Self Care in RTI

Self Care and How to Help in All Tiers (1,2,3)

The ability for a student to complete functional self care tasks are so important to everyday living and functional skills throughout the school day. Self care includes hand washing, putting on/taking off a coat, zipping/unzipping, putting on a shoe, tying a shoe, putting on hats/gloves, wiping a face, washing a face, brushing teeth, completing a bathroom routine, etc. In the previous years I have implemented many Tier 1 (universal) groups working along with the teachers focusing on fine motor (handwriting and scissors skills). This year I wanted to try something new!!! I wanted to try specific self care groups in a Tier 1 (universal) perspective. My idea was what season are we in and how can I address a self care need in that season. My first step was to get a buy in with 1 teacher. I did, the teacher was immediately excited and willing to start this. My second step was how many minutes, how much time do we need, and how long per self care task. The plan was determined to make these mini sessions (20 min each) approximately 4 sessions, once a week. So taking a whole month to focus on 1 self care task. Each month changing that task. August/September Hand Washing for example. With it being the start of the school, what a great way to go over hand.


School-Based OT Internship in Review

by: Kenni Voytek

During my summer of shadowing Sendero Therapies, I was able to learn and observe so
much about school-based occupational therapy. I loved the experience I had interning. I think
school-based occupational therapy is a wonderful way for children who are struggling with
school/life-based occupations to catch up to their peers in a fun, creative way.

Occupational Therapy helps children achieve, work on, feel comfortable with, and
persevere with their occupations. The staff at Sendero Therapies exemplified all these school-
based goals when I interned with them this summer. Each occupational therapist and certified
occupational therapy assistant had their own unique way of working on occupations, which
makes occupational therapy so enjoyable. The staff had amazing creativity with objectives to
help children achieve their goals. I saw learning objectives with moon rocks, playdough, pom-
poms, bananas and a monkey, fishing, bubbles, and so much more. I learned a lot about including
creativity into sessions, as this is what makes learning skills even more enjoyable to children.
The OT’s and COTA’s seemed to always enjoy doing the activities with the children participating
in the session as well.

Overall, I think Sendero Therapies is an incredible organization. School-based
occupational therapy is a necessity for some children to thrive, and I think Sendero does an
exemplary job helping children achieve their goals.


Use of Deep Pressure in Occupational Therapy

One of our summer interns - Kenni Voytek from Baldwin Wallace - wrote this piece in response to some of the observations she has made this summer. Thanks so much Kenni!

Pediatric occupational therapy plays an important role in the lives of children unable to
do daily tasks, or occupations, independently. The role of an occupational therapist is to assist
these children with activities to increase their level of independence. One occupation includes
sleep and rest, where an occupational therapist will assist a child in helping to relax and calm
down. In my internship, I have observed the treatment of deep pressure to help children relax.
In one session I was observing, a child with downs syndrome was rowdy and wouldn’t sit
still. The COTA got the child to sit, and I started observing her give the child squeezes, a form of
deep pressure, and the child started to relax and became happy. This interested me, as I didn’t
know giving a child deep pressure exemplified these effects.

The article by Lana Bestbier and Tim I. Williams called: The Immediate Effects of Deep
Pressure on Young People with Autism and Severe Intellectual Difficulties: Demonstrating
Individual Differences, stated deep pressure is used widely by occupational therapists for those
with autism and severe intellectual disabilities. Deep pressure is the “sensation produced when an
individual is hugged, squeezed, stroked, or held” (Bestbier & Williams, 2017) . Within this
article, deep pressure was found to.


Exploring Stories Through Sensory and Fine Motor

by Tina Page

Children instinctively love books and stories as they are introduced to wonderful ideas, places, and creatures. Sometimes stories themselves arouse curiosity for them to know more about something, but when you add sensory components and personal creativity to a story, students immerse themselves into the tale being told! 

During the first RTI group, preschool classroom students catch a glimpse of the story during fine motor activities. Students learned proper formation of the letter “M”, cut out a moon shape and made magical bracelets created out of pipe cleaners and beads. These activities benefited all students addressing cutting skills, fine motor grasp and bilateral coordination to name a few.  

During the second RTI group, preschool students engaged in the sensory story Whatever Next!. 

As the story goes, a little bear decides that he wants to visit the moon. Students took turns climbing into a big box as it wiggled and moved while taking flight to the moon. Students felt fluffy cotton balls as they passed clouds and waved hello to friends on an airplane. Once in space they gazed at stars through a peak hole of a box filled with glow in the dark stars and noticed that their magical bracelets were glowing bright like the stars in space! 


Fostering Health, Wellness and Adapted Recreational Exercise for Students

By: Katie Heilman

The Why…

In today’s society where technology is King, a more sedentary lifestyle among America's youth has followed. When you mix in other factors, such as access and education on nutritious food, as well as socioeconomic status, it’s no wonder that childhood obesity has become a serious national, and global, health concern. Healthcare providers and researchers have long been tracking the trend of America's expanding waistlines across the lifespan, and have documented especially concerning trends in the data for children and adolescence. The Non-communicable Disease Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC), is a worldwide network of health researchers and practitioners whose aim is to systematically document the worldwide trends and variations in non-communicable disease risk factors. In 2016, they found that the prevalence of obesity was about 20% or more in several countries in Polynesia and Micronesia, the Middle East and north Africa, the Caribbean, and the USA, with 50 (24-89) million girls and 74 (39-125) million boys worldwide being obese.1 The American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization (WHO), American Psychological Association and countless other health and research agencies, have been tracking the increase in screen time in babies, children and adolescence and how it affects their health and development- both physically and behaviorally.2  According to a systematic review of reviews published by University College London (UCL) psychologist Neza Stiglic, PhD, and Russell Viner, PhD, a professor of adolescent.