A Journey with Love and Laughter

Read about our family as we journey through life as a family, with siblings, school and spina bifida, and lots of fun and laughter along the way!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Therapy Progression - Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy is one area that we slacked on for a long time. Concentrating more on the big physiotherapy aspects.
But occupational therapy is coming into focus now. It is the day-to-day part of life.
The holding a pencil, putting on clothes, doing activities of daily living (like entering your house).

It is also walking and wheeling. Sure physiotherapy looks at the legs and body in the walker, but occupational therapy looks at everything else. Watching areas of pressure in the elbows and wrists, functionality of the wheelchair.
 It is using your hands and fingers. Writing, drawing, dexterity.

 Nick is having a very difficult time with that. Nick has exploded in his interest and ability (surprising how those go together) in regards to language and physiotherapy. But he could really care less about writing anything other than his name or colouring inside the line.

This is a picture that Nick drew in July. One of the first person-pictures he has drawn

 Even drawing pictures, he really doesn't have any interest in it. I have only a couple drawings of Nick's on the wall. The rest are crafts that he has done it school, usually cutting and pasting.

 When we discussed occuptional therapy last month, we talked about how to make things easier for Nick. Yes he needs to learn how to write, but he spends so much time and energy on the actual physicality of making letters that he isn't actually writing ideas. He is just copying. He just got a computer at school (that will travel with him to his new school next year).

This took Nick 7 minutes and 17 seconds to print out

The computer lets him get his ideas across in words, without the struggle to make the letters.
Using a computer makes things easier, but with actual typing, but also with a program called word-cue. With this program when you type a letter "t" it gives you choices of 5 different words "the" and you pick the number associated with that word. "the" may not be the best example. But it helps to get words out.

The computer can also be used for pictures and creativity. This picture he made on the computer for Christmas (of course a ninja turtle)

But even with a computer as a writing-aid, we still work

And we've been working on some hand exercises. Helping to distinguish between different sides of the hands. Moving little and ring finger separate from pointer and middle finger (live long and prosper... or ninja-turtle related high-three)

Nick has a computer for school right now. It will travel with him when he moves schools and has programs for him loaded on it. We are also looking at getting him a designated computer for home. I have my laptop, Kyle has a desk-top, and we have a table, but it just doesn't have what we need for Nick. So we are having a writing aid consultation to see if we can get some type of computer for Nick to use at home.

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