Friday, January 29, 2016

Sledding Therapy

Teddy's a regular at physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and Birth to Three. He has more therapeutic goals than we'll ever work on in any given day (or even week if I'm completely honest). We do our best, pick a few to focus on and count much of our everyday play as therapy because in reality, all play is therapeutic.

Since Teddy was unmotivated to be in his gait trainer today, we decided to play outside in the snow instead. Teddy is getting so good at holding his hand out for mittens (and then promptly ripping them off because he didn't really want them on) and knowing that his socks, braces and shoes go on his feet. It's nice to see that recognition and (minimal) assistance with dressing instead of resistance or dressing a boy made of Jello. (The nice red socks are our way of keeping his mittens on underneath. He's a stylish boy.)

We're lucky our house has enough of a slope to go sledding right in our backyard. Teddy and AJ both had a blast sledding, and it was a fun experience that encompassed OT, PT and speech therapy. Teddy had to engage his core to stay upright on the sled while sliding down the hill and then being pulled back up the hill. It's something we don't think about, but it's a lot of work for a child with low tone. He compensated for some of this effort by holding onto the edges of the sled, which is great because one of his OT goals is to hold onto items with a sustained grasp. Lastly, he had so much fun that he was vocalizing almost the entire way down and then back up the hill. Speech therapy. The trifecta of therapy while having the best time sledding.

Watching Teddy sled today reminded me that one of his original goals for Birth to Three was to be able to go sledding with assistance from AJ last winter. He was able to do that, so he accomplished that goal. I think of how far he's come, though, from last winter when he was mostly dependent upon supporting himself by leaning into AJ. Now he can sled down the hill by himself in a regular sled while holding on and vocalizing how much fun it is.

Therapy is not always as fun as our sledding today, but it certainly is worth it when you can realize the progress.

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