad), then travel Scrabble, then TWO different Mother's Day walks in a row. Yep, that's love. All her choices. So gotta go. But wanted to say bye for now, many many many many more pictures to come! Plus many posts!!! And product reviews! And etc etc etc etc!!!
The foot fidget made a huge difference to this kid that day! He was able to stay in the room for an entire academic session. He thanked me for it. :) I told him I couldn't take a picture of his face so he stuck his hand in the picture to say hi. From classroomseatingsolutions.com (they gave me a free one at conference!)
Friday, May 11, 2012
Here is my thought process before you scoff.
A) I bet you (invisible) money that if you ask most of the kids on your caseload, even ones you see all the time, and this includes speech therapy, PT, APE, etc, that many of them don't know your name. Don't assume. Flat out ask.
B) I bet you if they know your name, they still don't know your role (or they think you are speech) or why you work with them.
C) Many of them have NO clue as to their day/time orientation and that includes when weekends are, or breaks, etc.
D) We all have good days and bad days, and days where we can handle more than others. I want kids, even kindergarteners, to be able to discuss with me, on a very basic level, how they are doing. That doesn't mean a kid can opt for "Breaks" and easy stuff every time, but we can certainly discuss some of what we will do based on their engine level/frustration level. (IE maybe we don't tie shoes on a day that's having a lot of frustration!) I want the child to be able to start working on identifying their own body/mind cues and how it can affect their output. Perhaps lofty but I am optimistic.
For the record, many of my kids do know my name/title/date etc, but I want ALL my kids to get these concepts down, ASAP, next year....at least start the process. I'll have visuals, scripts, etc. I wouldn't spend a ton of time on these things depending on the child's goals, but at least want to have them addressed at some point early on. I want to work with speech on these things too of course. I recently shocked a speech therapist at one of my schools by pointing out most of the kids don't know her name the way she assumed they did!
Here is a conversation I had recently with a 5 year old new to my caseload.
me: what's my name?
child: (thinks) Miss Karen
me: what do I do here, what is my job?
child: playing with kids
So...I love that he thinks my job is playing with kids, but I need/want him to understand why I work with him....as should all of them.
Its 1130pm..I wanted to write more (note to self - dance, handiwriter, calendar) but I am getting sleeepy. Tomorrow morning I am blocked in by a tri-athlon running through my area, so I guess maybe in the morning I'll write??? we'll seeee
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
If you're going to call us, please, for the love of God, do your best to find out what area the person lives in. And make sure the location is current. I got a phone call at 6am this morning from a rehab company in Florida. Not appreciated. And it's happened at least four times that I've gotten a phone call before 7am by rehab recruiters.
Even though I love my job, even if I didn't, the whole "6am" phone call thing wouldn't be a great start.
Karen, MOT, OTR/L
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Ugh I kind of have a headache so I am going to stop writing now......tomorrow is Weds. My plan is to work, work out in a double whammy of craziness where I may or may not want to throw up, lol, and then rest/relax/do the Dycem product review/conference post. Let's see if it happens.
I heard from a blog reader today who is using lava/worms/bee paper with success. Any of you out there tried it and if so has it been helpful? I want to make some new types soon. So many ideas, so little time! Boo!
Hope you all have great weeks, lovely people :)
Sunday, May 6, 2012
The book is intended to be used with teens and adults who are (as the title says) learning independent living skills. Speaking of which I need to teach my cat some of those skills, he is driving me nuts walking on the keyboard as I type this.
She has sections on goal-setting, time management, money management, household management, personal care, memory/safety, leisure/productivity, communication, meetings, problem-solving/reflection, and recording thoughts & feelings. Her desire was to be able to have worksheets she could use with adults that were simple to understand/use, and had a simple layout. I also like that the font size is always size 14 or higher with great contrast.
All the worksheets are simple to use - you photocopy whatever is applicable to your client and it saves you from having to write it all up yourself. For example, a check-list of "Things I will need for my new place" broken down by rooms. I think this would be an especially valuable book for therapists working with people with intellectual disabilities and MOST ESPECIALLY, MENTAL HEALTH! Yep I said it, MENTAL HEALTH! Did you hear that, world? Yes occupational therapists can work in mental health. It's less common these days but OT can rock in mental health when done right. I know when I did my three month psych ward rotation, there were some depressed people I worked with who could have benefited from worksheets like these....and I would have benefited as well with having it all outlined for me.
Here is her blog if you want to check it out: http://www.lindasdailylivingskills.com/
She posts updates regularly with her musings, reflections, advice, thoughts, etc.
The book can be bought on her website, www.dailylivingskills.com, for approximately $45. I think if you work with populations (ie teens and adults) that are working on basic independent living skills, that it is totally worth it as you can reuse the resources and also not have to reinvent the wheel! :) Seriously, this book can save you SO MUCH FREAKING TIME!
PS: I think if I were a student doing a mental health rotation or a rotation involving transitional/independent living skills, I would buy this book and impress my supervisors/co-workers with my awesomeness...just sayin'
Thursday, May 3, 2012
I had a 30 minute "boot camp" circuit (6 exercises, 4 sets, 40 seconds each exercise, 20 second rest), augh....and then I checked the oil in my car as it was suspect, worked on cleaning out my car, showered, cleaned my room, watered my adorable baby epiphytes, watered the cats, etc etc....in other words, SUPER PRODUCTIVE FOR ME. A typical day after work consists of me crawling into bed and playing on Facebook till I pass out. Yeah. I know. So I am quite proud of myself today. It's 9pm now and I'm only semi tired....I'm sitting here in the dark with my screen dimmed and a cat purring against my arms under my 30 pound weighted blanket....anyway the whole point of this was to say that I have LOFTY goals for this weekend, when I am not out with friends......for this blog anyway.
I want to: write up my full reviews for Linda's awesome book, Dycem products, and PenAgain; start the write-up of the Foot Fidget; write about conference - share the presentation and details - write about Expo - etc. So....check back this weekend okay? I kind of maxed out my brain power tonight so this is all for tonight. Sorry. And oh yeah. I talked to my grandfather Nacho for a long time, and I talked to Libby, awesome awesome OT, about inventions and presentations etc. I decided me, Libby, and Tonya Cooley of TherapyFunZone.com need to do a google+ meet up as we are all crazy school OTs with lots of inventions and ideas.
Oh, and Libby used the lava/worm/bees paper today with great success... :) If any of you use it will you let me know what you think? Remember the key is DRAMA...it's a GAME!
www.pinterest.com/funkist/ot-ideas to find it and other ideas...