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Pediatric Physical Therapy: Balance for Throwing and Catching

Balance for Throwing and Catching PT

Pediatric Physical Therapy and balance for throwing and catching.

MOSAIC Children’s Therapy Clinics are located in Bellevue, Issaquah, Mountlake Terrace, and Seattle Washington. www.mosaicrehab.com

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Mr. Potato Head Game for Pediatric Occupational Therapy

The scooter board Mr. Potato Head game:

Our pediatric occupational therapist, Tania Gorsky, MS, OTR/L, shows us how this is used for fun play therapy, core strength, balance, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills. Mr. Potato Head is a great game for children to work on body orientation by placing facial and body parts in the appropriate spaces.

boy on scooter board mr potato head game

They also work on strengthening the muscles in their fingers.  Strong fingers support handwriting skills and a mature grasp.  This way kids can support handwriting without even touching a pencil or paper.

therapeutic Mr Potato Head game

Another great aspect of this game is bilateral hand coordination.  Kids need this skill for almost every task in life: using scissors, tying shoes, cutting food, typing on a keyboard, etc. Mr. Potato Head gets kids’ bilateral coordination skills working at a fundamental level.  With a strong foundation of skills, our children will be able to blossom in their daily lives.

MOSAIC Children’s Therapy clinics are located in Bellevue, Issaquah, Mountlake Terrace, and Seattle, WA. mosaicrehab.com

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June is Scoliosis Awareness Month

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MOSAIC Children’s Therapy offers 4 locations in the Puget Sound Region of WA State. Bellevue, Issaquah, Mountlake Terrace, and Seattle.

MOSAIC Children’s Therapy

 

We’re going on a bear hunt! Are you afraid?

By Hannah Da Rosa, MOT, OTR/L

MOSAIC Children’s Therapy Seattle

This month, kids at MOSAIC Children’s Therapy Clinic in Seattle have been enjoying the thrills of a bear hunt! Therapists are using this activity to help promote skill development in many areas including:

  • Strength and balance as kids climb the “tree,” cross the river in a “boat,” and walk over the “bridge”
  • Social skills as kids participate in the activity with peers
  • Fine motor skills as children create “Bear Hunt” art projects

“Coming to a bridge. Can’t go under it. Have to walk over it”

Bear Hunt climb to the top

“Climb to the top. Do you see a bear?”

Bear Hunt in the boat

“Coming to a river. Can’t go under it. Can’t fly over it. Let’s get in the boat”

Bear Hunt art projects

“Bear Hunt” Art projects

Bear Hunt Activities for Home

You can easily set up a bear hunt at home or at the park! Help your child decide what to use for each part of the bear hunt. You can sing the song together or find it on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzIcu6tbEko). Some ideas for home setup include:

  • Tape a line on the floor for the “bridge”
  • Sit crisscross on a couch cushion/pillow for the boat
  • Crawl over pillows for the “wheat field”
  • Climb up a play structure for the “tree” or climb onto the couch

If animal walks such as “bear walks” have been recommended to help your child build strength, you could spend extra time pretending that your child is a bear and needs to collect food. They can “bear crawl” back and forth between the “food” and their cave. They will be so busy thinking about how hungry the bear is they won’t notice just how hard their muscles are working!

You can further the “bear hunt” experience by reading We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. This will encourage flexible thinking, as it is a slightly different version that includes squelching through mud and stumbling through a forest! Several activity sheets including coloring and making your own bear ears are available at: http://www.jointhebearhunt.com/play/.We Are Going On a Bear Hunt book

 

 

 

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

Why Teach Cursive?

By: Hannah DaRosa, MOT, OTR/L

MOSAIC Children’s Therapy Seattle

If your child is having trouble with messy handwriting, learning cursive can help! Cursive can be a great solution for children in the 2nd grade or higher because:

 

 

 

  • It is easier to remember how to form letters as all letters start on the line
  • It is easier to space letters as each letter leads directly into the next
  • There are no mirror image letters (d and b, p and q)
  • It can be hard to relearn how to print letters correctly and is often easier to have a fresh start
  • There are fewer difficult diagonal lines
  • It is easier for children who have visual-spatial difficulties

In the samples below, you can see that this child is better able to form letters, space words, and write on the line when using cursive.

cursive blog image of print

cursive blog image

Our therapists use the “Loops and Other Groups” curriculum to teach cursive. This curriculum focuses on building “motor memory” for each letter with fun visuals such as the “clock” to show you how to move your hand.

cursive image with clock

Eventually children can write letters without even thinking about what their hand is doing. This allows them to focus on their thoughts and ideas when writing, not on how their writing looks.

In the picture below, a child first wrote the alphabet with their eyes open. The second time the child wrote the alphabet with their eyes closed! This child has developed excellent motor memory for how to create each letter.

cursive alphabet

Summer is a great time to learn cursive as there are fewer demands on kids and their families. Consider scheduling an evaluation at MOSAIC Children’s Therapy Seattle, where therapists will evaluate the following:

  • Your child’s hand development
  • Your child’s core, arm, and hand strength
  • Your child’s grasp
  • Your child’s handwriting

If your child qualifies for therapy, your family can begin working with our trained therapists to build foundational skills and learn cursive in a fun, engaging, and motivating environment.

Call our Seattle clinic at 206-388-3751 or visit our website http://www.mosaicrehab.com

 

PROMPT Technique for Children’s Speech Therapy

Recently, two more of our pediatric speech language pathologists completed a course to be trained in the PROMPT Technique.

At MOSAIC, we have speech-language pathologists who are PROMPT trained and certified and able to treat a variety of speech difficulties that are also frequently present with different disorders, including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, cleft lip and palate, autism, and many more. PROMPT is a therapy technique that utilizes tactile-kinesthetic cues to provide information to the child about how speech sounds are produced. For more information about PROMPT and whether it may be appropriate for your child’s speech difficulties, please contact MOSAIC to set up an evaluation with a therapist. More information about the research and theory behind the technique, please visit the PROMPT Institute website: http://promptinstitute.com/index.php.

Sensory Integration Therapy

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Sensory Integration Therapy

Sensory Integration Therapy is a treatment approach in a sensory-rich environment which provides just the right challenge to foster active, meaningful and functional activities in a dynamic and family centered environment. MOSAIC therapists engage both parents and their child in sessions to learn, adapt, grow, and achieve success in therapy that can be translated into the home and community setting.

Our occupational therapists utilize many Tools for Self Regulation. In this photo, we show a body working through a bottom up approach to bring this little girl’s body and mind into an alert and focused zone.

All day, every day our bodies fluctuate between low energy, just right energy, and high energy.  The optimal state of performance typically occurs in the just right state.  A bottom up approach is anytime we use our bodies to regulate our mind, as opposed to thinking of a solution on how to calm down or wake up.

The Lycra swing provides increased tactile feedback into the body’s joints and skin as the child moves around. The body also receives feedback from the stretchy fabric engulfing it. Feedback into the joints is sometimes a reason why adults will go to the gym to “blow off steam,” it helps regulate them to a just right state and is a bottom up approach.

The large therapy ball is an added feedback for timing, rhythm, and more input into the body. Most kids love having their bodies bounce into the ball to come flying back out, without knowing that their neurological system is processing so much: anticipation of hitting the ball, feeling a time frame of when to expect the hit, and deep input into joints that provide an awareness of body in space.

All this input, depending on how long you do it, how fast the swing swings, and how hard the kids bounce off the ball, can bring a child to their just right zone where they will be ready to sit and complete work or know where their arms are in relation to their body in order to get dressed.

-Tania Gorsky, MS, OTR/L

MOSAIC Children’s Therapy Clinic, Bellevue, WA