Handwriting Workshop

The weather is heating up here in the Henderson/Las Vegas area, which means summer break is just around the corner. Thrive Therapies is hosting a handwriting workshop in order to provide your first, second and third grade children with that extra help they need to improve their handwriting skills.

Don’t wait, spaces are limited, contact us today!

Man, through use of his hands….

“Man, through the use of his hands, as they are energized by mind and will, can influence the state of his own health,” Mary Reilly.

Image result for mary reilly ot                                           Mary Reilly, EdD, OTR, FAOTA (1916–2012)

It is no secret, to those that know me, this is my absolute FAVORITE quote, regarding occupational therapy.  I find projects using my hands to be extremely calming, allow me to gather my thoughts and feel productive at the same time, and really, whose mood isn’t improved by splashes of bright colors of paint, or pastels, or whatever medium you choose.

The focus of occupational therapy is on activities of daily living….what’s that you ask…those are the things we do every day, from getting dressed, to eating, to checking instagram on our phones.  The activities we do every single day.  Then there are the instrumental activities of daily living, our jobs, cooking, shopping, paying bills, the list goes on.  Fortunately for us occupational therapists, this allows us to work with clients on whatever is of importance to them.  If you have a client who loves to work on cars, we can bring tools to the treatment room, or better yet, outside to work on a car.  If you have a child that wants badly to conquer the monkey bars, we can work on that. Our treatments are client centered, we can find what is meaningful and find progress and success in improving performance of those meaningful occupations.

Occupational therapy celebrated 100 years of existence in 2017…Hooray!! A number of fantastic articles, speeches and presentations came out of the centennial celebration, if you are interested in getting to know the pioneers of occupational therapy check out this amazing video detailing the history of occupational therapy.  The OT centennial website was created to celebrate the progress of occupational therapy, check it out here!

So next time you are feeling anxious, or frustrated, or feel the need to clear your mind, create something!


Smart but Scattered

smart but sccattered

Hello friends! I feel like so many book titles were written especially for me, this one included.  My sisters and I frequently joke about my lack of time management, lack of organization (despite my deep love for all things planners and organizing related….Me+Office Supplies=Love), and inability to follow through on some tasks. On the other hand, I can become so singularly focused on some tasks it is astonishing.

And…For legal information…the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own, unless otherwise cited, and I am in no way receiving compensation of any sort for this review.

Anyway, back to the book…Smart but Scattered, was written by Peg Dawson, EdD, and Richard Guare, PhD. Dawson is a school psychologist, and Guare is a neuropsychologist.

Often times parents tell me, “I don’t have time to read a book like that.” I feel confident telling them this particular book allows you to move from chapter to chapter, focusing on what areas you feel you need to address.

The book gives a detailed explanation of what is executive function exactly and provides lists and examples of how these skills come to play in your child’s daily life. The authors provide anecdotes that detail a specific problem or skill. I feel as though the anecdotes do a great job of explaining situations, which allow the reader to really understand the concepts.

The authors then move farther into detail, breaking down executive function into 11 specific skills:

  • Response inhibition
  • Working memory
  • Emotional control
  • Sustained attention
  • Task initiation
  • Planning/prioritization
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Goal-directed persistence
  • Flexibility
  • Metacognition
  • (Dawson, Guare, 2009, pg 15)
  • Each individual skill is then defined and examples of each are given. A questionnaire is provided in order to rate your child’s executive function skills.
  • From then on the book details how to help your child improve executive function skills and how to adapt situations in order to improve success. There are many specific examples of common deficiencies with a plan of action included.
  • The book ends with a chapter on seeking outside assistance. This is where I was disappointed. The authors mentioned seeking a therapist for cognitive behavior therapy or for addressing depression and anxiety, however, they never mention occupational therapy. Not one time, not even the smallest, tiniest mention.
  • Occupational therapy can help you and your child deal with executive function deficits by working in improving areas like organization, sensory processing, working memory and more. OTs are well versed in adapting activities in order to help children be successful in their daily occupations.
  • Despite the omission of participation in occupation therapy as a useful tool in addressing deficits in executive function, I still recommend the book. It is written for parents with easy to understand definitions and more importantly action plans to help parents help their children to succeed. If anyone has applied the suggestions in the book or have other thoughts to share…leave a comment below or feel free to contact me via email.
  • Lacee
  • Dawson, P., & Guare, R. (2009). Smart but scattered: The revolutionary “executive skills” approach to helping kids reach their potential. New York: TheGuilford Press.

    I like big books and I cannot lie…

    I love books, I mean, really LOVE books. I love books for so many reasons. We can find so many things contained within the covers of a book, comfort, entertainment, laughter, knowledge, the possibilities are endless.

    Books are my immediate go to when I want to learn any new skill. When I found out I was pregnant, my first stop was a bookstore, hello “What to Expect When You Are Expecting,” “Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy,” “Hypnobirthing,” you name it, I read it. Last spring, my husband and I were asked to coach our son’s soccer team, have we ever played soccer, nope. I turned to Amazon for help, promptly ordering several books, including one entitled “The Baffled Parent’s Guide to Coaching Youth Soccer.”

    As an occupational therapist, I frequently turn to books to learn more about a particular diagnosis, treatment strategies or to learn a new skill. The amount of titles available can be overwhelming. Once a week, I will be featuring a different title, I hope to introduce you all to some great books and I hope you all will recommend some great titles to me too!

    PS….I don’t only read for work…I love reading for pleasure, from every possible genre. Some of my favorites include anything by author David Baldacci, suspense, funny self-help books and of course near and dear to my heart is the entire “Harry Potter” series. Leave me your recommendations in the comments!


    Summertime Events at Thrive!

    Welcome summer, school is out and the kids are suddenly home…all. the. time.  Actually, I love spending more time with my kids, however I know that it can be an ongoing battle to encourage them to keep up their school skills.  At our house we try to encourage participation in school skill related  activities by requiring certain activities like reading, a worksheet, reviewing a list of sight words, etc. is completed before allowing time on the beloved Ipad!  Some days this is easier than others.

    Here at Thrive Therapies we are excited to announce a series of summertime skills sessions!  We are planning a learning series on the following topics:

    • Social Skills, using the Social Thinking Curriculum
    • Handwriting, using Handwriting Without Tears
    • Summer Olympic themed gross motor coordination course
    • Identifying and coping with Anxiety

    Course times for the skill sessions are being determined at this time.  Please check back for more information.  Also, indicate interest in the above courses or some other topic you would like to see offered by commenting on this page, thrivetherapiesnv on Facebook or Instagram, call or email.  We look forward to hearing from you!

    Upcoming Speaking Event

    Lacee Bukoskey, Occupational Therapist from Thrive Therapies, will be speaking at the SAFE Autism Group support group meeting, Thursday, April 7, 2016, at 6:15 pm at Lake Mead Christian Academy.  Topics will include:

    • What is Occupational Therapy and how will it help my child?
    • What is a “floor time model” and how does my child benefit?
    • What does “sensory integration” mean, and what are some strategies to help my child modulate his or her sensory input?
    • Why is a team or multi-disciplinary approach important to my child’s treatment plan?

    Visit the SAFE Autism Group Facebook page for more information on their cause and upcoming meetings.