YOU’RE INVITED: Club NF Yoga & Swimming

Club NF YogaJoin us at our next Club NF event on Saturday, August 6, at The Lodge Des Peres for a morning of yoga and swimming! Kids will enjoy a yoga class led by Courtney Metzinger, OTD, MFA, OTR/L, an occupational therapist from St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Your child with NF1 may benefit from attending this event in the following ways:

  • Motor skill development, including running, jumping and balancing to strengthen
    underdeveloped muscles and improve cardiovascular function
  • Improved executive function skills such as following multiple-step directions and
    planning projects correlate to finishing homework or school projects
  • Social skill advancement, which will enable your child to speak in a group, initiate conversation, make eye contact and maintain a conversation

Parents will attend a presentation led by Elizabeth Fox, the Regional Coordinator from MPACT (Missouri Parents Act), to discuss “Understanding the Evaluation Process” as it relates to special education services. Lunch will be served to those who RSVP. Bring your swimming gear (including sunscreen and towels) as guests will be provided with day passes to the indoor and outdoor pools at The Lodge.

For more information about Club NF events or to register for this upcoming event, please contact Kirsten Brouillet at

Club NF is the Washington University NF Center’s free, play-based therapy program for school-aged children (K – 8th grade) with NF1 and their families. St. Louis Children’s Hospital therapists work directly with the children in small groups to accomplish a variety of physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy goals in a real life, social setting. By strengthening underdeveloped skills alongside siblings and peers, these children are set up for future success in the home, classroom and community. The events are held six Saturday mornings a year at various locations and businesses in the St. Louis area, offering a variety of activities throughout the calendar year to meet the needs of all families affected by NF1. This event is made possible by generous funding from the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation,

Nicole’s Nook: Journaling with myMemoir

MyMemoirIn this month’s blog, I want to take a look at another one of my favorite apps, myMemoir. Many children start their school day by journaling as part of their morning routine. This very simple journaling app allows them to complete that task on the iPad, thus eliminating some of the fine motor demands.

Let’s take a closer look at what this app can do:

  • Create your own journal. Select “Add Journal” in the upper left-hand corner. You are able to customize the colors and background experience within the app, as well as back your journal up to Dropbox or another file sharing source.
  • When you are ready to make an entry, click on the journal. Then in the upper right-hand corner, click the calendar icon to select the date of your entry and select “Create New Entry”.
  • You will then be prompted to add a photo, which can be anything from your camera roll. Many children want to journal about a photo they took, an experience they had, or even something they have created in another app, such as a doodle or drawing. There are a variety of creative and art apps which allow you to save your finished masterpieces and drop pictures of them in your camera roll. Once you select your photo, you will have the option to move and scale it. Click “Use” once you are finished.
  • You are then ready to start journaling! You can type using the onscreen keyboard or use a Bluetooth wireless keyboard. If you are connected to Wi-Fi, you will also have the option to use dictation via the microphone icon on the bottom left-hand corner of the onscreen keyboard.
  • Once you are finished, you can “Save” your entry by selecting the Arrow in Box icon in the upper left corner. You will also have the option to “Share” as a PDF. Simply scroll to the bottom, and you can either “Email”, “Export” or move to “DropBox”.  If you select “Export”, then select “Open In”.  This will allow you to export to any of your other apps such as Google Drive. For school purposes, this is a great and easy way to submit work!
  • Some support tips and tricks:
    • Utilize the word prediction on the keyboard to speed up typing.
    • To edit your journal entry, highlight the entire entry and select “Speak”. As long as you have Speak Selection” enabled in your settings, this text to speech option will be available. This gives valuable auditory feedback for children trying to proofread and edit.

myMemoir is available at the iTunes Store for $1.99.  For more app recommendations, check out our apps section or view my app page on the St. Louis Children’s Hospital website.

– Nicole Weckherlin, OTR/L, St. Louis Children’s Hospital Occupational Therapist