Therapy Homework Doesn’t Have To Be Another Task On Your Long To-Do List
Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to fit everything into your day when there is just so much to do! That feeling has often led me to wish that there were at least 28 hours to each day so that it could all be accomplished! Instead of feeling like your child’s occupational therapy homework is another thing to cross off your list, there are ways you can incorporate it into your usual daily routine. Below are some ideas to incorporate this homework into your routine to make it easy to get it done.
Ways To Incorporate Occupational Therapy Homework Into Your Daily Routine
1. Have your child transition from activity to activity as he gets ready to leave the house for the day by doing heavy work.
For example, he can wake up and do 10 jumping jacks before going to the bathroom to brush teeth, crab walk to the kitchen for breakfast, bear crawl to the bedroom to get dressed, and then frog jump from the front door to the car to leave for the day.
2.Have your child help you with household chores. For example they can:
push a laundry basket
wipe the table off after dinner
push in chairs
changing sheets on the bed
take out the garbage
help carry groceries from the car to the house and help put them away
3. Have your child use tweezers or clothespins to help make pizza for dinner (or another meal). Have him pick up pieces of cheese or pepperoni with the tweezers and put it on the pizza dough.
Please leave a comment if you have any additional tricks to fit your child’s therapy homework into your daily schedule!
https://secureservercdn.net/188.8.131.52/fnf.6b5.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Dana Paishttps://secureservercdn.net/184.108.40.206/fnf.6b5.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngDana Pais2011-07-21 16:17:282019-09-05 19:43:21Save Time: Incorporate Your Child’s Home Exercise Programs into your Daily Routine
If you, your pediatrician, your child’s teacher or someone else important in your child’s life just told you that your child would benefit from physical, occupational, or speech and language therapy services you are probably feeling a little overwhelmed and uncertain about what to expect.
Some questions you may have about your child’s therapy
Will they put my child on a couch and talk to him/her?
Will they attach electrodes to the affected area? Read more
https://secureservercdn.net/220.127.116.11/fnf.6b5.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Rachel Trosthttps://secureservercdn.net/18.104.22.168/fnf.6b5.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngRachel Trost2011-07-13 10:38:492020-06-29 14:34:24What Will Happen During My Child’s Pediatric Therapy Visit?
The Disc-O-Sit cushion is a fun and easy tool to use at home. This round, rubbery cushioncan be used to work on balance, core strength and postural control. Below are suggestions for a variety of activities that your child will enjoy!
Using The Disc-O-Sit Cushion While Standing or Kneeling:
Tape a piece of paper or a picture to the walland have your child color while reaching overhead
https://secureservercdn.net/22.214.171.124/fnf.6b5.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.png00Dana Paishttps://secureservercdn.net/126.96.36.199/fnf.6b5.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/nspt_2-color-logo_noclaims.pngDana Pais2011-06-07 19:13:062014-04-28 01:58:18Disc-o-Sit | Easy Home Activities That Target Balance and Core Control
Summer is quickly approaching, and swimming pools can be used for much more than tanning and floating! Get those muscles and joints working with these simple games that you can play with common pool toys.
The following activities target strength, endurance, body awareness, trunk control, breath control and motor planning. As always, make sure safety is your first priority:
1. Noodle Races: sit on foam noodles, using your arms to pull yourself across the length of the pool .
**Try a variety of movements with your arms such as front crawls, breast strokes, and doggy paddling to incorporate different reaching and pulling methods. You can also sit on a tube or raft rather than a noodle to play this game!
2. Noodle Volleyball/Basketball: sit on foam noodles, passing a beach ball back and forth or aiming for a hoop.
**Try to keep the ball in the air without hitting the water for as long as possible. This is a great challenge that incorporates hand-eye coordination. Read more
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Playing is a child’s primary job, and a beneficial one at that. Through play, children develop fine and gross motor skills, practice language and develop new vocabulary, and begin to understand new learning concepts.
Below is a sample of all that is involved and developing when your child plays with dolls.
Develops imaginative play skills as your child cares for her doll.
Teaches different emotions and relationships as child role plays. Read more
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W-sitting is a position that is too commonly used by children when seated on the ground. In this position, a child sits on their bottom, with knees bent, feet tucked under, and legs splayed out to each side in a “W” configuration. Because this position is so common, most adults do not realize that use of this position can have negative ramifications on a child’s growth and development.
Negative Effects of W-Sitting:
The reality is that this position can cause orthopedic problems, delay development of postural control and stability, and delay development of refined motor skills. For these reasons, its use is strongly discouraged.
Excessive use of a w-sit during the growing years puts undue stress on the hip abductors, hamstrings, internal rotators and heel cords, leading to the possibility of orthopedic problems in the future. “W-sitting” can lead to hip dislocation, and for children with pre-existing orthopedic conditions, these conditions can worsen when major muscle groups are placed in shortened positions. The muscles begin to tighten, and this can lead to a permanent shortening of the muscle, which can affect coordination, balance, and development of motor skills.
The w-sit widens a child’s base of support, resulting in less need for weight shifting, postural control and stability as they are playing, moving and reaching than in other seated positions. In addition to resulting in decreased trunk control, the w-sit does not require as much trunk rotation, which helps develop midline crossing and separation of the two sides of the body needed for bilateral coordination. Good trunk control and stability, midline crossing and bilateral coordination are needed to develop refined motor skills and hand dominance.
How to Prevent W-sitting:
It is best to prevent children from developing this habit. However, we all know children who have already established this as a preferred seated position. When possible, anticipate and catch it before you see your child move into a w-sit. If and when you do see your child in a “W”, consistently encourage her to adjust to a different position by saying, “Fix your legs.”
Consistency is key. Make sure children know what some of their other options are so they can choose an alternative. Functional seated positions that will allow the child to develop trunk control and mature movement patterns include “tailor sit” (also called “criss-cross”), “long sit” and “side sit”. It is important for parents to teach and encourage alternate seated positions at home, and teachers to teach and encourage their students to use alternate seated positions at school. This encouragement will have positive effects on a child’s growth and development of foundational skills.
When playing with a child on the floor, hold his knees and feet together when kneeling or crawling – it is impossible to get into a w-sit from there. The child will either sit to one side, or sit back on his feet, and from there he can be helped to sit over to one side. Try to encourage sitting over both the right and left sides to promote bilateral development. Using various patterns of movements and positions demand trunk rotation and lateral weight shifting.
If a child is unable to sit alone in any position other than a “W”, talk with an occupational therapist about supportive seating or alternative positions such as prone and side-lying. Sitting against the couch while playing may be one alternative, as well as using a small table and chair. A therapist will have many other ideas based on each individual child.
In the pediatric therapy world, a diagnosis of “low tone” or “hypotonia” is often given. But what exactly does this diagnosis mean? Muscle tone is the term for the resting length of muscles in the body ( i.e. before a contraction). With low muscle tone, the resting length of the muscles is greater than average and causes hyperextension at the joints, or what some refer to as “double jointedness.” (However, the term double jointed is misleading, as a person doesn’t actually have two joints, just increased muscle length and therefore increased flexibility at the joint).
Signs of Hypotonia in Children:
How can you tell if you or your child has low muscle tone? As stated above, individuals with low tone muscles often have increased flexibility at many joints. The muscles may feel soft and squishy, and because they have increased resting length it literally takes longer for the muscles to contract. Therefore, the individual may seem slow to get going or even lazy, but there truly may be a physiological reason behind it.
Also, because it requires more energy to get the muscles moving, these individuals may be reluctant to move, or conversely, they may move more because sitting still is exhausting and uncomfortable. Read more
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By the age of 3 or 4 years old, a child should have mastered the bilateral skill (using both sides of the body together) called “crossing the midline”. This is the ability to move one hand, foot, or eye into the space of the other hand, foot or eye. We cross midline when we scratch an elbow, cross our ankles, and read left to right. Crossing the midline of your body helps build pathways in the brain and is an important prerequisite skill required for the appropriate development of various motor and cognitive skills. Children who have difficultly crossing the body’s midline often have trouble with skills such as reading, writing, completing self care skills and participating in sports & physical activities. These skills require a type of coordination that comes from experience with “cross-lateral motion,” which is movement involving the left arm and right leg, or the right arm and left leg at the same time.
Establishing a “worker hand” and a “helper hand” is a sign that the brain is maturating and lateralization is occurring, and is strongly correlated with the ability to cross the midline. Both sides of the brain need to talk to each other for the “worker hand” and the “helper hand” to work together and compliment each other. Coordinating both sides of the body can be difficult for the child who avoids crossing midline. Often, these children have not yet established a hand preference, sometimes using their left and sometimes using their right to draw, color, write, eat, and throw.
Affects on children who do not develop the bilateral skill:
Furthermore, when a child has difficulty crossing midline, it can affect his/her ability to read. While the child is moving his/her eyes from left to right across the page, the eyes will stop at midline to blink and refocus; however, when this happens, the child will very frequently lose his/her place on the line and become confused as to where they left off. It also affects handwriting, as diagonal lines cross the midline, and the child may need to stop in the middle of the page to switch hands when writing from left to right. Many self care and daily living skills require crossing midline. For example, perfecting the skill of putting socks or shoes on requires one hand to cross over to the other side of the body.
Children who have difficulty crossing midline may appear ambidextrous because they are often observed using both hands, but they actually have a hidden neuroprocessing issue. Both sides of their brains are not communicating, resulting in decreased coordination, decreased motor control of movements and difficulties achieving higher level skills. Often, these children end up with two unskilled hands.
Activities to help develop the ability to cross the midline:
To help develop efficient crossing of the midline, provide children with a variety of two-handed (bilateral) activities. Try some of the below activities to help build more pathways in the brain and to develop the ability to cross the midline, improve coordination, and improve overall functional performance on a daily basis.
Right brain/left brain teasers-
a. Pop bubbles with only one hand (they will have to reach across their body to pop the bubbles floating on the opposite side).
b. Reach for bean bags, balls, stuffed animals, or other objects across midline, then throwing at a target.
c. Draw large figure eights (the infinity sign or an 8 turned on its side) on paper, on the floor with a finger, in the air with a finger, or drive a matchbox car around a figure eight pattern.
d. Let the child play with sand, scooping sand from one side of the body and putting it into a bucket on the opposite side of the body without switching hands.
e. Let the child pretend to drive a car with a ball in his/her hands to use as a steering wheel and encourage the crossing of his/her arms as he/she turns the ‘steering wheel’ OR to make this similar in style to most of the others—pretend to drive a car with a ball in both hands to use as a steering wheel and cross both arms while turning the “steering wheel”.
f. Play flashlight tag. In a dimmed room, lie on your backs and have the child follow your flashlight beam projected on the wall with his own flashlight.
g. Touch the opposite elbow and knee.
h. Cross one foot over the other while walking sideways.
i. Do “grapevine” walks.
j. Knee slap walk- Walk around raising each knee while touching/slapping it with the opposite hand (or elbow). Change it to a skip while touching the opposite knee as it comes up.
k. Windmill-stand with feet spread apart and arms extended out to the sides. Bend over at waist and tap right hand to left foot. Stand back up and then bend and tap left hand to right foot.
l. Point your left finger out and put your right thumb up. Switch them, and switch, and switch, and switch…
m. Hold your nose, then cross the other hand over and grab your opposite ear. Slap your thighs and switch your hands…switch, slap, switch, slap…
n. Write your name in the air while rotating your foot in a circle clockwise.