Fitness Friday: Swings

It is that time of year when kids LOVE to be outside (no matter how hot it is!) and parks, especially swings are a favorite activity!

When swinging, practice pumping legs to swing yourself. Kick as you come forward (“kick the sky” or give feet high fives) and bend knees as you swing back (“turtle legs”).

See how many times you can kick the sky and have turtle legs in a row!

What Makes BAC Unique?

One of the most unique and beneficial aspects of the Boston Ability Center is our ability to offer co-treatment sessions for our patients. During a “co-treat” children receive two of their services together for 15, 30, or 45 minutes. Patients can target their OT and speech-therapy, OT and PT, or speech therapy and PT goals while they complete various activities in our large motor space or in one of our individual treatment rooms. This treatment model allows clinicians to collaborate as they target various aspects of treatment, and encourages our patients to utilize multiple skills at once. Co treatment sessions also provide clinicians with additional insight regarding specific activities, goals, and supports.

During a co-treat, our occupational therapists may shed light on sensory or tactile areas to consider, our speech-therapists can model language on an alternative augmentative communication device, our physical therapists can provide awareness about body positioning and strength, and much more! Co-treatment sessions also offer scheduling benefits for many of our busy families! The Boston Ability Center takes pride in this multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach to treatment.

Treadmill for Students with Autism and Apraxia (TAAP)

Written By: Jenna Colton, DPT

I am excited to bring TAAP to the Boston Ability Center!

I recently attended a course called TAAP (Treadmill for Students with Autism and Apraxia) where I learned how to further utilize the treadmill during my physical therapy sessions to aide in improving children’s gait, coordination and visual motor skills. I then had the opportunity to educate my colleagues on the TAAP protocol during staff meeting where we discussed how all three disciplines: PT, OT and SLP can use this program to help children meet their goals.

TAAP is an eight-week program that integrates visual and gross motor learning with the use of a treadmill. This program was created by a school physical therapist who wanted to aide children in developing and improving classroom skills including visual attention, transitions, fine, and gross motor skills. Additionally, TAAP works to improve children’s academics including reading, handwriting, and mathematics.

I learned that TAPP consists of 6 sequences that become progressively more challenging as the child improves. All of the sequences involve the use of a mirror to provide ambient and focal vision, thus aiding in the fusion of their visual motor system. The sequences begin with forward and backward walking on the treadmill. As the child progresses, worksheets and ball skills are incorporated. For example, children will complete scanning worksheets to improve their reading skills while ambulating on the treadmill. Also, to improve coordination, children can play catch while walking backwards.

We are currently implementing this program at the Boston Ability Center. We are having children practice walking and running on inclines, walking backwards, and practicing ball skills while on the treadmill. Additionally, some of our Occupation Therapists are having children complete scanning worksheets while walking on the treadmill to improve their visual motor skills.

Here is a picture of one of our kiddos completing a worksheet!