Today we will be talking about occupational therapy. Kemett does OT two times a week. Below we will talk about some of the things we are working on:
Things Kemett is working on:
- Puzzles: Kemett is doing jigsaw puzzles now and is doing a great job. He needs a little guidance but can put together puzzles pretty easily. The largest he and I have done is over 60 pieces.
- Bilateral Coordination Activities: He has improved on bilateral coordination activities in general, including putting caps on markers, holding paper while cutting, putting legos together/taking apart, stringing beads on a shoestring/pipecleaner and many more. Kemett does this in all of his therapies. He is pretty good at this and has a high attention span for it.
- Feeding: We do not work on this much because Kemett is doing really well with using his spoon/fork during meals. He can drink with an open cup.
- Drawing Lines: We are working on horizontal and vertical lines right now. He is getting really close to this. If given the right motivation, he can do it. He and his OT draw trains and people to work on circles and lines.
- Coloring: He is improved significantly on his coloring. He isn’t in the lines, but he knows that different parts of his picture need different colors.
- Cutting with scissors: Kemett is able to close the scissors, and is working on opening them up as well. This will be a skill he will need for school next year.
- Body Awareness/Safety: Kemett is getting much better with safety which means he falls less and catches himself more. The school has even noticed that he is so much safer. We still are working on body awareness. Due to his low muscle tone, it is often hard for Kemett to feel his body in space, like we can. Also, he never looks down so that makes him prone to tripping on things more easily. So we work on getting him to look down, make obstacle courses, etc. At school they have put a block for his feet on his chair so that he can feel the ground which helps him sit up straight and focus better.
- Object Manipulation: This is a fancy way of saying throwing, rolling, kicking, catching balls. This is one thing that Kemett doesn’t seem interested in at all. In hippotherapy he is closer to actually throwing a ball! He has shown increased interest when provided with visual input (using a mirror) and when using toys OTHER than balls, such as throwing bean bags, stuffed animals, etc.
- Upper body strength: (Prone positions) He completes other activities on his stomach to increase endurance and, back and neck extension. Kemett reads books on his stomach, on elbows. He reaches up to turn the pages. All of this helps with his back and arm muscles.
- Alphabet: We work on letter searches, and letter puzzles. He’s getting good at his letters!
- Playdough (gluten free)/Therapy Putty: This helps strengthen Kemett’s hands. We use gluten free so that he does not have an allergic reaction. His school also uses gluten free playdough.
- Independence: As with school, we are working on Kemett becoming more independent at home. We will soon start working on dressing himself in OT. We also are working on getting in and out of his carseat, going up and down the stairs, putting his plate on the counter after meals, putting clothes in the hamper, etc. It is so important to encourage Kemett to complete in age appropriate activities on his own to show him and the world how independent he can be!
- Therapeutic Listening: This is something new as of Monday. Dr. Miller recommended we try this because Kemett was having a hard time keeping up with conversation and processing. This will help with his processing time, attention and sensory. Maybe I can write a blog post later on about how he’s doing. We are very excited about adding this into our approach!
- Sensory: We do bear hugs, deep pressure, brushing, he has a compression vest, a chew necklace (as needed), a compression swing and sleeps in a stretchy tube.
I am happy that these activities, for the most part, Kemett enjoys doing even outside of therapy. He loves doing art- painting and coloring, doing puzzles, playdough, etc. OT is such an important part of Kemett’s every day life skills. We are lucky to have such great therapists who will work through things with us and help get Kemett more independent and stronger!
Thank you for the great question and support!