Kim Toomer OTR/L completes sensory integration-posture-movement course

Thursday, Jan 5, 2017 by Child & Family Development

Kim Toomer MOT OTR/L, occupational therapist at Child and Family Development- Pineville, attended a course titled Posture and Movement- How does Sensory Integration fit in? from Vital Links, the developers of Therapeutic Listening 

The course reviewed the Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT) problem-solving process, therapeutic handling, and clinical decision-making process when treating children who display motor and sensory difficulties with an emphasis on the interrelation between the sensory systems, neuromuscular systems, posture and movement.

Kim has a greater understanding of the importance of postural control in motor function and how it impacts everything we do. The NDT clinical decision making is also helpful with her pediatric clients. 

Read more about pediatric occupational therapy here.

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

 

 

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer

Occupational therapist, Kim Toomer shares benefits of working on a vertical surface

Friday, Nov 4, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Kim Toomer MOT OTR/L, occupational therapist at Child and Family Development, reviewed a fascinating article about the benefits of kids working on a vertical surface, rather than at a desk and/or looking down at a screen. This is especially true in these days of technology, which is impacting people's posture and vision.

The author, asserts these advantages:

  • shoulder/elbow stability
  • bilateral coordination
  • midline crossing
  • wrist extension/pencil grasp
  • visual attention/ hand-eye coordination
  • spatial awareness
  • sensory
  • core strength and posture

They also provided some easy and sample activities to do along a wall in different positions (seated/standing/kneeling):

  • play with stickers
  • build a Lego wall
  • tape a paper and trace/draw
  • draw/write on a dry erase board
  • draw/write on a mirror
  • draw/write on a smart board

Kim incorporates many of these philosophies and tasks into pediatric occupational therapy sessions.  In addition to the benefits, she finds that kids really like it, as they get the feeling of being allowed to do something out of the ordinary!

Read full article here.   

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer

Don't Take Our Word For It: occupational therapy expertise & service

Wednesday, Oct 5, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Kim Toomer, MOT, OTR/L is an occupational therapist at the Pineville office of Child and Family Development.  Recently, a parent survey yielded the nicest of words:   

“I am extremely pleased with the our experience so far! Thank you!”

We love this affirming feedback about our occupational therapy expertise and service!   

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

 

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, C&FD Testimonials, Kim Toomer

Kim Toomer, occupational therapist, celebrates 1 year at C&FD

Monday, Jul 18, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Happy C&FD Anniversary to Kim Toomer

Kim Toomer MOT OTR/L is an occupational therapist at the Pineville office. She is celebrating year at Child and Family Development this month.   

Kim has diverse clinical experiences but most enjoys helping children and teens. Her interests are autism, motor planning, fine motor skills, and sensory processing, with specialty training including Treating Behavior in Children, Handwriting Without Tears® Get Set for School Pre-K Readiness and Writing Workshop, Handwriting Without Tears® K-5 Handwriting Workshop. 

A colleague shares:  

Kim is a very hardworking OT who strives to find the best answers as to why her clients are struggling in life.   She provides a compassionate and caring setting to encourage her clients to stretch their comfort levels and boundaries in a way that is not scary or frustrating. 

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer

Occupational therapist Kim Toomer completes Handwriting Without Tears courses

Tuesday, Jul 5, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Kim Toomer MOT MOTR/L, occupational therapist, recently completed 2 award winning Handwriting Without Tears® (HWT) courses called:

  • Get Set for School® Pre-K Readiness
  • Writing Workshop and K-5 Handwriting Workshop

The Pre-K Readiness course recommends the use of lively music and playful activities to help young children build a solid foundation for school success. This workshop introduced a readiness curriculum full of developmentally appropriate activities that teach children about letters, body awareness, numbers, sequencing, and sharing, all foundational skills for writing and school readiness.

The K-5 Handwriting Workshop offered many engaging multisensory techniques and research-based methods to make handwriting a natural and automatic skill for children of all ages and abilities. Dynamic instruction methods for teaching and remediating children’s handwriting skills from kindergarten pre-writing through school-aged cursive were included. 

Kim says, “I am so glad to have participated in these dynamic continuing education courses! After completing these courses, I have a whole toolbox of new activities and ideas for teach Pre-K readiness and handwriting (both print and cursive), as well as remediating any handwriting difficulties children may have. I look forward to implementing these research-based methods in my pediatric practice.”

The Child and Family Development occupational therapy team of 10 providers offers free phone intakes and screens.  

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer

What is Occupational Therapy?

Monday, Apr 18, 2016 by Child & Family Development

 

 

Occupational therapy is all about the "job of living". 

The primary role of the occupational therapist in pediatrics is to help children play, grow, and develop many of the skills that will enable them to enjoy a satisfying adult life.  OTs do this through the knowledgeable selection and use of everyday activities (occupations) to evaluate and enhance children’s development and competence.  

We help children, teens and young adults with behavioral, developmental, neurological and physical deficits gain skills and learn to function with as much independence as possible.  Therapy visits might focus on helping kids learn to eat, hold a pencil, write letters and words, cut a straight line, get dressed, brush teeth, stay organized and focused in the classroom or on the playground, manage sensory input and their own behaviors, as well as stretch and strengthen their muscles.  In other words, we help children with everyday activities.  

If you notice difficulties in one or more of these areas, an evaluation and treatment may be appropriate:

  • Behavior
  • Developmental Skill Acquisition 
  • Delayed motor or self-care skills
  • Feeding 
  • Motor Planning
  • Motor 
  • Sensory Processing
  • Visual Perception 

Some of our occupational therapy specialty services are:

Click here for more information on the Child and Family Development occupational therapists at our Charlotte and Pineville offices!

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: Marion Wilm, Jessica Hoffarth, Melissa Petcu, Abbey Wash, Kati Berlin, Megan Bevington, Courtney Stanley, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer, Meghan Davidson-Palmer

April is Occupational Therapy Month!

Friday, Apr 1, 2016 by Child & Family Development

 



April is Occupational Therapy Month and we are celebrating with our team.  Visit our Charlotte and Pineville lobbies to add a note of THANKS for the wonderful work they do! 

MIDTOWN

  • Abbey Wash MOT OTR/L
  • Jessica Hoffarth MS OTR/L
  • Megan Bevington MS OTR/L
  • Meghan Dooley MS OTR/L
  • Melissa Petcu MS OTR/L

 

PINEVILLE

  • Courtney Stanley MS OTR/L
  • Kati Berlin MS OTR/L
  • Katie Haywood MS OTR/L
  • Kim Toomer MOT OTR/L
  • Marion Wilm OTR/L C/NDT

 

Click here for more information on the occupational therapists at Child and Family Development!

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist


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Topics: Marion Wilm, Jessica Hoffarth, Melissa Petcu, Abbey Wash, Kati Berlin, Megan Bevington, Courtney Stanley, C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer, Meghan Davidson-Palmer

occupational therapist: everyday items and fine motor skill building

Wednesday, Mar 9, 2016 by Child & Family Development

Kim Toomer MOT OTR/L, occupational therapist at the Pineville office of Child and Family Development, found this fun resource for families and colleagues.

The article from Hey Mommies.com lists 10 everyday items that promote fine motor skills for children under 5 years old.  These basic items are small and inexpensive and would be great additions to an Easter basket. 

  1. Markers/Crayons/Colored Pencils
  2. Scissors
  3. Tongs 
  4. Stickers
  5. Pipe cleaners and beads
  6. Playdough 
  7. Fuzzy ball pom poms
  8. Clothespins
  9. Finger paint
  10. Shaving cream 

Read the full list here.   

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer

Autism and haircuts: Occupational therapist, Kim Toomer has tips!

Tuesday, Jan 5, 2016 by Child & Family Development

As a member of the occupational therapy team at the Pineville office of Child and Family Development, Kim Toomer MOT OTR/L knows that getting a haircut can be overwhelming to people with autism.  Often, people have anxiety about the out of the ordinary experience before and during the actual event. They can also have strong responses to the related sensory systems (touch, sounds, etc.) of the process. So, she was thrilled to find a resource to address this common challenge. 

Autism Speaks and Snip-Its partnered to create a video that provides suggestions and examples to help a person with autism have a more successful and pleasant haircut experience, including:

  • Tips to prepare (for the caregiver, the stylist AND the person receiving the service) 
  • Visual/ picture schedule 
  • Resource guide for finding stylists in your area that specialize in providing haircuts to individuals with autism.  We found 2 options in the Charlotte area:
  1. Snip Its, Huntersville, 704 987 0940, http://www.snipits.com
  2. Kids Super Salone, Huntersville, 704 948 4151, http://www.kidssupersalon.net

To read the full article or view a portion of the video guide, click here.  

Kim recommends that parents prepare for novel experiences with their child by letting them know what to expect in advance (steps in process, location, time needed, sounds/smells/objects that be around and other typical hallmarks of the event).  An occupational therapist may also provide some helpful customized suggestions and sensory diet modifications to facilitate success for your child.  

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer

Occupational therapist completes managing behavior in kids/ teens course

Monday, Nov 16, 2015 by Child & Family Development

 

Occupational therapist, Kim Toomer MOT, OTR/L, completed a continuing education course called “Effectively Treat Behavior in Children: Traumatic Brain Injury, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing, Cognitive Limitations, PTSD, & Other Challenges".  

The course focused on helping children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), behavioral issues, cognitive limitations, developmental delays, sensory processing difficulties, traumatic brain injury (TBI), trauma and other diagnoses.  The approach synthesizes behavioral, sensory integration, handling, mindfulness, activity, music and developmental strategies.  Evidence-based techniques included positive behavioral support, mindfulness, therapeutic movement, neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT), neuropsychology, sensory integration and sensory massage.  The presenter placed an emphasis on multidisciplinary interventions and consultations, which is reflective of our team of educators, a psychiatrist, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists. 

Kim enjoyed the course and tapped into her psychology/mental health background.  She came away with some great strategies to try with kids.  She especially liked learning more about positive behavioral support.  Fro example, in the moment of a child is acting out, it can be hard to stay in a positive place to help them move through it, but having these strategies will really help and be excellent recommendations for parents and caregivers too. 

Our occupational therapy team of 9 offer free phone intakes and is accepting referrals. 

   Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer

Occupational therapist, Kim Toomer shares resource for sensory activities

Monday, Nov 9, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Kim Toomer MOT OTR/L, occupational therapist at Child and Family Development, celebrates Sensory Awareness Month by finding resources for families and colleagues. 

She discovered a helpful website, Learning 4 Kids, that provides an easy explanation of "messy play" as well as lists of activities.  

  • According to the site, messy play is important for young children, giving them endless ways to develop and learn. All types of play are essential for children’s development and early learning. Play helps children to develop and improve their gross and fine motor skills, coordination and concentration. Also how to work cooperatively and collaboratively, use all their senses to discover and explore their environment, and develop their imagination, creative thinking and ability to problem solve and experiment with solutions.

Kim agrees that sensory play is a great way to encourage kids to try new things! They may be hesitant at first or they may jump right in and love to get messy. Exposing the tactile system to different sensations can help the body learn to adjust and modulate sensory input.

  • She especially likes the squishy bags and colored rice bags on this list, for when families want to give their kids a sensory experience, but don’t have the time to clean up a big mess. Very practical!

Find more activities here.  

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer

Occupational therapist, Kim Toomer reviews article about autism, learning

Tuesday, Oct 27, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Kim Toomer MOT OTR/L, occupational therapist at Child and Family Development, reviewed a fascinating and perhaps surprising article about how people with autism learn best. Many experts and providers approach learning by repeating information over and over again, either verbally or physically.   According to the author Shilo Rea of Carnegie Mellon University, a new study published in Nature Neuroscience shows that training individuals with ASD to acquire new information by repeating the information actually harms their ability to apply that learned knowledge to other situations. This finding, by an international research team, challenges the popular educational approaches designed for ASD individuals that focus on repetition and drills.

Instead, the study highlights the importance of using a variety of materials, tools, situations, and strategies when working with individuals with autism so that they may learn to generalize what they learn across different tasks.

In occupational therapy sessions, I am always trying to provoke adaptive responses from the sensory system. For example, when we are working on motor planning with a child who may appear clumsy, we may build obstacle courses utilizing different equipment each time over a number of sessions. Each time they complete a different course, the child’s vestibular, proprioceptive, and vision systems have to work together in a different way to be successful.

This study appears to support this type of varied, adaptive learning strategy for people with autism.

Read full article here

Have a question about developmental milestones? 704-541-9080 Call to schedule a free phone consultation with a  Occupational Therapist

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer

Child and Family Development welcomes occupational therapist, Kim Toomer

Friday, Jul 10, 2015 by Child & Family Development

Kim Toomer, MOT OTR/L, occupational therapist, joins the Child and Family Development team this month.  She is working at the Midtown office primarily at this time. 

Kim relocated to Charlotte from Connecticut recently, where she was working in a multidisciplinary pediatric therapy organization like this one.  She is settling into Child & Family Development and the South quite nicely so far, y'all.  

Welcome Kim!   

Read more about our occupational therapy services here

 

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Topics: C&FD Occupational Therapy Services, Kim Toomer

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insights is a helpful blog brought to you by Child & Family Development

Child & Family Development is a multi-disciplinary pediatric clinic serving the needs of Charlotte area children and their families.

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  • 4012 Park Road, Suite 200
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 704.332.4834
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  • 10516 Park Road
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 704.541.9080

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