July 13, 2018 | 2.4 min read

Take Out Your Pen and Paper at Family Café: Workshops and Educational Value

Post written by: Intern Kailee Sylvester

Family Café offers more resources than you could possibly take advantage of in 3 days. Workshops included low budget adaptive toy ideas, mobility lectures from physical therapists and physicians, networking sessions for families, adaptive scuba and paddleboarding, funding adaptive technologies, utilizing government funding and resources, just to name a few. I tried to even out my time at Family Café with educational and fun workshops from a variety of fields so I could get a little taste of everything there is to offer at Family Café.

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One of the first workshops I attended was an information session about ABLE United. ABLE stands for Achieving a Better Life Experience; this online program allows people with disabilities to save for their futures without interfering with federal work programs, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. These savings accounts allow you to save up to $100,000, and although this program has only been around a few years, people all over the state of Florida are taking full advantage!

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My favorite workshop was called Recycled Toy Ideas for Infants and Toddlers. Play is how children learn about life. In this workshop, we learned the power of play, and how parents and caregiver can utilize the concept of play during daily routines like cooking and bath time, or adapt toys to meet the educational and physical needs of each child. I loved trying out easy adaptations like gluing pom poms to book pages to make them easier to flip, or gluing poker chips to the bottom of toys to make them stand easier.

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I also learned about sensory toys, and the power in sensory interactions with infants. Therapists often work a lot with these kinds of toys, so I loved discovering easy, inexpensive ways to bring therapy into the home, and make it fun and exciting! On top of this, we also learned about a ton of apps to download with more ideas for easy adaptations or games for children with a range of disabilities.

I should note that although there were workshops geared toward every age group, and a variety of disabilities, I mainly focused on pediatric workshops, as I am currently pursuing a career as a pediatric physical therapist.

Interested in more information?

Learn all about the health benefits and possibilities of Chair Yoga with Lighthouse of Manasota at www.lighthouseofmanasota.org

Find new ideas for toys for your infants like from my Recycled Toy Ideas for Infants and Toddlers workshop by visiting: http://tnt.asu.edu

Download the “Let’s Play” app to learn about game ideas for children from 0 to 3 years old

Download the “Daily Vroom” app to work on your child’s brain building!

Convert your own toy car through Go Baby Go at: https://sites.udel.edu/gobabygo/

Join the 3rd Buddy Walk with the National Down Syndrome Society on October 27th through: https://www.fdswf.org or https://www.ds-stride.org/fdswfbuddywalk/

Tags: awareness, kaileetheintern, series, familycafe, complexrehabtechnology