Today's plan included a barrel, a trapeze, "Animal Planet" and charades; not all together at once.
To begin with, Turbo and Ms. Renee set up the safe area with pillows, the barrel and the trapeze. This activity was fun for him because it gave him the vestibular input, but was designed to strengthen his core muscles. Playing on monkey bars, and things that give him the resistive pull is a great source for him to build strength in his hands to help with his writing.
The next swing was a game of saving the animals by bringing them to different planets. The swing allowed him to wrap his arms and legs around which helped with muscle core strengthening (sitting still muscles), but also a vestibular input which he loves. By adding a cognitive element it helped him to focus more and learning is more likely to take place. Ms. Renee sat behind him and showed him the beanbags with letters on them. This way, Turbo had to turn his head and use his peripheral vision to see the letters, and to focus his eyes on something while his body was moving. What surprised and didn't surprise us at the same time was how "smart" he was. The task was to say a name of an animal that begun with the letter on the bean bag. He pretty much got it right each time. We both looked at each other and agreed that we think he is smarter than he lets on. She again encouraged a gifted program.
We discussed how this could be used at home. Using a ordinary playground swing is a way to do this, but the core strengthening is lost. Another option is to use the rope swing at my paren'ts house, but to add a disc seat to it. That way he could sit down on it while I pull him and help him with his "learning". She said that there are some places in town which sell circular disc seats, but I suggested that maybe at Home Depot there is a disc seat for playground sets.
We moved on to a game of Charades. This game is boring in of itself for a 5-year-old, so adding an obstacle course to go through before having to act it out intensifies the game. Using charades helps Turbo, who likes to go fast, to stop to read and understand verbal cues which he would otherwise miss because of his speedy impulsivness. Having him act out emotions as well is something that would benefit him.
As I walked away from this session, I realized more and more that our "school time" will not really consist of pencil and paper as much it as I initially thought. Our "school time" needs to look more and more like OT until Turbo and I figure things out together. My next task is to look into a gifted program that will suit our family.
Any suggestions out there?