Ms. Rojas, OT

Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year! 
I've been with CPS since 2007 and Garvy was one of the first schools I've been supporting since then. I grew up in Portage Park and went to high school locally at Resurrection High School. I completed my undergraduate degree at North Park University and my Masters in Occupational Therapy from Midwestern University. 
I'm available at Garvy on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays this school year. On days that I'm not at Garvy, I am supporting the City Wide Assessment Team welcoming students transitioning from Early Intervention into CPS. I'm also a Lead OT for the Central Networks supporting colleague OTs and orienting new hires to the district.
Once a year, we are required to update student's records including a physician referral form. Please download this form and bring it to your child's pediatrician to complete. They can directly fax it back to Garvy at 773-534-1124 or it can be sent back completed in person and I can take it from there. 
Feel free to explore the topics below or check out my Amazon Wishlist below! 
Practice on a shoe in the child’s lap facing the way their foot would normally be. Practicing on a shoe with the toe facing the child can lead to direction confusion as they try to do it on themselves.

It’s important the child understands right from left before beginning so they can follow the directions in the video accurately. If left/right discrimination is still developing, marking the shoelaces by color or using a bleach pen can help meanwhile they master the skills. 

Take a look at the videos below and see what your child prefers. Like with any motor skill, practice makes the activity easier! Allow enough time during dressing or before having to leave the house to go through all the steps. Rushing can lead to missed steps and frustration.
While in the process of practicing, you can explore the use of magnetic lace clips, tension clips, shoe buttons or elastic laces. The nice thing about shoe buttons and elastic laces are that the child can still practice shoelace tying, but if in a rush they can just slip the shoe on/off. 
Traditional Shoelace tying:

Traditional shoelace tying song:

Shoelace tying in fewest steps and loops:

Shoelace tying for kiddos with motor dexterity challenges:

One-handed shoelace tying:
You may have heard this term used but it can mean different things for different students.
Some students do well with movement while they're learning such as kicking their feet under their chair, sitting on a rocking chair while working, stretch break between activities or sitting on a ball to keep their core engaged. 
Other students need to alternate between work and an active break. The active breaks can be something quick like a drink of water, a bathroom break or getting an item from another room. Some students need breaks that are more physically active the form of a walk around the block, running up and down the stairs, or exercises. 
Go Noodle is a great platform that has created videos that address children's need for movement. They have a channel on Youtube than you can explore. Take a look at their playlists addressing a variety of topics from calming videos, coordination, guided dancing and more! 
You can also play games like Simon Says, hopscotch, rolling a dice to come up with a new movement sequence or exercises based on spelling words or names. 
Feel free to reach out if you'd like specific activities for your student.
Want to chat? Use this link to schedule an appointment!