Nike Unveils Hands-Free Sneakers For Those With Special Needs

[Source: Nike News]

With an eye toward making shoes even more accessible to people with disabilities, Nike is introducing a sneaker that can be taken on and off completely hands-free.

The shoe known as the Nike GO FlyEase is part of Nike’s FlyEase collection of adaptive styles.

Building on how a person might kick off a shoe, Nike designers incorporated a bi-stable hinge and a tensioner — which works like a big rubber band — to allow the shoe to smoothly open and close, remaining secure in both positions.

Check Them out on Nike.com


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Experts Put New Method of Analyzing Children’s Play To The Test

[Source: Science Daily]

Play is a crucial part of a child’s development. It is how children develop cognitive skills and learn new information as well as social skills and it is an important topic of research by social scientists.

Dr Pete King, who specialises in play and childhood studies, devised a method of studying the process of children’s play — the Play Cycle Observation Method (PCOM) — and has now published research which demonstrates how effective it is as an observational tool.

Working with collaborators Professor LaDonna Atkins and Dr Brandon Burr, his latest study put the PCOM to the test in real time by watching three-year-olds at play using an observation booth at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Child Study Centre.

Read the Rest of this Article on Science Daily


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OT Corner: Why Babies Love (And Learn From) Magic Tricks

[Source:  NPR.org via Beyond Basic Play]

Here’s a great article along with audio discussing a study about something new about how babies learn. As a physical therapist, we learn a lot about motor learning and how one acquires a new skill or relearns an old skill. This is especially important in pediatrics where there is brand new learning happening multiple times during a session. I plan on using this method with some of my kiddos! 

Who knew that magic would be a great way to facilitate learning!

Highlights from the article:

Even babies seem to know the ball can’t go through that wall, though not necessarily because they learned it. It’s what some scientists call core knowledge — something, they say, we’re born with.

“Some pieces of knowledge are so fundamental in guiding regular, everyday interactions with the environment, navigating through space, reaching out and picking up an object, avoiding an oncoming object — those things are so fundamental to survival that they’re really selected for by evolution,” says Lisa Feigenson, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Hopkins and one of the researchers behind this study.

….

When the babies were given new information about these seemingly magical objects — like, the ball also squeaks — they were more likely to retain it.

The babies were also given a chance to play with the items that had surprised them. Not only did they prefer those to other toys; they played with them in a way that suggested they were trying to learn.

Read the Rest of this Article on NPR.org!

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SLP Corner: Comprehension Lessons in Speech Therapy

by Sherry Artemenko, M.A., CCC-SLP

It’s fun to be on a school team again twice a month when I meet with the public school special education team working with my kindergarten client. My little friend is on the higher end of the autism spectrum and working on listening and comprehension. He has difficulty staying focused during story time and even individually in therapy.

One of the advantages of team work is learning new ideas to incorporate into my therapy. This little boy had an outstanding teacher who advanced kids’ language skills at every opportunity. She would constantly ask, “Why do you say that?” requesting an explanation for a math move or a comment on a story. At the end of the year she would give kids a descriptive sentence without the visual cue and they would have to draw it.

I’ve been using that activity for a few weeks with my little friend to build up his comprehension. I usually read a book and then give a summary sentence for one of the illustrations and see if he can remember to draw all the facts I have given him.  Yesterday we read a cute book,  Leon and Albertine, and I gave my friend and his buddy the sentence, “Albertine’s feet were sticking out of the birdhouse that had hearts on the side of it.” Sometimes he needs prompts to think if he has remembered all the details I gave him. When they had finished drawing, we compared their pictures (both accurate but different) and checked for the information, and then compared their drawings to the one in the book. Continue reading


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Lawmakers Make Push To Fully Fund IDEA

[Source: Disability Scoop]

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., introduced legislation last week which would fully fund two federal education mandates that help students with special needs and high poverty schools.

For years states have complained that Congress passed laws requiring school districts to provide additional services to some students — often the most expensive to educate — but has not provided the full funding for them.

“I see this as an investment that will produce substantial returns not just to the students but to the country by expanding people’s economic opportunities,” he said.

Read the Rest of this Article on Disability Scoop


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