Education Resources Blog

Need New Evidence-Based Ideas for Handwriting Instruction?

This is the second in a series of blogs from Michele Parkins and Carrie Davis.
The first post can be found here

Guided practice has been identified as one of the eight most effective, research-based instructional handwriting practices.  This practice also enhances working memory – which has been found to be equally if not more important to success in handwriting.  *see references link below.

Here are some fun ways to incorporate this into your practice:

  • Use visual landmarks to identify the important spatial concepts for the letter i.e. top, bottom, over, under
  • Use whole body movements to form the letters of the alphabet. Stand in front of the child and model the movements reaching all the way to the ceiling and down to the floor, all the way to the left and right.  This will further facilitate motor learning through observation.
  • Encourage the child to practice forming letters with movements of one part of their body – arms, fingers, legs, feet.
  • Tape letters on the floor and have the child move along the letters – jumping, side stepping, crawling, rolling, etc.

Medwell, J. & Wray, D. (2007). Handwriting: what do we know and what do we need to know? Literacy, 41(1), 10-15.

Berninger, V. W. and Graham, S. (1998) Language by hand: a synthesis of a decade of research on handwriting. Handwriting Review, 12, pp. 11–25.

Berninger, V. W. (1994) Reading and Writing Acquisition: A Developmental Neuropsychological Perspective. Dubuque, IA: Brown and Benchmark.

Christensen, C. A. and Jones, D. (2000) Handwriting: an underestimated skill in the development of written language. Handwriting Today, 2, pp. 56–69.

Graham, S., Berninger, V., Abbott, R., Abbott, S. and Whitaker, D. (1997) The role of mechanics in composing of elementary school students: a new methodological approach. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89.1, pp. 170–182.

For more references:

Michele Parkins MS, OTR & Carrie Davis MS, OTR
Co-founders of Connect Experience Write, a developmental handwriting program using music and movement to teach pre-writing skills and letter formation

We are excited to introduce Michele Parkins and Carrie Davis, two new members of our faculty who will be presenting at our Annual Therapies in The School Conference in November: “Using Sensory Motor Integration and Visual Spatial Strategies to Facilitate Success in Handwriting”.

Posted in School Based Therapists, Therapy in The News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Challenging Vestibular Case: Therapists Please Offer Your Help


Post from:
Corporate Rehabilitation Physical Therapy supervisor

I’ve had 2 recent patients with right posterior canalithiasis where there is a short latency, F/B approx 15-20sec right upward torsional nystagmus and c/o vertigo

The CRM maneuver was done with both patients w/o incident.  Though, it’s come back with both of them.  I’ve done the maneuver about 3x each, but it’s not resolved

The one patient is 80 y/o and the onset idiopathic and the second patient is 34 y/o and post concussion(also w/HA’s, but the migraine food diary did not show a + trigger pattern)

Do you have any recommendations for further tx?

Posted in Vestibular Rehabilitation | Tagged , | 4 Comments

NEW NICU Course for PT’s OT’s and SLP’s

We are thrilled to add this new course for 2015:

NICU: Challenges, Pitfalls and Practical Tips for Successful Developmental Intervention

This beginner- intermediate course will focus on creating change in the NICU in developmental care for the bedside clinician. Content will focus on learning about neuroprotection for infants and how to provide care to assist with best possible development for the infant. Emphasis will be on practical strategies to implement change. Areas of change will incorporate the healing environment, positioning, incorporating families, and feeding. There will be an opportunity for groups to develop their own process change. 

Lisa Kleinz - SLP

Lisa Kleinz

Taught by a new member of our faculty: Lisa Kleinz, , MA, SLP/L  a Speech Pathologist who has worked in level 3 NICUs for over 20 years. She has also served as a Developmental Care Specialist, working with staff and families to create change in the NICU. She has certifications in Newborn Individualized Developmental Care Assessment Program (NIDCAP), Developmental Care Designation (NANN), Infant Massage Instructor, and Lactation Specialist. She is an active member of National Association of Neonatal Therapists, in addition to being a committee Board member.

In 2015:
September 12-13, 2015 – San Antonio, TX
October 2-3, 2015 – Olathe, KS

With further dates being scheduled for 2016.


Please click here for further information, to download a brochure or to register

Posted in NICU, Pediatrics, Professional Development | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Why does Anybody Teach Handwriting Anymore?

Handwriting is not as old-fashioned as you think! Certainly keyboarding is an important skill, as technology has become a part of our everyday lives. But, did you know that writing by hand, though slower than typing, has benefits over typing?

Multiple studies have shown that children learn and remember more when they write by hand (versus typing on a keyboard or other electronic device).  Early literacy skills such as spelling, word recognition, phonemic awareness, meaning, language, letter names, idea generation, and the actual reading of words are all facilitated by handwriting.  Handwriting practice also increases brain activation to facilitate performance across all academic subjects, provides a foundation for higher-order skills, and influences language and critical thinking.

Engage your clients in handwriting practice and make a difference in all of these functional areas!

For references:

Michele Parkins MS, OTR & Carrie Davis MS, OTR
Co-founders of Connect Experience Write, a developmental handwriting program using music and movement to teach pre-writing skills and letter formation

We are excited to introduce Michele Parkins and Carrie Davis, two new members of our faculty who will be presenting at our Annual Therapies in The School Conference in November: “Using Sensory Motor Integration and Visual Spatial Strategies to Facilitate Success in Handwriting”.

This is the first in a series of blogs from Michele and Carrie.

Posted in School Based Therapists, Therapy in The News | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

NEW SPEAKER – Inger Brueckner – Presenting Amputee Rehabilitation

We are pleased to announce a new member of our Faculty: Inger Brueckner.

Inger BruecknerInger Brueckner, PT received her BS in Physiology from the University of California at Davis and her Masters in Physical Therapy from Boston University.  She has worked primarily with patients who have limb loss for the last 10 years of her 20 plus year career.  She has co-authored an article on pre-prosthetic training for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America and is currently one of the primary investigators in a randomized clinical trial for transtibial amputations.  Inger has been invited to speak at several local, national, and international medical conferences for patients, therapists, physicians and case workers concerning amputee rehabilitation.  She is excited to share her experiences working with a multidisciplinary team to achieve the highest level of outcomes. 

Amputee Rehabilitation: From Pre-op to Return to Sport using Evidence Based Care

The goal of this course is to enable you to tailor each patient’s treatment for the most effective outcomes in light of the multiple problems that patients with limb loss face. This course offers a multidisciplinary team perspective and highlights issues and therapy implications from amputation surgery through prosthetic prescription. It will address complications and common risk factors that an amputee case load can present.

This exciting course will address multiple levels of limb loss due to diabetic, dysvascular, trauma, cancer and sepsis causes. Detailed analysis of complex cases will help clinicians hone their clinical decision making skills. New technology, surgical options and future directions to address current problems are included.

September 12-13, 2015 – Manchester, NH
November 6-7, 2015 – Washington, DC

Please click here for more details, to download a brochure or to register for the course

Posted in Adult and Geriatric Rehabilitation, News, Pediatrics, Professional Development | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Physical Therapy Role in Chronic Disease Management

From APTA:

The major chronic diseases of our time have direct links to movement and physical activity—which means that physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) have an important opportunity to make an impact on what are literally matters of life or death.

During the recent APTA NEXT conference, some of physical therapy’s top experts on the profession’s role in chronic disease shared an overview of a few of the world’s most pressing health issues—rheumatoid arthritis (RA), cancer survivorship, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (CVD)—and how PTs and PTAs can be life-changers.

Please Click Here For The Full Article

Keep up to date with these continuing education courses that focus on Chronic Disease Management:

Evidence Based Cancer Rehabilitation and Its Role in Cancer Survivorship 
Lisa VanHoose
July 24-25, 2015 – Olney, MD
September 26-27, 2015 – Rockford, IL
October 23-24, 2015 – Englewood, NJ
November 21-22, 2015 – Kissimmee, FL

Improving Outcomes for the Medically Complex Patient: Acute Care, Home, Rehab, SNF, OPD
Suzanne Clark
October 17-18, 2015 – Hollywood, FL

Best Practices in Home Health Care
Suzanne Clark
September 19-20, 2015 – Scottsdale, AZ
November 14-15, 2015 – Fairfax, VA

Maximizing Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Function in Patients to Decrease Re-Admissions and Reach Optimal Outcomes. If You Can’t Breathe Nothing Else Matters
Donna Frownfelter
August 7-8, 2015 – Indianapolis, IN
October 3-4, 2015 – New Brunswick, NJ

Treating the Cardiac Patient: Reaching Full Potential Safely 
Donna Frownfelter
November 7-8, 2015 – Denver, CO

Posted in Adult and Geriatric Rehabilitation, Therapy in The News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Evidence Based Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease – CEU course for PT’s and OT’s

Education Resources, a leading provider of evidence-based continuing education, is thrilled to announce this CEU course coming to an area near you:

Evidence Based Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease, MS, Stroke
and Other Neurologic Disorders

Kari Dunning, PT, PhD
a dynamic, interactive instructor renowned for taking complex information and making it practical and clinically relevant.

July 17-18, 2015 – Independence, MO
July 25-16, 2015 – Miami Beach, FL
July 31-August 1, 2015 – Decatur GA Parkinsons CEU course

This course will help make evidence based strategies easy to integrate into your adult neuro-rehab practice. Outcome measures and treatments will be presented for
persons with neurological diagnoses including acute, chronic and degenerative. Current thinking about neuroplasticity, motor learning and cardiovascular fitness will be woven into all treatment approaches. Specific treatments discussed will be both evidence based and emerging, with an emphasis on those that improve functional participation, ambulation, upper extremity skill and prevent falls. Special emphasis will be on treatment programs and strategies that are feasible in the clinic. Presentation and discussion will include details needed for translation to your clinic immediately.

Please click here for course information, schedule, CEU information, to download a brochure or to register 

Let Education Resources help you fulfill your professional development and continuing education requirements.

We would like to offer a $50 discount toward any conference fee
Register now through June 29th 2015 
Apply code: Spring2015
Not to be used in combination with other discounts or course credits. Non-Transferable. Only one discount may be used per conference. Must be applied at time of registration, not for conferences previously registered for. Not for online courses.

You can register online, call the office or fax in your registration.
Just mention the code!

Posted in Adult and Geriatric Rehabilitation, Professional Development | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Advanced Vestibular Rehabilitation Online Courses

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the new complete Advanced Vestibular Rehabilitation online series.

These evidence-based online courses from international expert 
RICHARD CLENDANIEL, PT, PhD are recorded live at this Vestibular Series and include downloadable handouts and access for an entire year.


Advanced BPPV
 This 3 hour lab course will focus on differential diagnosis, advanced assessment and techniques for treatment of patients with vertigo from BPPV.

 Cervicogenic Dizziness: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment 
This 5 hour course will focus on the assessment and treatment of cervicogenic dizziness, one cause of vertigo, and how to distinguish it from central vestibular deficits. 

What to Do When It’s Not BPPV: 
Challenging Vestibular Disorders Including Post-Concussion Syndrome
This 3 hour interactive course will focus on the assessment and treatment of patients with vertigo and disequilibrium from unusual vestibular causes. Course participants will distinguish among causes of dizziness such as Concussion, Chronic Subjective Dizziness (Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness), Anxiety, Superior Canal Dehiscence, Fistula, Migraine, and Meniere’s Disease. 

Register for the complete online series for $309
Register within two weeks of attending a live course to get a discounted rate of 
$265 (save $94 – limited time offer) 
Register for individual sessions

Recommended for individuals who have experience with or who have previously taken a two day course in vestibular rehabilitation.

Please visit our FAQ Page and CEU Page  for more information 

 Education Resources online courses are the next best thing to attending live:

  • Engaging CEU’s on demand
  • Learn at your convenience – access the courses for a full year
  • Advance your skills
  • Expand your knowledge
  • Learn from leading experts
Posted in Adult and Geriatric Rehabilitation, Dear ERI - Clinical Challenges and Gems, Vestibular Rehabilitation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Concussion Management in your Area?


How are concussions being dealt with where you are?

Last year, my best friend’s son was catching in a little league game when he was hit in the head with a pitch. The helmet did its job and withstood the brunt of the force of the ball. Nevertheless, he was left with a mild concussion. His parents were given a rigid, structured program to help him rehab from the concussion. It included almost a week of complete physical and cognitive rest, followed by a gradual return to prior level of activity. If a headache recurred, he was to take a step back to the previous one. Within a few weeks, he was back to his prior level, with no residual complications (other than a mother who was reluctant to have him catch again).

Conversely, an acquaintance suffered a concussion this past year after being struck in the head (with something that had much less velocity than a baseball). She was out of work for a few days, and then returned. She was on the computer much of the time while out of work. Headaches plagued her, requiring multiple trips to the doctor and specialists over the course of months.

Thanks to researchers at my alma mater, Boston University, concussions and post-concussive syndrome are much more widely talked about these days. Post-concussion symptoms can last for three to six months after injury, and in about 10% of concussions, the injury is considered to be a traumatic brain injury. With professional football players retiring after a short career, the seriousness of concussions and post-concussive syndrome can no longer be ignored. Most coaches are now on board with not allowing players who have suffered a concussion to return in the same game.

Initially, concussions often present with headaches, neck pain, vertigo, mental sluggishness/confusion, and social-emotional disturbances. Concussions can have lasting vestibular, ocular-motor, sensory integration, balance, and visual motor implications. As therapists, we are seeing more patients across all settings who may present with concussions. Interestingly, the severity of the concussion is not a reliable predictor for who will present with lasting symptoms.

While the recognition and treatment protocol for concussions and post-concussive syndrome has gained some momentum, there is still much to be learned in terms of prevention, treatment, and long-term implications.

Please share your experiences in dealing with post concussion syndrome.  Who is your referral source?   Any helpful tips on screening, management and follow-up?  

~Kathryn Biel, PT, DPT

Posted in GUEST BLOGGER | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

FREE APP Found Helpful in Vestibular Rehab

As one of the founders of Education Resources, I often have the opportunity to attend one of the conferences that I have helped to develop and it is always a treat ( both from the perspective of learning new and exciting material, and meeting with participants and hearing the day to day challenges faced in the clinic, school or office) .  This past weekend I had the privilege of attending Dr. Rick Clendaniel’s Advanced Vestibular Rehab course.  Rick has been a colleague, professional friend and inspiration for nearly 15 years and his easy manner of clearly explaining very complex material is always  so refreshing and energizing.

It was really interesting to learn about some of the newer diagnoses/research related to vestibular dysfunction such as PPPD (persistent postural perceptual dizziness), vestibular migraines and anxiety related vestibular disorders. BUT what I especially want to share in this blog is a free app that Rick shared with us in this course.  You should download it today!

aVOR  (angular Vestibular-Ocular Reflex) is a teaching, training and test tool for the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), vestibular system and its disorders, including BPPV. It demonstrates saccadic eye movements, including those caused by canalithiasis (free-floating particles in the canals), and both functioning and dysfunctional VOR. It shows how BPPV is caused and treated.

aVOR demonstrates how head movement has an automatic influence on eye direction, the impact of dysfunction of the semicircular canals, their size, shape and location in the head, and the causes of nystagmus. 

VEstibular Rehabilitation APPThis is a great teaching tool for patients of all ages and it is a great 3 D representation for clinicians who are learning the ropes of vestibular diagnosis.

I invite you to share any other tools that you have found helpful or to comment on your experience in using aVOR.

Rick also shared his thoughts on some very complex cases that were presented  and engaged us in critical problem-solving.  If you are dealing with challenging cases, please post them here and we will reach out to colleagues  for suggestions and discussion. 

Thank you.
Carol Loria, President, Education Resources Inc.

Posted in Vestibular Rehabilitation | Tagged , | Leave a comment