TOO SLOW!! JUST RIGHT!! TOO FAST!!
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!