Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Therapy Play!

These days my time is spent mostly in making sure Corbin gets the most therapy opportunities possible. We chose to go with the ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) model of therapy - which is in-home therapy. They teach me strategies and therapies and I work with him every day.

For those that don't know, you can't do ECI and a medical model therapy at the same time. You must pick one. For our family, ECI has been the best choice. We love that they come into our home and teach us so that he can get therapy every day from us! With two boys in therapy programs, I'm glad that at least one of them is at home. I do enough running around with Hayden, now that he's in the school system.

Life has become a series of therapy opportunities and most of our day is very well thought out to make sure those opportunities happen. Luckily, our family is pretty used to this after doing speech therapy with Hayden over the last 2 years.

We've been doing lots of playing this month!


Playing is great therapy for Corbin. Kids learn by playing!


So we've made it a point to head to the park at least 3-4 times a week. The uneven surfaces, steps, and slides are great physical therapy for him. The different textures - wood, mulch, metal, etc - are great sensory play.


At home, you can use everyday items to get therapy time in your day. A plastic wipes container and some magnetic letters from the fridge become fine and gross motor, sensory, and even speech therapy:

1. Sit on the floor with your legs spread in a V
2. Put them sitting similarly in front of you.
3. Place the wipes container in front of them (they will be putting the letters in this).
4. Put all the letters behind your back where they can't see them.
5. One by one, pull out a letter and hold it in different positions: Make them reach up high, left and right, put the letter on the floor next to your thigh and make them reach to the side to get it (your leg acts as a support for their weak muscles), make them use alternate hands to grab the letters, make them cross their hand to grab the letter (left to right).

All the activity is great for gross motor development. Having them grasp the letters and put them in the wipes container is fine motor and sensory therapy. If they have overflow issues (i.e. both hands doing the same thing) you can have them grab letters with both hands one after the other which helps them open and close their hands separately. Crossing the body with their hands is great for bilateral communication in the brain. You can also say the letter and the sound of the letter as you hand them off for extra speech therapy.


We're also enjoying some sensory books. Right now we're loving B is for Bear. Each page has a something to touch and it goes through the alphabet which is awesome for speech.

The Letter Factory DVD has been a good find as well. Corbin was even making the "E" sound at one point while watching it.

Hiding little items in play-doh is also a great activity for sensory and fine motor therapy. We are working hard at this one right now as Corbin has an aversion to the texture of play-doh.

Yesterday, we had a blast at the lake - but again, great therapy for Corbin. He played on the shore in the water (uneven surfaces, water play, etc) and had a great time!!

Regardless of where we are or what we are doing - any time can turn into "therapy time" for Corbin!


Ticia said...

Okay, I learned a lot from reading this. I have some videos you could borrow if you want, I think I still have them, that might help him (similar to Letter Factory).

Just Me said...

Oh yeah! I'd love to borrow some - I'm always looking for new stuff - you never know what they'll get into. :D