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Debbie's Blog

DIY "Birthday Cake" Fine Motor Activity

The best therapy exercises are the ones where the child doesn't know it's an exercise, which is why every pediatric speech and occupational therapist's "bag of tricks" is mostly full of toys and games and other fun activities. Play dough is one of these staple activities.  There are endless possibilities of what you can do with it, [...]

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Practicing a Rhythmic Chewing Pattern

Rhythmic chewing is one component of a mature chewing pattern.  There's a tempo to the way we chew - it's not sporadic;  we don't chew fast then slow then fast again.  We chew to a silent yet steady beat in order to properly break down food. . .  In the video below, however, this young man has a very sporadic chewing pattern.  In fact, [...]

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Using Twizzlers as Spoons

Feeding therapy tip: if a child won't eat with a spoon, use whatever he/she WILL accept. In this feeding session, for instance, the child's favorite spoon was at home and he didn't like any of the other spoons I had.  So, I tried a twizzler and voila!  He ate the entire container of food.  . . You can [...]

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DIY Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

This friendly turkey is a quick and easy craft, both for Thanksgiving and beyond.  You'll need: Play dough of your choice (funky colors welcome) Two eyeballs Pasta of your choice . . If you don't have eyeballs, you can substitute for beads, etc.  If you don't have the pasta shown, you can substitute for almost anything you do have.  There's no "right way" [...]

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Food Refusal - Is It Oral Motor or Sensory Related?

Having a child with feeding issues is one of the hardest problems to handle both for therapists and parents, and it's stressful for the child as well.  Our lives often revolve around food!  And so does healthy growth and development.  I commend you for looking for more information on this topic and hope that you [...]

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How to Decrease Tongue Protrusion & Encourage Retraction

Question: I have a 2 year old on my EI caseload, our program purchased a z-vibe kit for him. He is demonstrating some sensory aversion, drooling, and an open mouth posture with tongue protrusion. His tongue protrusion is beginning to affect production of his speech sounds. Are there any specific exercises I can have him do to [...]

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Halloween Activity for Fine Motor & Language Play

We drew up some "spooktacular" free printables for you all.  Introducing: Frankenstein (“Frankie”) and his Bride.  Each character is available in both blank and colored in, all of which can be downloaded  here.  Read below for ideas on how to use them for Halloween-themed learning activities: . To encourage speech and language: Print off the blank characters and have the [...]

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Preparing for Halloween

With just over two weeks left before Halloween, now is a good time to help children get ready for trick-or-treating.  Some of my kids say "fick or feet" or "sick uh seat" or "twick or tweet."  So we'll spend time practicing how to say "Trick or Treat" correctly (or the best way they can to [...]

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How to Make a Puzzle More Therapy-Friendly

.  This puzzle wasn't early-intervention-friendly enough for me - the insets were just a boring tan / wooden color!  So I colored in the insets to give kids more of a visual cue to complete the puzzle.  Now they can match the blue dog puzzle piece to the blue dog picture, the green fish piece to the green fish picture, [...]

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Cork Button Castles - DIY Fine Motor Activity

These "Cork Button Castles" are a fun and effective DIY fine motor activity.  Not only are the fingers and the fingertips in charge, but the Velcro also provides an added level of resistance to really make their intrinsic muscles work.  A big thank you to the amazing blog No Time for Flashcards for the inspiration!. .  What [...]

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