I'm a day late...and a dollar short...but what are ya gonna do?
Yesterday at therapy, Ms. Renee worked a lot of visual stimulation. We have all noticed that Turbo blinks excessively, but we could never figure out the reason. Her thought is that his occular movement isn't strong enough and that he gets fatigued easily.
We began the session with some hardwork to create a safe environment for him to "work" in. She suggests that any time that he can do "hard work" is good for him because it allows him to receive a lot of input on so many different levels. He was to drag HUGE pillows that were very large to the area where he would be playing. He did this excessively and drug 5 of this pillows to the play area...but whatever.
Next, he hung in a hammock but she inserted what to me looked like a diaper changing pad that goes on a table. Guess I have baby on the brain; or at the very least, dirty diapers...but I digress.
She gave him a TheraBand to use to help him swing while he was equipped with is music (which I have forgotten to mention that not only does it play music at certain decible levels, but it also vibrates on the top of his head stimulating that vestibral lobe...bunch of guru talk I know but somehow it makes a difference :) ), while sitting on his belly. She asked me to pull on the rope while he swung back and forth (proprioceptive/vestibular input) while she stood behind me with a dry erase board writing letters. He was to say the letters/sounds while moving. This was to help him keep his eyes locked on an object while his body was moving. It was to help strengthen his occular movement while helping him to stay focused while his body was moving. Something he struggles with. He did really well, but you could tell that after 5 or 10 minutes of it, he was becoming fatigued and began blinking, then he politely asked if we could stop.
Our next task was to strengthen his upper body and hands. I don't think that Turbo intentionally puts up a fight when it comes to writing, coloring, cutting or pasting, it is just that he gets tired and fatigue sets into his hands so he gives up. The obstacle course that she set up was to help strengthen his upper body and hands and to give me ideas on how to do some more work with him at home.
She gave him a small trampoline to use to jump on to jump up and hang onto a trapez bar (Hand strength/Proprioceptive). He was to swing 3 times (Vestibular) and then fall into the pile of pillows that he made (Proprioceptive). He was to crawl on his belly to a scooter board (Upper body strength) and climb onto the board. Then using only his arms (Upper body strength) he was to collect puzzle pieces and put them into a pile (Upper body strength/congitive/visual). Then he was to do it all over again.
Check out the video of him doing the course.
Afterwards, he continued lying on his belly on the scooter board and put the puzzle together. Again, he was conditioning his upper body as well as focusing on the puzzle in a position that wasn't the "W" leg position. He wanted so badly to get up but was encouraged to lie on his belly. He successfully finished the puzzle while on his belly...Good job! (This whole activity was so that he could come back down from a TOO FAST activity to a JUST RIGHT activity - he did great in the transition).
When he saw the ramp and the scooter boards, the plan when out the window to use the climbing wall. So they altered their plans in the book, and set to work building a wall of cushion blocks for him to ride the scooter board down and crash into the blocks. See for yourself the video.
This was a really good session, and I walked away with a couple of things to do at home:
1.) Have Turbo hang from the monkey bars, hubby's arms, or have him do pushups with daddy at night to continue to build his upper arm strength.
2.) Consider having a different range of activites for school that has to do with the floor.
3.) Ask really, really nicely if hubby can make a scooter board for us, or swallow the 12 bucks it costs to buy one at a specialty store.