TIPS FROM AN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Ø   Fine motor skills? Ø   Gross motor skills? Ø   Attention and concentration? Ø   Social skills and emotional regulation? Ø   Self-organisation? Ø   Self-care skills? Ø   Learning challenges: conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders, Global Developmental Delay, Dyspraxia or Developmental Co-ordination Disorder and Specific Learning Difficulties?   If any of the above mentioned challenges sound like the struggle your child is having, the early intervention of Occupational Therapy could make a real difference to your child’s confidence, skills and learning.   HOW TO BE AN O-T AT HOME To keep your child moving forward, try these 4 ideas for at-home Occupational Therapy. Strengthening fine-motor skills is well within your ability. Stability Always make sure that your child is stable and supported through the feet (i.e. their feet should not be dangling in the air) before they tackle any fine motor tasks. Keep in mind that your child may not develop a mature pencil grasp until they are 5-6 years old. Have ARTS & CRAFTS time Many of the skills that occupational therapists target are taught through art. Your child may learn to copy shapes, hold a pencil or use a pair of scissors without even realizing its therapy. Fun art projects are something that’s easy for you to do at home. Work on handwriting Printing or cursive can be a huge chore for kids with fine motor delays, and improving control of those skills is a major OT goal. Work on your child’s pencil grasp. REMEMBER: PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT! If your child continues to practice with an immature grasp, it may become permanent L Play with your child...

THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING A WILL

It’s easy to procrastinate when it comes to making a will. None of us wants to dwell on our mortality, but of course the reality is that it’s a not a case of planning for “If I die”. We have to plan for “When I die”. So no matter your age, if you haven’t yet got around to making your will, delay no longer. You owe it to yourself and to your loved ones to avoid dying “intestate” (without a valid will). The risk of dying without a will means – You forfeit control over how and by whom your deceased estate is wound up. You forfeit the opportunity to nominate a suitable guardian for your minor children, and any money due to them could end up in the Guardian’s Fund. You forfeit your control over how your worldly goods are distributed. If you die without a will, our law prescribes who inherits what. You forfeit the right to elect to have your estate administered in accordance with Islamic Shari’ah law. Unless you have a will which specifies that you elect Islamic Shari’ah law be applied to your estate, your estate will be wound up in accordance with South African intestate law. It’s recommended that you appoint a professional to draft your will and also advise on related issues, such as protection of minors, tax planning, liquidity, safe custody for your will, etc. Once you’ve made your will, review it at least annually. Take particular account of life events like marriage, divorce, deaths, births, retirement...

HEALTH TIPS

Health tip for females: October was ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’: Screening for breast cancer is now being advised at a younger age than before, especially when there is a family history of breast cancer. Early detection and intervention can make a huge difference to the prognosis and eventual outcome. Please encourage members of your family and circle of contacts to go for regular check-ups and to discuss guidelines for mammograms with their doctors. You could make a significant difference in someone’s life.   Health tip for males: The risk of prostate cancer increases with age. If you are 50 and over, you should be having an annual screening blood test for prostate cancer (the PSA test). It is a simple, relatively inexpensive blood test and is also done for free at the local day hospitals. As with many other cancers, early detection and intervention significantly increases the chance of a good prognosis and outcome. Please spread the word to your circle of contacts as you could make a significant difference in someone’s...