Special Guest at BAC

Every Wednesday BAC staff participate in a staff meeting in which we discuss new research, recently attended presentations/lectures, and case studies.

This Wednesday we are very fortunate to have Jess Wilson present a five part staff meeting series for us! She is the voice behind Diary of a Mom, a community of over 330,000 dedicated, highly engaged members who are as passionate as she is about making the world a more inclusive, welcoming place for those with disabilities. She has taken her message everywhere from her local school board meetings to college lecture halls and even the White House, amplifying the voices of those whose lived experiences drive her work.

Jess lives in Boston with her husband, Luau, their two teenage daughters, Katie and Brooke, and their dogs, Winston and Lucy.

Jess with her two daughters, Katie and Brooke

What is Social Thinking?

By: Caroline Curran, MS, CCC-SLP

Social Thinking is a teaching framework developed by speech-language pathologist Michelle Garcia Winner to help those with social learning challenges better understand the dynamic nature of social communication. For those of you who have spent time in our waiting room, it is likely you have already been exposed to bits and pieces of the curriculum concepts and vocabulary. For example, the “group plan”, “expected” and “unexpected” behaviors, and being a “flexible friend” are common concepts we teach as part of the curriculum.

But what is it about this curriculum that is effective in helping children develop social problem solving skills and overall social competencies?

The Social Thinking methodology is developmental and incorporates aspects of behavioral and cognitive behavioral principles. It takes into account personality, cognitive abilities and evidence-based concepts to create conceptual frameworks, treatment frameworks, specific strategies, and motivational tools.

Here at the Boston Ability Center, we regularly incorporate these frameworks and strategies into treatment for our patients of all ages. We utilize the “We Thinkers” storybooks with our younger patients to introduce concepts such as flexible and stuck thinking, following the group plan, size of the problem, and understanding hidden rules. With our older patients, we incorporate the Superflex teaching curriculum to promote self-regulation, social thinking, and related social skills.

For more information about Social Thinking visit: www.socialthinking.com

Sources: https://www.socialthinking.com/research

What is Evidence Based Practice?

By: Ariel Schuman, MS, CF-SLP

Evidence-based practice, or EBP, is an interdisciplinary approach to treatment and clinical decision making that first began in medicine and has since spread to other fields such as speech-language pathology, as well as occupational therapy and physical therapy. EBP incorporates the following three principles: the best available research regarding a treatment’s efficacy, the clinician’s skilled expertise, and the client’s personal preferences and values. Evidence-based practice allows the therapist to make decisions regarding client care by integrating these equally important factors (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2017). We utilize EBP in our treatment at the Boston Ability Center because including current research, applying clinical knowledge, and recognizing client’s characteristics, needs, and interests allows for the best quality of care for our patients.

Source: https://www.asha.org/CE/for-providers/Evidence-Based-Practice-CE-Providers/

BAC Participates in Paddy’s Day Road Race

Dear BAC Families,

Many of you know that Paddy’s Road Race is one of my favorite days of the year. This year was no different with the exception of the fact that my long time Paddy’s running partner, Katie Corscadden wasn’t able to run due to some pesky knee pain she has been having. Luckily, Katie was still willing to join us at the BAC tent and help us give out our bags of BAC goodies!

Paddy’s is just a happy day. I love seeing our staff outside of the work setting – they are quite the athletic bunch! This year we had a number of BAC “graduates” stop by the tent, as well as so many current families participating in one or more of the day’s races.

I had the pleasure of running the 1K with Lily Adler, Melody’s 4 year old daughter who was kind enough to suggest we stop and catch our breath about half way through the race.

Race organizer Mark Kelly and his team do an exceptional job at making the day a success for athletes of all abilities. All of us at the BAC are truly proud to be part of Paddy’s Road race and to support Athletes Unlimited. Congratulations to Paddy’s, Athletes Unlimited and Newton Parks and Recreation for another fantastic event!

Yours truly,
Jan Wade

OT Spotlight: Courtney Maulen and Her Run for Muscular Dystrophy

Courtney and her boyfriend, Anthony, took on the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. on October 22nd. This was their second marathon with Team Momentum, a charity team for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Over the last two years, Courtney and Anthony, have raised over $7,000 for muscle disease treatment and research. They have both been very passionate about this cause given the nature of their jobs. Working as an occupational therapist, Courtney knows and understands the importance of functional independence for children and adults, from playing catch with their friends to being able to sign their own name. Anthony, on the other hand, works as a researcher in drug discovery to bring about treatments to enhance overall quality of life in various forms of muscular dystrophy. Together, they will continue to dedicate their miles and time to fighting muscle disease one step at a time. Running with Team Momentum, they have had the opportunity to work with people directly affected with these diseases. It has been truly inspiring to see various therapies develop and seeing how quality of life can improve. Team Momentum’s motto is to “Live Unlimited,” to live with no limits. Overcoming 26.2 miles is no easy feat, but having the support of the MDA and all the families has made it easy to keep pushing through. A third marathon is definitely in the foreseeable future, so stay tuned and see what they will conquer next!

After their second marathon, Marine Corps 2017!

Fall Graduate Occupational Therapy Students

Let’s give a big welcome to our new occupational therapist students at the Boston Ability Center. Julie and Dema will be completing their last clinical affiliation.

JULIE MARQUARDT

Julie is a recent graduate of Tufts University’s Occupational Therapy program. Boston Ability Center is Julie’s second and final clinical affiliation. Prior to graduate school, Julie had careers in social services working with children and families in Southeast Alaska and at Trader Joe’s grocery stores. She is thrilled to be at Boston Ability Center. She is also a mom to a 10-year old. In Julie’s free time, she plays a lot of baseball with her son.

Julie will be working with Amanda on Monday-Wednesdays and with Katie on Thursdays and Fridays.

DIMA THABIT

Dima is set to earn her Master’s degree in occupational therapy from Boston University in January 2018. Recently, Dima completed her clinical affiliation working in an inpatient rehab hospital with a focus on neurological conditions and neuro-rehab. She has a broad range of experience working with children and adolescents with physical disabilities and mental illness. She completed clinical observation at Boston Ability Center in 2016 and is excited to return to for her final clinical affiliation! In her free time Dima enjoys traveling and going to concerts.

Dima will be working with Stephanie K Monday-Thursdays.

 

Join BAC at the Paddy’s Day Road Race!

The Boston Ability Center has been participating in the Paddy’s Day Road Race for the past few years. Not only is it a wonderful event, but it is always great seeing old and new faces, and sharing our love for the community. All of proceeds from the race go to the Newton Special Athletes program.

We look forward to this year’s race on Saturday, October 14th and hope everyone can join the BAC team! Contact the BAC frontdesk at 781-239-0100 to find out how to join our team!

In the meantime, here are some fun memories from last year’s race:

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standing, child and outdoor

Image may contain: 3 people

Continue reading

Parents Night Out

Looking for a night out? Need a little break? We know just the thing for YOU!

One Night Out offers free babysitting for children with special needs and their siblings at the Boston Ability Center from 6-9pm the first Saturday of each month. The next event is scheduled on Saturday, October 7th. Sign up is required and space is limited. To sign up or receive more information, contact MacKenzie at MacKenzie@bostonabilitycenter.com.

 

SibShop: Valentine’s Day Edition

Two weeks ago, we held another Sibshop at the Boston Ability Center. We had so much fun talking about our family and making valentines for the ones we love.

We made Valentine’s Day Punch – Each child had the opportunity to add one ingredient and say one thing they love about their parent/sibling when they added their special ingredient to the bowl. The punch was delicious and it was so much sharing our favorite things about our loved ones.

For snack we made sugar cookies (yummy!) The children decorated one for themselves and one for sibling/parent

We had so much fun playing Valentine’s Day themed games. Here are some of the games we played.

Heart Relay – Two cups full of conversation hearts and two empty cups a few feet away.  Teams had one minute to move as many hearts from the full cup to the empty cup using a spoon.

Straw Transfer – We moved Conversation Hearts from one plate to the another using only a straw. We set the timer for 1 minute and were excited to find out how many we could transfer within the time limit!