Tag Archives: assistive technology

Discover Therapro’s Handy Guides

Searching for the perfect tools, games, or evaluations for your clients can be time-consuming and overwhelming, Therapro’s Handy Guides can help streamline the selection process. The Guides help with making informed decisions. At a glance, you can see color representations of products. These guides are user-friendly, concise, and best of all, they’re absolutely FREE! The Handy Guides cover 5 key categories:

Handy Guides for Fine Motor:

Therapro's Which Writing Tool or Accessory Handy Guide

Which Writing Tool or Accessory: This Guide helps you choose the right tool for your client’s needs, whether it’s for comfort, positioning, or sensory input. For example, a Squiggle Writer Pen may be the right choice if your client would benefit from added sensory input with vibration when writing to alert and focus on the task.

Get a Grip on Grips: Explore a variety of writing utensil grips designed for comfort, finger positioning, and sensory needs. To facilitate a tripod grasp, the Start Right Pencil Grip may fit the needs of your client.

Handy Guides for Sensory:

Therapro's Find Your Fidget Handy Guide

Find Your Fidget: Discover fidgets for calming & organizing or alerting, including popular choices like Squeezies and Theraputty that offer resistance to help with focus and attention.

Choose Your Chew: Select the perfect chew for your client’s needs, categorized by age and chew strength. Chews are organized into Chews for Babies and Toddlers; and Chews in 3 chew levels (Light for mild sensory seekers, Medium for chewers who need more sensory input, and Firm for those who are strong chewers who need maximal sensory input). The benefits of selecting the appropriate chew is essential. Selecting a Firm Chew that a client can bite and chew safely is easy with choices such as the Krypto-Bite pencil topper or a Tube Zillas on a Tether.

Therapro's Free Choose Your Chew Handy Guide
Tools for the Body Handy Guide with link to download

Tap into Tools for the Body: Explore tools designed to provide calming and organizing sensory input that have resistive features to increase proprioception and sensory input. Bouncy Bands for Chairs provide foot resistance when a student is seated in a classroom chair. Selecting tools to enhance attention and focus include materials with a vibratory component such as Senseez Touchable Vibrating Pillows or tools that challenge balance such as the CanDo Wobble Ball.

Handy Guides for Adaptations:

What Can You Adapt: Learn how to enhance upper extremity activities with the versatile EazyHold universal cuff. This Guide demonstrates its versatility for use in many home, school, and community scenarios. It can be used in a variety of activities including brushing teeth, holding utensils, and using art materials.

Assistive Technology: Find the best assistive technology solutions to support classroom participation and daily living activities. Take a look at positioning materials such as Slant Boards, tools for increasing active participation in games and crafts, and tools for enhancing learning in academic areas. Self-help and activities of daily living aides are addressed as well. Switches and switch-activated toys are also included. A myriad of tools are explored to help make a student’s school day and daily life skills at home and in the community successful.

A Handy Guide for Games:

Gear Up for Games: Select from a variety of games to build executive function, visual perception, academic, and language skills. Along with each game, the guide identifies the target audience, age range, and adaptations and modifications to enhance participation and learning. Favorite games: Novenops; Lion in My Way; and Letter Treasure Hunt are included.

A Handy Guide for Evaluations:

Handy Evaluation Chart: A helpful reference for deciding how best to assess your client’s needs. This Guide organizes evaluations offered by Therapro into comprehensive subcategories with age-appropriate designations. 

These Handy Guides are designed to simplify your decision-making process and enhance the quality of care you provide. Each Handy Guide is packed with valuable information and practical recommendations to support your work as a therapist.

Explore them today and discover how Therapro can support you in your journey!

Guest Blogger: Filomena Connor, MSOT-Retired

Webber® Activities of Daily Living Photo Sequencing Cards

A Fresh Approach to Teaching Essential Life Skills

Unlocking Independence With The Webber® Activities of Daily Living Tips and Teaching Companion & Photo Sequencing Cards

The Webber® Activities of Daily Living Tips and Teaching Companion and Webber® Activities of Daily Living Photo Sequencing Cards offer a fresh approach to teaching essential life skills and help you unlock your student’s potential for independence with self-care activities and routines that are vital for everyday life (i.e., activities of daily living).

Webber® Activities of Daily Living Photo Sequencing Cards for teaching life skills

Discover a vibrant and innovative way to teach essential life skills with Webber® Activities of Daily Living Photo Sequencing Cards. Created by Occupational Therapist Dani Kinsley, the Photo Sequencing cards can be used with students from preschool through adulthood. Dive into 20 self-care tasks each meticulously broken down into 6 steps, offering a total of 120 daily activity cards. Real-life photos, accompanied by written and verbal prompts, make learning engaging and relatable. Customize lessons effortlessly to the needs of the learner with Basic Directions, Expanded Directions, and Extension Questions for each photo card.

Beyond the basics like Brushing Teeth and Getting Dressed, this tool addresses more specialized target skills such as Straight/Curly Hair Care, Sneezing and Using a tissue, and Basic First Aid. 

Companion Excellence: Webber Activities of Daily Living Tips and Teaching Companion

Webber® Activities of Daily Living Tips and Teaching Companion

Enhance the power of the Webber Activities of Daily Living Photo Sequencing Cards with the Webber® Activities of Daily Living Tips and Teaching Companion. Packed with 188 pages, this invaluable resource aids in creating personalized lesson plans. Track progress with Data Sheets, implement effective strategies with Tip Sheets, and enjoy clear suggestions for enriching learning through How-to visuals. 

At Therapro, our commitment to discovering impactful products is unwavering. We continuously seek tools that benefit therapists, teachers, families, and caregivers. Teaching essential life skills (ADLs) systematically and practically elevates the learning experience, catering to a diverse age range with varying skill levels.  The Webber® Activities of Daily Living Tips and Teaching Companion paired with the Photo Sequencing Cards will unlock your student’s potential for independence!

Guest Blogger: Filomena Connor, MSOT, Retired

Unlocking Potential: Assistive Technology for Cerebral Palsy

As March unfolds, the global community prepares to observe Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month dedicated to raising awareness and understanding about this neurological condition. Among the myriad of challenges faced by individuals with cerebral palsy (CP), assistive technology emerges as a beacon of hope, offering innovative solutions to enhance independence, communication, and quality of life. For parents of children with CP, understanding the role of assistive technology is paramount in supporting their child’s development and well-being.

Understanding Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a complex neurological disorder that affects movement, muscle tone, and posture. It is typically caused by brain injury or abnormal development during fetal development, infancy, or early childhood. The impact of CP varies widely, with some children experiencing mild motor difficulties while others face more significant physical and cognitive challenges.

The Promise of Assistive Technology

Assistive technology encompasses a wide array of tools and devices designed to mitigate the barriers faced by individuals with disabilities. For children with cerebral palsy, assistive technology offers tailored solutions to support their unique needs and promote active participation in daily activities.

Simple and Effective Assistive Technology Solutions

Let’s explore some assistive technology solutions specifically designed for children with cerebral palsy:

Adaptive Books and Learning Tools

Interactive Storybooks: These engaging books feature interactive elements such as sound effects, textures, and movable parts, catering to children with CP who may have difficulty turning pages or focusing for extended periods. Occupational therapist, Allyson Locke offers these pro tips for leveraging assistive technology to make reading more accessible:

Using wikki stix as a page lift

Wikki Stix!: Wikki Stix are simply wax covered strings that are often used in craft activities but they offer a simple and easy low tech solution for making page lifts.  Page lifts are used to ‘lift’ the pages of a book making it easier for those with fine motor difficulties to turn the pages of the book. To make page lifts with Wikki Stix simply roll a Wikki Stix into a spiral or ball shape and place it onto the upper right hand corner of the pages in a book.  Wikki Stix offer a non-permanent solution for making the pages of a book easier to turn.  

Communication Devices: There are numerous types of communication devices available, these devices are used to convey anything from a simple message to complex dialogs.  When leveraging these devices to enhance reading experiences I tend to focus on the simpler devices that have a record and playback feature.  For example, TalkingBrix2BIGmack communicator, or LITTLE Step-by-Step with Levels.   These can be used to record the words on the page of a book that can be played back by the “reader” with a simple hit of switch. This modification turns any book into an interactive one! 

Augmented Reality (AR) Learning Apps: AR apps provide immersive learning experiences, allowing children with CP to explore educational concepts through interactive visualizations and simulations.

Sensory Devices and Toys

Multi-Sensory Play Equipment: Sensory play is essential for children’s development, especially those with CP. Multi-sensory toys, such as vibrating cushions, textured balls, and musical instruments, stimulate different senses and promote sensory integration. Pro Tip: If decreased hand skills limits your child’s ability to hold these objects, occupational therapists Allyson Locke has a solution:

The Eazyholds silicone cuffs are a unique tool that gives children and adults the ability to hold onto many items with ease. They can be used on their own or in conjunction with the functionalhand when a more precise movement is desired (any Eazyhold with the large holes will fit over the handle of the functionalhand). Shake a maraca, bang a drumstick or wave a colorful ribbon with ease! To get more ideas check out Therapro’s Eazyhold, What Can I Adapt, handy guide

Switch-Activated Toys: Switch-adapted toys can be controlled using simple switches, enabling children with limited mobility to interact with and manipulate toys independently. Another pro tip from occupational therapist Allyson Locke; battery interrupters can be used to make most battery operated toys switch accessible! Learn how here!

Communication Aids

Schkidules visual schedule display

Picture Communication Systems: Visual communication systems, including communication boards and symbol-based apps, facilitate communication for children with CP who have difficulty speaking or expressing themselves verbally. 

QuickTalker 7

Voice Output Devices: Voice output devices allow children to communicate using pre-recorded messages or synthesized speech, empowering them to express their thoughts and feelings more effectively.

Supporting Cerebral Palsy Awareness

As we observe Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, there are several meaningful ways to show support and solidarity:

  • Educational Initiatives: Share information about cerebral palsy and assistive technology with friends, family, and community members. Raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by individuals with CP and highlight the importance of inclusion and accessibility.
  • Advocacy and Empowerment: Advocate for policies and initiatives that promote equal opportunities and access to assistive technology for individuals with cerebral palsy. Encourage schools, healthcare providers, and policymakers to prioritize the needs of children with CP and provide necessary support and resources.
  • Community Engagement: Participate in local events and fundraisers dedicated to cerebral palsy awareness and support. Connect with advocacy organizations and support groups to learn from and collaborate with other families affected by CP.
  • Charitable Contributions: Consider donating to reputable cerebral palsy charities and organizations that provide financial assistance, support services, and assistive technology to individuals and families in need. Cerebral Palsy Guidance is one such resource, offering valuable assistance to those navigating the challenges of cerebral palsy.

By embracing assistive technology and fostering awareness and support, we can create a more inclusive and equitable society where children with cerebral palsy can thrive and reach their full potential. Together, let us champion the rights and dignity of all individuals, regardless of ability, and build a brighter future for generations to come.