Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pushing Kids to Develop Skills

Its quite an art to push a child just enough to move out of her comfort zone and develop skills but not upset her too much. I have been having a great time with a little 2 year old with Downs syndrome who enjoys working with me and being on the horse. She tolerates positions she does not like-ones that take a great deal of postural control. She can maintain the half seat position on a hill and quadruped grasping the tack handle with total assist while I quickly sing or count to 10. She enjoys standing on top of the horse but today she squatted to place a magnet into a can opening. My goal is to have her use both hands to remove one magnet from several and then squat to insert it into the can. But for now I just hand them to her one at a time.
Another older client did this for the first time today- beautifully with very little assistance. I also helped a 2 year old stand on top of the horse today for his first time and he didn't mind at all. In fact, I was able to let go of his legs and he was fine. Next time I will give him the Velcro bottle activity to do while standing on top of the horse like this little girl is.    She is a pro! 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for all of the great hippotherapy ideas! I am an occupational therapy graduate student and know very little about hippotherapy- I guess I have been pretty close-minded about it until now after reading your blog. Before reading your blog I pictured the children riding the horses in circles to develop self-esteem/confidence and postural stability. I never knew all of the benefits and activities involved! I am astounded from the fact that you can get the children to stand on the horses; what a fear to overcome!
    We recently just finished a case about autism and just reading your posts about all of the sensory stimulation that is involved is very interesting! How long did it take you to encourage the 2 year old with gravitational insecurity to stand on the horse? Did you use any preparatory methods prior to having the child stand on the horse? How do you ensure carryover of these activities at home?-- I know horses are normally not a part of a child’s natural environment so I was wondering if the children are able to generalize the activities and continue their overcoming of gravitational insecurity into their daily lives. Thank you for any insights you can give me!

    -Michele, OTS