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Nicolas Skafidas MA OTR/L

April 17, 2014 at 4:11pm
3 notes

One of my adolescent patients said she just wanted to be normal. I recalled a line from the end of a Dr Who episode, and she being a Dr Who fan found some contentment in “there’s no such thing as an ordinary human”.

April 13, 2014 at 2:37pm
1 note

Spring is in the air which means more road trips, bike rides, and sporting events. Always make sure the kids follow safety guidelines such as seat belts, helmets, and safety equipment. You too moms and dads. Lead by example and protect yourselves as well.

http://www.biausa.org/brain-injury-children.htm

April 4, 2014 at 10:41pm
1 note

It’s OT month!!
The other day a colleague of mine said that the world is our workplace and that couldn’t be more true for our profession. We may have been hired by a particular facility and work in a specific setting, but our goal should always be to help others reach their goals. The goals that they find important and will make them more functional in their environment and not in some clinic.

January 13, 2014 at 2:24pm
0 notes

The new NHTSA regulations regarding tethers and LATCH systems for infant/toddler car seats go into effect this year.

http://www.edmunds.com/car-safety/what-parents-need-to-know-about-new-child-car-seat-latch-rules.html

January 8, 2014 at 1:03pm
3 notes

Here is a recent article on the benefits of meditation.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/01/07/260470831/meditation-can-help-manage-anxiety-depression-and-pain?sc=17&f=1001

I particularly made note of when they stated that it may not have any more of a benefit than regular exercise. Athletes and those that exercise regularly can argue that is their meditation. That when they are “in the zone” their focus is in the now. A yoga instructor I used to take regularly called the practice a moving meditation and for me that was a perfect description.

In general the article states that meditation can be beneficial and even when it isn’t, it can’t hurt. Try including those moments into your life where you can tune out the distractions, even if it is only for a few minutes, and find out for yourself. True relaxation of the mind is actually difficult to achieve so give it a chance.
Much like diet and exercise, mindfulness can be a great thing to model to children and adolescents.

December 31, 2013 at 9:49pm
2 notes

Those specializing in the science of exercise and nutrition have offered data regarding the frequency, duration, and intensity of exercise that we need to meet in order to combat the extra calories introduced into our diets this holiday season. There are of course statistics regarding the everyday nature of exercise that we should be participating in as well.
I do not have that information to share.
The information is useful but unfortunately it can also dampen the enthusiasm individuals may have when looking to improve their level of fitness.
So instead, just move. Whether its 45 minutes, 30 minutes, or even just 10 minutes. Move. We were born to move so let’s not fight our kinesthetic design. Exercise and if you can’t stand the thought of the treadmill or gym then find a physical activity and just do it. Don’t think about the calories you’ll burn in yoga, or the muscles you’ll fatigue rock climbing, or the distance you’ll cover biking.
Take the stairs, park further, walk the dog, play with kids, walk.

Move. Live. Beware one danger though: It’s easy to overestimate the amount we need to refuel. Sports drinks, protein shakes, and food consumption shouldn’t be tripled because you upped your level of activity. Be mindful of what you are putting into your body and consult with a nutritionist if necessary. And just a common sense disclaimer, consult a physician before beginning a program of physical activity. Have a healthy start to the New Year.

November 5, 2013 at 4:55pm
0 notes

It’s important to baby proof your home because it’s the only way to keep them out. :)
Seriously though it really is important to create a safe environment for your child. Latches for keeping drawers and cabinets closed, straps to keep furniture from tipping, and gates to block off rooms are tools we can use to meet that goal. But we must remember that these tools are not a replacement for supervision. At most these things will only slow them down and we can’t assume that just because they couldn’t open the latch today that they can’t open it tomorrow. The same goes for their reach: hot liquids, knifes, heavy bowls etc have to be kept in the center of the table or towards the back of the counter. Tablecloths are also not a good idea.

October 20, 2013 at 2:43pm
1 note

With the fall weather upon us and winter looming, it’s a good idea to get outside and play. Playgrounds are a great place for kids to climb, jump, swing, and slide their way into healthy lifestyles.
And because the summer heat is well behind most of us, it’s a great time of year for hiking, biking, blading, boarding, and scooting our way into the big bad winter. Always remember to play it safe though. Always wear a helmet regardless of how skilled you are because accidents can happen for any number of reasons. The wrist/knee/etc… will heal and if not, well, you’ll adjust, but if you’re brain is injured chances are you will have lasting cognitive effects as a result of your injury. And of course there’s always death which rarely results from a wrist fracture.

October 5, 2013 at 10:23pm
1 note

I was recently talking to someone who was wondering about milestones and the assessments used to determine if a baby was developing “normally”. It is easy to get caught up in numbers and monthly checklists, but the most important thing is that the child continues to progress over time. Monthly checklists are good in that they will give a general sense of the timing of various milestones, but always remember that there is a range of time over which this can occur.

If you are concerned speak to your physician or consult with an Occupational Therapist that is experienced in pediatrics. Check the provided link for further information:

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html

September 8, 2013 at 9:47pm
0 notes

The first day of classes for NYC Dept of Education students is tomorrow, September 9th. In addition to making sure they have the tools necessary to succeed it is also important to make sure that they have the necessary habits. One of those habits is to be on time for school. In addition to improving or supporting their grades for the school year they will be learning a skill that can only benefit them in future endeavors. Places of employment as well as friends, acquaintances, and significant others will likely not want to associate with those that are not reliable. Can you imagine meeting a friend and having that person arrive 30 minutes late? That is not likely to be someone you would care to meet up with very often.

For students to begin embracing this behavior though it has to be modeled for them. I’ve heard parents saying to one another that often their kids are late because of them. It isn’t bad to be late once in a while, in fact it might even be a good time to teach coping strategies, but being late several times a week is the best way to teach children how to master excuses.