Monday, February 10, 2014

Blog is Moving!!!!

Just want to let you know that I am moving the blog to a new location that is better integrated into the YourTherapySource main website.  

Here is the new blog address:

Effects of Platform Swing on Independent Work in Children with Autism

Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities published research of the effects of using a platform swing on independent work behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  The research was a pretest - posttest randomized design with 30 children with ASD.  All individuals in the study participated in 2 five minute intervals of independent work.  The experimental group received vestibular stimulation via a platform swing and the control group watched a video in between the intervals of independent work.

The results indicated the following:
  • no significant differences were recorded between the treatment and control groups on engagement, on-task behavior, stereotyped/repetitive behavior, or out-of-seat behavior.
Here are some additional details:
  • the vestibular stimulation was slow, linear motion on a platform swing for 5 minutes per sensory break.  The study does not indicate the position of the participant on the platform swing.
  • for data collection there was video analysis of the child’s on task behaviors coded by 4 different behaviors - on-task, engaged, stereotyped/repetitive, or out of seat.
  • post hoc analysis of the sensory profiles (Dunn 1999) showed that 66% of the 15 participants were classified as seekers, 14% of those with the seeking/underresponsive pattern and three could not be classified.  The participants without classifications improved. However, similar patterns were identified in the control group.  Two participants were classified as overresponsive in each group – the 2 children in the treatment group did not evidence improvement
Overall, the researchers stated that the clinical implications of this study indicate that “Any SI treatment should be provided cautiously, in short-term increments with individual improvements documented before continuing intervention with a given client”.

Reference:    Linda C. Murdock, John A. Dantzler, Anne N. Walker, and L. Becca Wood The Effect of a Platform Swing on the Independent Work Behaviors of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities March 2014 29: 50-61, first published on November 12, 2013 doi:10.1177/1088357613509838

Cut and Paste Sensory Diet
Download of the materials to create 2 sensory diet books, one for home and one for school with over 150 picture word cards.  Find out more at

Friday, February 7, 2014

10 Intervention Tips for Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder

Here are several, research based, helpful intervention tips to follow when working with children with developmental coordination disorder:
  1. Encourage practice of functional tasks required in the daily routine and everyday life.
  2. Practice multiple, short sessions versus one long session i.e. practice a skill 5 minutes per day versus 35 minutes/week.
  3. Vary the practice sessions.
  4. Facilitate the use of cognitive strategies.  Ask the child to set goals, to self check skills and problem solve. 
  5. Break down large tasks into smaller chunks.  
  6. Use movement activities in different social settings in order for child to practice skills in a group setting.
  7. Change the rules of games in order for the child to participate if necessary (i.e. change the size of a basketball hoop to be larger or lower down to the ground).
  8. Differentiate the levels of activities if necessary. (i.e some students speed walk some students skip during a game of tag).
  9. Little by little, increase the difficulty of the skills being taught.  Change one aspect of the skill at a time.  For example, practice kicking a large, stationary ball.  Next practice kicking a smaller stationary ball.  Next, kick a large, moving ball from 10 feet.
  10. When the child begins to show progress offer praise and encouragement.  Slowly reduce the amount of support you provide i.e. less verbal cues or decrease pre-teaching of skills.
Reference:  UK DCD Concensus. Information for Allied Health Professionals on DCD. Retrieved from the web on 2/7/14 at


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Baclofen Effects on Sitting in Children with Cerebral Palsy

The European Journal of Paediatric Neurology published research on the use of intrathecal baclofen (ITB) on sitting in 23 children (mean age 10 years 10 months) with cerebral palsy with severe spasticity.  Using the sitting dimension of the Gross Motor Function Measure, sitting was compared prior to ITB and following ITB.  The results indicated the following:
  •  no significant difference was found in sitting before ITB treatment compared to sitting following insertion of an ITB pump.
The researchers concluded that sitting does not improve or deteriorate in children following treatment with ITB, regardless of age or severity of motor impairment.

Reference:   Natalie Gray, Michael Vloeberghs. The effect of continuous intrathecal baclofen on sitting in children with severe cerebral palsy. European Journal of Paediatric Neurology Vol. 18, Issue 1, Pages 45-49

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Free Music and Picture Schedule App

Here is an interesting, unique app to be used as a schedule throughout your child's day. It is Everyday Grooves and is currently free. 

Basically, it is a set of songs that can used to help children go through the daily routine. There are songs to wake up, brush teeth, get dressed, take a bath, read a book, go to bed and more. You can set an alarm for each song to start playing at a certain time of day. 

This would be a fun app for those kids who love music or to song to help then stick to the daily routine. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Survey Results on Tablet/Smartphone Use Among Pediatric OTs and PTs

Check out the results from the Winter 2014 survey on tablet and smartphone use among pediatric OTs and PTs.  There were over 300 responses.  You can view the results at

Answer the latest survey on the effects of tablet/smartphone use on the development of young children here -