SibShop: October

At the BAC October SibShop we had so much fun making new friends and talking about our past experiences together. Today we started the class by decorating large puzzle pieces with crayons, dot markers, and stickers. We worked together as a team to complete the puzzle which spelled “PROUD”. Following completing the puzzle, we talked about what makes us proud and why we are proud of our siblings.

We also made cool time capsules! Inside of the time capsule was a discussion prompt. The kids had some really great things to share in response to the prompt!


In the large motor room, we had mummy relay races with toilet paper! The kids had a blast and even got to wrap one of the clinicians, Courtney!

Mummy Races

In-Services in Our Community

On Monday, October 23, 2017, an enthusiastic group of preschool teachers and directors met at the Carter Center for Children in Needham, MA for a workshop. Lauren Alves, Co-Director at the Carter Center organized the evening workshop which was titled From Here to There: Transitions Throughout the School Day. Clinicians, Janet Schmidt, MA, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist and Elvira Fulchino, MS. OTR/L, MSW, LICSW, Occupational Therapist, from the Boston Ability Center conducted the workshop.

The focus of the workshop was for the participants to identify and plan for successful transitions in order to facilitate the children’s success throughout their school day. The impact of individual factors on successful transitions, such as, changes in the child’s schedule, routine, sleep difficulty, sensory sensitivities, physical limitations, and language difficulties were also addressed. Interventions such as, using First/Then language, Visual supports, Zones of Regulation and Whole Body Listening strategies to facilitate coping skills in young children were introduced.

The format allowed for large and small group discussion which provided the opportunity for the participants to ask questions, view materials and learn more about specific strategies.

Elvira Fulchino, MS, OTR/L, MSW

Janet Schmidt, MA, CCC-SLP







See below for a link to an article on transitions and additional references:

References: Dewdney, Anna, Llama Llama Misses Mama, 2009, Scholastic Inc.

Kuypers, Leah M. Ed. OTR/L, The Zones of Regulation, 2011, Think Social Publishing, Inc. S’cool Moves, I Can Calm Myself, S’cool Moves, Inc.

Wilson, Kristen, Sautter, Elizabeth, Whole Body Listening Larry at home, Whole Body Listening Larry at school, Second Edition, 2016.

In-Services in Our Community

On Friday, October 13, 2017an in-service teacher training was provided to Temple Beth Avodah Early Learning Center by Occupational Therapist, Elvira Fulchino, MS. OTR/L, MSW, LICSW of the Boston Ability Center. The topic, Handwriting Without Tears program, was selected by the Director of the Preschool Program, Heidi Baker, and was attended by the preschool teachers who offered many comments and asked a variety of questions. The teachers have familiarity with this program and a lively discussion occurred where many ideas for activities were exchanged.

The program included discussion of the stages of grasp development, the impact of core strength on sitting posture and the role of attention. Additional information was provided on introducing Fine Motor activities into the classroom to encourage the correct grasp and materials to support handwriting development.

The specifics of the Handwriting Without Tears program were covered, such as, workbooks for Preschool, Get Set for School, and Kindergarten, Letters and Numbers for Me. Essential to the program is the progression from beginner skills, (to hold, place and move a crayon) to printing upper case letters, numbers and lower-case letters. Wooden pieces (lines and curves) form the letters which are divided into groups based on their components (vertical, horizontal lines, big and little curves, diagonals).

The program was developed by Jan Olsen,OTR, Occupational Therapist, and the workbooks were co-created with Emily Knapton, Occupational Therapist. The Boston Ability Center and many school districts use the Handwriting Without Tears program.

Elvira Fulchino, MS, OTR/L, MSW


Olsen, Jan Z., Get Set for School, Handwriting Without Tears, 2003, First Edition

Olsen, Jan Z. Letters and Numbers for Me, Handwriting Without Tears, 2003, Ninth Edition

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 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 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:

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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