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

Welcome to our May 2018 Newsletter! The field of Occupational Therapy has truly evolved over the years. Here at SOTH, we are committed to sharing relevant information, ideas, strategies, and supplementary activities that promote a healthier well-being for children and their families.

This month, we focus on the primitive reflex called the Spinal Galant Reflex.This reflex influences the development of hearing and auditory processing.

Now that Spring season has finally sprung, it's time to enjoy more sunshine and stretch those muscles! Try the "Spring Yoga Poses" with your children!

This month, we will begin featuring an "app of the month" to help parents develop a repertoire of phone and tablet apps that are therapeutic and support development. Our first featured app for May can enhance eye-hand coordination and visual perceptual skills.

Finally, we will continue our discussion about PRAXIS (motor planning and sequencing) that is frequently addressed in occupational therapy.

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 May 2018 Issue
Featured reflex of the month: 
Spinal Galant Reflex (SG) emerges in utero at 20 weeks into the gestation period. This reflex actually allows the fetus to recognize sound vibrations in the womb. It helps the baby to work it's way out of the birth canal during delivery. It is present at birth and should be integrated by 3-9 months of age.

This primitive reflex is seen when a baby is placed on their stomach and one side of the spine is stroked with a finger. A positive reflex shows curling of the hip toward the side that was stimulated. SG reflex is important in the development of hearing and auditory processing essential to balance and coordination. A baby's creeping and crawling motion depend highly on this reflex.
Spinal galant reflex retained past 9 months may have significant effects in a child's abilities, function, and performance. Trouble with bladder control, fidgeting, inability to sit still, sensory issues, restlessness, poor concentration and/or inattention are some of the manifestations a child could potentially exhibit later in life. Research studies also showed a closed link between Spinal Galant Reflex and ADHD symptoms.
"SPRING Activity"
"Starting a Conversation with your OT"
"More about PRAXIS"

How can you tell if my child has problems with planning and sequencing (praxis)?

If a child has difficulties with planning and sequencing they might:

* Have difficulty learning new motor tasks (requires more practice than their peers).
* Appear clumsy or uncoordinated.
* Be unable to perform the same skills as their peers (e.g. catch, kick, hop and jump).
* Be less skillful than their peers in sports.
* Be unable to follow multi-step instructions to complete a physical task (e.g. obstacle course).
* Be generally ‘disorganized’.
* Be late in reaching developmental milestones (i.e. sit, crawl, walk, run and hop).
* Move stiffly and lacks fluid body movement or alternatively looks awkward and appears clumsy.
* Avoid physical activity.
* Struggle to get themselves ready on time.
* Have difficulty collecting materials for school (e.g. getting out materials such as the right book for a classroom activity).
* Have difficulty collecting the materials needed for play activities.
* Have difficulty packing their bag for school.
* Appear lazy and does not complete work (when in fact they may not know how to start the task).
* Have difficulty getting thoughts down on paper.
* Be unable to plan and correctly sequence events or steps in a process (e.g. step forward before throwing).
* Fail to perform movement safely (e.g. climbing).
* Need to put in more effort than their peers to complete a task.
* Have difficulty knowing where their body is in relation to objects and people and frequently falls, trips, and/or bumps into obstacles.

What other problems can occur when a child has planning and sequencing (praxis) difficulties?

When a child has planning and sequencing difficulties, they might also have difficulties with:
  • Drawing and pencil skills lacking in a skillful outcome.
  • Activities of daily living (e.g. dressing independently, holding and using cutlery, toiletting).
  • Chewing and swallowing food.
  • Sensory processing (responding appropriately to the environment).
  • Articulation of sounds.
  • Limited play repertoire
  • Self-esteem

SOTH gives back to the community

Skills on the Hill is a proud sponsor of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation Walk event on May 19, 2018 (Saturday).
The ASF Walk raises essential funds for research to find treatments and a cure for Angelman syndrome, and provides resources and support services to families of individuals with AS.
CLICK HERE if you would like to sponsor or participate.
APP of the Month!
"Hidden City"
Try this cool app! Experience the adventure of visiting magical places, seeing unusual characters, and looking for "hidden objects" to solve a mystery. This is absolutely free to play!

* Please arrive on time for scheduled sessions. Contact the therapist or the office ahead of time should there be any changes.

* Check our website  BLOG! Please "LIKE" us on  Facebook and Pinterest   pages for more updates and the latest news. 

*Feel free to write a review in YELP
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