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Nicolas Skafidas MA OTR/L

August 28, 2014 at 6:56am
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It ‘s back to school time and for many this is actually a more significant marker than New Year’s Day. Students, teachers, and parents alike schedule their year according to the academic calendar so why not take this opportunity for a school-year long resolution of organization. Students should use notebooks, folders, subject dividers, pencil cases, school bags, and desk organizers to keep their school materials neat and organized. Depending on their age, assistance may be needed to get started and/or to maintain organization. This will mean less time lost searching for things, and more time for fun. Or studying. But it’s easier to sell this by saying fun.

Just like you can’t tell toddlers to clean their room and expect an acceptable outcome, you can’t tell young or disorganized students to organize their school materials. With toddlers, you would tell them to “put the book on the shelf” or to “put the doll in this box” and with students you would have to break down the act of organization in a similar manner. “Make these subject dividers” and “now let’s place them in the binder” followed by “ok let’s put this amount of paper between each one.” Help them dedicate folders and notebooks as well. It may seem tedious and like common sense but remember common sense still has to be taught and this skill will benefit them throughout life.

August 8, 2014 at 12:04am
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Play Doesn't End With Childhood: Why Adults Need Recess Too : NPR Ed : NPR →

12:00am
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Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain : NPR Ed : NPR →

April 17, 2014 at 4:11pm
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.