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​​Reource of Month header Feb 2023.jpgWelcome to Resource of the Month, featuring books or other resources that have been recommended by some of our occupational therapist or physical therapist team members. We are building quite an archive; be sure to check out some of the resources that were recommended in past months. Enjoy! 

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This Month’s Recommended Resource:​

TOTA's OT and PT School Conference 

  (on-demand sessions now available)  

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Link: TOTA 2023 OT & PT Service Delivery in Schools - on demand sessions

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​Resources for Months Past:  

August 2023

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  From the School-Based Therapy Services division of Harris County Department of Education:

School-Based Leadership Groups

 School-based personnel meet via Zoom to discuss topics, exchange information and ideas, discuss strategies, explore solutions, and connect with other interested individuals. The 30-minute meetings are held online during lunchtime.

 Physical Therapy Leadership Group

Meeting content will focus on school-based physical therapists and physical therapist assistants

Meeting Time:  12:00 Noon – 12:30 PM

    Meeting Dates:  September 19, October 17, November 14, January 16, February 20, March 19, April 16

                Register in advance for this meeting:


      (After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.)

​And our NEW

Occupational Therapy Leadership Group

Meeting content will focus on school-based occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants

Meeting Time:  12:00 Noon – 12:30 PM

   Meeting Dates:  September 28, October 19, November 9, January 11, February 8, March 7, April 11

                Register in advance for this meeting:


            (After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.)

July 2023
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APTA-sponsored in-person conference:
Innovations in School-Based Physical Therapy Practice 2023
July 28-29 - Philadelphia, PA

TxSpot’s Resource of the Month for July 2023 is an in-person conference for school-based p​hysical therapy. The conference, offered by the APTA Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy’s School Special Interest Group, highlights advanced practice issues as well as foundational information for school-based practice. Sessions provide information on decision-making and educationally relevant physical therapy services to support students with disabilities in their educational programs. Nationally recognized speakers address federal laws, assessment, service provision, clinical education, and mentorship, as well as innovations in practice.

​Information re: Foundations of School-Based Physical Therapy Course 2023, a virtual continuing education course starting August 16, with live and on-demand sessions  ​

June 2023
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Fun Summer Activities for Kids with Special Needs (Part 2)

The Resource of the Month for June 2023 is the second of a 2-part series about fun summer activities for children with special needs. This month we focus on accessible beaches, inclusive playgrounds, adaptive sports, and family day trips/staycations. 

List of some…

Beaches: The Texas Open Beaches Act states that “the public…shall have free and unrestricted right of ingress and egress to and from the state-owned beaches."  We list several well-known Texas beaches that are accessible to persons with disabilities and have beach wheelchairs available.

Inclusive Playgrounds/Parks: We list information about accessible playgrounds and parks in Texas plus two news items.

Adaptive Sports and Recreation: We have links to Special Olympics and to two adaptive sports programs, one in the  Fort Worth area and one in Nederland. Some of the sports and recreational opportunities offered include baseball, soccer, fishing, boating, Tae Kwon Do, kayaking, and water skiing.

Family Day Trips: Family-friendly day trips and staycation ideas around Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin.

May 2023

The Resource of the Month for May 2023 is the first of a 2-part series about fun summer activities for children with special needs. This month we will focus on summer camps.

​​Why go to camp?  Because camp is a lot of fun!

During games, songs, and group activities, children learn new skills. They can meet other people with disabilities, practice making choices, learn to work in groups, practice social skills, and enjoy being outside in nature.

There are two main types of camps: inclusionary camps and camps that are designed just for kids with disabilities or special needs. Camps may be day camp, weekend camp, or overnight (sleepaway) camp.

Click on the link below for a document with information about summer camps. The document has links to an article from Navigate Life Texas with great information about Sending Your Child to Camp. The document also has links to  lists of camps in Texas for children with special needs.

​Information about Summer Camps in Texas

April 2023
                                              In honor of National Occupational Therapy Month                                                          ​                                ​   
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​                                                   A new Featured Article​ on TxSpot:  

​                                                          What About Tracing?  
Tracing worksheets are a popular classroom tool to aid developing writers and struggling writers. But what do recent studies say about the use of tracing worksheets? Read this article to find out and to learn the most effective methods for learning to write. The article includes links to helpful resources.

March 2023
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TxSpot's new Professional Development webinar!

Dysgraphia: Identification to Intervention​

              Explore the topic of dysgraphia.


                       Why is handwriting an important topic?
                       How do handwriting skills develop?
                       What is dysgraphia?
                       How do we identify it?
                       What does research say about effective intervention?​

            Who should watch this webinar?

                      Occupational therapy practitioners
                      Special Education Administrators
                      General and Special Education teachers
                      Others who are interested in learning about dysgraphia.

                     Find the Dysgraphia webinar on the TxSpot Professional Development page​.

Log in to TxSpot, then scroll down to the last webinar on the page.

February 2023
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Regular physical activity is one of the most important things people can do to improve their health. Moving more and sitting less have tremendous benefits for everyone, regardless of age, sex, race, ethnicity, or current fitness level. The scientific evidence continues to build—physical activity is linked with even more positive health outcomes than we previously thought.

This edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is grounded in the most current scientific evidence. It provides guidance on the amounts and types of physical activity necessary to maintain or improve overall health and reduce the risk of, or even prevent, chronic disease.

School-based therapists will be especially interested in Chapter 2 (with its information about health benefits of physical activity) and in Chapter 3 (which details guidelines for active children and adolescents, including some real-life examples).

December 2022

Here is an old favorite! – a repeat of the December 2019 Resource of the Month – 

just in time for the 2022 holiday season!

 “Tips to Select Toys for Children with Special Needs"

from the American Physical Therapy Association. It has suggestions for types of toys that may delight children with special needs and various abilities. There is also a link to a podcast by two mothers raising children with special needs and a panel discussion of toy buying tips for the holidays.

So, check it out and maybe share it with parents of the students you serve.
Happy Holidays!

Click here for the festive link!  Tips for Toys for Children with Special Needs

October 2022
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In honor of National Physical Therapy Month, October's Resource of the Month is a new video posted on TxSpot's Professional Development page:


Watch this short video to discover more about school-based physical therapy practice and some of the ways in which it differs from physical therapy practice in other settings. Also hear from some school-based physical therapists and physical therapist assistants about their practice in schools.

  Who should view this video?

Anyone who wants to learn more about school-based physical therapy.

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who want to share with others about their practice in the school setting. 

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September 2022

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NOV. 9, 2022     8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

(Available Livestream and On Demand through Dec. 31, 2022)

The speaker: Dr. Beverly Moskowitz,

A nationally recognized speaker and author of the

Size Matters Handwriting Program 

 This workshop is designed to help occupational therapy practitioners and educators design and implement handwriting instruction that reflects current educational policy and practices alongside the latest evidence and research on handwriting intervention.

Audience: Occupational Therapy Practitioners, General and Special Education Teachers.

5.25 contact hours CEU, CPE.

Registration deadline for Livestream: October 31; Registration deadline for On Demand: December 16

(Registrants will have course materials mailed to them)

For more information & to register, follow the link: 

The Art and Science of Handwriting Intervention - workshop flyer and registration

August 2022
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School-Based Leadership Group Meetings

The School-Based Therapy Services division of Harris County Department of Education sponsors

School-Based Leadership Groups

 including virtual meetings where school-based personnel meet to discuss topics, exchange information and ideas, discuss strategies, explore solutions, and connect with other like-minded individuals.

Physical Therapy Leadership Group

Open to school-based physical therapists and physical therapist assistants

Meeting Time:  12:00 Noon – 12:30 PM

Third Tuesday Meeting Dates:  September 20, November 15, January 17, February 21, March 21, April 18

Link for Physical Ttherapy Leadership Group meeting: https://hcde-texas-org.zoom.us/j/83056271095?pwd=enFEUmxEN1I2cFR1Y3hlR3ZlQnRwUT09

Mental Health Leadership Group

Open to any interested person

Meeting Time:  12:00 Noon – 12:30 PM

Second Tuesday Meeting Dates:  September 13, November 8, February 14, April 11

Link for Mental Health Leadership Group meeting: https://hcde-texas-org.zoom.us/j/82158735973?pwd=N05aQ1RZK28zVkRLRTNEdk9pRFRoZz09

June 2022
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Texas Occupational Therapy Association presents:

School-based Occupational Therapy: Solutions for Multi-tiered System of Support

Virtual Webinar

June 11, 2022   10 AM – 12 PM CDT

Speaker: Lou Ann Hintz, PhD, OTR

Current occupational therapy literature and federal legislation support school-based occupational therapists' participation in multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). Yet many school-based occupational therapists struggle to implement. This interactive virtual webinar will share recent research which describes teachers' experiences with occupational therapists who participate in MTSS and illustrate precisely how some occupational therapists across the nation are having success with MTSS. Solutions will be shared to support occupational therapists in advocating for their role in MTSS, outlining their role and scope, and establishing documentation for data collection.    

​(2 CEUs)

Cost of Webinar:    TOTA member: FREE     Non-member OT/OTA: $30     Non-member student: $15

Click here for the conference brochure and link to registration:  TOTA Multi-Tiered System of Support flyer​

May 2022
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School-Based Physical Therapy: Collaboration with School District Carpenters

May's Resource of the Month is a short video by Nora Contreras, one Harris County Department of Education's own physical therapist assistants. Nora describes how collaboration between physical therapy and her school district's carpentry department has resulted in custom-built adaptive equipment specifically designed to meet the needs and goals of individual students. The video features 3 charming youngsters and 5 different examples of custom-built equipment.

April 2022
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The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2020, Vol. 74, No. 2

Research Article

Interventions Within the Scope of Occupational Therapy to Improve Children's Academic Participation:

 A Systematic Review

Link:  https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.039016

The objective of this research article was “To examine the effectiveness of interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice to improve academic participation of children and youth ages 5-21 yr." It was supported and funded by AOTA as part of its Evidence-Based Practice Project.

​A total of 46 studies were included in the review; these were “based on three themes: (1) interventions to support participation and learning in the classroom; (2) interventions to support motivation and participation in literacy, including combined reading, written expression, and comprehension; and (3) interventions to support handwriting."

March 2022

Joint Statement on Interprofessional Collaborative Goals in School-Based Practice


“highlights a process for IEP team members to collaborate to develop IEP goals to support students with disabilities in participation in school life.

A group of occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs), physical therapists (PTs), and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) with extensive experience in school practice worked together to summarize considerations for collaborative goal writing. However, the information shared in this document was designed for use by any team of professionals developing collaborative IEP goals, and can be shared with administrators, families, IEP team members, and advocates to demonstrate the steps involved in this process."

January 2022
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Online Class

Thursday January 27, 3:30 – 5:30 PM CST

Presented by Educational Service Center - Region 6

Speaker: Dr. Anne Watson, OT, PhD

​Sensory processing differences is an often-used term that may be applied loosely to explain difficulties some children have with participating in school activities. This presentation is recommended for teachers, OTs, LSSPs, and diagnosticians. [Dr. Watson] will review specifically the sensory differences associated with autism and ADHD. The presentation also includes a review of intervention strategies that can be used in the classroom to address the behaviors associated with sensory differences and how the efficacy of those strategies can be measured. 

December 2021

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The Girl Who Thought in Pictures – The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin (Amazing Scientists Book 1)

Written by Julia Finley Mosca; Illustrated by Daniel Rieley

​If you've ever felt different,

if you've ever been low,

if you don't quite fit in,

There's a name you should know.

 TEMPLE GRANDIN's that name.

In her tale you'll find glory.

So, get ready, get set,

for this cowgirl's TRUE story.

So begins The Girl Who Thought in Pictures – The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin, a book to share with children of (almost) any age. It is “the first book in a brand new educational series about the inspirational lives of amazing scientists." In addition to the charmingly illustrated rhyming tale, the book includes a short complete biography, a timeline of events, fun facts, and a note from Dr. Grandin herself. The book, rated 4.9 of 5 stars in global reader ratings, has won multiple awards including “Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award Recipient," “A Mighty Girl Book of the Year," and is a selection for “National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) Best STEM books for     K-12" and for “NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books."​

October 2021
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You're Going to Love This Kid!" – Teaching Students with Autism in the Inclusive Classroom

By Paula Kluth

This second edition of the best-selling “You're Going to Love This Kid!" by Paula Kluth is “fully revised and more practical than ever." 

Well-loved by educators for its creative ideas and inspiration, this new edition  is “the ultimate practical guide to including students with autism, teaching them effectively and sensitively, and appreciating the gifts they bring to the classroom."

July-August 2021

Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Network​

Texas Education Agency's Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Network has a wealth of authoritative information and recorded webinars helpful to school-based occupational and physical therapists. Below are examples of some of the topics related to Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports.

Explore these subpages for everything you need to know about Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports in Texas.


Evaluation subpage Topics

Initial Evaluations                 Reevaluations            Evaluation Procedures

        Review of Existing           Disability Criteria and            Timelines

          Evaluation Data           Eligibility Determination


In addition, you'll find links to other helpful websites such as “SpedTex" and “The Legal Framework."

Click the link: TEA ChildFind, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Network

May 2021​​

Taking Charge of ADHD –

The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents

by Dr. Russell A. Barkley

This is the 4th edition of the leading resource for parents about attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) authored by internationally recognized authority, Dr. Russell A. Barkley. The book is offered in print and e-book forms. It has been revised and updated with the latest information and resources. It features information on:

          • Understand why children with ADHD act the way they do.
          • Get an accurate diagnosis.
          • Work with school and healthcare personnel to find needed support.
          • Implement a proven behavior management plan.
          • Build academic and social skills.
          • Restore harmony at home.

New content includes a chapter on health risks associated with ADHD, the latest information on causes of the disorder, current facts on medications, sibling issues, and advice for parents who may have ADHD themselves.

“This is not just another book. This is a GREAT book…. Although aimed at parents, (it) has something for everyone involved with ADHD kids: teachers, psychologists, doctors, and family." – Pediatric News​

March 2020

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Universal Design for Learning – FREE online learning modules

Texas Education Agency's Region 4 Educational Service Center is offering

5 FREE online learning modules about Universal Design for Learning.

Sign up for one or more. Share with teachers.

But you will need to hurry! Registration for the series closes at 12:00 AM on April 30, 2021.

Module Descriptions:

UDL Module 1: Universal Design for Learning Overview - Session ID 1589765

In this module, you will gain an understanding of the need for UDL in today's classrooms. You will be introduced to the key vocabulary, foundational concepts, and perspective needed to fully grasp the complexity and significance of the UDL Framework.

UDL Module 2: The UDL Framework - Session ID 1589763

In this module, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the UDL framework, including its structure, curricular components, and the research behind it. You will understand the alignment between the 3-brain networks for learning and the three UDL guiding principles.

UDL Module 3: The Engagement Principle - Session ID 1589761

In this module, you will take a deep dive into the UDL principle of Multiple Means of Engagement and the associated checkpoints. Through scenarios, examples, and activities, you will explore sample lesson plans and apply your understanding of how and when to utilize the UDL strategies associated with this principle.

UDL Module 4: Multiple Means of Representation - Session 1589759

In this module, you will take a deep dive into the UDL principle of Multiple Means of Representation and the associated checkpoints. Through scenarios, examples and activities, you will explore sample lesson plans and apply your understanding of how and when to utilize the UDL strategies associated with this principle.

UDL Module 5: Multiple Means of Action and Expression - Session 1589692

In this module, you will take a deep dive into the UDL principle of Multiple Means of Action and Expression and the associated checkpoints. Through scenarios, examples, and activities, you will explore sample lesson plans and apply your understanding of how and when to utilize the UDL strategies associated with this principle.

January 2020
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  CanChild and CP-Net  

TxSpot's Resource of the Month for January 2020 is CanChild and its off-shoot, the Childhood Cerebral Palsy Integrated Neuroscience Discovery Network (CP-net).

CanChild is a non-profit and educational center located at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. They are dedicated to improving the lives of children with a variety of developmental conditions and their families over the lifespan. They are a “premier source for childhood disability information." The website includes information about diagnoses, research in practice, and a resource page.

CP-net is a program designed to improve the understanding of cerebral palsy (CP) and to accelerate the development of new treatments. Its ultimate goal is to improve the lives of people with CP and their families. The website includes resources such as posters, videos, and reports on CP-related research. There are also webinars and presentations such as “Transitioning to Adult Care: Experiences from Youth and Young Adults," “Communication Technology for Children with Cerebral Palsy," and “Covert (and Overt) Attitudes Toward Disability."

​Each website also provides access to a monthly (CanChild) or quarterly (CP-net) Newsletter so you can get the latest updates.

Here are the links for these great resources:  


CP-Net ​ 

December 2019    
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December’s Resource of the Month is just in time for the holiday season!
from the American Physical Therapy Association. It has suggestions for types of toys that may delight children with special needs and various abilities. There is also a link to a podcast by two mothers raising children with special needs and a panel discussion of toy buying tips for the holidays.
So, check it out and maybe share it with parents of the students whom you serve.
Happy Holidays!
November 2019    
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 November's  Resource of the Month is a pair of autism-spectrum-related websites from the Texas Education Agency’s Region 13 Educational Service Center.  
Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training (TSLAT) provides training, support, and resources for educators serving students with autism. It has an online course library with over 80 courses, a video library with short videos to support educators and parents as well as the Texas Autism Resource Guide for Effective Teaching (TARGET) which has a strong emphasis on evidence-based and peer-reviewed strategies in two sections, one on assessments and one on interventions.
Autism Circuit Academy offers professional development courses to help Texas educators acquire and implement evidence-based practices in educating students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Persons completing the training can earn an endorsement, a visible sign of the work accomplished to become skilled in the implementation of the evidence-based practices identified by the National Professional Development Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The training is free for employees of local educational agencies in Texas. 
                        Links to the recommended websites:     Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training
                                                                                                 Autism Circuit Academy
October 2019  
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Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro)
PEDro is the Physiotherapy Evidence Database and comes from Australia. It is a free database of thousands of randomized trials, systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines for physical therapy. For each trial, review or guideline, PEDro provides the citation details, the abstract and a link to the full text, where possible. Trials on PEDro are independently assessed for quality. The quality ratings can quickly guide users to trials that are more likely to be valid and to contain sufficient information to guide clinical practice. One feature of PEDro that you may like is “Evidence in Your Inbox” which will provide monthly links to the latest clinical practice guidelines, systematic reviews and clinical trials for selected physical therapy topics.
PEDro is produced by the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health, School of Public Health at the University of Sydney and is hosted by Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA). PEDro is in partnership with the Australian Physiotherapy Association.
Go to PEDro here:  PEDro.org.au
July 2019  
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Summer Reading Program with Bookshare
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Bookshare is an initiative that makes reading easier. People with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers can customize their reading experience to suit their own learning style. Bookshare’s eBooks can be read in audio, braille, and other easy-to-read formats on almost any device. Bookshare is FREE for qualified U.S. students and schools.
This summer, Bookshare offers an enriching summer reading program designed to keep students reading over the summer. Reading lists are curated and modeled after the Collaborative Summer Library Program, including level-appropriate tales of fantasy, science fiction, #ownvoices, and other topics for leisure reading. 2019’s theme from the Collaborative Summer Library Program is “A Universe of Stories;” so, although many different subjects are available in the Bookshare summer reading list, books with the theme of Space Exploration are featured.
  Follow this link:   Bookshare - Summer Reading Program
June 2019  
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5 Ways to Speak to Your Pediatric Patients  
 TxSpot's Resource of the Month for June ia an article with some simple, but good, advice for communicating with kids!
May 2019   
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May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This month’s recommended resource is a set geared toward schools. All come from the National Association of School Psychologists or from Every Moment Counts. Follow the links:
April 2019  
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In honor of Autism Awareness Month, April’s recommended resource includes two autism-related resources from AOTA.                   We have also added these two resources to the TxSpot Resource page.
Click the links below: 

February 2019  
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The SETT Framework
The SETT Framework is an organizational tool to help collaborative teams create Student-centered, Environmentally useful, and Tasks-focused Tool systems that foster the educational success of students with disabilities. The SETT Framework is built on the premise that in order to develop an appropriate system of assistive technology devices and services, teams must first gather information about the student, the customary environments in which the students spend their time, and the tasks that are required for the students to be active participants in the teaching/learning processes that lead to educational success. *    *Quote taken from SETT Framework website
Follow the links to access it and to find out more:   SETT Framework Website
                               SETT Framework Introduction (Article)
  December 2018  
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Evidence-Based Practice Resources for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
The TxSpot Resource of the Month for December is a bundle of resources on Evidence-Based Practice for individuals on the autism spectrum. (You may be able to get continuing education credit for some of them.) Check them out!
   The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder:
    Autism Internet Modules: https://autisminternetmodules.org/
    National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence & Practice:  https://ncaep.fpg.unc.edu/                   
October 2018
                                             Resources for Parents
Would you like some trustworthy resources that you could provide to the parents of the students whom you serve? Here are some that we found:
Parent Coordination Network - A resource for parents of children receiving special education services (a leadership function of the Texas Education Agency). "The Patent Coordination Network is committed to ensuring that parents of students with diasabilities recieve accurate and timely information to assist them in making informed choices in their​ children's education." 
Parent Coordination SHOUT OUT! - A newsletter from the Parent Coordination Network that offers tips and resources for parents of students with disabilities.
Texas Project FIRST - "Created by parents, for parents!" A project of the Texas Education Agency committed to providing accurate and consistent information to parents and families of students with disabilities.
Navigate Life Texas - Provides resuorces and information for kids with disabilities and special needs. A project of Texas Health and Human Services.
Links:      Parent Coordination Network                        Parent Coordination SHOUT OUT!
               Texas Project FIRST                                         Navigate Life Texas
                                                           September 2018                    
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Does it seem like you have more and more students from different cultural backgrounds? How may culture affect their motor development? This Resource/Fact Sheet from the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy explores how motor development can vary across various cultures. It covers: What is Culture, Why is this Important, Culture and Motor Development, Implications for Therapists, Culturally Competent Care and Family-Centered Pediatric Care (Put on Your Thinking Cap), and lists additional resources for Cultural Competency.
  August 2018​
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“I’m Tyler....Don’t be surprised” is a peek into a real kid’s life where people just like you have realized that what a kid can do is much more important than what they can’t. In this inspirational video, Tyler talks about “Ability Awareness” and the teachers, administrators, para-educators, theater directors, music directors, youth leaders, karate sensei’s, Scout leaders, and others who saw his abilities rather than his disabilities and gave him the opportunity to be himself.
 Link to the Video:  I'm Tyler
July 2018​
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Every Moment Counts is a mental health promotion initiative developed to help all children and youth become mentally healthy in order to succeed in school, at home and in the community. This work focuses on reframing mental health as a positive state of functioning – it is more than the absence of mental illness. Positive mental health is associated with feeling good emotionally, doing well functionally, and coping with challenges in everyday life. For children and youth, this means doing well during academic (classroom) as well as nonacademic (recess, lunch, after-school extracurricular activities) times of the school day.
The purpose of the website is share practical resources that can be used by school personnel, children/youth, and families to promote positive mental health and well-being in all children and youth throughout the day.
 Click for the link to the website:  everymomentcounts.org
June 2018​
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 Safe Student Lifting and Transfers in the School Setting: A Decision-Making Guide
This resource/fact sheet from the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy provides guidelines on safe lifting and transferring of students in the school setting. It includes recommendations from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, things to consider when creating a lifting/transfer plan, and decision-making algorithms.  
May 2018​
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There is a new resource available for persons with a stake in special education in Texas. It is SPEDTex, the Special Education Information Center, and is sponsored by the Region 10 Educational Service Center. The purpose of SPEDTex is to deliver “accurate and timely resources about special education to stakeholders across the state of Texas.” In addition to various resources and videos available on the website, specialists are available to answer questions by telephone, email, or live chat. 

Click here for access to the SPEDTex website:  SpedTX.org​

 March 2018 
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Successful Participation at School: Strategies for All Students
This resource from the American Occupational Therapy Association provides tips for educators on how to help their students:
·       Improve behavior
·       Improve attention to task and ability to work independently
·       Manage emotions
·       Promote friendship and peer interaction
·       Promote academic performance in areas such as literacy, numeracy
·       Improve executive function
·       Increase personal independence in daily school routines
In addition, it desctribes the expertise that Occupational Therapists can provide in these areas.
February 2018
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Seating and Wheeled Mobility: A Clinical Resource Guide
by Michele L. Lange and Jean Minkel
Seating and Wheeled Mobility: A Clinical Resource Guide provides the depth and breadth of the clinical practice of wheelchair seating and mobility to both those who are new to the field, as well as seasoned professionals. It presents clinical assessment considerations when working with a person with a disability who may need wheelchair seating for postural support, skin integrity, or a wheelchair base to best meet dependent or independent mobility needs. The text is divided into sections, each addressing a different area of clinical practice.
 November 2017
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Transition Planning for Secondary Students with Disabilities (4th Edition)
by Robert W. Flexer, Robert M. Baer, Pamela Luft, Thomas J. Simmons
Transition Planning for Secondary Students with Disabilities (4th edition) is a comprehensive and practical resource for anyone involved in dealing with and meeting the transition needs of students with disabilities. The authors describe the varied transition needs readers are likely to encounter in their work and provide a succinct look at the options and career paths potentially available. They cover implementing transition systems, creating a transition perspective of education, and promoting movement to postschool environments.
 October 2017 
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Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
By Scott Tomchek, PhD, OT/L, FAOTA, and Kristie Patten Koenig, PhD, OT/L, FAOTA
Recommended by AC - HCDE
The most recent Centers for Disease Control and prevention data on the prevalence of autism in the United States identified 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys, 1 in 189 girls) as having ASD (autism spectrum disorder), and it has been estimated that more than 3.5 million people in the United States live with ASD.
This Practice Guideline provides an overview of the evidence for occupational therapy to assist people with ASD in achieving health, well-being, and participation in life through engagement in occupations. It explains the occupational therapy process for this population, defines the domain, and describes interventions that occur within acceptable practice. Extensive attention is given to sensory, psychosocial, and family issues. Appendixes include searchable evidence tables on a flash drive for ease of use.
Also, check out our Featured Article about this book and Social Narratives:
September 2017
Special Edition
This month TxSpot features a Special Edition Resource of the Month in response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey. The following are links to resources that can help with questions school-based therapists and other school personnel may have regarding unique situations created by Hurricane Harvey which affect special education and our students with disabilities.


July 2017
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No Ordinary Move
 by Linda Bidabe with Chris Voll
Recommended by AC and JC – HCDE
No Ordinary Move is the riveting memoir of Linda Bidabe, the founder and author of the MOVE (Mobility Opportunities Via Education) Program and Curriculum. Linda is an innovative educator with over thirty years of experience working with children with disabilities. She takes the reader through her hardscrabble childhood on a Kansas farm, the self-loathing of adolescence, the heartbreak of divorce and the trials of single parenthood and haunting memories of "too many small white coffins" of children with severe disabilities who, she was sure, could have been saved. Driven by a fierce loyalty for those in her care, an insatiable questioning of “conventional wisdom” and the conviction that all of us deserve a chance to live before we die, Linda swore to help each child fulfill his or her greatest aspiration. “Our business is to discover the dream in each child, and to believe in it until it becomes a reality.” From the rubble of her own painful life experiences, she built the revolutionary approach to overcoming obstacles that has made her a hero around the world.
“Inspiring” and “very gratifying,” No Ordinary Move is no ordinary memoir.
May 2017
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Ghost Boy
by Martin Pistorius
Recommended by SB – Katy ISD
They all thought he was gone. But he was alive and trapped inside his own body for ten years. In January 1988 Martin Pistorius, age twelve, fell inexplicably sick. First, he lost his voice and stopped eating. Then he slept constantly and shunned human contact. Doctors were mystified. Within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair bound. Martin's parents were told an unknown degenerative disease left him with the mind of a baby and less than two years to live. Martin was moved to care centers for severely disabled children. The stress and heartache shook his parents' marriage and their family to the core. Their boy was gone. Or so they thought. Ghost Boy is the heart-wrenching story of one boy's return to life through the power of love and faith. In these pages, readers see a parent's resilience, the consequences of misdiagnosis, abuse at the hands of cruel caretakers, and the unthinkable duration of Martin's mental alertness betrayed by his lifeless body. We also see a life reclaimed, a business created, a new love kindled - all from a wheelchair. Martin's emergence from his own darkness invites us to celebrate our own lives and fight for a better life for others.

April 2017

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Autism Spectrum Disorder Podcasts

April's recommended resource is not a book, but a set of podcasts on Autism Spectrum Disorder produced by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Enhance your school-based practice by listening to those that interest you. recommended resource is not a book, but a set of podcasts on Autism Spectrum Disorder produced by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Enhance your school-based practice by listening.recommended resource is not a book, but a set of podcasts on Autism Spectrum Disorder produced by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Enhance your school-based practice by listening to those that interest you. recommended resource is not a book, but a set of podcasts on Autism Spectrum Disorder produced by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Enhance your school-based practice by listening.

Autism Awareness podcast

 Autism FAQs podcast

 Autism Spectrum Disorder Mealtime podcast 1


 March 2017

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 The Occupational Therapist’s Handbook for Inclusive School Practices

By Julie Causton, PhD
Recommended by CB, Katy ISD
This is the friendly, down-to-earth survival guide OTs need to deliver their important services effectively as part of an inclusive school team. Packed with practical guidance and tips, examples that relate directly to an OT's daily practice, and first-person insights from seasoned OTs, this guidebook is key to helping students develop new skills in key areas, from motor skills and mobility to academic achievement and friendships. All new OTs should read this book before their first day in an inclusive school—and veteran OTs will find it invaluable for ensuring that supports are delivered in the least restrictive environment.
January 2017 

Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight: What to Do If You Are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World
  By Sharon Heller 
Recommended by DA, Spring ISD
This prescriptive book by a developmental psychologist and sufferer of Sensory Defensive Disorder (SD) sheds light on a little known but common affliction in which sufferers react to harmless stimuli as irritating, distracting or dangerous. 
We all know what it feels like to be irritated by loud music, accosted by lights that are too bright, or overwhelmed by a world that moves too quickly. But millions of people suffer from Sensory Defensive Disorder (SD), a common affliction in which people react to harmless stimuli not just as a distracting hindrance, but a potentially dangerous threat. Sharon Heller, Ph.D. is not only a trained psychologist, she is sensory defensive herself. Bringing both personal and professional perspectives, Dr. Heller is the ideal person to tell the world about this problem that will only increase as technology and processed environments take over our lives. In addition to heightening public awareness of this prevalent issue, Dr. Heller provides tools and therapies for alleviating and, in some cases, even eliminating defensiveness altogether.
December 2016
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 Something fun just in time for the holidays!
The Book with No Pictures  
By BJ Novak 
Recommended by CD, Spring ISD

(A silly book for adults to read to children) -- A #1 New York Times bestseller, this innovative and wildly funny read-aloud by award-winning humorist/actor B.J. Novak will turn any reader into a comedian. You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except . . . here’s how this book works. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say . . .  BLORK. Or BLUURF.   Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and GLIBBITY GLOBBITY. 

Cleverly irreverent and irresistibly silly, The Book with No Pictures is one that kids will beg to hear again and again. (And parents will be happy to oblige.)  

          October 2016 
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Out of My Mind
By Sharon M. Draper
Recommended by LH, Katy ISD
From award-winning author Sharon Draper comes Out of My Mind, the story of a brilliant girl who cannot speak or write.  “If there is one book teens and parents (and everyone else) should read this year, Out of My Mind should be it” (Denver Post). 
Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.
In this breakthrough story—reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.                                                                 
            September 2016 
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Building Sensory Friendly Classrooms: Implementing Data-Driven Strategies

 by Rebecca A Moyes

Recommended by CB, Katy ISD
Rebecca Moyes, a teacher, author, renowned lecturer, and mother of a child with Asperger's Syndrome, helps walk any regular education or special education teacher through the process of setting up a sensory-friendly classroom in this easy to use book.
 This is currently the only book that discusses the importance of data-driven strategies, and then helps teachers implement them!  Sensory integration disorder often presents as a behavioral problem; thus, although it’s an internal state, it has to be addressed based on what observable behaviors are seen in the child.  Rebecca is able to take the data and work out how to make any student's, (and teacher's!), life easier.
August 2016
 THE REASON I JUMP: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism
By Naoki Higashida
Recommended by PS, OTR, Katy ISD
Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within. 
July 2016
Just Take a Bite

by Lori Ernsperger and Tania Stegen-Hanson

Recommended by WL, OTR, Katy Independent School District


"Just Take a Bite" takes parents and professionals step by step through the myths about eating to the complexity of eating itself, which leads to an understanding of physical, neurological and/or psychological reason why children may not be eating as they should.

Helpful chapters include:

·         Who Are Resistant Eaters?

·         Oral-Motor Development

·         Environmental and Behavioral Factors Contributing to Problems with Eating

·         Sensory-Based and Motor-Based Problems Affecting the Resistant Eater

·         Motor-Based Eating Problems vs. Sensory-Based Eating Problems

·         Designing and Implementing a Comprehensive Treatment Plan

·         Environmental Controls

·         Gastrointestinal, Physical and Oral-Motor Development

·         Stages of Sensory Development for Eating  

·         A Recipe for Success

June 2016

Best Practices for Occupational Therapy in Schools 

by Gloria Frolek Clark

Recommended by TF, OTR, Spring Independent School District

Nearly 22% of school occupational therapy practitioners work in school settings, creating demand for current, effective, and evidence-based best practices for students. Reflecting the extensiveness of occupational therapy practice in schools, this exciting publication contains best practices from preschool to postsecondary transitions, from ADLs to driving.
Highlights include
·     Section I. Foundations of School Practice
·     Section II. Evidence-Guided Practices: Systems-Level Considerations to Support Participation
·     Section III. Evidence-Guided Practices: Population-Based Planning to Support Participation
·     Section IV. Evidence-Guided Practices: Performance-Based Considerations to Enhance Student 
·     Section V. Evidence-Guided Practices: Activity-Based Considerations to Enhance Student Participation
With a deliberate focus on student participation, Best Practices for Occupational Therapy in Schools provides practical applications of evidence-based research to daily practice. This comprehensive text guides readers through issues particularly relevant to occupational therapy in schools, such as RtI and positive behavioral supports, 504 plans, IEPs, and students’ rights and eligibility for occupational therapy services under relevant laws such as IDEA.
Destined to become an occupational therapy classic, Best Practices for Occupational Therapy in Schools is the most comprehensive publication available for practice in schools.  
May 2016
Behavior Solutions for the Inclusive Classroom: A Handy Reference Guide that Explains Behaviors Associated with Autism, Asperger's, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and other Special Needs
By Beth Aune, Beth Burt, Peter Gennaro
Recommended by CB, OTR, Katy Independent School District
As inclusion becomes the norm in general education, teachers are faced with behaviors they have never seen before. Special needs educators may recognize the telltale symptom of a sensory need or a textbook-case of an avoidance behavior, but this is all new territory for the general-ed crowd!
    Written by Director of Special Education Peter Gennaro, occupational therapist Beth Aune, and special needs mom and advocate Beth Burt, this book illuminates possible causes of those mysterious behaviors, and more importantly, provides solutions!   Teachers can quickly look up an in-the-moment solution and learn about what the child is communicating, and why.
April 2016
 The Special Needs School Survival Guide 
by Cara Koscinski
Recommended by MW, OTR, Houston Independent School District
Family Choice Award Winner for 2015, The Special Needs School Survival Guide is a handbook for anyone teaching, living with, homeschooling, or working with students who have: autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities, behavioral concerns, handwriting difficulty, fine motor delays, trouble with transitions, homework concerns, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and more! It contains an easy to read Q&A format.   Every section answers common questions teachers, parents, and homeschoolers ask about teaching a student who has special needs. The "Out of the POCKET" activities are specially designed to be carried out easily in either a group setting or individually. Included are facts on Individual Education Plans; 504 plans; classroom modifications; accommodations for all types of students and disabilities; behavior issues; transitions; ADLs; handwriting; cutting; gym class; sensory rooms and sensory accommodations galore; ADHD and attention; dysgraphia; dyscalculia; dyslexia; warm-up and cool-down activities for classroom use and so much more! This book is written by a pediatric occupational therapist who is also the homeschooling mother to two children with autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. It will be an invaluable reference for parents, caregivers, teachers, students, classroom aides, school districts, therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, special needs teachers, psychologists, physicians, principals, and teaching assistants. The Special Needs SCHOOL Survival Guide will be a "go-to" resource that you'll refer to time and time again!