Bullying: Understanding the Basics

by Therapro

Therapro’s final speaker of the Spring Saturday Seminar Series was Iris Leigh, CAGS, OTR/L, Assistant Clinical Professor at Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.  Her talk, “Bullying: Understanding the Basics,” provided a thought-provoking look at bullying. Iris’ extensive background in the area of special education in addition to health care provided a unique look at bullying behavior.

Iris began her talk with an anti-bullying quiz that generated much discussion.  We learned that bullying is a “power game” in which the bully exercises control, and occurs primarily during unstructured times of the school day, such as at lunch, bathroom time, recess, on the bus, etc.  She reviewed major characteristics of bullying behaviors and reminded us that bullying can affect all of the children who are exposed to the behavior, not just the child who is the victim.  In order for a behavior to be characterized as “bullying,” three behaviors must be present, including:  intent to harm, power imbalance, and repeated behaviors.   Prevention of bullying is a responsibility for those who work with children.  She concluded by giving us the tools to support children who are targeted and/or witness bullying behaviors.

Attendees included teachers and occupational therapists who had these comments about the seminar:

“Very well put together – easy strategies.”

“Applies to work…and life.”

“ Lots of good resource info - this lady knows her stuff!”

Thank you, Iris!

Filomena Connor, MS, OTR/L

May 17, 2014

Visual and Motor Cohesion: The Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test

by Therapro

The Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test (more commonly known as the Beery VMI) detects difficulties in connecting visual perception and motor skills. The test is a Visual-Motor Integration Test (VMI) for ages two and up. It takes about 10-15 minutes to complete, and has two supplemental tests that last five minutes each, as needed.Beery VMI

This VMI test examines how well an individual integrates visual and motor skills by having them look at 24 drawings. (There is a short form of this test that is often used with two to eight-year-olds, which only tests 15 drawings.) The drawings present simple geometric shapes from the most simple to the most complex. The examinee looks at the shape, then copies each drawing into the Test Booklet.

If the full or short form tests indicate a need for further testing, then the two supplemental tests are administered. These two supplemental tests are the VMI Visual Perception Test and the VMI Motor Coordination Test. They follow the same form as the main test, which ensures that the results are easy to compare.

The starter kit for the Beery VMI includes a manual, 10 full form tests, 10 short form tests, 10 Visual Perception supplemental forms, and 10 Motor Coordination supplemental forms.

 Various teaching materials aid this test. These tools help improve visual, motor, and visual-motor function for children pre-elementary school. The booklet of Developmental Teaching Activities headlines the teaching materials. This booklet includes over 250 activities to help a child establish an understanding of art, pre-reading and pre-writing, and athletic skills. Each level has activities directed towards gross motor, fine motor, visual perception, and visual-motor development. 

Next in the line of teaching activities is called My Book of Shapes. From the title, you can get a sense of its contents. This book contains 100 geometric exercises that children in preschool and kindergarten can use to improve their motor, visual, and motor-visual function. These activities give children a jump-start for recognizing letter and numeral shapes that the child will experience in school.

DevelopmentalThe Beery VMI Stepping Stones Parent Checklist provides an easily accessible list of key developmental “stepping stones.” This list helps parents to track a child’s development from pre-kindergarten through early elementary. While many schools provide developmental feedback, this home checklist helps you observe your child’s development outside of a school setting.

For parents and professionals, the Developmental Wall Chart for Visual-Motor Integration is a colorful chart of gross motor, fine motor, and visual-motor stepping stones. This chart marks development from birth to age six. Many parents and professionals find it useful to have this clear chart on hand for easy reference.

The Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test is currently in its 6th edition. This edition was standardized based on a national sample of 1,737 children aged 2 to 18, and the adult norms derive from a sample of 1,021 individuals aged 18 to 100. The Manual for this test includes about 600 norms from birth through age 6 to track and understand visual and motor development.


The Beery VMI Test finds any weaknesses in a child’s development, but also effectively assesses adults of all ages. The Teaching Materials improve any underdeveloped areas, both proactively and reactively, to provide successful integration of visual perception and motor skills.

March 29, 2014: Self Care with Flair!

by Therapro

One of Therapro’s creative authors, Bhanu Raghavan, MS, OTR/L, presented a Saturday Seminar on March 29th entitled “Self Care with Flair! Teaching Self-Care Skills through Pictures and Rhymes.”

Bhanu discussed the process that she and co-author, Ginger McDonald, OTR/L went through in developing this unique method for increasing independence with self-care skills. 

Read more in Filomena's Corner...