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OTSH 78: Writing Easier With the Legiliner With Polly Benson, OTR/L




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Welcome to the show notes for Episode 78 of the OT School House Podcast.


Today we are talking with school-based OT and creator of the popular LegiLiner tool, Polly Benson, OTR/L.


After years of drawing lines on paper for kids and trying to convince teachers to do the same for kids in classrooms, Polly took action in her own hands to create the LegiLiner tool back in 2019.


With more than a dozen varied rolling stamps that instantly create lines for kids to write on, Polly is changing how teachers and therapists adapt writing assignments one classroom at a time.


Be sure to check out this episode to hear the story of how the Legiliner came to be and how it may help you and the kids you serve!



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Episode Transcript

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Amazing Narrator

Hello and welcome to the OT School House podcast, your source for school-based occupational therapy tips, interviews, and professional development. Now to get the conversation started, here is your host, Jayson Davies. Class is officially in session.


Jayson Davies

Hey everyone, and welcome to the OT School House podcast. My name is Jayson Davies, and I'm so happy to have you here today. Today we have a very special occupational therapy guest. She is a school-based OT and she's also an entrepreneur. And she has used much of what she learned as a school-based OT to create her own product. Many of you have probably already heard of the Legiliner. Well, today we're going to talk with Polly Benson, who is the creator of the Legiliner. She's only been doing this for about two years. But as you have probably seen, it is just an amazing product. And she is selling out of them. They are so great. They help you to create lines on paper in a fraction of the time that you could with a ruler and a pencil as she talks about in just a little bit. So without any further ado, we're just going to jump right into it. Here is Polly Benson of the Legiliner. Hey, Polly, welcome to the OT School House podcast. How are you doing today?


Polly Benson

I'm good. Thank you for having me.


Jayson Davies

Yeah, thank you so much for coming on. We actually met not too long ago at a St. Augustine entrepreneur, well it wasn't an entrepreneur class but in an AT class, if I remember right, is that correct?


Polly Benson

I've done both. So it could be either one but a grouping of OTs and businesses to talk to students about how they got started on the entrepreneur side.


Jayson Davies

Yes. And actually Joe friendly, of friendly shoes was in there with us. And he's gonna be on a podcast episode with me as well. So great, great opportunity to meet new people, new occupational therapy entrepreneurs. It's fun to do that.


Polly Benson

Yes, for sure. Yeah.


Jayson Davies

So let's go ahead and get started with a little bit about you. Would you mind sharing with us a little bit about your career as an occupational therapist?


Polly Benson

Okay, sure. So I have been practicing for over 30 years now. I went to Ohio State University. And I started off and work hardening work conditioning, kind of moved into some home health when my kids were born. And then eventually I did some inpatient rehab. And then most recently, the past 15 years I've been in school-based OT.


Jayson Davies

Awesome. You know, I want to ask you a question, because I don't think work hardening and work conditioning is really a term that's used that much right now. And...


Polly Benson

Yeah


Jayson Davies

Like, I don't hear OTs being in that role. So what was that like?


Polly Benson

So that was where I worked in a clinic. And we had clients that had been hurt on the job. And we helped to rehab them back to their job. So a lot of what I did in that job was job simulation, and trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between "Okay, this person's in rehab, and they're rehabbing their arm injury or leg injury or back injury, and then they have to go back to the job." And you can't just jump right back into eight hours of work. A lot of what we had was like a truck driver, and you can't just go sit in a truck for eight hours and not expect to be hurting. So we would work on two hours a day with these clients that would come in five days a week, and then we bump it up to four hours a day. And then we did lunch breaks, and we get them out to about six hours. And then they were discharged from our program.


Jayson Davies

Oh, wow. Talk about an occupation base. Like that's exactly what we do. Awesome. Love it.


Polly Benson

It was so fun and being creative because I had to problem solve, how can I, you know, replicate driving and holding your arms up on a steering wheel or the bounce of the impact of a chair or, you know, sometimes we would have a forklift driver. Well, that's extremely hard to replicate. But I could get to a local company and work out a deal where we actually borrowed a forklift, and he would drive it in our back parking lot, you know, and we got some empty crates the skids. And he would move them from one end to the other. So just like where you're moving weights, and you're working on carrying milk crates and helping these clients to become stronger. We did it with big equipment, too. We just had an opportunity to be creative and problem solve and something I've always enjoyed.


Jayson Davies

Wow, that sounds really, really fun.


Polly Benson

Yeah,


Jayson Davies

it just reminds me of the last physical attitude before getting my last job. I had to go win and they had to, I had to lift up like a 50 pound.


Polly Benson

Uh-huh.


Jayson Davies

I don't know the cart. I was like, Why do I have to do this, but whatever. I guess we work with kids, and they want to make sure that we're not going to hurt ourselves if we pick up. I don't know how old How old is the kid before they go over 50 pounds in second grade, maybe? I don't know. Very true. Very true. So that was kind of where you started, but obviously, you did end up in the schools. Tell us a little bit about your school-based OT career. Maybe some of your preferred parts of it. And maybe some of the difficult times?


Polly Benson

Well, initially, I wanted to get into the school system because I had young children. So I wanted to, you know, pursue having a similar schedule, similar days off, similar vacation schedules, things like that. And so I had a company I had been working outpatient OT and what I was doing for them was actually functional capacity evaluations. And sometimes I would go to the job site and help to modify a job site like if someone had a computer workstation, I might recommend equipment for them. So within that same company, I would like to start doing some schools. And she had a couple of school contracts that were coming open with a severe to profound school. So a lot of people in school-based OT are in regular, typical type settings. So this was a specific school for severe to profound kids. So my first experience, in fact, my first day on the job was quite eventful, because we had a student with self-injurious behaviors, a helmet, and was like punching himself to the point of blood. And it was scary, but yet so interesting to me at the same time, and I just learned how to do the IEP process. And I learned, you know, how we can incorporate functional activities into a school day and the function of being a student. And how do you work with a special needs student that, you know, needs to learn how to write, but then also needs to know how to drink and eat. There are other students that it was behavior and skills and social skills. And so it just really was a fun transition to move from adults to pediatrics, and really see a whole different side of therapy.


Jayson Davies

Wow, yeah, that's very different from work hardening and working with adults to move into


Polly Benson

Yes


Jayson Davies

Severe population with students who have a lot of needs.


Polly Benson

Right?


Jayson Davies

That's a big change.


Polly Benson

Yeah.


Jayson Davies

So were you at that school? Are you still at school...


Polly Benson

Yeah, no, that school is in Ohio, and I was there about five years, and then I transferred to Atlanta, Georgia. And so when I came to Atlanta, Georgia, I applied at the school that my son goes to, and they had a contract agency. And so when I interviewed and got the job when I started working with I was placed at a school where I was going to work with a therapist, and I said, Well, I'll take all your severe kids and your, you know, EBD classrooms, and she was like, Oh, my gosh, how that is, you know, she didn't have a lot of experience with it, it kind of scared her. But I was coming into a school system with a lot of experience and how to deal with those severe behaviors. So that's kind of how I got my initiation in my current job where I was working with students that were severe. And then as the little guys kind of scared me, I learned my way into the little pre-K. And how do I do with these typical children who, you know, it's one thing when an adult child or an older child doesn't listen. But with the little children, they're still learning how to listen, right, and they're still learning how to follow directions. And so that was quite an interesting transition. And the way that I moved into that job, too, but of course, eventually fell in love with so many of these sweet, sweet children, and whether they had autism or Down syndrome, or whatever their issue was, I just really found, found my place there with the kids.

.

Jayson Davies

Gotcha. All right. So in that school-based realm, was there anything that you've just truly felt? Was it the difficult part of the job? Was it maybe the IEP is all the paperwork? Was there a specific population? Was there something that was just always a struggle for you? at all?


Polly Benson

I guess Initially, it was more of dealing with the rules and regulations on what you could do in a school-based setting versus what was typical of a medical-based setting. So even though I had a lot of medical background, I had a lot of rehab experience. And then even though I was in school, at in Columbus, that was a severe profound school, there were still a lot of medical issues. So it was still somewhat of a medical model was okay, because they were very much like, do whatever you can with these kids, we're just here to help them. So when I moved to Georgia, and it was very much it has to be in the IEP, and it has to be school-based and we can't overlap with the medical outpatient therapist. So that was probably the most challenging thing initially, as time went on, then it was more about you know, communicating with parents. So that's trying to get them to carry through and follow through on what we were doing in the classroom. So but I always enjoyed the kids. I had great teachers. I was fortunate every now and then, you know Try to get something implemented. And it may take a while for people to buy on, you know, with your theory, but eventually, they could see where OT was definitely helping students.


Jayson Davies

All right, perfect. No, I couldn't agree more with that. And, and I think all occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants right now, I think if there's one takeaway from the past year in the pandemic, and whether you were doing treatments online for two weeks, two months, or the entire past 16 months, we have had so much more communication with the parents. And I think that's something that a lot of OTs have taken away is that they've been able to communicate with those parents and see that, that overlap and see them carry over things that they teach them, and then come back a week later. And they say, they tell us like, yeah, we actually use that tool, like every day for the past week, and you're kind of excited. So...


Polly Benson

Yeah, definitely. For sure. Yeah.


Jayson Davies

All right. So I'm gonna ask you one more question before we jump into the Legiliner. And that is, what were some of the tools that you used before you had a Legiliner to help kids with handwriting.


Polly Benson

Okay, so yeah, we... I tended to take a typical approach where, you know, we did handwriting on paper, we did color pencil, you know, we're trying to motivate these kids to enjoy writing. So I would have all sorts of different sizes of paper and thicknesses of paper and paper with yellow lines, paper with raised lines, we try to incorporate coloring and cutting, gluing, you know, fine motor skills, some type of warm-up with putty, or building Legos, and then fine motor manipulation. So, you know, as far as handwriting, and worked a lot on grasp, and fine motor skills and my tools were limited to worksheets or papers that I had in the classroom. And I found that when I would send that student back to the classroom, that they ended up, not always carrying fruit. So that was where I first had some challenges. And in the handwriting is carrying over into the classroom. And the student might have had a workbook like science or social studies workbook, and they had a box that was like, Yay big, where you had to write sentences. And they would write one or two words, and they ran out of room. So hand drawing lines for them asking the teacher to draw lines, or I would give them extra paper like this paper is working really well in our classroom? Would you please have them answer these questions on this paper? And then we could see that the student would have that practice in the carryover. But what we didn't see was good organization skills. So a lot of the kids would lose their papers. And, you know, we tried, we even did things like dictating or copying, you know, you dictate into a phone, and then you copy that on paper and email that to the teacher, you know, things like that. So just a lot of challenges with getting that carry over into the classroom.


Jayson Davies

Absolutely. I think every occupational therapist is nodding their head with you right now, because we've all experienced that, you know, you talked about that box, and you know, teaching both the kid and the teacher hey, can the kid just put like a number one in that box? And then on a separate piece of paper, right, number one, and what goes in that box or something like that? Yeah. But then you do have that, that organizational difficulties. And the two papers get split up, and they’ve never seen each again together? or whatever it might be. So yeah, definitely. And I'm the same way. I've always tried to work with the teachers. And I would always tell them, you know, at least add lines into those boxes, you know, especially with what do they call them, like the big bubbles, there's like a story bubble, right? You have one idea in the middle, and then you have paragraph number one in this bubble, paragraph number two in this bubble, right?


Polly Benson

Graphic organizers


Jayson Davies

Yes, there we go. Graphic organizers and they never have lines. Never right. Man. So with that, go ahead. That's the perfect segway. Go ahead and tell us a little bit about the Legiliner.


Polly Benson 14:07

Yeah, so one day, I was just thinking, you know, we just, we were hand drawing lines. So I was trying to draw with a ruler, a solid line, a dashed line. And a solid line. A solid line with a ruler is not that hard to draw, but a dashed line to draw it quickly, where it's not too big, or it doesn't make you know, the student can actually use it as a handwriting line. And then the next line I would draw and the space between the middle line and the baseline or the middle line, the top line was different, you know, and or be crooked or whatever. And so it just was such a hassle and I did a lot of crafting when my kids were little and there was a stamp called a roll a graph where you rolled a stamp line like pizza. So I have one here to show you. I know you can't see this on the podcast, but the roller would print patterns across the paper and it was really fast and I thought, Why couldn't I get a roller made with handwriting lines. So instead of a Paisley, or Instead, it was always a repeating pattern instead of Florida’s leg, let's do handwriting. So I contacted a company that did custom roller graphs. And I had a roller graph made with a running line. And it was not cheap. It was like $30 plus shipping. And so, but I had one and I knew that it was just what I wanted. And so I started taking that into the classroom. And it's a self-inking stamp. And so I would just roll out some papers really quick on that graphic organizer, and I had people's like teacher's jaws dropping, like, Where can I get one of those? And my intent initially was just for myself, it wasn't really to sell them. And I'm like, Well, I can't really sell something that's $30. And market, what market up to 60? I mean, that just wasn't in the works, right? So I just kept using it and saying, well, it was a custom one I had made. And so a lot of great feedback. And a lot of people said you should patent that. And like well, I can't patent role graph, sorry, patented. But, you know, maybe I should design something that is similar, that would be a self-inking rolling stamp to drawing and writing lines. And so I went down the process of applying for a patent, and I got a provisional patent. And then I had a year to come up with the design and figure out how I was going to manufacture something when I had no business experience at all. So that was quite a year that I learned so much in that year on how to move from a patent-pending prototype to an actual product.


Jayson Davies

Absolutely. That's amazing. And yeah, I know none of you listening can see the item right now. But be sure to check out the social media pages for OT School House, probably even Legiliner, and you'll probably see the original version. And we'll actually put up a picture with the comparison between the original and the current version. So it's a good comparison to see. Alright, so you actually went through a lot of that pretty quickly, I'm going to have you break it down a little bit more. And I want to ask you, do you remember a particular moment or maybe even a particular conversation that you had with maybe someone you're working with your husband, whatever it might be that you just knew you had to create this item?


Polly Benson

Yeah, I guess, you know, there was enough feedback from teachers and OTs that I just knew that it was something that I want, I finally decided I want to do this before someone else does. And so as I went down the process of figuring out how to get something made, I had a prototype in my head and trying to get it on paper, I could not believe that this did not exist anywhere. And so I ended up researching and found on the internet, a security stamp. And it was a rolling ink stamp that drew out patterns to blackout people's names and addresses and account numbers and things like that. And I was like, that was more of the size I was looking for. And it was more of the style is pretty much exactly what I wanted. But I needed to figure out now how do I get a custom one made. And so that spun off a lot of samples that I ordered and looked at and decided I wanted something high quality, I didn't want it to fall apart. I didn't want the cheapest thing out there. But I knew I was going to touch my name to do it. So I came across these security stamps and ordered some. And in order to get my own pattern. All of a sudden the cost was you had to get 1000 minimum. And so that was a big like moment where I was like, Okay, this is a commitment now and do I want to order 1000 in a custom pattern and told my husband I said I'm I want to do this, and I got this patent pending. And you know, all of that could kind of happen behind the scenes. I didn't tell until after I paid for the patent that I was working on a patent are you talking about? So I kind of jumped the bullet on that one a little bit. But anyway, so he said to me, okay, hold on, hold on. I don't know if this is going to be successful. But he said if you can sell 100 presales, like if you can talk to your friends and teachers and whoever you know and sell 100 then that'll give us some seed money and get some feedback. And then I'll let you order them. So that's kind of where we started and I created a website and I put it out there and there's actually a group I think you and I are both a member of on Facebook, OT-PT school-based OT group, and put it on there. And just had a couple of friends buy it up until that point, and then all of a sudden that day, like it was like Ding, ding, ding, and I was having these sales and I'm like, Okay, this and my husband's like, okay, that might work. I think we're good. So, you know, we'll let you move forward. So I ordered my first 1000. And the pre-sales were still kicking in. So it's kind of like a Kickstarter, but I did it on my own. And then after I'd sold, I forget how many exactly, but I was like, Okay, I really want resizes. I don't think as an OT, I work with so many children that one size does not fit all. And so that's why immediately before I even had my first shipment, I ordered sizes two and three with that seed money. And so we had all, all of them come at one time, so and that also saved on shipping. There's a big difference between shipping locally and internationally versus having freight. That was a whole new world to explore as different freights and freight prices and bigger shipments. So yeah, yeah, like the learning process.


Jayson Davies

That all scares me a little bit. And that's why all of my products are completely digital, still.


Polly Benson

You have to use your sensory calming, and you take one breath at a time and one step at a time. And that's what I did. I was like, okay, what's the next thing? And okay, I find a new term that I had to find the definition for. So, okay, what's this mean? And I contacted somebody else that I knew did shipping, and I'm like, okay, explain the difference between freight on board. And, you know, what's the less than truckload and you know, I had no idea what these terms were. And now I'm helping other people to understand all that.


Jayson Davies

Wow, well, congratulations. And wait. I remember all of that happening on the Facebook group. Obviously, I didn't know you back then I didn't know all the behind-the-scenes going. I kind of figured you were doing something like this. Because obviously, you weren't just going to order 5000 pieces without having anyone ready to order one. But I remember that happening. I remember the Facebook group. And I remember it quickly. I mean, everyone was very quick, like, Oh, my gosh, this is amazing. I want one. I remember going to the website and seeing it sold out. I mean, I got lucky, my district was able to get me a few. I don't know how they got them. But they got me relatively quickly. But yeah, that's, that's awesome.


Polly Benson

We started in May of 2019. And then I ordered in June, and they came in July. And it was about October that then I went down the path of how do I list something on Amazon. And there was a lot more to it. Because I'm my own brand. It wasn't like I was listing a product that already existed. So I had to learn how to get barcodes. And I had to learn how to put barcodes on the packaging. And I had to learn how to package it to ship it to Amazon and do amazon prime. So we didn't end up doing Amazon Prime until 2020. But in January of 2020 is when I sold out. So some people got a hold of the Amazon listing and shared it and it started to just share like crazy. And within I think it was a day and a half, I had about 4000 orders. And I did not have 4000 stamps. So that was that that was a really fun day. It was right the day before my birthday and kind of ended on my birthday. And it was like wow, happy birthday to me, this is definitely going to be something that's going somewhere so


Jayson Davies

Awesome.


Polly Benson

That added some validity to it as well.


Jayson Davies

Yeah, I bet. So you've given us a little insight into the experience of just being the owner of this item and selling it to people. Do you recall maybe a specific reaction from a teacher or from a kid even that first time that you showed it to them? Like what was the first time that maybe a student? You rolled it out as soon as like, I don't know, what experiences have you seen that just kind of made you feel really good as an OT the develop this, this product for a kid?


Polly Benson

Yeah, I mean, I would say the feedback. 99% positive. I mean, I've had, like, teachers say, thank you so much. This is awesome. I've had students enjoy drawing their own lines. But I think in relation to your question, you know when I've had students working with the Legiliners and progressing through so I have 13 different patterns now and to be able to see them move on to a new size, they get very excited about that. And they're like, are we gonna draw those legilines? Can we draw legilines today? And so asking questions like that has been very rewarding. Having friends that I don't even know have that I bought one for my niece or my guy like I just put it on my personal page and to hear people say that running into other people in Facebook groups. And I might recommend the legiliner and a coupon. And they're like, Oh my gosh, you're the owner. I'm like, yeah, and so they're flora that I'm just like you and I am in this group, and I am sharing ideas. And I am hopefully helping you, and you're helping me. And I started as an ambassador program and working with people that just want to share the legiliner because it has helped them and their students and for no other reason. But just to help and to get the word out there. And so we're continuing to grow. We're hoping someday to be on Shark Tank we have applied. So fingers crossed, that's one place, we need to scale, we need to get the word out, and we're still growing. So you can say to me, you knew me when? Right?


Jayson Davies

Absolutely. You need to send in a podcast to them to get some credit, you know where to? Right. Alright, so I was browsing your website a little bit earlier. And I saw that you guys have a mission on there. And I wanted to ask you a little bit if you could share your mission for the legiliner with everyone listening.


Polly Benson

Yeah, so you know, it started off. As you know, I really wanted to help kids to have a tool that they wouldn't be embarrassed about. So pulling out a big piece of adaptive line paper, could be embarrassing for a student like they're in third, fourth, they're in later grades, and they're still working on handwriting. And so that can be an embarrassment and trying to give the teacher a tool that she could quickly draw some lines, where he wouldn't really be different, he could still work in the workbook, or he could still work on the same worksheets, we didn't have to adapt too much and give them extra paper. So the idea initially was also to empower the student to have a love for handwriting, but to empower the teachers, so that they could just be able to have a tool that could quickly draw lines for any student that needed. So you know, with UDL, Universal Design for living, it's all about grading accommodations for kids that everyone can benefit from. So something like where we would draw lines on a worksheet, she can then make 15 copies, and everybody can use lines, you know, on the younger grades, kindergarten, first grade, where they're all working on handwriting, it allows you to adapt the other subjects, we can use them for math and working on numbers. And so I really want to empower the teachers and the students to have a love of handwriting, I had quite a few ABD kids and some boys that just could not stand handwriting. And so you know, it was forcing them to copy or to do a writing assignment. So allowing them to at least draw the lines was fun, first of all, but then to have them we've come up with a lot of creative ways on our Facebook group to have them practice handwriting without seeming like, it's just paper and pencil activities. And they might draw the line on a project construction paper on a box on cardboard, you know, where can they draw the line and can we've had people come up with some great ideas like draw legiline, and then cut down the dashed line. So it's a cutting guide, and teaching kids how to cut and, you know, being able to write in color rainbow writing, trying to do, I give out a free worksheet every week that are adaptable to use with many different legiliners. So that's kind of where the empowerment piece came from. And then, because it was successful, I wanted to give back to my community. So I like to give both financially to special needs community, to dyslexia, to autism foundations, things like that, giving back the money to these organizations, but also giving away a lot of legiliners, I love to give away, I love to just find someone that's posted something on Facebook, and they were struggling with their student. I'm like, I want to send you a legiliner right now. Like, just send me your information. And so my heart goes out to struggling writers, kids that are struggling parents that are struggling with getting them to follow through. And also just financially. I've been blessed. And I want to turn that blessing around to other people.


Jayson Davies

Yeah, you know, and I did see on your website, actually, right at the top. I think it says that you donate a certain percentage back to students with special needs, right?


Polly Benson

Yeah, so it does say 10% I actually have been giving more than that. And I'm proud of that. But I do try to give at least 10% back to the community. I'm actually trying to work on a handwriting club program right now where I just want to sponsor so if there are some therapists listening that want to do a handwriting club this summer, I'm willing to give you funds if you're willing to run it. So I have a few resources. I've done handwriting clubs and handwriting camps in the past, but I want to financially support other therapists, so if someone's if money is the issue, and it's holding somebody back, please tell them to contact me. I'd love to get more involved in sponsoring handwriting clubs.


Jayson Davies

Definitely. Wow, that's amazing. I have been seen on the Facebook groups that people are getting, I mean, entrepreneurship right now. It's just like the thing. And people are looking for ways to do side hustles. And I've been seen a lot of a lot on the Facebook groups just like, hey, thinking about doing something this summer. And I know people are looking at handwriting clubs, starting a website, or whatever it might be. So yeah, hit up, Polly, you can see your will make sure and you're going to give out your information in just a little bit. But we'll make sure that it's all in the show notes. So just visit the show notes for this website. And there'll be a link to the email her website and all that. So awesome.


Polly Benson

Sounds good.


Jayson Davies

All right. Another question about the legiliner. And you know, stamps are not a new thing. And you've talked about this a little bit, how you had to go and kind of go out of the way to get this large thing and it cost 30 bucks. But why do you think it took so long until 2019? For a teacher or an occupational therapist or something to kind of have the mindset to do something like this?


Polly Benson

Yeah, you know, I don't know. I mean, for me, I started thinking about this back in, probably was 2013 or 14. And I just thought, like, I wish I could just create a stamp, but I never went down the path and made that first step. So I think is OTs and problem solvers. You know, we know what needs to be done or what needs to be created, but we don't ever think, Oh, I could do it. And I think it's the confidence and trying to take the next step. So, you know, if it was an overwhelming emotion for me to feel like how can I get from point A to selling like to point z? You know, how do we get through all that, and it's a big task. And so it just took a deep breath, one step at a time. What's the next thing I need to do? So I just started contacting stamp companies. And can you make something for me? And have you ever heard, have you ever do you sell self-inking stamps? And, you know, we had made hand stamps for a lot of students that needed to stamp their names. So they couldn't write their name, but they would do some type of a signature, and we would transfer that and make that into a hand stamp. So they could sign their name. And it's like, Okay, well, I could do that white, and it just started rolling. From there. Let's get the custom stamp. Let's do handwriting. And I remembered the roller graphs. And when I first was trying to design my own, I was trying to design it like a pizza cutter. And that's what the roller graph looks like a pizza cutter. But you know, it didn't have a lid and it didn't have anything. And I wanted something that was self-contained. And that would cover the ink so it wouldn't dry out and wouldn't get all over the place.


Jayson Davies

Yeah, that's awesome.


Polly Benson

I don't know why it took so long. And yeah, so many people say, I wish I would have thought of that. Or why did we think of that? Or we should have done this? And it's like, yeah, so I mean, that's definitely a feel-good feeling when you hear that?


Jayson Davies

Yeah. Now anyone listening? You just got to take that own your own idea that you have right now and just know you got to go for it. Two things real quick, Polly. First of all, it took you five years. It sounds like from that original idea to actually build up the momentum and go for it. So for anyone listening. Yeah. I mean, if you feel like you've been sitting on something forever, and it's only been two years, it really hasn't been that long. There's still a lot of time ahead of you.


Polly Benson

Yeah, yeah.


Jayson Davies

And the other thing, Polly, I'm sure you've already figured this out, but you're not to letter Z and a list of things you have to do. I'm sure you figure it out.


Polly Benson

Right, right. There's still more to go. Yeah.


Jayson Davies

Yeah. Might be around with a J or something. You've got a lot to do, I'm sure. All right. Awesome. So you know what, we're getting close to the end now. But I want to ask you this skill. What? What have you learned in this process? The whole, you know, from 2013 to today. And designing, building, patenting the legiliner that you think may be a skill you've learned has made you a better occupational therapist today? Can you think of something that's just really helped to be even better today than maybe you were back in 2013 or before?


Polly Benson

Well, I think one thing that I've morphed into over the years is a giving person and always trying to think about the other person versus myself. And I think working with special needs has really taught me that. It's not about me or my schedule or my agenda. It's about you. And I think that one of the things I really try to promote within my business is good customer service. I tried to, you know, replace something that might have got damaged in the mail or lost in the mail. I mean, when I went viral, lots and lots of packages were lost during COVID. And I tell everyone, well, it must have got quarantined and it never came out of quarantine. So, I mean, I'm a therapist too. And I would want someone to treat me that way, I would want someone to replace those items that got lost by the mail system, you know. So that's kind of my goal is to treat other people how I would like to be treated. And I'm not a big box company that sees you, as you know, dollars, I see you, as a therapist, a teacher, you're struggling, one of the things that I designed with the half of my stamps are refillable ink. So I kept it in mind that I didn't want something that would only last a couple of months, and then run out of ink. And so it is an oil-based ink, I'm still using some of my original legiliners, they have not dry as long as you tap them, they don't run out of ink. And I have a video that I'll be posting, I was in the hallway of school one day and went up and down and back and forth. This big long piece of butcher paper, making my little roads, you know, some people call them the little roads is the, you know, adaptive handler writing lines. And we did over 15 passes. And it was probably 100 200 feet long of paper. And so it was a long piece of paper and it didn't run out of ink like and you could stop and I had to stop hesitating. I was on my knees up and down the hallway. So I had to stop. But then as I started again, it was dark again. So it's like a sponge that has the ink in it and has to kind of reabsorb. But they do last a long time. And six of them are refillable. And it's important to me that it's cost-effective for the teachers and the students. But I want you to see the value is not just in selling the stamp, but sharing my OT knowledge with you and creativity. And so in our Facebook group, we've got lots of creative people that post new ideas and ways to use the legiliners. And like I said, for the cutting, we use them to draw roads and little maps, we have one that's a number line. And my initial thought behind the number line was just a number line. But someone said, Well, why couldn't you use the spaces between the tick marks for writing, if you're working with an older student that's working on spacing their letters, draw a number line, and I was like, wow, that's brilliant, you know, and I do try to listen to the feedback that I get. I have an ambassador program where they do give me some feedback on ideas that I have. We're working on an exciting new stamp that I can't tell you about. But if you people listening want to follow me on Facebook, you might get some glimpses of some new stamps coming out, hopefully by the end of summer. But we're working on a new patent for something that therapists frequently use in handwriting and but I do listen to feedback and suggestions. And I had someone suggest the boxes and we made the big boxes, which is a three quarter inch box like the handwriting without tears. But we're using two-color patterns and make games and not just for copying, but for numbers and had someone suggest making the squares. And so we have small squares coming out this month. That's our newest one. And I had a speech therapist say that she wants to use it for data collection. So how awesome is it that it's not just for writing? And they're not just for, you know, number line or music line. But they're for other options. And there's just a lot of versatility to them. And I love hearing the creativity that people come up with.


Jayson Davies

Yeah, and you know, I had a question earlier, and I skipped over. But I want to get this out there. How have you seen teachers, kids therapists using this in the classroom? Are you seeing some teachers or schools order one per kid? Or maybe are they potentially getting one per classroom so that all the kids can share them? I know, half of the time you've been selling them we've been in a pandemic? So that's obviously a little tricky. But what do you think would be a great way for a school district or a school to potentially implement this?


Polly Benson

Yeah, so typically, what I see is more of a classroom setting. So the classroom might buy two or three and within a range of the ages that they're working with. I've got therapists that buy them kind of as needed. Being in the ambassador program, the ambassadors can earn some free ones, and so they can earn the exercises. And then whenever we come out with a new one, we do send those to the ambassadors ahead of time. You know, I think one of the things that I also learned as an entrepreneur is how to accept a purchase order so many people were like, Can we get on your Can you be an approved vendor so we can buy these for you. So I'm an approved vendor on lots of schools’ lists and figuring out how to accept purchase orders has helped them too. So I've seen OT departments buy 30 for their 30 OTs and then the OTs go out and use them and then the teachers see them and then they want them So we provide discounts, codes all the time for book discounts or, or we have on our webpage, if you're just a single person and want to buy a few of them, we have an option to bundle our legiliner. So instead of just paying $15, for one, you can bundle and save 5% on two or 10% on three. So as a frequently as a gift to different influencers and different people, we offer a discount. And I think we when I talked about that a little bit before, so we do have a 10% discount for your listeners. And so they can just buy one at 10% off and try it out. So that's the benefit of having a connection like that.


Jayson Davies

Awesome. And I think you said that that promo code will be OT School House one word, all capital letters, right?


Polly Benson

Right, OTSCHOOLHOUSE all one word, all capital letters.


Jayson Davies

And you can do that at legiliner.com.


Polly Benson

Right. So you enter the code at checkout.


Jayson Davies

Perfect. Yeah. And I just want a second of what you were just saying though, that's exactly what I was doing as far as, as an occupational therapist walking into a classroom saying, hey, teacher, check this out. This is awesome. I got my hands on it. Sorry, no, I can't give it to you. Because I only have one of each. But I will show it to them. And you know, I can't, I can't force them to buy it. It's on them. If they want to get it, which they all like it. It's on them to go a little to the next step and say, Hey, Principal, hey, special ed department, whatever it might be. I'd like to order some. But yeah, I recommend at least having your own personal set as an occupational therapist. Right. And that way you can, you can share the benefits. Yeah, real quick, you've already mentioned, I think most of them, but how many totals are there now?


Polly Benson

The 13th, one comes out this month. And I have on my Facebook page a special little discount that might have to do with the number 13 on a pre-order for that one. So that one is the small squares that it's just a single line of squares, the boxes that we use as a double line are intended to be like, we're going to write out what you have to direct copy. And then the student can copy below. And then as they progress, they can do two lines of text on their own. But we came up with that idea for 10 frames. So in kindergarten, they use 10 frames for math. So that's why we came out with the bosses. But yeah, we started off with just the three adaptive line patterns, we moved into two solid lines as they use in handwriting without tears, the three-eighths inch and the 1/8 inch. And we came up with music lines. And now we've added a warm line that has that fourth baseline to show students where to stop, we just added dotted third and double-stack most recently. So those were both added in March and April. And the dotted thirds are a lot of times used in cursive. So the dotted line is where they call it the go-through line. And the top line and bottom line are solid. And so that's the stuff lines. And so that's been really efficient for cursive. And then I also have space so the spaces stamp can help students to space one letter at a time it's one inch It is my tallest stamp at a one-inch height. And when kids are beyond the spacing needs, then the therapists are flipping them upside down and having a broken top line because you really don't need the solid top line as much as you need the solid baseline.


Jayson Davies

Gotcha. Okay.


Polly Benson

Yeah, lots lots of options. And like I said, follow me on social media. You might we're all excited about one that's coming up, hopefully by then the summers.


Jayson Davies

That is exciting. Awesome. Well, Polly, we thank you so much for coming on. I want to give you just really quickly a chance to share where you think people can go right now if they want to learn more, visit the website. I know you mentioned social media just kind of want to maybe share were you, legiliner.


Polly Benson

Yeah. So if you go to my website, legiliner.com, you'll see a pop up on there where you can join my email list and I won't spam you but I will send you a set of five emails to kind of tell you a little bit more about legiliner and where you can connect with us on social media. I am at Legi-liner on Facebook and Legiliner Community is our group where we share all the fun ideas on not as much of an Instagrammer but I do put out a worksheet every Wednesday and so you'll see a post on Instagram. I'd love some Instagram followers. I'm hoping to maybe by the end of 2021 get up to the 10,000 followers so I can do the swipe up I guess level that you hope for. We have about 15,000 or more on Facebook that follows us And so yeah, those are the two main places is the Facebook business page, the Facebook community group, and Instagram but that all comes in the series of five emails So if someone just wants to go to my website legiliner.com, then they will get that series of five welcome emails and they will hear from me. So


Jayson Davies

They also get like 150 that they can use or something. Yeah.


Polly Benson

So as a thank you for signing up for my email list, they get a list of 150 themes that you can use for teletherapy. And a lot of times, you'll see my worksheets are following those themes. So we're putting out more and more worksheets every Wednesday that follow those themes. And we're adding more to the themes as we go. So it's, it gets you a lot of value for that too.


Jayson Davies

Awesome. Love it. All right, Polly. Well, thank you so much for coming on sharing a little bit about you your background, and of course, the legiliner. I look forward to using my legiliners and I'm sure many people listening are thinking the same thing too. So thank you so much.


Polly Benson

Sounds good. Thank you for having me.


Jayson Davies

Definitely Take care. Bye.


Polly Benson

Bye.


Jayson Davies

Alright, everyone that is going to wrap up our episode today. Thank you so much to Polly for coming on and sharing with us a little bit about her background as an occupational therapist, as well as all of the time and energy it took to create a tool that all of us are using nowadays. Really appreciate it. Polly, thank you so much. Thank you also for listening to this episode. Really appreciate you being here. And don't forget to use promo code OTSCHOOLHOUSE at legiliner.com for 10% off your first order. All right. Take care and have a great one. Bye-bye.


Amazing Narrator

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




Be sure to subscribe to the OT School House email list & get access to our free downloads of Gray-Space paper and the Occupational Profile for school-based OTs.


Have any questions or comments about the podcast? Email Jayson at Jayson@otschoolhouse.com

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