Play for Real Owners attend Research Mentorship at the Star Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder

Play for Real Owners attend Research Mentorship at the Star Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) in Denver

Picture of Lyn, Dr. Lucy Miller, Dr. Sarah Schoen and Peter at the Star Center for SPD in Denver

Lyn, Dr. Lucy Miller, Dr. Sarah Schoen and Peter at the Star Center for SPD in Denver

At the beginning of this month, it was our pleasure to spend a few days doing a research mentorship at the Star Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder in Denver. We were a small group, with ten other occupational therapists (OTs) who also shared an interest in research. The focus was on single subject research design with input from Lucy Miller, Sarah Schoen and Dr. Stephen Camarata (not pictured) from Vanderbilt University.  It was a packed itinerary and the energy was high, with a lot of stimulating discussion with our colleagues. We all learned a lot and came away with a commitment to complete a study on an aspect of sensory processing disorder over the next year.  We are happy that Lucy will be providing direct support as we plan, implement and complete our study. Lucy Miller’s goal is to get enough studies to be able to put together a book and perhaps include a chapter with studies involving DIRFloortime.

The Star Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder

Dr. Lucy Miller is a world-renowned occupational therapist and specialist on sensory processing disorder. She has written many books, including  Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disorder.  The Star Institute attracts clients from all over the world and, in their entrance lobby, they have a map of the world with many, many pushpins indicating all the places that their visitors have come from. While we were there, Lucy gave us a personal tour of the incredible research and treatment center. There are many specialized treatment areas including several sensory gyms, feeding therapy rooms and a treatment area specifically for older children and adults. Last but not least, they have an amazing sensory-based playground and garden. As clinic owners with dreams of our own, we were truly inspired!

Pediatric OT and SLP positions at Play for Real Therapy Services!

Picture of a client in a bodysock at the Play for Real clinic

Pediatric OT and SLP positions at Play for Real Therapy Services!

Play for Real is pleased to announce that we are expanding our services this year. As a result, we will have pediatric OT and SLP positions opening up as we grow. Initially these positions will be part-time and PRN, but full time positions may be available in the future. Although our focus is currently on OT and Speech services, we hope to include other disciplines at a later date.

Play for Real Therapy Services offers quality occupational therapy and speech-language therapy using a family centered and evidence-based approach. Our treatment models include DIRFloortime, sensory integration, the SOS (sequential-oral-sensory) approach to feeding, integrated listening (iLs) and pediatric massage.

If you are interested in joining out team, then please contact us using the form or phone number on the Contact Us page of the website. We look forward to discussing what you are looking for and finding out if we would be a good fit for each other.

Happy New Year

HapHappy New Yearpy New Year

All of us at Play for Real Therapy Services would like to wish you a very Happy New Year. We hope it will be healthy, hopeful and especially playful!

We have many exciting plans for growth in this coming year as we continue to expand our services and look forward to keeping you up to date with developments as they unfold.

 

AOTA Toy Shopping Tips

Picture for AOTA Toy Shopping TipsTips for Toy Shopping from AOTA

The season of giving is here and toy shopping is at the top of the list for most parents, grandparents and other relatives. Here at Play for Real we love using play to help children grow and develop. Children learn best when they are actively engaged and having fun, and the choice of toys can directly affect their play and learning experience. Choosing what to buy is not always easy and AOTA (the American Occupational Therapy Association) offers a checklist to help pick appropriate toys for play. It is easy to be enticed  by fancy packaging, the latest fads and advertising, especially when you are in a hurry to get your holiday shopping done. Occupational therapy practitioners are experts in play as it relates to development and using the AOTA toy shopping tips can help you find toys that are fun and engaging while also supporting a child’s development.

 

Some questions from the AOTA Toy Shopping Tips:

  1. Is the toy safe and age appropriate? If the suggested age range is too young for the child, he or she may get bored quickly. If the range is too old, the child may get frustrated and give up, or be exposed to small parts that could pose a safety risk. Be mindful of your own child’s development in terms of his or her strengths, interests, and abilities.
  2. Can the toy be played with in more than one way? Toys that offer unlimited possibilities can tap into the child’s creativity. Blocks can be stacked, knocked down, lined up, crashed into, and even substituted for play food in a pretend kitchen.
  3. Does the toy appeal to several senses? Children’s attention is captured by exciting colors, sounds, lights, and textures. Toys that encourage them to push buttons, move parts, open doors, or sort shapes will often lengthen play time.
  4. Can the toy be used in more than one place or position? Toys that are easy to carry or can be used while sitting, standing, or even lying down make play possible anywhere. Crayons, markers, sidewalk chalk, a baby gym, and plastic rings can be used in a variety of locations.
  5. Does the toy involve the use of both hands? Moving parts, buttons, and gears encourage activity and movement. Construction toys, craft kits, puzzles, balls, riding toys, and toss-and-catch sets all promote motor skill development at different ages.
  6. Does the toy encourage thinking or solving problems? Board games and science kits offer older kids the chance to use thinking skills in a new way, while shape sorters, puzzles, or a Jack-in-the box are great for babies and toddlers.
  7. Does the toy encourage communication and interaction? Dress-up clothes, costumes, playhouses, kitchen sets, and tools can all be used with more than one child to teach cooperation and negotiation and foster imagination.
  8. Is the toy worth the cost? Consider the appeal, durability and cost of the toy. Will the toy engage the child in a way that he/she is an active participant, rather than a passive observer? Can the family engage in play together?

You can download the full guide by clicking on this link: AOTA – How To Pick A Toy. We hope you find the AOTA Toy Shopping Tips helpful for selecting toys that will help the children in your life to learn and develop while having fun, allowing you all to Play for Real!

Welcome Lisa Timrick, COTA/L, pediatric occupational therapy assistant

Lisa Timrick, COTA/L, pediatric occupational therapy assistantPlay for Real Therapy welcomes Lisa Timrick, COTA/L, pediatric occupational therapy assistant to our team!

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Lisa Timrick, COTA/L, pediatric occupational therapy assistant to our team! Lisa is very excited to be joining us at Play for Real Therapy Services. In 2006, she began working with children as an orthopedic technologist at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Chicago. During this time, she developed a passion for assisting children with a variety of disabilities. This experience inspired her to become an occupational therapy assistant.

Wanting to deepen her relationships with children and families, Lisa recently completed course work to become a Basic DIRFLoortime Practitioner. In turn, this led her to become part of our team at Play for Real Therapy Services.

During her time at Shriners, Lisa enjoyed working closely with other professionals in a multidisciplinary team. This approach is something she continues to value. While training as an occupational therapy assistant, she was fortunate to work at Mt. Sinai and Stogers hospitals in Chicago. Here Lisa developed her pediatric experience in neonatal care and outpatient therapy. After graduating, Cum Laude, in 2010, she gained experience in a pediatric unit specializing in trauma. At this time, Lisa also developed an interest in using play to work on pre-handwriting skills in children.

2014 brought Lisa on an amazing journey to Florida where she initially worked with medically fragile children and their families. Through this experience, she discovered the effects of nurturing touch and its benefits to both the child and parents. Consequently, Lisa went on to become certified as a pediatric massage therapist.

In her free time, Lisa spends time cooking and creating new dishes for her family and friends. She enjoys researching and learning about Florida’s reptiles and spiders of all kinds. Lisa’s other interests include travel, swimming, reading, yoga and watching football.

ICDL Annual DIRFloortime Conference Report

Lyn with Steve Silberman at the ICDL Annual DIRFloortime Conference

Lyn with Steve Silberman at the ICDL Annual DIRFloortime Conference

ICDL Annual DIRFloortime Conference a Success!

We attended the ICDL Annual DIRFloortime Conference at Gaylord Palms in Orlando on September 23 & 24 and it was a great success. It was wonderful to be able to meet and talk with DIR colleagues from the US and around the world. We were impressed with the presentations from a variety of autism and DIRFloortime experts.

The keynote speakers were particularly interesting. Steve Silberman, the author of “Neurotribes: the Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity”, discussed some of the history of autism and his positive attitude toward neurodiversity was inspiring. Lyn was lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat with him individually the day before the conference, as she was the ICDL representative to meet him at the airport!

The keynote speaker on the second day was Dr. Kingkaew Pajareya. Her presentation on how she initially learned to practice DIRFLoortime from the writings of Dr. Stanley Greenspan, and subsequently developed teams of health care professionals to bring the DIR model to Thailand was very moving. Although not confident in her English, she used video, narration and music to beautifully illustrate the work she has been doing.

In addition to attending presentations, Lyn lead the DIR 101 track, which was well attended by both professionals and parents wanting to learn about the model. This course is the prerequisite class for the professional training in DIR and Lyn is following up from this with a DIR 201 class starting in January 2017. The class will be delivered in a hybrid format comprising two Saturday onsite sessions at the Play for Real Therapy Services clinic in Rockledge (one in January and one in March), and eight Thursday evening online sessions. Details of the course, all dates, and registration are available at http://www.icdl.com/courses and please feel free to contact us directly at info@playforrealtherapy.com if you have any questions.

Play for Real closed for ICDL Conference

A Florida postcard announcing the 2016 ICDL Conference for DIRFloortime in Orlando

Play for Real closed on Friday September 23 for ICDL Conference

As we announced earlier, the ICDL Conference is at Gaylord Palms Resort and Conference Center in Orlando this year. Play for Real Therapy Services will be closed this coming Friday and Saturday, September 23 & 24, as we will be attending the conference. This event is a great opportunity for both professionals and parents/caregivers to come and hear experts in the field presenting on all aspects of DIRFloortime. It is the first time that ICDL is holding the annual conference in Florida and there is an impressive lineup of presenters.

The opening keynote speaker is Steve Silberman, the author of “NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity”. In this award-winning book, Steve gives an insightful and sensitive history of autism, and it will be a wonderful opportunity to hear him speak at the conference. If you have not yet registered for this great conference, there is still time to do so at http://www.icdl.com/2016.

Lyn is excited and looking forward to leading the DIR 101 track at the conference. This course is open to professionals and parents and is the prerequisite for the professional training in DIRFloortime. Those interested in completing DIR 101 will attend a mix of presentations by the speakers, and workshops lead by Lyn. You can register for this via the conference registration above or by going to http://www.icdl.com/courses.

If you are attending the conference and would like to know more about Play for Real Therapy and the services we offer, please feel free to come and talk to us and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, you can contact us at info@playforrealtherapy.com

Coming soon…

After the conference is over, look out for our next posts as we have some exciting announcements to share with you – keep watching this space!!

Play for Real closing this week for staff training

Play for Real closing for staff training

Play for Real closing this week for staff training

Play for Real Therapy will be closing for the latter part of this week for staff training. We will be closed from Wednesday July 27 through Monday August 1. We will open again for business at 2:00pm on Monday afternoon, August 1. If you need to contact us during this time, please leave a voicemail or send an email and we will get back to you when we reopen.

DIRFloortime Annual International Conference

A Florida postcard announcing the 2016 DIR Conference in OrlandoDIRFloortime Annual International Conference in Orlando

Play for Real Therapy Services is excited that, this year, the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL) will be holding the DIRFloortime Annual International Conference at Gaylord Palms Resort and Conference Center in Orlando on September 23 & 24. This conference is for both professionals and parents/caregivers. It is the first time that ICDL is holding the annual conference in Florida and there will be an impressive lineup of presenters.

The opening keynote speaker is Steve Silberman, the author of “NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity”. In this award-winning book, Steve gives an insightful and sensitive history of autism, and it will be a wonderful opportunity to hear him speak at the conference. For more information about some of the other presentations, and to register for this great conference please go to http://www.icdl.com/2016. As they announce new speakers, ICDL is updating this page on a regular basis.

Lyn is pleased that ICDL have asked her to lead the DIR 101 track at the conference. This course is open to professionals and parents and is the prerequisite for the professional training in DIRFloortime. Those interested in completing DIR 101 will attend a mix of presentations by the speakers, and workshops lead by Lyn. You can register for this via the conference registration above or by going to http://www.icdl.com/courses.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us at info@playforrealtherapy.com