From the category archives:

Working in Schools

Cyberbullying and School

by Howard Gerber on September 13, 2011

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There was a time when bullying in school was very clear cut. A child was teased on the playground, pushed in the locker room, or tripped in the lunchroom. With the myriad forms of new technology available to students, however, it is becoming increasingly easy for students to bully one another without speaking, touching, looking, or even being in the same room with each other. Smart phones, tablets, laptops, and school computers give students ample opportunity to bully each other through blogs, social networks, email, and text messages. What can schools do to stop students from participating in, or being a victim of, cyberbullying? [continue reading…]


New Students: Starting the School Year Right

by Howard Gerber on August 16, 2011

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Every year, new students and teachers must learn to work together in the classroom. A special education teacher must coordinate with numerous people to make sure their new students receive the help and services they need to succeed in school. [continue reading…]


Problems with Inclusion in the Classroom

by Howard Gerber on July 26, 2011

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Most people like to talk about the benefits of an inclusion classroom. Those are numerous, popular, and easy to list. But what about the problems with inclusive classrooms? It is almost as if it is taboo to even suggest there are problems with creating an inclusive classroom. However, as any mainstream or special education teacher can tell you, there are indeed problems. [continue reading…]


Autism and Occupational Therapy

by Howard Gerber on July 21, 2011

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Autism, or autism spectrum disorders, is used to describe a variety of developmental disorders and is usually diagnosed around the age of three. Because there are so many different conditions this broad term is used to describe, it may be difficult for patients of the “same” condition (or their parents) to understand why the occupational therapy regimes may differ so widely. It is important that occupational therapy be tailored to each individual patient, rather than a single regime be applied to all patients indiscriminately because each patient faces his or her own unique challenges. [continue reading…]


July is UV Safety Month

by Howard Gerber on July 19, 2011

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July is UV Safety Month, an appropriate time as most of the nation is focused on getting outside to enjoy the sun. With new guidelines about sunscreen issued from the FDA it is more important than ever that everyone work together to make sure the public is well informed about the necessity of sun protection and exactly how to best protect themselves and their family.


Make a sunscreen display to show customers the new recommendations by the FDA. A chart format or a Q&A format are good choices because they can easily be skimmed and will force you to break the information into more manageable pieces that consumers will be more likely to understand. This is also an excellent place to move your sunscreen selection to for the month of July. Next to the display of sunscreens, provide easy to understand definitions about the claims the sunscreens make such as waterproof, water resistant, broad spectrum, and what SPF actually means. Brochures that clients can take with them with the new information could also be included with each purchase.


Nurses and doctors can devote some of their bulletin board space this month to UV Safety with a focus on their specialty. Pediatric offices can display what children and infants need, dermatology offices can discuss the warning signs of too much UV exposure, and ophthalmologists’ offices can show the dangers UV radiation poses to eyesight and how to best protect your eyes.


Although most schools close for the summer, they don’t always close completely. Summer programs, summer school, and summer training or extracurricular activities may still be in full force. Take time at the beginning of the month to show students exactly how much sunscreen should be applied and how often it should be reapplied. Physically taking the time to show them what an ounce of sunscreen looks like will be much more beneficial to students than simply discussing the new guidelines.


Many physical and occupational therapists recommend aquatic exercises to supplement therapy session, some even provide aquatic services. If you recommend patients to swim or to complete exercises in the water be sure you talk to them this month about the importance of properly using sunscreen. The FDA has said sunscreens will not be able to claim to be waterproof in the future. Make sure your patients know they need to reapply sunscreen every 40 to 80 minutes (depending on the type they use) if they are in the water or sweating.

How do you plan to make your patients more aware of the dangers of UV radiation? Do you recommend specific sunscreens or products that limit UV exposure? What do you think of the new FDA guidelines for sunscreens?

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Sleeping Students

by Howard Gerber on June 21, 2011

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Should you let your students nap? The answer may surprise you. Many teens are not getting nearly enough sleep during the school week. They are averaging a bit more than 7 hours each night while they typically need more than 9. There are several reasons for this that range from basic biology to increased demands and opportunities for stimulation. The end result, regardless of the reason, is that teens are more exhausted and they have even more difficulty in class than if they are fully alert. [continue reading…]


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Exceptional Student Education (ESE) teachers often need to think outside of the educational box when choosing learning supplies for their students. Coloring pages can be quite useful for younger students, students who are just learning English, students who have difficulty reading, or for students who need visual aids to help remember information. The following five websites provide educational coloring pages or printable worksheets that will help students excel in a variety of subjects. [continue reading…]


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