February 28 Seminar - Therapro’s Assessments Series I: Visual Processing/Visual Perception

by Therapro

Selecting the best assessment in order to gain the information we seek about a client’s functioning is vital for the occupational therapist, the client, and the team. It’s a jumping off point that helps us design a treatment plan that is meaningful and helps the client achieve goals. On Saturday, February 28th, Therapro’s President, Karen Conrad Weihrauch, PhD, OTR/L, tackled the task of examining 14 standardized visual motor and visual perception assessments as part of the Saturday Seminar Series.   

Having the opportunity hear a comparison of the assessments, discuss them, and provide personal experience with administration of the assessments helped therapists and educators identify tests that they might like to use in their work settings. In addition, being able to actually examine and manipulate the tools was a valuable experience not typically available to us.

Karen provided a succinct description of each test, including ages for which the test was designed, time required to administer, and interpretation information. Included were new editions of old standards such as the Beery VMI, DTVP-3, and DTVP-A.  She presented tests that include useful or unique features. For example, the Spatial Awareness Skills Program (SASP) includes a curriculum manual, the Wide Range Assessment of Visual Motor Abilities (WRAVMA) is the only test available that includes a pegboard for testing dexterity, and the Preschool Visual Motor Integration Assessment (PVMIA) includes two Behavioral Observation Checklists in addition to the two subtests. The PVMIA is unique because its authors are OTs. 

Attendees shared their comments regarding this valuable seminar:

“A great review of all available v.p. tests that should be shown to all school system OTs so that they can choose what they want to use.”

Beth H.

“As an outpt therapist, I have very limited access to updated assessments.  This seminar was very helpful with regard to: easy, wide-range tests that I could use for children and adults in a non-academic setting.”  Joanne T.

“Good overview of potential VP/VM tests including quite a few I had never heard of.”  Lynne H.

Thank you, Karen!

Filomena Connor, MS, OTR/L

February 28, 2015

Therapro’s Free Activity of the Month: Have a Hoot with Fine Motor Skills

by Therapro

By: Diana V. Mendez-Hohmann

Enhance fine motor skills and have fun learning about owls while you make this simple craft. With this easy craft your child will:

  • Practice scissor skills
  • Trace different shapes
  • Use both hands (bilateral coordination)
  • Cross the midline


  • 2 Sticky Back Foam Sheets or Felt
  • 2 Buttons
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • White Paper for the pattern
  • Markers


Step 1

Draw the pattern on white paper.

Cut the pattern shapes.

Place the shapes on the sticky back foam sheets. Use at least 2 different colors.



Step 2

Cut the foam shapes



Step 3

Peel the back of the wings and place wings on the belly.

Step 4

Peel the back of the behind the eyes area and place on the top part of the belly.


Step 5

Peel the back of the large eyes and center on the top.


Step 6

Peel the back of the small eyes and center on the top.


Step 7

Peel the back of the nose and place under the eyes.


Step 8

Glue the buttons to the center of the eyes.


Step 9

Decorate using the markers.


Don’t forget to make it a multi-sensory experience.

  • What sound does the owl make?
  • Sing songs about owls or birds.
  • Have your child feel a feather.
  • Use different textures; combine foam and felt, or decorate with glitter.

Here is a felt owl we made using a heart for a nose. Send us a picture of your owl, or post it on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #Therapro


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



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