Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Occupational Therapy

Aidan's OT came today. She wanted to try out the idea of wrapping up Aidan's right hand so he would have more occasion to use his "hemi" left hand. He was happy about it and did well. At first he kept slipping his hand out by habit from the ACE bandage, but I suggested tucking the right hand into his shirt and then wrapping it up. This seemed to help him to keep it out of action. He did several games:

  • Loading beanie babies into the back of his car. That was too easy to be a challenge.
  • Putting bead necklaces into a container. This was not a challenge either.
  • Putting monkeys into their barrel. Pretty easy.
  • Picking up butterscotch chips to eat them. This was a bit too difficult because he doesn't have a proper pincer grip so he had to chase them around a lot.
  • Turning over cards – we used the SET cards and the OT advanced the difficulty level by having him count them and then put them into piles according to quantity. This was too much motor processing requirements and he had consistent difficulties, not with turning the cards over but with putting them in the correct piles. I'll have to try this again at a different time to see if it was the combination that caused the problem or he really didn't understanding categorizing with numbers.
  • Taking the pieces of his peg puzzle out and putting them back. This was right at his level.
  • Putting golf tees into a pegboard – too hard. Taking them out was just about right.
  • Stocking the pantry with cans. He liked this a lot.

For follow-up, we are supposed to do this for a little while every day. He functions pretty well using his leftie as a helper so my motivation for doing this would be to help his motor processing and crossing-over skills which help with reading and all kinds of things like that.

Aidan has been thriving recently in spite of elevated liver enzymes showing in his lab results. I have figured out a loose system for rotating his multi-piece developmental toys out, two or three at a time. Yesterday he played for a long time with the beads in a box. There are pattern templates that Paddy uses and can duplicate without a problem, but Aidan just likes to categorize the beads by color. Then he found a transportation sound-making puzzle I had hidden in the closet and has played with that a lot since, though two of the pieces are already on walkabout. He also plays a lot with the SET card game and with the transportation felts I got for him, and almost every day he brings out the playdough so he can "cook". Basically my goal is to have a couple of toys accessible where he can choose between them, and one extra one "out" at a time. I also like him to have access to "tools" like the cookware and the camera, though not unlimited access. Anyway, this system is keeping me from becoming overwhelmed with tiny pieces all over everything and it helps me train him to put things back before he gets out something new.

He thought it was funny that I had to "chase" him to put on his sweat pants and sang, "They chase me here, they chase me there, those Frenchies chase me everywhere!" He loves having Liam home and to be truthful, having Paddy busy with the computer more than usual since we aren't limiting the screen time the way we usually do.



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