Get in touch

Got a topic you wish I would address on this blog? Need someone to point you to some good resources on a particular subject? Want to share a great idea?

Hop on your computer, smartphone, tablet, horse ‘n buggy, or whatever technology you’ve got and send me (Christie) a message at mamaotblog [at] gmail [dot] com. Or simply complete the contact form below.

I will do my best to answer your question and if I can’t (the topic of “children” is a big one, after all), I’ll try to point you to a person or resource who can help you out.

I would love to hear from you!

46 thoughts on “Get in touch

  1. Pingback: Welcome to Mama OT! | Mama OT

  2. A great question, Marie. It really depends on WHY the child is having difficulty with button and zippers. Weak hands and fingers (fine motor weakness)? Difficulty coordinating use of two hands (bilateral coordination)? Difficulty being able to feel and manipulate small objects (tactile discrimination)? Difficulty with remembering how to do it (cognitive)? Lack of desire to engage in self-dressing? Or maybe some other reason? Understanding WHY the child is struggling is the first step to being able to give them a boost. What do you think the reason is for the child you have in mind?

  3. Marie,

    When addressing self-dressing skills, you can do 2 things: 1) practice the actual skills (e.g., unzipping jacket, buttoning shirt) and 2) work on the components that contribute to the performance of those skills (e.g., activities addressing fine motor strength, bilateral skills, etc.). Both are helpful, but #2 is usually more fun!

    Did you get a chance to read my post about one trick for improving kids’ self-dressing skills? Read it here: http://mamaot.com/2012/03/31/one-simple-trick-for-improving-kids-self-dressing-skills

    I also recommend the following website: http://www.ot-mom-learning-activities.com

    The “OT Mom Learning Activities” website is a great resource. It sounds like you’d especially appreciate the sections titled “Coordination skills” and “Fine Motor skills”. Have fun clicking around her site, she’s got lots of great stuff there for you.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Thank you for all the ideas and activities.
    I have one more question. My daughter was screened by a PT. The PT says she has low tone. She isn’t doing a full PT eval. because she said that the low tone doens’t affect her at school. Are there any activites, classes, etc. she could do to help with low tone?
    Thanks!

  5. You’re welcome! It’s hard to really speak to the issue of low tone without knowing the child and having a working knowledge of how his/her body works and how the muscle tone is affecting participation in daily activities. Two quick suggestions:

    1) In general, low tone often impacts kids’ stability in their trunk. Vestibular activities will activate those muscles involved in postural control (those muscles in our back that help us stay upright in our chair). Vestibular activities include anything that activates the “movement receptors” in the inner ear:running, jumping, bouncing, spinning, swinging, sliding, scooting, etc. Get creative. You can always provide some opportunities for your child to engage in vestibular activities prior to asking him or her to sit down and work. (this is one of many reasons why recess is so important during the school day!)

    2) Kids with low tone also typically have weaker muscles. It sounds like this may be the case with your little one. Try some activities that will challenge their strength in whatever area it is they are experiencing weakness (hands, fingers, trunk, etc.). I will again refer you to http://www.ot-mom-learning-activities.com for specific activity ideas related to your area of interest because it is just such a fantastic resource.

    I hope these will get you started in the right direction. Best of luck!

    • Thank you! Yes, if you go to the homepage (mamaot.com), you will see the box on the right that is connected to the MamaOT Facebook page. Click LIKE to follow on Facebook. Thanks!

  6. Hello! I love your blog :-) I suspect my son to have a sensory processing disorder. He is almost 7 and is very sensitive to all sort of stimulation. But, is it really possible that taking a shower or brushing his teeth hurts him? Can they be that sensitive? He is going to be evaluated soon for this possible disorder.. Thank you very much in advance :-)

    • Caroline, thanks for your comment. For kids with sensory sensitivities, it can certainly feel to them like “normal” levels of sensory stimulation (like touch on the skin or in the mouth) are actually painful. The nervous system in a sense isn’t able to “get used to” the sensation like many people’s can, so it overreacts every time it feels it. An in-person occupational therapist can shed some more light on your son’s specific situation. I hope the evaluation is helpful for you and for him!

  7. love your ideas! I’m an SLP that works closely with OTs. I’ve recently also become a grandma and am making an assortment of busy-bags and sensory bins for when my little ‘Rose’ can play. I asked our OT for a source for wooden tongs, tweezers and such so that I can purchase ( or make) mine, when needed. Besides your homemade tongs, do you have any good sources for your supplies?

    • I love SLPs!! Many learning stores such as Lakeshore Learning or Learning Express should have what you’re looking for when it comes to wooden tongs & tweezers. Discount stores like Ross can also be good if you search through the kitchen section — I like short salad tongs for toddlers to start out with. And if all else fails, you can do a search on Amazon. Best of luck!

  8. love your site, just a quick question….My 4 year 2 month old is struggling with a tripod grasp. She alternates between a tripod grasp and full fist grasp. Do you think she would benefit from OT or is this something that is developing.

    • Sarah, thanks for your comment. That’s great that she sometimes utilizes a tripod grasp and it sounds like that is emerging. My guess is that she uses her fisted grasp when initially given the writing utensil or when trying to generate a lot of force or when her hand starts to fatigue…is this right? I see this often in kiddos whose grasp is emerging. You can continue to promote mature grasping skills by engaging her in play with tongs, clothespins, and short/broken crayons to promote pinch. Sometimes a quick reminder to “fix your fingers” is all kids need to adjust their grasp. Whether she needs OT or not?…you have to ask yourself if she is struggling in areas of function such as self-dressing (buttons, zippers), self-feeding, or participating in activities that other kids her age are proficient in (crafts, scissors, coloring, etc.). If yes, you could consider talking to her pediatrician about the potential for a referral to OT. Depending on your insurance & her functional abilities, OT may or may not be covered. Thanks for asking!

  9. This is more of a practical OT question. I got married last New Years Eve. Now, I’m a graduate student and I’m thinking I might be pregnant. I’m terrified because I still have fieldwork! Any sugesstions for me?

    • Brittani, don’t be terrified! Wait until you know for sure. If yes, talk with your academic coordinator (or whoever is your go-to person in your program) and let them know what’s going on. I was actually pregnant for most of my last year of OT school! My first trimester started in November, then my second trimester was during my last semester of school (which is when I also did my Level II pediatric fieldwork) and graduation, and then I studied for/took/passed my NBCOT licensing exam during my third trimester, when I was 8 months pregnant. It’s possible, you just need the right supports and scheduling to make it work. And if it doesn’t work out to finish school during your pregnancy, you may be able to work something out where you can take a leave of absence and then come back to finish later on. Every program is different, so check with yours and see what they say. I had classmates in OT school who did their Master’s while also raising young kids and, though it was a challenge, they did just fine and are now fantastic OTs. Best of luck to you!

  10. Hi Mama OT!

    I am currently an attendant for a child with autism (an elementary school-aged boy). I am trying to put together a “sensory bag” full of crafts, toys, and activity ideas that will occupy his time and keep him engaged! Any product suggestions? As of right now, I have a couple puzzles, activity cards from the book “The Out of Sync Child has Fun”, and a light-up timer (to help him understand how long an activity will last once we start).

    • Kristin, great idea! Is this for home or school? What types of sensory experiences does he enjoy? What sensory experiences does he avoid or is sensitive to? What types of activities does he like (you mentioned puzzles, what about other things like numbers, letters, shapes, animals, trains, planets, etc)? You don’t have to answer those questions on here but the answers to those questions should help give you some ideas. Please email mamaotblog@gmail.com if you would like some more ideas!

  11. Hi there,

    I love you site i am new to it but it is so helpful. Was wondering if you would be able to help me decide the best equipment needed for an OT therapy room. or suggest a past post you may have written about it. I have various swings and mats but what are other pieces of equipment you would suggest? Thanks alot!

    • Jan, glad you have found it helpful! I don’t have any specific posts on large therapy equipment. This post may help you a bit: http://mamaot.com/2013/02/21/how-to-sneak-fine-motor-skills-into-gross-motor-play/. Some favorites/basics I have used at various clinics include an inntertube swing, platform swing, hammock swing, hippity hop ball, peanut ball, larger therapy ball, some sort of tricycle or “plasma car”, zipline, small ball pit, large bean bin, mini trampoline, large pillows or pieces of fabric filled with foam blocks, slide, some sort of climbing structure (rock wall, steps, stairs, “tree house”, etc.) and, of course, padded mats. Hmmmm, am I forgetting anything? I’m sure I am. I’ll let you know if I think of anything else, or others can feel free to chime in as well. Hope this helps a little!

  12. I just wanted to say thank you for creating such a fabulous resource for parents. I’m a toddler teacher, and I often send my parents here when they need help with specific things Keep writing and posting your valuable information, we appreciate it!

  13. Hi! I’m a ped. OT and have been given a ton of very old Ivory bar soap. It gest a little bit soft in the microwave but doesn’t fluff out like I hoped it would. Any other suggestions on how I could use it? My mind is blank-probably because I was so excited about using it as fluff-lol.

  14. I love your blog, it’s been so helpful!! I have a 4 month old who has recently mastered rolling from tummy to back, so tummy time on the play mat is very short these days. I’ve been continuing to do tummy time on the exercise ball – is that the right thing to do? Are there other ways to keep him on his tummy, or should I be doing more exercises to help him roll from back to tummy? Thanks!

    • Great to hear, Tabby! Don’t feel like you have to keep your baby restricted to only time on tummy. Tummy time on the ball is great as long as he is enjoying it. Play time on his back and both of his sides is important as well! Engage with him while he is on the floor and follow his lead. Show him how he can grab his feet and how he can grab for toys while laying on his back or side. All those positions are great for overall development. Have fun!

    • Tummy time can begin as soon as baby is born, with skin-to-skin snuggling on mom or dad’s chest! Read here for more information on tummy time: http://mamaot.com/2012/03/25/tips-for-making-tummy-time-a-little-less-um-miserable/

      As far as naps on the side or belly, check with your baby’s pediatrician in order to get recommendations for sleep positions. Safe sleep guidelines recommend always placing a baby on his or her back to sleep. However, once baby can independently roll from back to tummy, you may find that he or she prefers to sleep on the belly.

  15. Hey there was scrolling the Internet and loved your article on dance with your baby. its our motto here at Mumba Dance as well. Have shared your post over our facebook page. thank you.

  16. You’re site has been a really great resource for me. I have a question that I don’t believe I’ve seen addressed on here.
    I’m the aunt of a beautiful 1.5 yo struggling w hypotonia and other neurological issues. It seems w every step forward we receive news that puts us two steps back. I feel like my niece is getting the best therapy and medical help possible. I’m more worried about my sister. Obviously she’s stressed having a young child w medical issues and no true diagnosis but also she has such guilt even though she is truly an exceptional mother. She won’t miss a therapy session even though she multiple sessions a day so there’s no way for me to jump in there. Any advice on how we can help the parents dealing w this? Sorry for the long winded question.

  17. Hi there, I have a 5 month old and i was wondering if there are any stretches i can be doing to help him extend his hips wider? I have a manduca pack and every time i try put him in it its as if his pelvis does not allow him to spread his legs that wide! i used it when he was a newborn but that was more of a tucked up leg way…also are there any exercises i can be doing with him during mat time to encourage him to roll more? He rolls occasionally but def not every day…thanks!

  18. Hi- So I know you don’t recommend walkers, but I’m wondering what your sentiment is regarding push toys. Are there any you would recommend? Thanks!

  19. Hi your swimming lesson post is missing. Can’t load the page. Would be interested to read it. Love all your sensory play ideas!

  20. Hi Christie ,

    I am interested in knowing your perspective on walkers for babies. I have been debating the issue and hv read a lot on it but still would love to see your opinion on it.

    • Thanks for asking about baby walkers. I’m assuming you’re talking about the device that allows you to put baby in a cloth seat and then “walk” with the assistance of the surrounding frame on wheels? I’ve been wanting to write a post on baby walkers for a long time now, but haven’t had a chance to do so as of yet. However I, along with the majority of pediatric therapists, strongly recommend against the use of baby walkers. The primary issues relate to safety concerns and developmental concerns. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended a ban on the sale of baby walkers (though a ban has not yet been achieved), and the sale of walkers is banned in Canada. A pediatric physical therapist recently wrote a post about baby walkers that I would suggest checking out. It can be found here: http://www.pinkoatmeal.com/2014/04/baby-walker-dangers-limitations.html. Hopefully I will get the chance to write my own post about this piece of baby equipment at some point, because I still see so many parents using walkers with the pre-walking babies!

  21. Hi!

    I am a pediatric physical therapist(early intervention) and I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog. I was wondering if you knew of any good pediatric PT blogs, I haven’t found any that I am a huge fan of as of yet. I recently became a pediatric PT and treatment ideas are difficult to find online. Thanks so much!

    -Marcie

    • Thank you for your kind words! There is a new blog that started earlier this year called Pink Oatmeal. The author is a PT/mom who blogs about many things, one of them being pediatric PT-related topics. She will actually be guest posting here at Mama OT pretty soon! Visit her at http://pinkoatmeal.com!

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