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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Social Thinking Conference in Calgary

We are SO excited to be welcoming Kari Zweber Palmer back to Calgary on October 27 & 28, 2017 to teach and inspire us once again on Social Thinking!

It will be another amazing 2 days of learning!!! 

Day 1: Teaching Social Thinking to Early Learners through Stories and Play-Based Activities
Day 2: Social Detective, Superflex, and Friends Take on Social Emotional Learning 

This combination will focus mostly on preschool and early elementary students.  Day 1 was originally presented back in 2014 but it has changed a lot since then.  Content is focused on 4-7 year olds and We Thinkers.  Day 2 is "Superflex" day.  Content is best applicable for elementary students.  It is the next step, curriculum-wise, after students have gone through We Thinkers.  Some additional time will be spent at the end of the day, talking about how to apply the content to older (Middle/High school).

Please check my website after this date: http://www.growingskillsot.com/educationworkshops.html

Registration form can be found here

We welcome any questions or inquiries to:


We look forward to seeing you in October!

Krista & Nicole

Connecting Dots for Tots

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

IDEAS Fall Programs 2017

Maximizing Adult Potential Throughout Childhood

Maximizing Adult Potential Throughout Childhood

When: Friday October 25th, from 5:30-7:00
Where:                 The Ability Hub
                                Green Room
                                #300, 3820 24 ave NW Calgary

Even pediatric OTs can assist families to begin thinking about their future vision. How do childhood goals, ISPs and therapy plans set up for success as an adult? Join us Friday October 25th at The Ability Hub for open discussion regarding the translation of childhood skills into adult skills, and the importance of exploring your future vision early. Sara Baker, OT will be offering tools for planning for life’s transitions, which can start in early childhood, followed by a round table of open practice questions.

Upcoming Calgary Meeting on October 20th

Notes and Next Meeting in Calgary

A Pediatric Interest Group meeting was attended by 9 people on Sept 8, 2017 at Spring OT, hosted by the owner, Trish Williams, whom some will know from her instruction of courses at the Calgary campus of the UofA OT program. We toured her sensory integration and fine motor rooms.

Jen Bodiguel (New Heights School) shared information from a course by Barry Prizant on the SCERTS program,  brought to her workplace at New Heights. The SCERTS® Model is a comprehensive, team-based, multidisciplinary model for enhancing abilities in Social Communication and Emotional Regulation, and implementing Transactional Supports for children and older individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families, a model which is great for developing goals such as “does the child explore sensory environment”

An article in the New York times was eye opening for those writing IPP goals for people on the spectrum:

Another resource mentioned was:

For explaining vestibular to families:

We discussed vestibular strategies. The idea that vesibular input could improve printing by increasing tone was discussed. The wiggle pen (or z-vibe with pen attachment, or time with vibrating tooth brush from the dollar store) was suggested as a direct effect on tone in the hand – with the reminder to always include proprioceptive input such as playing in a bin of beans. Many more strategies were suggested to improve tone in general and especially in the shoulder girdle and postural core.  
Favorites included:
-       Platform swing
-       Scooter boards
-       Log rolling
-       Mini trampolines
-       Physio balls
-       Standing on a bocce ball in eyes open and eyes closed
-       Lycra swing or any old blanket held on each end by two adults, child is swayed/ wiggled
-       The Ikea egg was a favourite for the Low Registration (Eeyore type kids).
Stop and go was suggested for preventing over-stimulation. Stop and do something functional, then spin again to make use of the organizing effects of vestibular input. A few times one direction then a few the other to prevent habituation to the input in one direction.
We were reminded:
-       To explain vestibular strategies in such a way that parents will be able to use by just talking about head movements.
-       That the saccule and utricle are tonic (always firing) –thus causing tone, helping develop core strength.
-       “You have to know where you are but your body is not always in motions.”
-       Spinning (rotational movement, semicircular canal activation) is alerting but linear movement (otolith activation – based on gravity)  is calming.
-       Semicircular canal problems can cause otolith problems therefore if a person is getting dizzy when turning one direction, stop rotational input and move to the floor (play Jenga, LEGO) and do plenty of proprio
-       Change the plane throughout a session/day
-       It takes 5 trials to build a motor engram
-       Start where they are: find out what is being avoided (runs because static posture is too hard), and build from there.
-       Monitor for signs of too much vestibular input: wobbly head, fight or flight (wide eyes).

Next meeting: October 20 at 5:30 at the Ability Hub in the Green Room
 Re: Thinking about adulthood potential during childhood. All are welcome. Come to share case examples of volunteer work and early jobs or activities such as childhood chores and here about the difference between the IPP and the adult version, ITP

Save the date:
A tentative date was set for Jen Bodiguel to host at New Heights in the Currie Barracks on:
January 19 at 5:30

GYPSD Occupational Therapist Position

GYPSD Occupational Therapists
Grande Yellowhead Public School Division No. 77 is currently looking to fill a full-time Occupational Therapist position commencing as soon as possible.  The successful candidate will work out of the Edson area.
The purpose of this position is to serve as part of the Grande Yellowhead Public School Division School-Linked Team to assist school teams to develop strategies and action plans to strengthen inclusive practices and better meet the diverse learning needs of all students.
Duties of the Occupational Therapist will include:
  • Liaise with division personnel and parents in a team focused approach within the Collaborative Response Model Framework
  • Administer, score and interpret standardized occupational therapy assessments for the purpose of assisting teachers in the classroom
  • Provide intervention strategies (universal, targeted and specialized) and program development
  • Conduct and model occupational therapy within the context of typical classroom activities
  • Contribute to student IPP development and program planning
  • Facilitate professional development for parents, teachers and educational assistants
  • EYE – work collaboratively with the Early Learning Coach to support observations and completion of Functional Statement as part of the multi-disciplinary team

Preference will be given to applicants who possess:
  • Masters or Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy or equivalent including course work in assessment and treatment of fine motor, visual motor and perceptual difficulties
  • Membership with Alberta College of Occupational Therapists (ACOT)
  • Minimum of one year experience with the school-age population
  • Ability to apply knowledge of principles, guidelines, concepts and procedures
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational and time management skills
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable vehicle 

Please visit http://gypsd.ca/Employment.php to apply!