Occupational Therapy

Some occupational therapists at a prof. dev. talked about various methods / tools for calming or alerting children in class, depending on their needs. [A major point that they made with all of their cool samples was that these are TOOLS, NOT TOYS.] They also reminded us that ADHD kids are moving around to keep themselves feeling stable.

BOOK: “Brain Gym: Teacher’s Edition”

Tools for the body:

  • t-stools [can make really cheaply with two 2×4’s]
  • inflated cushion disc
  • balance board (stand sideways = good for hyper kids, stand front-to-back like rocking chair = good for sleepy kids, sit on it cross-legged)
  • used bike tubes around chair legs [one tube all the way around the chair / all 4 legs]
  • bean-bag lap/shoulder pressure bags [can make very cheaply by creating a sack / case out of old jeans, filling with dry beans (or rice for littler kids) and sewing up the edges]

Tools for the mouth: [Calming. Sensory-motor—big connection between hands, eyes, mouth in brain.]

  • Plastic coffee stirrers, cut in half. Rule: Some has to stick out of mouth.
  • Chewelry
  • Chewing gum (lots of related issues—sugarless is not the “right texture” but works great for some).

Tools for the hand:

  • “stress” balls
  • therapy putty [basically silly putty with resistance]
  • bean bags
  • fidgets

Tools for the ears:

  • Music, therapeutic listening (w/headphones) – for calming, alerting, brain integration. Specially filtered to make brain work
  • “Bach for Modulation” series for headphones only
  • Four different brain waves: Alpha (creative), beta (heavy academic), delta (sleep), theta (in-between “twilight” state)
  • Baroque music is often beta.

A place to buy things like this, if you don’t want to make them: http://www.therapyshoppe.com/therapy/

One thought on “Occupational Therapy

  1. Renata December 6, 2014 / 9:03 pm

    Our 4th graders built 40 T-stools and have been giving presentations to the other classes in the school about how they built them… basically doing a timeshare presentation in order to give other classes a handful of stools to try out. Not only have the stools been useful for the hyper kids, or the tired ones, but building them was a great learning experience in so many ways, and now giving the presentations and teaching other kids how to make them has been an added bonus!


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