Online Occupational Therapy: Home and School Share Success that Matters
As a speech-language pathologist, I eagerly worked with my son to establish early literacy awareness and a strong language foundation. Still, I faced an experience many parents and teachers must know…Aiden struggled to physically execute his skills. Everything from managing a zipper to drawing a circle was frustrating for him. How could this be? We worked so hard at learning about our world – why couldn't he control his world?
Our online occupational therapy program was the connection I needed for my son. I am so grateful that we offer this collaborative support to all of our schools.
Just as our online speech-language pathologists know how to build on small successes, our online occupational therapists provide the same framework.
First, we needed our program to matter to Aiden. We asked him some questions such as, “If you had a magic wand and could be in charge of school, what would you keep the same? What would you change - what don't you like?" Here are just two of his comments:
1. I don’t like my pencil…it doesn't do what I want.
2. I don’t like being last to recess. (Relates to dressing quickly and independently.)
Our action plan included some of these solutions:
1. Improve his foundation for managing a pencil and other life tools (i.e. zipper) through fun activities that improve stability, coordination, and strength of the hand. (Aiden helped us to create our own finger fun boot camp - no pencil needed!)
2. Modify his pencil (thicker for now), provide wider spaces for printing, and allow short bursts of writing turns. (Aiden loves our two minute timer – a motorbike roars when time is up!)
3. Combine sequencing skills and motor skills to empower independence with activities of daily living, such as getting ready for recess. (A triumph for us was when Aiden declared he made it to the recess line and he wasn't last – success that mattered!)
Aiden has turned into a willing “teacher” when he demonstrates his new skills on camera. We make pictures of each step he does. Not only does he enjoy organizing and reviewing his “Getting Dressed Story”, we have reduced our verbal reminders of what to do. Instead, he likes to put his pictures in order and then follow his steps.
You will see some of the pictures from our sequencing story in this post. Watch his video below, too! From a speech-language pathologist's perspective, I am excited that he is developing a strong sequencing framework and motor skills for written language. Most of all, I am over the moon that Aiden is increasing his independence with controlling his world. Thanks, online occupational therapy!Way to go Aiden!Marnee Brick, MScSpeech-Language Pathologist and Director of Speech Therapy
TinyEYE Therapy Services (Speech and Occupational Therapy Telepractice)
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