I think that this article about tourette's syndrome is fascinating. I would love to read about research studies of hippotherapy helping these children.
Helping Children with Tourette's Syndrome
Monday, August 30, 2010
I loved the Temple Grandin HBO movie starring Claire Danes. The acting was incredible and Claire Danes had the voice and body movements down perfectly. The plot was based on the book "Emergence: Labeled Autistic" so focuses on the childhood challenges including confrontations with school bullies, a doctor who wanted to institutionalize her and sexist ranchers who didn't want a woman around taking data for graduate school. The movie ends with her realization that the public is eager to learn about autism from the perspective of a person who can articulate the experience. I think that Temple Grandin's success can be summed up with one word- Persistence.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
I seldom position children in quadruped while they face backwards because so many kids find it difficult enough to maintain this position while facing forwards.(which feels more natural) with the assistancet of the handle to grasp. The child in this video is doing a pretty good job maintaining balance even though she has to work hard against gravity to hold her head up.
My client did a fantastic job using this new motor planning ring stack that my son just made for me. He attached the pcv pipe into a coffee can with cement and then glued the shown pieces of pipe so that the client has to orient the ring to fit over 3 pipe pieces before it falls down to the bottom of the pole. What I really like about this is that the child can't do an incomplete job because its obvious that the task is not complete until the ring falls all the way down.
Barbara Smith, M.S., OTR/L author of, The Recycling Occupational Therapist
Friday, August 20, 2010
I like how this little guys parents are sharing his progress with the world. Good job!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I made this action photo album to stimulate conversation and one 4 year old girl with down's syndrome enjoyed it so much I used it repeatedly throughout the session between activity transitons. She is doing so well- I am going to discharge her so that she can sign up for a riding group with typically developing kids.
Monday, August 16, 2010
I love the outdoor arena at Stone Ridge Farm in Haverhill, MA. Its fairly small and quiet with lots of poles to walk around and over. Today, I did some weaving and maneuvering around the poles to challenge a 4 year old's postural control. She loved trotting and was motivated to say "I want more fast please". Her mom reported that she usually has to be prompted to string a series of words, but she did it several times today. Her singing is more fluid and autmatic than speech and she was able to sing along and follow directions to "if you're happy and you know it....give a kiss, make a noise, say achoo. Mom suggested adding "stick out your tongue" to her repertoire. A very good idea.......
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I had a wonderful session with a new 4 year old client yesterday at Stone Ridge Farm in Haverhill, Mass. I thought she would be afraid but her older sister convinced her that it would be great. I am working on improving balance, motor planning and coordination but like many OT's who do hippotherapy- I also work on improving her speech production. She quickly learned to say "go" but sequencing the four syllables to - one-two-three-go is a bit more challenging. However, she did do it one time- horses really bring out the best in people.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I wish I had time to work on walking, talking and other motor tasks after the hippotherapy session. I encourage parents to take advantage of all the sensory stimulation by engaging in activities afterwards. Possible activities include a bit of ball play, walking, climbing or completing a ring stack. Even skills to point to and name objects seen from the car and singing may improve after therapy- so try to put off the car nap for ten minutes.
Parent Carryover Activities
Parent Carryover Activities
I really enjoyed reading Shonda Schilling's new book about being a mother of four, discovering that child number three- Grant has asperger's syndrome and finally getting a diagnosis (at age ten) that explains his difficult behaviors. Finally the door opened so that she could receive school services, counseling and support from the local autism organization. As an occupational therapist all I can say is- why did it take so long for the medical and educational professionals to step in? This story is an inspiration.....
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Survived another heat wave day on the farm.I have a new 2 year old boy who is cute and sweet but physically exhausting. He is athetoid and flailing so much I have to hold his shoulders in place so that he doesn't inadvertently whack me while I am also trying to keep his hands down on the handle or mane. I also did this while he faced backwards. He actually tolerated facing BW and side ways pretty well but still it is physically tough for me to maintain him in a stable position. It was better with the volunteer stabilizing one shoulder and hand over the croup while I held onto his leg and gait belt as he alternated between putting weight on his hands and lying down- which seems like pretty good exercise in itself. He also briefly tolerated prone over the horse's barrel. This child did not seem happy during any of this touch - so tactile defensive but his parents said that he yells and cries throughout his other therapies. He didn't cry with me -so I guess the hippotherapy is the least aversive. Hopefully, it will become fun. I am so into having fun......