Adapted Attraction

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Adapted Attraction

Child learning to button his own shirt.


Ahhhh… February, as we turn the calendar to this month, everyone’s mind starts thinking about the laws of attraction. Am I connecting with my partner? Are they connecting with me? Will I find a new attraction? Well, let me tell you about something that has a very powerful attraction, MAGNETS (didn’t think the article was headed this way did you?)




Yes, magnets are attracted to one another and now they are showing up in some really interesting places that may make your life a whole lot easier, clothing. Now why is an occupational therapist talking about magnets in clothing? Because, in my practice with children and young adults I have had to teach them how to button. Some are skilled and catch on quickly, others require a lot of practice, and then there are some due to issues with fine motor control, decreased dexterity, lack of strength, that they are just unable to acquire the skill. One population this affects are the young adults who are on the autistic spectrum. They are starting to go out into the workforce, and want to dress professionally. They also want to be as independent as possible and not have someone assist them in dressing activities. As OT’s, we want to promote independence and if for whatever reason a skill can’t be done traditionally then we look for an adaptation.


So how do magnets help in shirt buttoning? I’m glad you asked. By using magnets and their powers of attraction, they can be sewn into the shirt, behind the buttons and voila, the shirt is closed and it looks like it is buttoned. Now this low tech technology has been around for awhile a company by the name of MagnaReady Ⓡ has been making this shirt but you had to buy them online. Now, Van Heusen is making magnetic button shirts and they are readily available in retail stores. I feel this is tremendous because now it is easier to buy, you can try them on and see what works for you. These shirts are perfect for anyone who has difficulty with buttons or even just a little lazy. There is a whole world of adaptive clothing out there that is becoming more mainstream and really will benefit lots of people.

Would you like to hear more about adaptive clothing? I can be reached at gershon@potsot.com


This entry was posted on Monday, February 13th, 2017 and is filed under Uncategorized.

The Fidget Pillow by Robin Tenboer

Friday, July 29th, 2016

The Fidget Pillow by Robin Tenboer

When your children are born it is a joyous time in your life. We had three precious children now ages 7, 6, and 4. We were so happy when they were born but that happiness gave way to many days of frustration and trials. We started noticing their behaviors were not like those of other children that we were around. They were off in their own little worlds; they were unable to sit still. They would have outbursts and couldn’t handle noises that wouldn’t bother most kids. Kinslee also had several other sensory issues.

When the oldest two were 3 and 4 we finally got some answers. They both have ADHD. Marshall turned out to have AHDH and anxiety/depression and Kinslee has AHDH and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). When we received their diagnosis the psychologist recommended that we find something they could fidget with. I looked online and didn’t really find what I thought would best benefit the kids. Since Kinslee likes textures and wants to touch everything I wanted to design something that would keep her hands busy and semi-contained inside, so I designed the Fidget Pillow. The Fidget Pillow has multiple Fidgets sewn into the inside as well as several on each end. On top of the fidget pillow there is also a marble maze. These weighted Fidget Pillows have made a big difference in several kids lives. Through a lot of research and trial and error we have the current version of the Fidget Pillow as well as several other sensory products. Having gone through this process we were more prepared for when our third child Caleb was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. The Fidget Pillows have been a blessing for the kids and we hope to help many more.

For more information click here


Written by: Robin Tenboer – Owner, Little Reds Sewing Company


This entry was posted on Friday, July 29th, 2016 and is filed under Uncategorized.

Second is the Best

Friday, December 19th, 2014


‘Tis the season of giving. . . .and getting. Your child(ren) are likely to get new games and toys over the next couple of weeks. For a child who has difficulty with motor planning, it can be daunting to try to learn how to play all of these new games. One great strategy is for you to take the first turn to model for your child how to play. That way, your child does not have to rely on hearing, processing, and understanding the verbal directions alone, but can also watch what you do.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 19th, 2014 and is filed under Uncategorized.


Friday, November 14th, 2014

JOIN US FOR A WORKSHOP @ POTS: SENSORY INTEGRATION 101 – Wednesday November 19, 2014

Sensory Integration 101 POTSOT

Join us for an exciting, informative, and dynamic workshop on Sensory Integration. Come at 7:00 for a tour of our newly designed facility, complete with 3 sensory rooms, fine motor rooms, and exciting equipment. You will also have the opportunity to meet our dedicated and knowledgeable therapists. Come prepared with any questions you may have. It will be our pleasure to answer your questions.

Who should attend?

This workshop is geared toward parents and teachers. Feel free to bring a friend or grandparent who may benefit from understanding your child better.

It is an entry level course that will explain what sensory processing is and why it is a critical prerequisite for all children in order to be successful at home and at school.

What topics will be discussed?

  • What is “vestibular”, “proprioception”, “suspension equipment,” “motor planning” and “dyspraxia”?
  • Is it “sensory” or is it “behavior”?
  • How can I explain the impact of sensory processing on my child’s behavior to teachers, family and friends?
  • What types of treatment are available?
  • What is a “sensory diet”?
  • When do children benefit from a sensory gym?

Do you have any questions?

Call our office at 201-837-9993 or email us at maria@potsot.com.

Light (dairy) refreshments will be served.

We look forward to seeing you!

This entry was posted on Friday, November 14th, 2014 and is filed under Uncategorized.

Sensory Smart Synagogue

Monday, September 22nd, 2014



As an active participant in my synagogue’s youth department, I have noticed that many of the same children who likely have difficulty sitting still in school also have difficulty sitting still during the prayers and learning.

Combining my skills as an occupational therapist (OT) and my desire to enhance the synagogue experience for children, I came up with a number of sensory activities prepare children for sit-down time.

The following activities promote organization, and should be done with the whole group for at least 5 minutes before prayers or learning:

  •  “Wall push-ups”: Place open hands, shoulder width apart, against a wall with elbows straight. Push as hard as possible against the wall with both hands to “make the room bigger”
  • Crab walking (lie on back, pick up body with hands and feet, walk using hands and feet)
  • Log rolling
  • Have the children jump, hop, or skip
  • Wheelbarrow walking- have the children take turns being the “wheelbarrow” and being the “driver”
  • Popcorn Maker: – Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands on the chair at you sides. Begin to slowly bounce up and down like a piece of popcorn beginning to warm up. Use your hands and feet to help push you up and down. Go faster and faster as the popcorn begins to pop. When it is almost all popped, start to slow down and then stop.
  • For an individual child, build in added opportunities for movement and “heavy work” by assigning that child to distribute and collect siddurim, and to push the cart back


Submitted by Aviva Goldwasser MS,OTR/L

This entry was posted on Monday, September 22nd, 2014 and is filed under Uncategorized.

From the Aviva Chronicles: Should I be Concerned?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

From the Aviva Chronicles: Should I be Concerned?


Lately it seems that every time I take my baby to the pediatrician for a well visit, and he inquires about a particular developmental milestone, I reluctantly and somewhat uncomfortably say that “no”, she has not yet sat independently, waved bye-bye, etc. Low and behold, as if it is simply by the power of suggestion, a day or two later, she begins to practice the new skill. A little piece of me always wants to call the pediatrician’s office to let him know that a mere 48 hours later my answer to his question is different.

As a third time mom and pediatric occupational therapist (OT), I am cognizant that developmental milestones occur within a range of normal. Why then does it nag me to answer no? Why do I have a senseless inclination to call back the pediatrician?

Perhaps because as an OT, I am acutely aware how critical early detection and early intervention are, whether the concern is mild or more involved. Yet, you do not want to be overly consumed by what you read on the internet or become obsessed with comparing your child to other children.

Here’s my middle of the road, conservative advice: If you have any concern about your child’s acquisition of social or motor skills, and you, too, have to answer “no” to your pediatrician’s questions, give it (some) time. However, do not leave it up to chance or wait indefinitely. Discuss a time line with your pediatrician, and determine at what point you should be concerned.

Submitted by: Aviva Goldwasser, MS, OTR/L

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 and is filed under Uncategorized.


Monday, September 15th, 2014




As we approach AOTA’s (American Occupational Therapy Association) annual Backpack Awareness Day on September 17th, I encourage you to read their tips and incorporate the suggestions in order to preserve your child’s back health and posture.


Listed below are two additional tips, offered to you from one parent to another:

  1. I highly recommend that you teach your child how to load his/her backpack correctly (i.e., heavier/larger items toward the back). I have found that while I carefully load my children’s backpacks in the evening, when I open them up after school, the contents are simply thrown in haphazardly. Take the time to show your child what to do and why.
  1. While the after-school hours can be chaotic at home between extra-curricular activities, homework, and dinner prep, take the time to go through your child’s backpack. First, this is an opportunity for your child to share with you what he/she has learned that day. Second, this is your chance to remove unnecessary items and paperwork from the backpack and lighten the load. I know that my daughter’s homework folder is divided, one side contains homework to be completed and the other side has completed classwork that should be removed each evening. This helps to keep her backpack at a manageable weight.

Submitted by: Aviva Goldwasser, MS, OTR/L


This entry was posted on Monday, September 15th, 2014 and is filed under Uncategorized.

Getting Face Wet: PART TWO…EARS!

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Getting Face Wet: PART TWO


Getting ears comfortable in the water is surprisingly impactful! We usually target getting the eyes wet and blowing bubbles first, but often ears are the real culprits when children are uncomfortable getting their faces in the water. If your child wears goggles, and knows how to hold breath and blow bubbles, desensitizing the ears should be your next goal.

As a pediatric occupational therapist and a swimming instructor, I personally find that addressing ears FIRST gets the quickest results. Targeting the ear is often less threatening than trying to get your child to stick his/her whole face in the water at once.

Now for some tips!

1.  Teach “listen to the fish.” Talk to the fish (blow bubbles), listen to the fish (ear in the water) is often a game used to teach rotary breathing for the front crawl stroke. For our purposes, we will just pretend we are listening to the fish talk underwater. Face each other while playing this game. Your happy, smiling face is calming and shows the child that this is fun. Start a conversation and keep an ongoing dialogue about what the “fishies” are saying. This will keep the game going and distract the child from feeling uncomfortable. The longer you play the more desensitizing. Here’s an excerpt from a recent mom/child team that I coached:


Mom: “I’m gonna ask the fishy what his name is.”

“Fishy, what’s your name?”

“I can’t hear him, Johnny, what did he say?”

Sara: Listens. “Fred! He said his name is Fred.”

Mom: “Fred, how old are you? Wait…What! It’s your birthday?”

Usually children get pretty creative with this game. Stick with it as long as possible. If you are also working on breath control, you can “talk to the fish” using bubbles.

2. Simon Says. Start with what your child is most comfortable doing. For example, “Simon says tap your head, splash the water, etc.” Spend lots of time on activities your child is comfortable with. Work your way to “Simon says put your ear in the water.”


Once your child gets used to placing ears in the water, add movement! This will further desensitize, and get your child used to the feeling of water moving along the ear, the way it does when you are swimming a stroke. For example, “Simon says put your elbow in the water and wiggle it.” And eventually “put your ear in the water and wiggle it.” Do not underestimate the power of being silly and ridiculous!

4. The Hokey Pokey. This is the same concept as Simon Says. Start with “put your hand in, take your hand out, other hand in, foot in, other foot in, belly in…”etc. Work you way to “put your ear in and shake it all about.” Children are often more accepting of shaking ears in the water for this game. It is the Hokey Pokey after all, and you need to “shake it all about”. That’s just how you play the game.


5. Side Glide. Now its time to glide with the ears in the water. Support your child in a side lying position and walk them across the shallow end of a pool. Use whatever imagery or pretend play works for your child. You can “listen to the fish all the way across” or pretend you are taking a nap. Make sure to do this on both sides. You can tell your child you don’t “want them to be lopsided,” or “the other side wants a turn”.


6. Back float lullaby. If your child is relaxed enough, try pulling him/her across the pool in a supported black float position. This gets both ears in the water together with movement. Have the child lay their head on the “pillow” (your shoulder) with arms extended like an airplane. Place your hands under the hips to support. Have your child choose and sing a bedtime lullaby. This will both distract and relax the child. Move slowly.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 and is filed under Uncategorized.

Helping Children Get Their Faces Wet in the Pool: PART ONE

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Helping Children Get Their Faces Wet in the Pool: PART ONE

Who Cares? & Why Is My Child So Afraid?

Why is getting your face wet so important?

(1) Safety! In case of emergency, your child needs to know how to breathe or hold breath under water

(2) Once your face is in the water, you can float.

(3) Body position (a horizontal one) is key when learning to swim. Strokes are more hydrodynamically efficient when the neck is in line with the trunk (i.e. when the face in the water)

(4) Being completely submerged underwater heightens body awareness. For children with sensory and motor planning challenges, this gives the sensory system a huge boost.

Three main factors interfere with your child feeling comfortable with face in the water:

(1) EARS: Water in the ears feels or sounds uncomfortable. Stick your ear in the pool and focus on the sensation and sound. Now that you focus on it, isn’t it strange? For some children this takes getting used to.


(2) EYES: Water in the eyes feels uncomfortable. Some children have a fear of being unable to see, especially children who have a weak sense of body position in space and over-rely on the visual system.


(3) MOUTH/NOSE: Children who have not learned to hold their breath or blow bubbles through their noses and their mouths may have a fear of being unable to breath. Breath control and blowing bubbles should be taught explicitly!


The next three aqua OT blogs will discuss tips for addressing each factor. In the meantime, keep playing in the pool! The more you are in the pool having fun, the more likely your child is to experiment with getting his/her face wet.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2014 and is filed under Uncategorized.

Beach Day Keepsake!

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The Beach Day is Over, Now What?

The beach day has ended and your children are exhausted. Resist the urge to stick them in front of the TV! Instead, do a simple, relaxing craft that will put those seashells you collected to good use, while strengthening fine motor skills.


Here are instructions for a seashell picture frame:

  1. Grab an old picture frame or purchase a wooden one from your local craft store.
  2. Have your child paint the shells. *Optional, but recommended 🙂
  3. Squeeze strong glue onto the frame
  4. Have your child arrange the shells around the frame to decorate
  5. To make the most of this keepsake, place a picture of your child enjoying the beach inside the frame.

Ramp up the fine motor challenge with these easy modifications:

  • To reinforce a tripod grasp:

o   Pick up shells and deposit them on the picture frame with Zoo Sticks, giant tweezers or tongs.

o   Use a fat paintbrush. Put bright colored tape exactly where it should be held. For children who need an added tactile cue, make the “finger spot” extra thick by rolling lots of tape where the paintbrush should be held.

  • For children working on hand strength, use a small bottle of glue so your child can squeeze the glue out independently
  • To challenge visual skills create a pattern out of painted shells

Submitted by Aviva and Chaye

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 and is filed under Uncategorized.