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Winter 2020 Newsletter -> OT / PT News

Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy (APPTAC) Annual Conference- 2019

In November, Bright Path Therapists was one of seven sponsors for the APPTAC. A contingent of BPT therapists and administrators headed down to Anaheim to set up an exhibit about BPT, and attend daily seminars specific to pediatrics. OT and PT shared information about our therapists and the opportunities available in the bay area. A flurry of participants- therapists, vendors, families and administrators-  were drawn across the aisle to spin the wheel for amazing prizes and talk with us about our varied backgrounds, experiences and all that BPT has to offer for the new grad as well as the more experienced therapist. Our admin team kept everything running throughout the day, spreading the word about BPT as others attended lectures. It was a full 3 days interacting with many wonderful people and learning a wide spectrum of information from Linking motor development to social function in young children with ASD to Collaborative teaming through the IEP and so much in between. Of course, some of us cannot be at the happiest place on earth without jumping into the park. We definitely have Disney fanatics in the group!

Favorite winter treatment ideas

In December, our PTs and OTs shared some of their favorite winter treatment ideas in our combined OT/PT webinar. Here are a few of our favorites or you can check out the whole webinar HERE.


Push Pin Art: Place a piece of black construction paper on top of foam paper or styrofoam. Use a thumb tack to poke holes in the paper to make designs, letters, constellations, etc.


Placing a pop top eraser or a pencil grip on top of the tack may help make it easier to hold the tack for children with fine motor difficulties. When the design is finished, put the paper up in the window so the light shining through will show the design.



Snowflakes: Print out pictures of snowflakes (or have the kids draw some) and laminate them. These can be used as spot markers during gross motor activities for hopping, jumping, walking, etc. or just to mark spaces during circle time.


On a swing or scooter board in a prone position, students can place the snowflakes up on a wall or other vertical target to work on prone extension and visual motor skills. Another variation is having a child lie supine under a table and placing snowflakes on the underside of the table.


Paper Plate Ice Skates: Put one paper plate under each foot and skate away! Try working on single leg balance, skating on different surfaces for changes in resistance, or twirling in circles to get some vestibular input.


Winter Clothing Obstacle Course: Bring a variety of winter clothing (or use things the kids bring) such as jackets, boots, scarves, gloves, hats, earmuffs, etc. For more practice on fasteners, make sure the jackets have a variety of different ones (buttons, snaps, zipper, hooks).

Build an obstacle course through the room that requires the children to put on an article of clothing at each stop. This can be done as a race or individually.


To challenge balance, consider having the child stand on a balance disc. For children who may have a harder time following an obstacle course, all of the clothing can be laid out in one place and children can be given a card with a picture of one item that they have to go find and put on.


Assessment Tool Highlight

School Function Assessment

Age Range: Kindergarten-6th grade

Time Required: 90-120 minutes for the whole assessment or 5-10 minutes for individual scales

Norms: Criterion-referenced

Overview: The School Function Assessment (SFA) measures performance on functional tasks related to elementary school educational programs. It is a questionnaire that can be completed by one or more people who work with the student. There are three parts to the SFA: Participation, Task Support, and Activity Performance. A student’s participation is rated against typically developing peers or may be compared to their classmates if they are in a self-contained special education class. All scales or specific scales may be administered, and each are scored independently. The focus of the assessment is on the outcomes achieved and not necessarily on the methods used to get the outcome which allows for adaptations and modification frequently used in special education. The assessment is also broken into physical tasks and cognitive/behavioral tasks which may help teams determine which area is impacting function more significantly. Examples of scales include: Recreational Movement, Up/Down Stairs, Written Work, Safety, Clothing Management, Using Materials, etc. This can be a good evaluation for students who are unable to complete standardized testing due to physical, cognitive, or attention difficulties.