Occupational Therapy at Home

I am going to take notes of my son’s occupational therapy appointments, so I can replicate them here at home. He has sensory processing disorder. Maybe these will help you too?

Evaluation Day- Standard fine motor and gross motor exam.

  • sitting on a swing
  • drawing shapes and lines
  • scissors
  • big buttons
  • stacking blocks
  • climbing up the stairs

First Lesson

  • the heavy jacket, the heavy blanket
  • brushing
  • sitting on a scooter, being pulled across hall to gym
  • empty container of plastic balls
  • play doh
  • blowing soap bubbles with a straw

Second Lesson

  • Mozart
  • the heavy jacket
  • wearing a hat
  • play doh, squeezy presser
  • blowing a whistle
  • making a birthday cake with pick-up stix
  • brushing

Third Lesson

  • bouncy balls–carrying, pushing, bouncing on them
  • stickers/coloring on the wall while bouncing
  • reaching for crayons while on the ball, steadying oneself
  • blowing candles on a birthday cake
  • sit-ups (head on a wedge)
  • putting balls away (reaching, etc)

Notes: he still resists all physical challenge. He knows his limits and will scream if someone presses him to try or go beyond them. His OT now confronts his limits anyway, but kindly, and makes him do the thing she wants while he screams. She talks him through it, which seems to help him even though he cries. She encourages him, explains why he has to do them, and talks about the virtues of each muscle getting stronger. We’ve isolated two immediate problems of resistance to force (pushing, pulling, even chewing and breathing deeply) and postural instability (very weak muscles in the “core” which probably also explains his frequent chest colds in the winter).

Progress Report: After one month of challenges, I have seen progress. Do not despise the day of small beginnings! My husband has been a huge help, initiating 20-30min sessions with him on occasion, to focus on something new. Things he has tried now, with help, but which he wouldn’t before (with mild or no protest) : climbing a vertical ladder, going up stairs with no railing, trying to go downstairs without crawling backwards, walking without holding hands, accepted socks a couple times, getting self in carseat and trying to buckle himself, sitting on a saw horse swing with his brother, climbing to the top bunk during play, lifting his kid-sized table (with a brother on the other end), pushing a heavy bucket of toys, chewing some chicken, breaking a bagel into bits, closing the play-doh lids himself, successfully working one shirt button, and sitting on the toilet without the special kid seat (he held onto the regular seat, with his arms stretched to reach it behind him.)

Fourth/Fifth Lessons:

  • sit-ups (30)
  • Belly work: reading, doing a puzzle on his belly (propping self up on elbows)
  • letting big ball lot roll over his back/body
  • rolling ball while sitting in V-position (wearing weighted vest)
  • throwing balls into bucket/lifting out
  • taking off/putting on own shoes (velcro)
  • blowing whistles

Sixth Lesson:

  • sit-ups
  • wheelbarrow walking
  • walking up a slide, reaching for a stereo at the top
  • puzzle while on the belly, ball rolling on the back
  • opening candy wrappers, granola bar (tearing)
  • putting on socks and shoes
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