January 24 Seminar: Early Intervention Today, School Tomorrow…What You Need to Know

by Therapro

On a very snowy Saturday morning on Saturday, January 24, 2014, a small, but strong contingent donned their snow gear and ventured out to Therapro to hear Barbara Sanna Collins, OTR/L’s seminar.  Barbara presented her talk, Early Intervention Today, School Tomorrow…What You Need to Know to the audience of therapists, teachers, and child specialists.  As the Clinical Director of the Massachusetts Brockton Early Childhood Intervention Program, she adeptly led us through the EI process from eligibility, to programming, and then to preparing for the transition to preschool or other appropriate services when the child “graduates” at the age of three years.

It was astounding to hear that 337,000 children and their families receive early intervention services in the US per year, with 50,000 per year in Massachusetts alone!  Barbara updated us on the nitty gritty of how services are paid and how the states differ in their provision of services under Part C of the IDEA federal grant program.

Barbara shared video clips of individual and group treatment sessions in her program that took place at her center as well as at the child’s home.  She noted that in the transition to a preschool program, parents who are accustomed to having their hand held through those first 3 years of participation in a program miss this when their child enters the school system - a change from “family focused” services to “child focused” services occurs. The EI team prepares the family and child for this inevitable change in service delivery. At Brockton EI, the team ensures that every child participates in a toddler group before “graduation” so that he/she experiences some typical preschool activities, i.e. transitioning from one activity to another.

Early intervention providers have several unique roles that include the provision of services that help the child with special health care needs reach their highest potential at age three and helping families gain confidence as parents and advocates for their children.

The following testimonials attest to the valuable information Barb presented in her seminar:

“Very informative – A window into the work of EI professionals. Loved the videos of the therapeutic work. Presentation was fantastic!”  Marisa G.

“Wonderful presentation. So much good info.  Thanks.”  Anonymous.

“Very informative and motivating!”  Julia H.

“Very informational – I loved the treatment videos!!”   Meghan C.

Thank you, Barb!

Filomena Connor, MS, OTR/L



Therapro’s Free Activity of the Month: Banana Nut Bars

by Therapro

Look no further than your kitchen for some Sensory fun!

As therapists we constantly recommend sensory strategies and activities. The kitchen is full of sensory activities that can easily be incorporated into any child’s daily sensory strategies. 

Baking is a fun activity that a parent and child can do together. The recipe below will offer opportunities for tactile exploration, olfactory stimulation and more.

Prepare for the activity

Make sure you have a stool for your child to use so that he can reach the counter. You can also move the activity to the kitchen table for a more accessible location and this way the child can sit on a cushion while they help with the baking.

Have your child help gather the ingredients and the necessary tools for baking. Tell them what they are, how they are used and encourage them to smell and taste the ingredients.

Banana Nut Bars (If you or your child is allergic to nuts, you can substitute the trail mix with chocolate chips)


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup trail mix 



1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

2. Grease a 13 x 9 pan and set aside.

3. Have your child place the bananas in a resalable plastic bag and mash them using a rolling pin. A great way to provide proprioceptive feedback and bilateral integration.




4. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and shortening until light and fluffy.

5. Your child can stir in the mashed bananas and egg and vanilla.

6. Mix well.

7. Have your child add the rolled oats, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.



8. Mix until thoroughly combined. 

9. Have your child stir in the trail mix. 

10. Have your child place the mixture in the greased pan. 



11. Bake just until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. 

12. Let cool, cut into squares and enjoy!


I have a Sensory Story for you

by Therapro

Like Social Stories, sensory stories are short descriptions of a situation which include specific information about what to expect in that situation and strategies on how to handle the situation. 

Sensory Stories are a method to allow children with sensory modulation issues - sensory integration disorder, sensory integration dysfunction - to cope with everyday experiences. They are in a format that allows children with autism to employ calming strategies throughout the course of specific daily activities like combing hair, going to the dentist and many common school or social activities. When read on a regular basis, Sensory Stories enable children to engage in life.

Our Sensory Stories can help in many different situations including:

  • Home - to help develop self-care skills (bathing, dressing, showering, bedtime, meal time)
  • School - social skills and academic skills (assemblies, cafeteria, circle time, desk time, recess, moving in the school, PE class)
  • Community- to help understand how others might behave in a particular situation (going to restaurant, store, parties, getting a haircut)

To create more stories get our Sensory Stories CD

Visit www.sensorystories.com for a free Demo - use “Guest” for the User name and password and you can customize the story below.



Eating Lunch in the Cafeteria

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