Sunday, March 18, 2012

Free Switch Games for the Computer!!

So this week I worked a little on exploring some free switch games online. There are a TON of free options!  Here is a blog that has great resources......follow them! < http://teachinglearnerswithmultipleneeds.blogspot.com/2011/09/free-online-switch-activities.html > The categories in this post include Cause and Effect games, Single Switch, Double Switch, and Subscription Sites.

Why switches? Switches are great for introducing cause and effect, building attention, cognition, etc. You can have them use their head, hands, feet, elbows, or whatever, so it is great for kids that have a more difficult time with range of motion or motor coordination. It's helpful to have more motivation for reaching tasks, or a good distraction if you have a child in a standing frame.

There are a ton of options: big switches, small switches, cartoon switches, pillow switches, air switches, etc.

What do you need? First, a computer. Then you'll need a switch. And finally, you'll need a Switch Interface Box. This box will communicate between the switch and the computer. When you plug in a switch, it usually replaces or mimics the function of a certain key. One game may use the mouse, so your switch would mimic the click of a mouse; another game may use the tab or space bar keys, so then your switch will use that function to interact with the activity. Because some games use different keys to operate, this box gives you the option to say what key you will be representing so it can communicate correctly with the computer. I hope that makes sense.

I want to put some more time into finding these activities online, and then make a spreadsheet of the games, their function, what the reactions consist of, and what key/function it is mimicking. It will take some time, but I feel it would be a really good resource.

Here is a cute game where you hit your switch to find hidden animals. It's more basic cause and effect, but there are others where you have to pay more attention to timing. This is one where you have to wait and press at a certain time to hit a clown with a pie. For more of a challenge, here is one that requires more advanced timing and reaction speed. There are also games that deal with specific learning topics: alphabet, colors, math, science, etc. I'm sure you could do a little web research and find a ton!!  If you have any other resources I'd love to hear of them!

Happy Sunday!


The start of my mini garden blowing in the wind. :)



Sunday, March 11, 2012

OT vs. PT

Thought this was great! I know it's not completely true, but both of my OT and PT friends can find the humor in it. :)

Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mind-Body Solutions

If you've never heard of Matt Sanford, you should definitely check him out around the web. He is originally from Minnesota, and was in a terrible car accident when he was 13 years old, which killed his father and sister, and also paralyzed him from the chest down.

He has written a book called Waking, which I'd recommend any therapist to read, as it's really helpful to gain perspective from people who have actually experience traumatic injuries/illnesses in their lives. He has a very interesting story, where he was basically told in therapy to live in the remaining part of his body that worked and mainly forget about the rest, as it would never work again. After many years of living this way, he discovered yoga, and it changed his life. He was able to use his whole body to work together, and finally feel like a whole person again. It's an incredible testimony, and has led to many changed lives as a result.

Matt teaches adaptive yoga classes in the Twin Cities, and attends workshops and speaking engagements all over the place. I'm currently a part of a study that my workplace has put on each year for the past 4 years. It is all about applying some of these mind-body techniques to our own lives as well as our practice as medical professionals and applying it to our daily work. We start off with an immersion weekend where we have training for an entire day by others who have gone through the training as well as Matt. Then, we have weekly 90 minute sessions during a work day for four weeks, and it decreases to one time per month after that for six or seven months. This week will be our third week, and so far it has been great.

We work on things like relaxation techniques, grounding, and others with a partner as well as on our own. We have all of the yoga gear there for us and we all get excused for that time of our day. It's a huge commitment for the company both financially and time wise, so I feel really lucky to be a part of it. I've tried to apply it during sessions with clients as well as at home. It's been helpful so far, but I need a lot more practice to make it streamlined into daily routine for me. I'll have to write more about it as the weeks progress, but until then, here's a great video.