Friday, November 11, 2011

The Recycling Occupational Therapist Review

Another OT blogger, Barbara, from The Recycling Occupational Therapist, asked me to review her book, The Recycling Occupational Therapist: Hundreds of simple therapy materials you can make. Although she gave me a free copy of the book (which I hope to give away in a contest), I informed her I would be giving an honest review.

Working in healthcare, there are often not enough dollars to go around. I have been turned down frequently when I have asked for funding, even for small therapy items.

As a parent, I know how dollars can be stretched, especially when you have a child with special needs. Often a parent works less, or stays home with the child, meaning less income. There are therapies and all sorts of special equipment to pay for. Let's face it, we do not want to spend any more money than we have to.

One time at work, I could not get funding for therapy dough. Unbelievable! It is a very basic, inexpensive item, and my program would not pay for it. I ended up spending way more dollars worth of my time, using kitchen supplies (different budget) to make therapy dough. It does not make sense, but I needed therapy dough for my clients, and what was I to do?

This book provides a great solution to funding difficulties, and I love that it is so eco-friendly. Hundreds of activities are listed using very basic items from your recycling bin, such as detergent bottles, baby wipe containers, rubber bands, and cardboard boxes.

I was impressed by how well it was put together. It is hard to tell what a book is like from seeing it online, and to be honest, I don't think the cover does it justice. I can't help but think about the incredible amount of work that went into writing this, and doing all the activities. Years of experience is clearly incorporated into the activities in this book.

The book is organized into four sections: introduction (covering topics such as adaptations), fine motor activities, gross motor activities, and sensory activities.

Having worked mostly in mental health, I haven't done a lot of fine or gross motor activities with my clients. However, I just did one of the activities with my daughter for her Recycling badge in Brownies, and we found the instructions to be very clear and helpful, with illustrations we could follow. There is a huge range of activities to choose from, which helps with finding just the right activity to match the person's interests and abilities. Suggestions are given for grading activities. Most of the activities seem to be most appropriate for using with children rather than with adults.

The section I was most impressed with was the sensory activities. Many years ago, I started a Multisensory Environment with virtually no funding for equipment. I wish I had this book at that time. Scented bottles, sensory boards/tubes, weighted equipment, a rainforest tube, and water equipment are just a few examples of the items covered.

I think this book is a great option for OT programs that are hoping to stretch their dollars a little farther, while continuing to provide high-quality services (and being environmentally friendly). Most of the activities would require very little OT time for set-up.

I also think it is a great option to use with parents who are looking for activities to help with their childrens' therapies. Parents are often told by healthcare professionals to practice fine or gross motor activities with their child. In this book there are a lot of budget-friendly ideas that could be used in consultation with their OT.

The Recycling Occupational Therapist is now available at a reduced price at

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