OT Activity – Take Two

Our Occupational Therapist had made a number of recommendations to try and get Caleb to work on his fine motor skills. You can read about our first endeavor with crayons here. Well, this afternoon we were hit with a severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings quite unexpectedly so we were left house-bound. Luckily, the storm wasn’t too bad in our neck of the woods and no tornado in our area, that we know of.

We were thinking of how to fill the time and I suggested we let the boys play with cookie dough. According to the OT, the act of squishing it between their fingers and making various shapes is supposed to assist in exercising the muscles in their hands and working on bi-lateral coordination. The boys don’t really do organized activities like this at home (we’re more of a free-play kind of family) so the only spot we had for them to sit was their high chairs. I put their bibs on because it would obviously turn into a total mess, and it did. Needless to say, the boys assumed they were sitting down for a meal. When I put a large chunk of cookie dough on their tray, they immediately tried to eat it.

I demonstrated rolling it into a ball, then a snake, pressing shapes into it…. everything! But all Wyatt wanted to do was eat it, especially because he sneaked a small taste and came to realize how freaken delicious cookie dough is! We kept trying to re-direct, but eventually had to cut Wyatt off. He proceeded to whine for 5 minutes afterward because he was denied cookie dough.

Started out ok…

What do you mean I can’t eat it?

Caleb handled the activity a little better. He eventually tried to eat it, and was so confused as to why he couldn’t. Poor, Caleb. I’m going to go on record with saying this activity was NOT a success. I’m not sure if it’s because they were sitting where they normally do for meals, thus thought the dough was food. I wonder if we tried actual play-doh if they would’ve realized it tastes like crap and moved on to only playing with it. I’m not sure if we’ll try playing with cookie dough again, although I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy that I have freshly baked cookies on my countertop right now!

As far as physical therapy goes, we’re still seeing the therapist once a week. We are so happy Caleb is able to sit on his own now. I love being able to leave the room and not worry that he’ll fall over. He’s starting to reach farther for his toys and can shift from one side to the other. It’s  been so great to watch him master this skill.

We’ve been working hard to get Caleb comfortable on all fours. Right now, he doesn’t last long in a crawling position since he’s holding up his body weight in his arms. But, if he sits back on his calves (called a bunny sit), it takes a lot of the pressure off his arms.

He’s sometimes able to prop himself up with one hand and reach/play with the other. His natural instict is to lunge forward and end up on his tummy so we’re there to support him so he stays on hands and knees.

Sometimes he’ll rock back and forth on his own, which is a good sign. He has yet to make any effort to move his legs forward, so he stays stationary unless we manually move his legs to show him that he can be mobile in this position. I’m sure Caleb will do some variation of crawling but I have absolutely no idea when that’ll be and I’m perfectly ok with that. We have no agenda whatsoever when it comes to Caleb’s milestones. We’ll provide him every opportunity to receive therapy and work on the techniques but we’re fully aware that this will be a long, slow process and we have to celebrate the smaller things between the big stuff…

…like their first chocolate chip cookie.

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I'm a working mom of three fantastic boys: Caleb, Wyatt and Parker. My husband, Shane, and I live in the Washington DC suburbs where we enjoy playgrounds, pools and never getting to sleep in. This blog is a journal of our day-to-day lives as well as a chronicle of Caleb's progress after a recent spinal surgery to alleviate the effects of his cerebral palsy.

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