Occupational Therapy — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

Occupational Therapy


I know what your thinking…NEW SCHOOL YEAR?   How many days till school starts???  I have a friend that started counting the minute summer started.  I enjoy our homeschooling time together.  I love the beginning of a new year…the goals for the year, the dreams of what you want to work on, the reality of what will really happen.  The fresh Sharpened pencils, crayons (even though we have 12 boxes already), the paper, the books, the construction paper…the excitement…the adventures. 

This past school year offically closed today.  My son had his evaluation that we have to turn into our school system with our next notification letter for the upcoming school year.  Our evaluation is a little different.  We take in the scrapbook of pictures of our work because the really is our samples of the year at school.  We don’t have worksheets, we don’t have projects we can present, we have pictures of therapy sessions, pictures of field trips, loooooonnnnngggg lists of books we read over and over again.  Descriptions of art projects, descriptions of fine arts (music) although I’m thinking we might have to invest in a tape recorder to tape some of the vocalizations that are happening more often & for longer periods of time.   We are fortunate to have a licensed teacher that was a special education teacher do our evaluation.  We take our scrapbook (new one every year) and a summary of things we’ve worked on.  I’m always nervous to go have the evaluation done.   Then after she looks over things and we talk…she signs the paperwork and gives me what I need to continue.  Afterwards I always feel so much better.  I second guess myself and if I’m doing more damage then good.  But then deep down I already know he’s blossomed.  He’s doing so much more than the doctors ever expected him to do.  We’ve been out of therapy for over a year now…I’m not missing it, not sure he is either…but the doctor finally requested that we return to therapies…so we’re headed back 1 time a month.  seems hardly worth it, but new insurance only covers 20 visits per year of OT and PT seperate. 

So here’s to another year under our belt.  Here’s to another year of growth and learning.  Here’s to another year of reading books (gonna knock this year out of the park). 

What’s your favorite part about this time of the year?  Is there just one supply that you HAVE TO BUY because it’s back to school time?  Does anyone have those new crayola dry erase crayons & wipe board?  what do you think of it? 

Wish you & your kids a wonderful school year!  May your children reach all their IEP goals.  May all your teachers understand you and your child.  And may your children exceed their expectations! Wishing you MANY  sucessful years to come!


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Learning…I’ve not written about homeschooling yet so I thought maybe this would be a good time.  Homeschooling isn’t so typical for us, we have many challenges to get over.  We do use therapies as part of our daily routine (even if we are still on sabbatical from professional therapies at our local hospital).  We do a lot of reading…Last year we read 163 books (several times each).   This year we’re working on doubling that.  We’re in the 200’s right now.  Things that I have noticed lately are that my son appears to be more aware of his surroundings and is learning to place sounds. 

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How far he’s come. How far we have to go.

She wailed that B had her popcorn. Popcorn being used loosely as the container that once held popcorn kernels, gladly accepted by her at its end as an addition to her kitchen belongings….this thing that B was handling in front of her (the nerve) with an item of his already stuffed inside. To keep my headache from getting worse, he was asked to take said item out and put the (apparently) deeply cherished plastic popcorn container back in her kitchen in its rightful place.

I watched as he maneuvered the lid off, took his item out, then re-twisted the lid back on.

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Learning to ride…one step at a time…

A Cowboy Needs a Horse

Johnny lives in a big city, but has everything a cowboy could want
(Everything, everything)
He has a place to pan for gold
(Panning, panning)
And he has time to shoot a buffalo everyday
(Shooting, shooting)
And every night, he dreams he’s a cowboy riding the rangeFinally found the words to this song, it’s on a disney sing along VHS we have and we sing it all the time.  (well me & Tristan…and he seems to like it 🙂

Ridin’, ridin’ along…

Oh, a cowboy needs a horse, needs a horse, needs a horse
And he’s gotta have a rope, have a rope, have a rope
And he oughta’ have a song, have a song, have a song
If he wants to keep ridin’

Now a cowboy needs a hat, needs a hat, needs a hat
And a pair of fancy boots, fancy boots, fancy boots
And a set of shiny spurs, shiny spurs, shiny spurs
If he wants to keep ridin’

Oh, the fence is long, and the sun is hot
And the good Lord knows that a cowboy’s gotta keep
Ridin’, ridin’ along

So he gets himself a horse, and a rope, and a song
And he finds himself a hat, fancy boots, shiny spurs
And there’s nothing more he needs, or can have, or can get
If he wants to keep ridin’, ridin’ along

Spurs, shiny spurs
Boots, fancy boots
Sings a western song
And a horse
If he wants to keep ridin’, ridin’ along…

Tristan has been working up to the ridin’ for about 5 weeks now. 

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Learning her ABC’s

This winter, Precious was seen by a new occupational therapist (OT) after going almost 18 months without seeing one.  She had four different OT’s during the first four years of life and they focused on self-care skills like teaching her to put on her shoes, do up her zippers, feed herself and use the toilet.  The new therapist assigned to Precious at school assessed her on all of these ‘self-care’ criteria but also assessed her on her visual motor integration and visual perception.  While Precious scored well on the self-care, which I fully expected, she scored very low on the other two. 

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Got My Back Up

On Thursday, we had a great meeting with Precious’ occupational therapist, physical therapist and vice principal.  By ‘we’, I mean me, as DH was flat on his back; a victim of the same virus that has been plaguing our family for the last 4 weeks.

Precious’ teacher and her speech and language pathologist were both absent from the meeting, as one had an appointment and the other was sick.

The occupational therapist (OT) and physical therapist (PT) had both recently assessed Precious for the first time and they both seemed to understand pretty well where she is developmentally.  They both had new ideas for activities we can do with Precious to help her and they are incorporating these into the school. 

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The Domino Effect

For the last two years or so, we hadn’t had many appointments with specialists.  Precious doesn’t have any serious medical issues.  She’s got minor ear, nose, throat issues, so we go every 6-12 months, and she has dental issues, but these only require regular dentist appointments for now.

She has an undiagnosed congenital (she was born with it) issue.  It started out as low muscle tone and turned into a global developmental delay with a more noticeable cognitive delay.

A few months ago, we got a call from the geneticist, asking us to come in to be re-evaluated.  While we were there, she noticed we hadn’t seen the opthamologist for a couple of years. 

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