Category Archives: Occupational Therapy

Minnesota School-Based OT/PT Institute, October 2-3, 2017

Therapro was delighted to receive an invitation to exhibit at the 2nd Annual School-Based OT/PT Institute in Minneapolis. Registrations for the conference more than doubled from the conference’s inaugural year in 2016, with over 400 attendees! Mary Kay Eastman, PT, MS and her efficient team, including Tanya Grabinski, PT, DPT, MHS, PCS, Margaret Knebel, MEd, OTR/L, and Michelle Schlueder, PT, DPT ran a well-planned and well-orchestrated conference that won rave reviews all around.

The Keynote speaker, Kathy Flaminio, MSW, opened the conference with “Taking Care of Yourself Inside and Out: Nourishing Your Mind, Body and Heart.” Speakers presented on a variety of timely topics including “Meeting Sensory Needs in the General Education Classroom,” “Effects of Mobility on Cognition,” “Emerging Evidence in Pediatric Brain Injury: Role of School-based Services.”

Attendees visited the Therapro exhibit with many positive comments that warmed our hearts. Therapists told us “I love Therapro – my favorite place to get therapy supplies!” and “It’s good to have a conference where vendors are zeroed in on what we need!” We enjoyed helping the therapist who is working at a brand new Charter school with no therapy materials. We helped her select “must have” items such as Pencil and Hand Gripper Sampler 1, Raised Line Paper Assortment, Fine Motor Olympics, Fidget Kit, and Drive Thru Menus, and much more!! Therapists told us they were excited to try out our products and examine books they had only seen in the catalog.

We love getting feedback on Therapro products that therapists use and love. We heard that Learn to Dress Monkey is a big hit in a preschool class in which students love to dress and undress the adorable stuffed animal while practicing 11 dressing skills including zipping and buttoning. Frog and Turtle Beanbags were popular with both PTs and OTs who use them in many creative ways. The one that stands out involves launching them from a platform by having a child stomp on a connected spring device. So clever AND fun!

Therapro’s I Can Work! 5-module prevocational curriculum drew much interest for therapists who work with middle school and high school age students. Having the manual available now in printed form along with the CD was a bonus for therapists.

Our experience at this conference was outstanding. We loved the opportunity to share ideas and receive feedback from our colleagues in the Midwest. We hope to see you next year!

Filomena Connor, MS, OTR/L

Annual Ohio OT/PT School-Based Practice Conference

The Annual Ohio OT/PT School-Based Practice conference celebrated its 25th year on August 7-8 in Columbus! From one year to the next, this conference attracts therapists from Ohio as well as surrounding states. This year the venue was bursting with almost 700 energized attendees. The conference always offers exceptional speakers who present the latest information for both new and seasoned therapists.

We were proud that Therapro author Tere Bowen-Irish, OTR/L presented the Keynote address entitled: “Weaving Visualization and Mindfulness into Your Practice.” She offered a variety of sessions throughout the conference, attracting capacity crowds eager to hear her lively presentations incorporating her Drive Thru Menus. Tere introduced a brand new addition to her product line-up called: Sensory Processing Support Planning Guide.

Other presentations offered show the diversity and breadth of this conference: Athena Oden, PT presented “Ready Bodies, Learning Minds: Cultivating the Complete Child.” Take a look at her website for learning more about her unique approach that provides developmental support for integrating both the sensory systems and motor systems as a basis for academic success. Just a few of the other excellent sessions included: “Integrating Primitive Reflexes to Improve School Function’ by Kim Wiggins, OTR/L, “Developmental Coordination Disorder: Best Practices for Recognition and Management in the School Setting,” by Erin Iverson, PT, DPT, PCS and Patti Sharp, OTD, MS, OTR/L, and “Are We Ready to Meet the Obesity Challenge?” by Cindy Miles, PT, PhD, PCS.

Therapro owner/president Karen Conrad Weihrauch and I enjoyed greeting all the therapists who stopped by the Therapro exhibit. Attendees eagerly tried out some of the latest Therapro products: Safety Grip Scooter Board, Eazyhold universal cuffs, Yoga Spinner Game, Gyrobi fidgets, Stikbot, and Peg Friends: Around the Town.

 

The Therapro game, Letter Treasure Hunt, was acclaimed by therapists who purchased it at last year’s conference. One therapist excitedly relayed that she loved the game because it was so versatile. She discovered she could use it for students of a variety of ages and abilities. For example, she told us that with one student, she used just the spinner part of the game to help develop fine motor skill.

The new revised edition of Fine Motor Olympics was hard to keep on the shelves! Therapists loved the 64 beautiful color card deck photos of children’s hands performing various fine motor tasks. On the reverse side of the cards there is information on how to perform and adapt the activity as well as identification of the hand functions that are being targeted by the activity. The revised manual includes a quick screening form, a fine motor observation checklist, a record form, plus an in-service training program. All agreed that Fine Motor Olympics is a very practical, important tool to add to the therapy toolbox!

Mary Kay Eastman, PT, MS and Molly Dodge, OTR/L co-chaired this event once again seamlessly. With a dedicated team of hard workers, the two-day conference hummed along and offered attendees a broad selection of relevant, interesting topics. Conference coordinator, Holly Bartholomew of First Class Conferences, once again made sure all ran smoothly throughout the conference. Great job, ladies! Thank you for two exhilarating days. We look forward to seeing you next year!

Filomena Connor, MS, OTR/L

AOTA Conference & Expo 2017

 

The AOTA Annual Conference & Expo in Philadelphia this year surpassed expectations with 14,000 therapists convening at the Convention Center!  The opportunity to celebrate the 100th birthday of Occupational Therapy drew revelers from around the world. Therapro brought a team of 5 seasoned therapists, including Karen, Ginger, Linda, and Kim, and me, who worked together like a well oiled machine setting up our huge and colorful Therapro exhibit display, and for the following three days, discussing Therapro products, problem-solving with therapists, and enjoying the constant traffic and spirited interactions at our booth.  This year, once again, we shared our booth with authors, Carolyn Murray-Slutsky, MS, OTR, C/NDT and Betty A. Paris, PT, MEd, C/NDT, along with Carolyn’s husband, Herman. Their publications: Autism Interventions, Is It Sensory or Is It Behavior?DTI: Laminated Card Series – Sensory Modulation & Positive Behavioral Strategies, and the new Sleep ‘N Sync materials flew off the shelves!

Here are a few of the exciting new products we introduced:

Therapists loved the newly revised products: Fine Motor Olympics and Drive Thru Menus. Some other HOT items included Progressive Grip Kit, Farm Sticks, Yoga Cards the Game, Fidgets and Wind Ups, Crayon Rocks, Sensory Connection books, Follow the Leader Maze and Dolphin Diving Maze, Letter Treasure Hunt Game, Chew Necklaces, and Trackit.

The Therapro team was exhausted after our Philadelphia adventures, but still had enough gas in the tank to declare – “Let’s do it again next year in Salt Lake City!”  Our commitment to occupational therapy was reinforced over and over in Philadelphia and remains unwavering!!  AOTA, we wish you continued growth and development as we begin the second hundred years!

Filomena Connor, MS, OTR/L