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OTS 132: Back To School Conference 2023 Recap & Reflection

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Welcome to the show notes for Episode 132 of the OT Schoolhouse Podcast.

This week, we are discussing the highlights of the Back to School Conference!

Our journey at the conference led us to explore crucial subjects, such as reframing behavior, addressing mental health concerns, navigating post-school outcomes, discovering evidence-based resources, implementing effective tiered intervention programs, and expanding your toolkit for fine motor skills.

Join us as we delve into these topics and gain valuable insights into our knowledge of School-Based OT.

Listen now to learn the following objectives:

  • Learners will identify the significance of building rapport and safety

  • Learners will recognize the importance of asking tough questions about a student's plan after graduation and the potential consequences of not considering long-term goals for students from an early age

  • Learners will recognize the ​​significance of evidence-based practice in occupational therapy in the school setting

Guest(s) Bio

In 2017, Jayson founded the OT Schoolhouse website and now supports school-based OT practitioners via courses, conferences, and the OTS Collaborative community.

With experience as both a contracted therapist and an "in-house" employee for two distinctly different districts, Jayson has had the opportunity to appreciate the differences between both small-rural and large-suburban districts.

Recently, Jayson has put forth his efforts toward supporting therapists interested in tiered intervention, collaborative programming, and managing their workloads.


"We need to start early, we need to ask the tough questions, and we need to think long term."

— Jayson Davies, MA, OTR/L

“It's never too early to start supporting students with their future plans."

— Jayson Davies, MA, OTR/L

"Students need to feel safe at school so that they can also do their job of providing the best output that they can."

— Jayson Davies, MA, OTR/L

"We need to communicate the importance of students having choices and exploring different options.”

— Jayson Davies, MA, OTR/L


No resources in this episode.

Episode Transcript

Expand to view the full episode transcript.

Jayson Davies   

Hey everyone, and welcome to episode 132 of the OTs schoolhouse podcast. Thank you so much for being here. Wherever you are right now, I just really appreciate you tuning in and listening to this episode. This is a special episode, we're not having a guest. We're not diving into like one super nice particular area today, which I know a lot of you love, but we're going to do something a little bit different. And I want to do this because right now is a very exciting time to be a school based occupational therapy practitioner. Whether you've been in the schools for a decade, two decades, or maybe you're starting your very first school year, as a school based occupational therapy practitioner. This is just an exciting time. Not only is it the start of a new school year, but I really feel that we as a profession, especially within the schools are at a turning point. For the last what seems like forever, I've been in OT for over 10 years now. And I know it was even before that. There was this, like OT was defined as the handwriting teacher, the handwriting coach, the handwriting specialist. And I really feel that we are set right now to expand beyond that, between the Every Student Succeeds Act that was put into legislation back in 2015. And is really starting to kind of be rolled out now to just OT as a profession just had the cating the heck right now out of like we do more than handwriting, I really feel that we are at a big turning point. And to go even a little bit further on that I didn't even realize it until after the back to school conference that just ended last week that my goodness, like the back to school conference, like exemplified exactly that. Moving from handwriting to so much more. We had six amazing sessions, I co hosted or sorry, I hosted one. And I had the pleasure of hosting five other guests presenters who were just absolutely amazing. And it wasn't until after the conference that I realized how little we actually talked about handwriting. And again, I think that just shows where we are headed. So what we're going to do today is we're going to dive into my one, maybe two key takeaways from each of our six sessions at the back to school conference. Again, we had six very amazing speakers. And I want to give them a huge shout out in just a moment. But right now we're going to go ahead and well, I'm going to talk a little bit about the conference. And then I'm going to share, as I mentioned one to two key takeaways from that conference. If you were there, this will be just a great refresher a week or two after you attended. And if you weren't there, this is still going to be great for you, you're gonna get some great value from this that you can take in to the school year. So really quickly, for those of you who maybe didn't attend the conference, this was our third annual back to school conference at the OT school house. And we had over 430 Occupational Therapy practitioners attend. And I can not thank each and every single one of you that attended enough. Like it was just amazing. You were all so, so engaged and everything. I mean, it was great to have the presenter speaking live. But man, I just enjoyed also watching the Zoom chat that you all had going on people sharing ideas, kind of bringing the ideas from the presenters to life and sharing about how you're going to incorporate it every single day this school year. So that was just amazing. Thank you so much for being such an engaging audience. It was it was quite extraordinary. I also want to give a huge thank you to our five additional speakers. And they were Greg Santucci, who was talking about reframing behavior. Dr. Mani keen, who talked about mental health and school based OT Dr. Teresa Carroll, who was talking about post secondary objectives and transition planning, Dr. Susan Cahill, who talked all about evidence based practices and knowledge translation, and Emily das out who presented on developing and building up your fine motor toolkit. Again, each and every single one of them was fantastic. And we had just a great time learning and we're still putting together some resources for all of you that were in attendance, that's going to be awesome, but I cannot thank you enough, I cannot thank them enough. And I'm excited to kind of dive into this episode right now, where again, I'm going to I'm going to share one or two of my key takeaways from all six sessions. So let's go ahead and jump into our intro. And when we come back, we'll have some key takeaways that, like I said, won't be as much about handwriting. So if you're all about advocating for less handwriting, more other stuff, stay tuned. We're gonna dive all into it. 


Amazing Narrator   

Hello, and welcome to the OT schoolhouse podcast, your source for school based occupational therapy tips, interviews and professional development now to get the conversation started, here's your host, Jayson Davies, class is officially in session. 


Jayson Davies   

Alright, let's go ahead and get started talking about the key takeaway from each of our six sessions at the back to school conference. We're going to go through these session one, start with session one, work our way through session six. And yeah, so let's go ahead. Session One was presented by Greg Santucci as he presented, all about reframing behavior, and using a whole child approach to really do that. So my key takeaway here was, don't let quick sensory strategies replace getting to know the child and helping them to feel safe. Now, I guess I should preface all of this with this isn't exactly like exactly what was said maybe during his presentation. But it was still my key takeaway, once I listened and had a little bit of time to really think about that. And what really drove this home for me, was actually a post that I saw in a special education Facebook group, where a teacher was asking, Hey, I have this student who's kicking the desk every time he gets upset, what should I do? And as I read through a lot of the comments, the go to comment was use some sort of band around the chair or around the table that the student can kick. And you know, I have very little very limited, you know, information about this student, I don't know the student, it's not a student that I work with. But that was kind of the go to answer for most of the people, OTs and teachers that were commenting on this post. So I sat back thought to myself, Okay, what have I learned here in the last week that can help me respond to this. And I started to think, I don't know anything about this student, the student is kicking the desk when he or she is upset according to those posts. Let's take a step back here. I don't even know if this is a sensory processing thing. So why jump directly to that sensory processing of putting a sensory event there theraband, or whatever might be around the the chair legs. So I took a step back and I said, Okay, using using Greg Santucci as my frame, what would I do? And I think if I was in that situation, I would build a rapport first with that student, I would start to get to know that student to understand where they are coming from to understand the stressors in their life, if I can to understand some of the things that are just, you know, what, what is? Where does that student feel like they have strength, where does that student feel like things are difficult for them is whatever is happening when the student is kicking their desk is that happening at a certain time when the students expectations either for him or herself are high, when the teachers expectations for for the student are high? What is going on in this student's world, I'd really like to know how that student feels when they are kicking the desk. You know, kicking the desk for the teacher is an annoyance, it just it just rubs the classroom, it disrupts the other kid that disrupts the teacher and the assistants that may or may not be in the classroom. But for this student, what is disrupting his daily routine so much that he feels the only thing that he can do is kick the desk, right? Like we need to better understand that student. From there, I would want to understand the sensory preferences as well as the activity demands for the student. So taking that step back, and maybe even doing an evaluation to better understand the student's preferences both. When it comes to sensory as well as academics, then I'd really want to empower that student to let that student understand that they do have a role in their education, and that they do have options when it comes to what they can do in that certain situation. Even if it is something related to sensory, there are still options. And I want to give the student the opportunity to both experience with options to share how those are what it feels like to explore those options. And just understand that they have those options available to them not only when they're you know, with occupational therapist, but also when they're in the classroom. Once I do that part, I'd really want to kind of relay all that information to the teacher so that they have a better sense of the student. A lot of times teachers don't have the opportunity to work one on one with students for you know, the the time that we might be able to even though it's 30 minutes goes by really fast. That's 30 minutes that we might have a chance to work directly with a student that the teacher doesn't have that 30 minutes, undistracted with the students. So I'd want to kind of get that feedback from the student as well as the teacher and then kind of share a little bit from both sides with both of the bothstudent and the teacher and share where they're coming from a little bit, the more that we can build on that rapport that felt safety, that understanding that the student feels safe with the teacher, the teacher feels safe with a student. I do think that that does wonders. And Greg center, he did a wonderful job at, at sharing that felt safety and how important it is to feel safe. You know, we feel safe at school. And that allows us to do our job. Well, students need to feel safe at school so that they can also do their job of, you know, providing the best output that they can and to be focused on the teacher when the teacher is trying to provide instruction. All right, so boiling that all down into just kind of like one key takeaway is to build rapport with our students to better understand our students so that we can really just just get to know them, what their strengths are, what they feel that their areas of concern are, and empower them a little bit. You know, these kids when they feel like they are kicking the desk, maybe they're feeling like they have no control in their life. And the only control that they have is to kick that desk in that moment. And we need to help them feel like they have control of their life. And any way that we can do that, especially by building rapport with the student, and building the rapport between the teacher and the student. I really think that that can go a long way. So thank you, Greg, for kind of, you know, you presented for two hours, and a lot of that boil down to me just building that rapport and helping the children as well as the teachers to feel safe and comfortable with one another. All right, and that brings us to session number two that was presented by Dr. Mani keen, and she presented about mental health and school based occupational therapy. And Dr. monokini. Dr. Mani, she's been working on this presentation for a while now in her doctorate her capstone was kind of all about mental health. And she was doing this at a time when you know the pandemic was going on. And so she built up a lot of evidence in relationship to anxiety, depression, other mental health disorders related to the pandemic. Well, now the pandemic is over, we know that well mostly overwrite, there's still peaks, sometimes we get more news about more cases coming out, but we're definitely nowhere close to where we were a few years ago. That said, while the pandemic may be in the rearview mirror, it directly impacted the mental health of people worldwide. And it also brought to light other stressors in people's lives, that continue to be concerns for those that we work with. The pandemic didn't necessarily cause everyone to all of a sudden have anxiety and depression. But it really brought to light, just everything that was going on in our world, our worlds got flipped upside down. And it really caused us to think about what was going on. It caused teenagers to have to flip around everything that they knew about schools, same thing with teachers and administrators. And we're still having to deal with the ramifications of all of that. For instance, Dr. Mani revealed that anxiety and depression rates are still increased compared to those rates before the pandemic, right. So we are definitely seeing this mental health crisis going on around the world. She shared some stats from Japan from all over the world, just to kind of show that this isn't just a US problem, this is a worldwide problem. So what can we as occupational therapy practitioners working in the schools do about that? Well, we can keep an eye out, right, we can keep an eye for struggling students and provide coping strategies to not only the students, but also potentially the teachers. And this was like a perfect follow up to Greg send to cheese presentation. We didn't plan it that way. But it just worked out because we were talking about behavior. And then we were talking about mental health. And those two are just so correlated, that it just worked out. So well. And Dr. Mani continued on to talk about what we can do at various levels, at the district level, at the school site level at the classroom level, even down to small groups and individuals. And what we can do at the individual level we can mostly do at that higher school site or district level is just a different way of coming to think about it right? The same way that you might do a yoga strategy or a mindful activity with a single student in a one to one session. You can use those same strategies, but incorporate them at a larger scale for an entire school site, or maybe the entire first grade classrooms, or maybe even the entire district. It takes some rethinking you have to kind of put together that program put together the train, whether it might be videos or whether it might be an in service or something but you can do that. So yoga mindfulness, those were a few ideas as we're physical activities, facilitating social participation, implementing a social emotional learning curriculum, providing environmental modifications, and then the one that just like, keyed in for me, partially because it was directly after Greg sent to cheese presentation, creating safe environments. That is what I think all of it boils down to is creating safe environments. You implement yoga, because you're trying to create that safe environment, you implement mindfulness, because you're trying to create that safe environment, physical activities to create that safe environment. We want children to feel safe with teachers, with their peers, with a specialist with everyone, so that they can focus on what's important while they're at school. So one more time, before we move on to our third session, I just want to say thank you, Dr. Mani for coming on and sharing with us some of those stats, as well as all the different things that we can do to support the mental health of our students and also our colleagues and teachers that we work with. All right, Session Three, this might have been the session that I was most excited for at the back to school conference, like don't get me wrong, I knew that every presenter would just be absolutely awesome and bring their piece of knowledge to the table to make this just an amazing conference. But for personal reasons that I really appreciate working with that young adult population. I was super excited for this session from Dr. Teresa Carroll. And Dr. Carroll presented on post secondary outcomes and transition planning, which I don't know if you have worked at a high school, hopefully you have figured out how to get on that transition team. If you work at a middle school, hopefully they have a transition team. And after you hear what I'm about to say, if you're working in the elementary schools, hopefully you will do something to develop a transition team, or at least take what we're going to talk about right now and start to use it in your IEP as in your therapy sessions and just run with it because there is a huge gap between the employment rate of individuals without disabilities compared to those with disabilities. Here are the numbers. Dr. Carroll shared with us that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2023, so very recent 65.4% of people without disabilities are employed beyond high school. Compare that to only 21.3% of people with disabilities are employed to be on high school. That's a 44% gap. Like that's not funny, that is just flat out ridiculous. And something that needs to be addressed. And the whole point of public education, education in general, is to basically get people to a point where they can be employed to where they can have a job to where they can live independently off an income that they have from a job. And so that number shows that not only are we failing for 35% of the population that doesn't have disabilities, but we're failing for nearly 80% of the population that does have a disability. let that soak in for a moment. Because here we are right now talking about transition planning. And this is going to bring me to my key right here. But we need to be involved in transition planning. We joke about how occupational therapists don't help people find jobs. Well, in this case we do. Maybe we're not helping them directly go out and find a job. But we are helping them to, to develop those skills to put in place systems routines, and all those things that we talked about in the OTPs to help them eventually have a job so that they can live a meaningful life that hopefully is to the best that it can be independent for them and happy and just meaningful for them. So while that stat is very important, very telling, it is not my key takeaway. My key takeaway here, and this comes directly from Dr. Carroll is that transition planning that needs to start long before a child turns 16. Ida stipulates that any child with an IEP at the age of 16 needs to have a transition plan in place. Some states have gone even further than that, and have turned that age from 16 to 14 to start a little bit earlier. However, based upon that data, and based upon what Dr. Carroll shared in her presentation, we needed to be starting even earlier than that. So how can we do that? What can occupational therapy practitioners working in the schools do? Well, first and foremost, we can seek out the transition teams. We can ask if we can be a part of the team and share with them how we can be a part of that team and what value we can bring to that team. We can also ask the tough questions when we're in IEPs. We can ask the teacher and the parents or the administrators to think beyond this year for the student that we're working with. Ask them, you know, where do you see your child? 10 years from now? 15 years from now? What would you like to see them doing after high school? Do you see them going to a junior college, a four year college? Do you see them getting a job? How can we start to support them now, as opposed to waiting till they're 16? To think about some of those things that, that students in general education are starting to think about college or whatnot? How can we start earlier, Dr. Carol had a slide that she kept referring back to those based on research. And what it showed was about 20 different things that are the top predictors of post school success. And some of those things that were on there were exactly what occupational therapy can support, just to list a few of them. Some of the top predictors of post school success include the student's ability to set goals, the student self care skills, the student's ability to use technology, whether or not the student was included in general education, the student having awareness about their career and the future of their career, parent involvement and expectations, as well as inter agency collaboration. Now, those first three that I listed are, so we just kind of know those inclusion, we know it, but we don't necessarily always have a role in facilitating inclusion. And the last few that I mentioned, you know, having awareness about the career, parent involvement, inter agency collaboration, those aren't exactly things that we think about, but they are absolutely things that we can have a hand in, right, we can come to the table at the IEP and ask questions. Even if we're not the one to implement it, we can ask the tough questions like, What is the plan for a student when they graduate? Do you know about any regional centers or other outside agencies that can support your student beyond high school? What involvement will you have in your student's life after high school? These are types of questions that just don't get asked. And if they don't get asked, then they get forgotten or not thought about. And so we need to start early, we need to ask the tough questions. And we need to think long term. I know for an IEP, every goal that we list is for one year from now. But when we understand the student's long term goal and the parents long term goal for the student, then we can start to backward chain, right? If we know that the student wants to work with animals, for instance, 10 years from now, we can start to idealize how we can work from here to get the student to working with animals. So we can start to implement goals that maybe a veteran or a zookeeper or something that might need those, those skills that they might need so that when a student does graduate from high school, or get a certificate of completion, or whatever it might be there ready to take that next step. So in summary, start early, get the parents involved, understand, you know, where they'll be involved, understand their expectations, help the student to have awareness about their career, and help them with the with the skills that they will eventually need for their post high school life. So Dr. Carroll, thank you so much for coming in to the back to school conference and presenting. You know, I really think that you challenged all of us, you challenged our traditional thoughts on transition planning on the ages that are associated with transition planning, and how we can start to see or maybe not see, but look out and project out to the future to support our students today, even if that's still in elementary school. So thank you so much. All right, we are halfway through those first three sessions and those first three lessons or takeaways that I had all came from the first day at the back to school conference. And again, that was from three presentations. The first one being from Greg Santucci, talking about reframing behavior. The second being from Dr. Mani keen talking about mental health and the third from Dr. Carroll about post secondary outcomes and transition planning. So now we're going to move to the second half of my six takeaways starting with Dr. Susan Cahill's presentation on evidence based practices and knowledge translation. Dr. Cahill joined us at the back to school conference in her role as a OTAs, Director of evidence based practice. And she came to share with us just what to look for in evidence and also how to use that evidence to put into practice. She really focused in on one particular article which she co wrote titled occupational therapy practice guidelines for children and youth ages five through 21 years. And this was a systematic review that her and her co author completed to Look at all the evidence revolving around occupational therapy working with that population, children and youth ages five through 21. 



The resources and research that she shared about best practices for this age group youth five to 21, was just absolutely fantastic. There was like six straight slides that she had, that broke down the research based on several different areas from self care to attention to even handwriting as you might expect. And there was one particular point from one of her slides that I just wanted to share with you. And it read activities, focus on isolated performance components may help something but not legibility. And she went on to share you know, how the best practices for handwriting are more of those evidence based programs that really focus on handwriting itself, the occupation of handwriting, and she clarified, you know, it's one thing to use some of those components skills for the warm up activities for handwriting, but simply focusing on those activity components will not result in handwriting improvements. So that was a fun little tidbit, especially for school based occupational therapy. But really, the key points here from Dr. Cahill in this presentation is that there's more to occupational therapy evidence than just the research, right? Evidence Based Practice is more than just reading articles and implementing exactly what an article says, To be an evidence based practitioner, we need to read the articles. But we also need to consider our expertise as an occupational therapy practitioner, as well as the client factors, their their preferences, their difficulties, what they want out of life. And we can't just rely on those research articles. And the other key point here is that while there is a ton of literature out there on occupational therapy, and working with kids, whether they're in school or clinic based, 



there is always going to need to be more research. And you will never find exactly the right program that you were looking for, shouldn't say never. But it's often that you can't find I should say, the research that you are really looking for. Research is designed to be very specific, so that it can be measured. And sometimes that specificity of research doesn't necessarily make it apply to exactly what you need. And that's why you need to take into account your expertise as well as the client. The other thing that we can do when we can't find a research article, that's exactly what we need, such as, you know, will weighted vest work, you know, some research out there says yes, some says no, well, what can we do, we can create our own evidence, based upon the literature that we have taken or that we have read up on weighted vest, per se, we can make an educated guess on what will work and we can implement that program with a student. But we cannot end there, we have to continue on, we have to take data on whether or not that weighted vest is working for the student, or that pressure vest is working for the student. There's that saying, you know if it works for one person, it works for one person. And when it comes to research, that's absolutely true, so long as we can show that it is working for that one person. So if you're going to implement something, such as a way to best take data on it, don't just say, hey, here's a way to do this, I'll come back in a year. And we'll update things, you won't know what to update because you haven't been taking data on it. So if you need to use this in practice, say you're giving a weighted vest to a teacher say hey, I want to try this way. Today as I used it in my one on one session, it did wonder to degrade here's the data. But if we want to continue using it in the classroom, we're going to need to take some data to determine if it's actually working in the classroom. From there, you can start to develop data, you can start to create your own evidence very specific to this one student. And this one program of using a weighted vest that is then research that you can present at that student's IEP. Thank you Dr. Cahill so much. It was a pleasure learning from you. And I know every single person that showed up that day, and as watching the replay, I really appreciated what you brought from a OTA as yourself to this presentation. I know I just renewed my A OTA membership because I found out that it was it had expired. Apparently I didn't have it on auto renew. So I just re upped and I'm just so glad that you're able to come and spend a Sunday morning with us really appreciate it. It was great learning from you. All right, that now brings us to Session Five, which was my session on implementing a tiered intervention program within your own schools. And I gave this program obviously it's a two hour talk or whatnot. And I'm just going to kind of share what I took away from my talk. After I had some conversations with others after my talk. And this is actually really important because I think it shows that RTI MTSS tiered intervention models and methods don't look the same everywhere. And here's an example, which is also kind of my takeaway. When I teach or when I share about the three level MTSS program, I have tier one, which I think most people understand, which is an intervention or support that supports every single person on campus, every single person may be in a particular grade level or even an entire district. So something like an in service is a tier one strategy. Something like meeting for a professional learning community with a first grade team would be a tier one strategy if you're just providing general support for them. Tier Two is when you get a little bit more specific. And at tier two, you're talking about a classroom group that needs a little bit more support, or maybe a smaller group within a classroom that needs support. So if you're providing like centers in the kindergarten classroom to a particular group of kids in the kindergarten classroom, who have been identified by the teacher or through a screening that need a little bit more support, that would be tier two, within the field of occupational therapy, more particularly school based occupational therapy. tier one and tier two have been researched. We've seen research related to handwriting programs, social emotional programs, all about fitting into a tier one or tier two system. But what we haven't seen is tier three systems, especially again, within occupational therapy. And so it has been hard to define what tier three looks like. With regards to occupational therapy, I gave an example of what tier three would look like in my programs that I've run. And that primarily is more of a child specific consultation or collaboration with a team of educators so that way, because I haven't evaluated the student, I won't provide direct services. However, I can still provide accommodations and supports that the teacher can implement that is geared toward one specific student from a consultative point of view. That said, we had some conversations around this at the conference. And one particular therapist was saying, well, they actually do a small evaluation as it leads up to tier three. And therefore they can do those direct type of services at that tier three. But before the student necessarily needs special education, unfortunately, in most states, occupational therapy can not be a standalone service. And so the need for an IEP in order to get OT can actually limit a lot of students from getting a T. Versus if you use this type of model, tiered intervention model with tiers one, two, and three, a student could potentially receive services at tier three without having an IEP. So that was the main takeaway. I know what I just said. It's a lot. This isn't, this isn't. The purpose of this conversation right here isn't to dive into tier one, two and three, like super deep, but it's to show that, especially at tier three things can look different. Right? Every district needs to fit the tiered intervention programs into their district in a way that makes sense for them. You know, when you're implementing a program, you need to take into account all the micro and the macro factors, such as what is allowed within your state even right, some states need a prescription in order to see a student in other states occupational therapy practitioners do not need a prescription to see yesterday, because if you need a prescription, well, then you might need a diagnosis per se. So again, you need to kind of take into account your system, your district, your schools, your state to find the program that will work for you. And that brings us to our final session and my final key takeaway from Emily das house presentation on building your fine motor toolbox. And my biggest takeaway from Emily's presentation, it's kind of a reminder is just that fine motor skills are not always as simple as what they appear to be. And we take for granted our knowledge and fine motor. And a lot of people out there teachers, parents, everyone that we work with, they say oh, you're working on fine motor skills, you're just working on the hands and making sure that the hands can, you know, adapt to a pencil and adapt to scissors, use pencils, use scissors use all the tools that a student might use in school. And while that is correct, what they don't see and what we know but sometimes forget from time to time is that there are so many other aspects to fine motor skills, right like the brain connecting to the hands. It's just one part of it sensory processing is another part of it with a tactile, and the visual system working together and your motor coordination working with tactile vision, proprioception, vestibular, all those working together to make those little fine motor actions actually possible, not to mention praxis, self regulation, social emotional skills that can take into account. So there's so much more to fine motor than just fine motor. I'm pretty sure Emily provided over 100 Different fine motor activities in this presentation. And within the very active chat, another 50 or so we're probably shared between, you know, the 150 people that were attending live, it was just quite an event and there was so much good stuff shared. But one of the activities that she shared just kept coming back up, whether it's in the chat, or she brought it up a little bit later. Again, it was just one of those things that kept coming back up. And what it was, was the airplane closed in. And the airplane closed pin was a tongue depressor glued to a closed pen. To create the wings of the clothes, Ben, I just realized I'm talking about this as my son is watching planes right now. And he's absolutely going to love when I make him a clothes pin airplane. But no, this was a great tool. If you can imagine the clothes pin with a tongue depressor one of the fat popsicle sticks kind of glued on top, but kind of perpendicular to the clothes pinned to kind of give it wings. And what Emily shared was, you know, this is a great way to work on some of that thumb opposition and manifesting the arches within the hand and opening up that web space while using a pincer grasp. This tongue depressor that's glued onto the closed pan allows the student more space to put all of their fingers to use with the close bend, if that makes sense. It's hard to kind of describe. But if you imagine putting all four of your fingers except for your thumb on top of the tongue depressor, which is the wings and then your thumb would go on the bottom of the closed pen. And that would be the way that you could open the closed pen. And this was just one of the many great activities that she shared that we can use to focus on fine motor skills. And I really have to give her all the props in the world, her presentation literally had over 100 different ways that you can work on fine motor skills within the schools. And it was quite fantastic not only because there are just so many, but also because they were relatively easy. They weren't expensive things that you can do. They're things that you can find at the dollar store and like clothespins and tongue depressors, which was quite amazing. So, Emily, thank you so much for attending and sharing with us all those ways that we can work on fine motor skills. Okay, that is going to wrap up this episode of the OTs schoolhouse Podcast, episode 132. Again, I want to just say a huge thank you to every single person who attended the back to school Conference this past August, and thank you to all of our presenters, we have had five amazing guest presenters who just blew me away time after time again with what they shared what they advocated for. And I just know that everyone who attended the better school conference is going to have a wonderful skilled school year, as they implement everything that they learned. And you know, everyone who is a part of the vet school conference who registered for it, they're getting access to all these replays until the end of December along with our community. And I can't wait to check back in with them, you know, maybe a little bit later in October, November and December to see what they've incorporated what they took from the presentation, and now are using with their students to help them facilitate their ability to participate in the educational experience. So I'm looking forward to that. And yeah, one more time. Thank you so much. If you attend to the back to school conference, I hope this gave you a little refresher of what of what we all took away together from that opportunity. And if you weren't able to join us this year. Yeah, I hope this still helped you. Right, we went over six key takeaways, and I hope those help you in this school year. Who knows maybe you can attend with us in 2024 for the next the fourth iteration of the back to school conference. All right. Well, that's gonna wrap up today. Thank you so much. I appreciate you being a part of the OT school house family. Take care, have a great day. And don't forget you are a big part of helping your students succeed. So keep doing what you're doing. Stay awesome. And we'll see you next time. Bye. Bye. 


Amazing Narrator   

Thank you for listening to the OT schoolhouse podcast. For more ways to help you and your students succeed right now. Head on over to OT Until next time, class is dismissed. 

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Ep 132 - back to school conference 2023 recap reflection
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