Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ii for Inchworm & The Single Blue Man from the Blue Man Group!

School has been sporadic at best around here, so for the 2nd week in a row, we have been working on the letter Ii. We did our memory verse, but I think Turbo just blew it off, as he can sing the song, but doesn't want to talk about the meaning of it.
"May my prayer be set before you like incense." Psalm 142:2. Ehhh...another day.

He did, however, enjoy making the craft for Inchworm:

He was super proud of this one!

Using a paper towel roll, he painted it green. Then we cut it into rings, leaving one ring intact for the head and cutting the other rings into two parts. Using a stapler, we stapled the pieces together, added a pipe cleaner (chenille stick) for antennae, and used a marker for the face.

Although Turbo has an "i" in his name, he still refuses to lift his pencil to make the "dot". He instead makes a circle that is connected to the line. Referring back to the Handwriting Without Tears concept (which incidentally, I need to purchase some of these supplies, or become uber thrifty and make them myself...which only means I need to just swallow the money and buy an ink cartridge for my printer...but moving on....)and made oobleck (2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water + food coloring) poured it into a bag to have a "dry erase board" type-thingy. BACKFIRE! Didn't work...too thick. DUH!! But of course, Turbo HAD TO play in the oobleck. Later, I said, as long as we work on our letters.

Next thought, pour in some tempera paint into a gallon-size bag. VOILA! It worked!

He enjoyed making designs and worked on writing the Capitalized (and yes, I know that the pictures are of lower case letters, but I promise you, we did work on capital letters) alphabet with me. Unfortunately, we got to "F" and he lost interest sitting at the table. So I moved it to the kitchen floor and while we laid on our bellies taking turns writing letters, I noticed he was having fun...but I noticed that I should insert sweeping, mopping, disinfecting, and using my toothbrush to scour the floor onto my list for the day...but I digress.

He did pretty good. He did even better when he climbed all over me. But we got through some letters, numbers and shapes. Enough for today. I think I knew this day was going to be a slow day since this is our only day this week that we don't HAVE to be somewhere. We will just go to the library after this to pick up our books for the week.

Then he played with the oobleck. OI VEY! This is messy, but kept his attention for just over an hour. He enjoyed covering his hands and of course his cars with the stuff...not to mention my "nice clean floor!" Afterwards, we realized the error of our ways...ONE TOO MANY DROPS OF FOOD COLORING IN THE MIX. The Blue Man Group? Who needs to go to Vegas to see them when we've got one of our own right here!

***I'd take a picture of the blue hands and forearms, but he's asleep and I didn't think of taking a picture of it when he was awake. I contemplated sneaking in, turning off the flash, and snapping a picture really quick...but then I thought better of it and "published" this post and took a shower. See, I'm not all beauty... I've got brains too! ;)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

OT: Day 5/30

As we get deeper into OT, Ms. Renee is finding more things that we need to work on. Good in some ways, daunting in MANY! I know that by the end of these 30 session (with the hope of no more), Turbo will come out on the other side for the better, but the journey is tough, tough, tough.

When we arrived, he was BOUNCING off the walls. BOUNCING...literally. I had to pull him off the walls. When Ms. Renee arrived, she immediately said, "WOW! You desperately need some input!" - Yeah...ya think??

She took him back and set up the tire swing. Oh joy...this outta be a hoot.

Equipped with his headphones/music, Turbo had to work on crossing mid-line while batting the "asteroid" (aka a ball hanging from the ceiling).

The next swing was just a simply playground swing, but definitely beefed up. He was to lie on his tummy while trying to hit the ball. This activity is full of input.

Proprioceptive: Hitting the ball with the bat and running on the floor.
Vestibular: Spinning and twirling.
Cognitive: Crossing mid line while trying to hit the ball hanging.
Visual Stimulation: Concentrating on the ball so that he can hit it will receiving all this input from the senses above.

I'm sure there is more to this, but this is all my brain can receive to make sense of!


Afterwards, we needed to have an activity that helped him to SLOW down. So she asked him to sit on the swing and retrieve small stuffed animals with his feet, while swinging and return them to the zoo. This was to help him fine tune his hand-foot-eye coordination. Again, he is getting a lot of input while trying to cognitively focus on something - because he is so VISUAL.

To help him with this visual process, she had him swing in the swing while sitting on it and going around in circles. As he did this, he was to focus his eyes on me to see how many fingers I was holding up and say it aloud. At first, he would stop in mid-spin, look at me, say the number, and proceed to spin again. Ms. Rene stopped him and explained that he was to continue spinning but to move his head so that he could always look at me. Again he tried it, but desperately wanted to stop and look. He did it a few times, but you could physically see him keeping his head straight forward so that he had to stop and look. After awhile, his eyes started know the way they get when you get dizzy...yep that's what happened. No mess, but I bet it was coming soon!

Finally, time for a slow game. We played the game where him and I had our backs to one another and had to cross mid-line while touching each other's fingers. We went from high to low and then back again. It was difficult as he got lower because he had to bend over and reach across mid0line to touch my finger. Giggles happened a lot, but you can tell he has trouble with this.

Another game, in the same say, he had to pass a small stuffed animal from between his legs while I passed it over our heads back to him. Again, the movement of his head and body. He did better, but struggled keeping his balance!

To move to our final activity: story reading, she had him get into the wheelbarrow position and "wheelbarrow-ed" him to the tent to read a story. LOADS of input in this position. He laughed, but as much as I think he is coordinated, this proved me wrong!

Of course, meltdown in the car ensued, and when we got home, he went directly to LEGOS to build and really wanted nothing to do with me or Tank. He ate an ENTIRE Totino's pizza and went to bed happily. This OT stuff is wearing both of us out!

Tank is a Climber!

Recently, Tank has found out that climbing is a whole lot more fun doing it yourself rather than watching older brother Turbo! He has been flipping over anything and everything to climb onto. After lunch today, I found him with the stepstool near the TV. He was very proud of himself!


Engine Meter Reader

Before OT this morning, Turbo and I worked on our own Engine Meter Reader. From a group of pictures, he chose the most visual image that conveyed to him what TOO SLOW, JUST RIGHT, and TOO FAST looked like.

(For some reason, this pic is only uploading sideways...grrr...)

Monday, September 27, 2010

OT: Day 4/30

This morning, Turbo continued to work more on self-regulating. To begin with, he used the "helicoptor swing" as well as using his music. We also used bean bags with letters on them to give him the cognitive piece so that his vestibular stimulation and his proprioceptive stimulation would be used together.

As in the picture, he spins much like a helicoptor which stimulates his vestibular sense (balance, etc). This is a very calming activity to Turbo, which helps him to go to his TOO SLOW meter reading. However, the self-regulating piece is missing because he needs to proprioceptive piece to bring him back up to his TOO FAST meter reading.

This is where Ms. Renee gave him a rope that he had to pull himself up to her to grab a beanbag. This action gave him the pressure and the force that he needed to heighten his sense of proprioception. Once he climbed the rope to Ms. Renee, he was given the beanbag with a letter on it. He was to put it in order and then helped to sound out the word: CAT, RAT, BAT, SAT. Once he sounded out the word, he was given permission to continue spinning - again - vestibular sensation.

This cycle was continued four time: TOO SLOW, TOO FAST, TOO SLOW, TOO FAST, etc. Unfortunately, this is what Turbo does ALL DAY long, and he never gets the chance to find JUST RIGHT mode. Now, you can see my frustration of this day after day after day.

We added the third compenent to this: cognitive. The part where he had to think through all of this to sound out letters, put them in the right order (L to R) and think of their sounds, all while going TOO FAST, TOO SLOW. He did okay. He really enjoyed the vestibular motion the most.

Next, we moved him to the swing with the weighted animal and swung him slowly while he breathed 20 deep breaths to help him regulate his engine reader meter to JUST RIGHT. He did it in 5 minutes. YEAH! Progress!

We moved on to an activity that will help him stay regulated at the JUST RIGHT mode. He was asked to cut out pictures of different activities that simulate TOO SLOW, JUST RIGHT, or TOO FAST. That way, we can make our own Engine Meter Reader...(on my TO DO LIST).

Before his OT today, he was given the opportunity to participate in a LAB study to help the SPD Foundation further the research in this disorder. He did an awesome job and sat in a "spaceship" simulation while watching a short clip of Apollo 13 while they measured his heart rate, sweat response, etc. He even let them apply those sticky sensor things to his chest, fingers, etc. For that, they paid him with a $10 gift card to Target. His dream place.

Today was hard, better than the last, and progress is being seen. Tomorrow is another day!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

OT: Day 3/30


Today in OT was a doozy. He had been doing well up to this point, but today sent him over the edge, and Ms. Renee and I were able to have some specific insight to how Turbo functions. I knew right at the start that the activities chosen today were going to send him into HIGH activity mode; but, apparently that is just what she wanted.

Again, she started with the book, the plan, and the goal to make spiderman move to the end for a sticker. She chose Animal Scrabble. She asked him to sit on the huge bean bag while she dispersed the small animals around the bag. Then she gave him the giraffe and asked him to listen to what the giraffe says and the follow directions. The giraffe has 5 different games with 3 different levels each. His job was to "capture" (by putting the giraffe over the correct animal) each animal as the giraffe said his name or the sound that it makes. With him sitting on the bean bag, he got the proprioceptive feedback by moving and crawling over the terrain of the beanbag, as well as spinning in circles (which he loves). The next level was much like the game of SIMON. He was to follow directions in order. He really struggled with this one because of his impulsivity. He heard the first animal to capture, but didn't wait for the remainder of the animals to be listed off. He gave up many times because it was too hard for him to wait until his directions were completed. He did, with a lot of struggle and coaxing, but finally finished the game.

After the game was put away, he found a toy lying on the ground and proceeded to put it into his mouth (something else we need to work on - putting foreign objects into his mouth that shouldn't be there). Ms. Renee spoke with him about not following his plan and said that Spiderman had to move back a space because Turbo didn't stick to his plan. THAT was devastating for him. But, Ms. Renee encouraged him that if he stuck to his plan and didn't get sidetracked that Spiderman would indeed make it to the finish line. With that, we were able to move on.

We were able to walk to the large gym area where there are swings, zip line, climbing walls, etc. This is Turbo's favorite place, as it is not hard to see why. When we entered, his heart sank because next on his list was the zip line, but unfortunately, another little boy was playing with it. So, he had to change his plan by switching activities. This was difficult because now, after making sure that he sticks to his plan, now his plan was switched. Which is a good thing so that he can become flexible, but man, that was super hard for him. Once he settled down and understood that he could go to the zip line, but just in a different order, Ms. Renee hooked up a large swing, much like a hammock. It was made out of the same Lycra material, but literally looked like a hammock.

She gave him three 8x10 sheets of paper: RED, GREEN, BLUE. On the RED page, were images such as Lightening McQueen from CARS to illustrate TOO FAST. On the GREEN page was the image of Winnie The Pooh to illustrate JUST RIGHT. And on the BLUE page was an image of the turtle, Crush, from CARS to illustrate TOO SLOW. Turbo was given his meter reader of the same speeds that he made the day before. He climbed into the swing and held on to the RED page and moved his meter reader to red. The Ms. Renee and I swung him back and forth aggressively to simulate him going TOO FAST. This of course, made him super crazy, and he love every minute of it. His next step was to go to JUST RIGHT. Using the GREEN sheet and his meter, he sat in the swing and we swung him "JUST RIGHT". But of course, he couldn't do it. He struggled with the speed. Wanting us to go faster, wanting us to move this way and that. He yelled, screamed, (not mad) and kept getting distracted by other kiddos in the gym. He couldn't focus on what he was to do, and definitely couldn't calm down to JUST RIGHT.

To get him to JUST RIGHT, she asked him to hug his knees close to his chest, hug them hard, and to slow his breathing with deep breaths. This took, seriously 20 minutes to get him to go to JUST RIGHT. After that, we showed him what TOO SLOW looked like, and to him, it was just a waste of time, as he climbed out of the swing, and went to the book, and proudly proclaimed that the zip line was free and it was time for him to go there.

At the zip line he wore his music again, and was asked to ride it down and drop into a large ball pit. Here, his next step in directions were to put 10 balls into a bucket. Of course, he forgot this step because he wanted to climb out of the pit and onto the zip line again. He reluctantly counted to 10 and put the balls into the pit. Then began to climb out. But to get him to go to TOO SLOW, she asked him to bury himself in the balls to play hide-and-seek. It was here where he finally got to JUST RIGHT. He was absolutely still while underneath the balls. For about 5 minutes she removed the balls one by one until he was revealed. JUST RIGHT was finally achieved.

For the final activity for the day, he was drug back to another room and was asked to make some letters using Handwriting Without Tears. She asked him to use the lines and curves to put the "puzzle" together to make letters. This was to bring him down a couple more levels to transition to leaving. He did a few letters, found success and looked up and quietly said, now it is time to put my shoes on. He climbed into the "drag bag" and waited patiently for Ms. Renee to get the loose ends and drag him down the hall. She said that this was a good thing, because he is now accepting that his fun time comes to an end and he is okay with it. If she only knew that this time with her wasn't as much fun as he expected it to be! ;) Kidding, he had a good time, but I think he is realizing that this time with Ms. Renee isn't meant to just be fun and games but a learning process for him to help him function.

So, Day 3 was good, and progressive, but very hard, as our drama continued on the way home and throughout the evening. But, as small as it seems, I truly believe that progress is being made.

As for school this week, BLAH! nothing has been accomplished or even attempted. I knew that going into this week, but I'm not excited about it. Maybe after we get into the swing of things, we will find some valuable time to slip in some letters and numbers recognition!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

OT: Day 2/30

pro·pri·o·cep·tion [proh-pree-uh-sep-shuhn]
perception governed by proprioceptors, as awareness of the position of one's body.

Today, Turbo and Ms. Renee worked on "Where In The World is Turbo's Body!" It all began on a swing. An swing that hung from the ceiling with four ropes tied to a plywood square that was 3x4' and a carpet square glued to the center. Turbo sat criss-crossed on the board while she swung him back and forth while chatting. He would pull himself towards the ropes and would swing himself. Then he figured out if he could get himself to the wall, he could push off and go higher/faster. That was the highlight of his day. Then she asked him to lie on his tummy while she sprayed foam colored soap on the padded flooring and began an imaginative exercise where he was an astronaute and he was to wipe out the small space mountains. At first, he was timid about getting dirty and sticky. He has a tendancy about not wanting to touch things or be touched by something he is unfamiliar with. Essentially, this was shaving cream which we have tried to use to help with letter recognotion in school. He usually won't touch the stuff. But Ms. Renee revealed that maybe it was because of the shaving cream's smell that was turning him off. This foam did not offer this kind of odor and he was able to tolerate it.

But back to the space mountains. I was amazed at how he was able to focus on his tummy, swinging on the swing and getting "messy", which is so unlike him. Proprioceptive input is the performance of tasks that involves heavy resistance and input to the muscles and joints, and is essential in helping our bodies assimilate and process both movement (vestibular) and touch (tactile) information. As much as Turbo moves and bounces off of things it is because this area of his senses are out of whack! Inuclude the tactile information input and you've got one kid who can't decifer anything; thus his out of control behavior is borne.

Afterwards, they both referred back to her book: the PLAN. He struggled with it this morning, as his attention was drawn to different things in just one little room that was nothing more than 8x8'! She then gave him a bouncey ball to bounce down the hallway to the large gym. He was excited about this, but she pointed out to me that when a child like Turbo is given a ball like that without some sort of direction, i.e. where to bounce to, how to bounce, to a rhythmic beat etc. the bouncing will get out of hand, and turmoil ensues.

Once we were at the large gym, she tied up a "rocket ship", which essentially was another swing, but this time had a cylindrical tube attached to the center that he was to straddle and hug tightly while she swung him back and forth with some force that included turns. Then she set out a toy that had 3 frogs on a log that when a bean bad (asteroid) is thrown at it, would knock down. While swinging, I was to throw the asteroid at Turbo, he was to catch it, and then find the frogs on the log and throw it at the frogs to knock them over. He did quite well and she pointed out that he is very good at passing an object from one hand to the other without looking all the while being tossed around like a tug boat. So a positive there! :)

Our next stop was to the "kitchen". But to get there, she wrapped him up tight in a material much like that made of swimsuits. Here, he was wrapped up so tightly so she could DRAG him to the room. This is so he can feel the compression, much like I mentioned above, to help alter the feeling of tossing and turning so as to bring his arousal level back to a balanced playing field. Let me tell you...I was skeptic at first...but it WORKED! I have NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER EVER seen him go from an activity like that on the rocket ship to something so calming as his next activity. MENTAL NOTE: BUY A SWIMMING SUIT TO DRAG HIM IN! ;)

His last activity was for him to create his "vocabulary" of his Fire Engine. Too Slow, Just Right, Too Fast. He gave him Blow Pens to color his engine meter. The purpose was to see how his breathing his. I've never really noticed, but he breathes in short, shallow breaths. To help him calm his breathing, she had him take deep breathes and to blow them out hard until all of the air in his lungs were gone. It took him a while to get into a rhythm, but once he did, his behavior was a lot slower! WHOO HOO! The ride home was fantastic! Fantastic, fantastic!

I did forget to mention, that the whole time while he was doing this, he was wearing a backpack that had a "discman" of some sort that played Mozart music but only the frequencies that were played below 2000. So he only heard the low sounds of the chello, etc. It was a slow and deep, soothing rhythmic sound that kept his heartrate low, thus encouraging and fostering an environment of slow movement...something I MUST GET! LOL!

So my mission for this week:
1. Make some sort of a plan for the days - WORKING ON
2. Buy a swimsuit to drag him in - just the lycra material - on the list
3. Make an engine meter so that we have one at home to use in conjunction with OT.

Not bad for a few days of OT!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OT: Day 1/30

Occupational Therapy started today for Turbo. Already we've had some meltdowns because the therapy is taxing on him. But with time, it will get better!

Today they worked on sequencing and having a plan to help him with his impulsivity. Ms. Renee brought out a book of pictures. These pictures were of activities that Turbo can do at the center. He was to choose 4 pictures and place them on the cover of her book using the velcro. This was his plan. He then had a picture of a spiderman that was to use his "web" to go from activity to activity. Once he completed an activity, he was to move his spiderman to the next "web". This was to help him to formulate a plan and stick to it. As well as seeing his plan through to completion.

Ms. Renee used a quiet voice and moved slowly as well as spoke slowly so that his arousal level wasn't engaged so much. Definitely something that I need to work on. I'm much like Turbo in that I am always on the GO...and definitely not quiet at all!

She recommended the use of TheraBands in the car or just to have in my purse so that when he feels the need to "run" into things or just needs a big hug (you know, instead of squishing Tank) to use the bands. So that is definitely something I am going to try!

I am thinking on how I can implement a "plan" so to speak for our day. We use it a bit in school, but I think we need to use it more or better. I think that by having a visual plan for him to see during the day will help him with his implusivity as well as my sanity! So that is something I'm going to have to chew on to incorporate into our routine/day.

On a lighter note...TANK is taking steps! Right now he is up to about 4. Then he realizes that he is walking and hits the ground quick! Too cute! He is standing by himself for a good amount of time. Then he looks down and realizes where he is at!

Our next OT is on Thursday this week. Hopefully by then I can have some sort of a plan! ;)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ghost Tree @ Sunset

Today we had big plans for viewing the colors in the mountains after church. But, a sick lil' Tank put a kink in our plans. So, while he is sleeping, Turbo, Daddy and I decided to make our own tree.

We started out by using blue painter's tape to design our tree.

Instead of using paint, I used craft paint rollers and our stamp pads. Much easier and less messy!

After we painted our sunset, we began to peel off the tape to discover our magic surprise!

VOILA!~ Our Ghost Tree @ Sunset!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I for iguana and inchworm

This morning we moved on from the letter Ee to the letter Ii.

I gave him a picture of an inchworm that I laminated and punched holes around the perimeter and asked him to "sew". He enjoyed that, but I found that he had to do it "perfect" and got frustrated with himself. Hmmm...wonder where he gets that from...

Then we moved on to dobbing letters. I used a Bingo dobber and asked him to dob or dot the letters I and i. He decided to color instead with it. Hmmm. Follow on the list.

To work on cutting paper, I asked him to cut out an inchworm and some leaves to paste onto a piece of paper. Then we made an inguana out of the letter I. Still kind of creepy, but he liked it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Apple Farm!

At the beginning of September, we went with a few other mommies to the Happy Apple Farm near Penrose, CO - about 30 miles south of the Springs. It was such a great day for apple picking too!

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Not my most creative of creatures...but it'll do!

Monday, September 13, 2010


This week is pretty much the last week of normacy as we begin our adventure in Occupational Therapy. Oi.

Yet, we continued with the letter E, as we didn't get to finish it last week. Turbo wanted nothing to do with school this morning, and quite frankly, with Tank getting up at 4:45 and Turbo getting up at 5:45...I wanted nothing to do with school either. However!...we pushed on...much to Turbo's dismay.

We started out with calendar time. Ugh! I must think of something else for this time, because pulling teeth is easier than this with Turbo.

We did our Memory Verse: "The Word of the Lord ENDURES forever." 1 Peter 1:25. Sang our song. Did the days of the week, month, etc. Seriously needs some work on circle time.... ugh!

For our FIAR (Five In A Row), we read, How To Make An Apple Pie and See the World, as we talked about the different lands that the little girl visited while looking at the map and the globe. He is very interested in that, we will have to do more with this book.

He needed to move next...surprise, surprise! So we worked on a floor puzzle.

Turbo has really been frustrated with writing. He does pretty well, but he presses and pushes so hard on the pencil/crayon when he writes, that he becomes fatigued and frustrated. So today, I decided to do glue letters. I think I picked this up from Handwriting without Tears, which I think I may need to consider picking up if we are going to struggle this much.

Anyways, here he is working on some letters and numbers.

Of course, he was tired at the end because he squeezed too hard! I must put this down for our goals for OT! ;)

Next up, sorting our colors. This seemed to get his attention and he really got into it.

By this time, he had been in Time Out 2 times, and had been distracted by a stupid green ball about 1,000 times. RING, RING! School DISMISSED!

I'm outta here...time for a nap.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Letter E

Here is our Kindergartener!

Ee is our letter for the week. Although this week has been busy with the holiday, MOPS and hanging on to the last bit of summer, we were able to squeeze in some school.

Here, Turbo is using clay to form the Letter E on a printed card. He really enjoys doing this kind of stuff.

He also likes to do crafts, so we made an elephant out of a toiletpaper roll and added ears and googley eyes.

Isn't he cute?