DC Phone: 202-544-5439 VA Phone: 703-243-4601
Fax: 202-379-1797 Email: info@skillsonthehill.com

Welcome to our March 2018 Newsletter! We are excited to share relevant topics about occupational therapy and activity ideas for families, teachers, and colleagues.

This month, we will feature a new primitive reflex called Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR) which plays a significant role in maintaining appropriate posture, balance, and gross motor development. Persistent TLR is known to affect some body systems that impact social skills, learning skills, physical growth & activity, and even speech articulation. As usual, we will also share a very fun, and easy-to-do "project" that will enhance fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Lastly, we will conclude the series on "myths" about feeding.

We appreciate any feedback, comments, or suggestions from you regarding this newsletter. Send us a note!

Enjoy reading!


Kristen Masci and the SOTH Staff

Newsletter March 2018 Issue
Featured reflex of the month: 
Last month, we discussed the STNR or symmetrical tonic neck reflex, which is one of the primary reflexes that significantly impacts child development. STNR is appears very briefly at an early age and assists the development of TLR or Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex.

TLR is visible when a baby looks up and leads to straightening of the legs and arms. Also, the limbs fold in when the head goes down. This reflex usually appears at birth to 4 months old. It is believed to assist during the birthing process as the baby moves down the birth canal. TLR is linked to balance, muscle tone, and gross motor skills. 
Retention of TLR may cause poor posture, coordination, and balance. It could lead to some social / learning problems, self-regulation, attention issues, dyspraxia, toe walking, or motion sickness.
DIY Project of the month
"Nuts and Bolts Board"
Build a project for your child! Try this activity that will enhance fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
nuts and bolts (1-3 inches long); 2 pcs of wood (1/2 thick); felt; paint; wood glue, a drill

Drill different sizes of holes with matching nuts/bolts on the first wooden board. Position the screws a few inches apart from each other.
Attach the second board to the back of the first using wood glue first then nails to keep it secure. Glue the felt to the back of the board for protection. Paint as you wish.
1. Demonstrate how to screw and unscrew the nuts. Let your child examine (see and feel) the nuts.

2. Ask the child to pick up a nut and try to find its matching bolt. (Start from left to right or vice versa).

3. Let the child return the nuts to the proper screw.

4. Encourage your child to practice both screwing and unscrewing. Use a timer to monitor progress (optional)

Adapted from: Rebecca Cofino, MAMAGURU
"Starting a Conversation with your OT"
Myth #7: Children only need to eat 3 times a day.

TRUTH: In order to meet their daily calorie requirements, children would have to eat adult sized meals if they only eat 3 times a day. Given their small stomachs and attention spans, it takes most children 5-6 meals a day to get in enough calories for proper growth and development.

Myth #8: If a child won't eat, they either have a behavioral or an organic problem.

TRUTH: Various research studies indicate that between 65-95% of all children with feeding problems have a combination of behavioral and organic problems. If you start with a physical problem with eating, you are going to quickly learn that eating doesn’t work/hurts and a set of behaviors to avoid the task will become set into place. If you start with a purely behavioral/environmental reason for not eating, your compromised nutritional status or lack of experience will quickly begin to cause organic problems. As such, it is not useful to create a dichotomy in diagnosing or treating feeding problems.

Using scissors to cut materials is a life skill that requires mastery and efficient fine motor control. Children need to practice scissor cutting in a progressive manner. They could start with proper grasping of scissors before practicing the cutting motion. Once learned, the child may begin cutting paper with different figures. Straight lines first, followed by circles and spirals, then try simple shapes later.
SOTH gives back to the community
Skills on the Hill is proud to sponsor three auctions that will be held in different schools in DC and VA. Please contact Kristen if you are interested to participate or become a sponsor too!.
March 3, 2018
March 9, 2018

March 10, 2018
Dimensions : 83'W x 7"D x 77"H
Frame weight : 35lbs.
Weight capacity : 200 lbs. 

Skills on the Hill  truly appreciates families, groups, individuals, or any advocates of community giving. We are so happy to announce that one of the families we serve made a generous donation of ONE portable swing frame for kids. Please contact Kristen if you are interested.

This indoor/outdoor portable swing frame can be used in a clinic, classroom, or at home! Use with any standard swing seat. The frame is made of galvanized-steel pipe and features a wide, stable base. Frame conveniently folds away for easy storage. Note: Not to be left as a permanent structure outdoors. 


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Thank you parents and families! We appreciate your support.

Kristen Masci 
(202) 544 5439 / (703) 243 4601
Capitol Hill Office
405 8th St, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Arlington Office
3508 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207