Special Needs Children

                                  An Article in Wall Street Journal tells                                     Why Kids Need to Move

July 8
The Centers for Disease Control tells us that in recent years there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 and to 11 percent in 2011. The reasons for the rise are multiple, and include changes in diagnostic criteria, medication treatment and more awareness of the condition. In the following post, Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist and the founder of TimberNook, a nature-based development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England, suggests yet another reason more children are being diagnosed with ADHD, whether or not they really have it:the amount of time kids are forced to sit while they are in school.  (Read entire article)

An 8-Board Study Reveals

A study was conducted on 6 elementary school students ranging in ages from 7 years to 10 years, over one school year period. Each student was assessed using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, 2nd Edition Body Coordination subtest, consisting of assessments in Bilateral Coordination and Balance. The students were assessed upon initiation of the study and then following a 6 week course of treatment with the 8-board one or two times per week, along with additional school-based occupational therapy services. The standardized assessment results were based on Combined (male/female) scores for the appropriate age of each student. The hypothesis was that students would improve bilateral coordination and balance skills utilizing the 8-board for a multitude of therapy techniques.


All students demonstrated overall improvements in Body Coordination as demonstrated by standardized assessment subtest results. Of the six students assessed, the greater amount of progress was observed to be made in the area of bilateral coordination over balance. The overall positive assessment results and improvements in bilateral coordination and balance, though a small sample, favors the therapeutic use of the 8-board for all ages to improve motor skill development. At the educational level, the improvements in bilateral coordination could be estimated to further improve overall reading fluency and written language (though not assessed at this time).                                                                                                                     Megan A. Hopper, OTR/L, Western Placer Unified School District

In an email a few weeks later…

Jack, I just sent you that stuff. I forgot however to mention that 4 of the 6 students were on the Autism Spectrum, high functioning, in regular education with special education support. 2 of the 6 receive Adapted Physical Education (a special education service) as well. Feel free to add that in wherever you see fit. Sorry                                                                         Megan A. Hopper, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist                                  Western Placer Unified School District