Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Favorite Therapy Tools for the first year of PWS

When Olivia first came home from the hospital, she could not move purposefully.  We had tons of physical, occupational, cognitive and speech therapy for her.  All the therapists would give us a different area to work on during the week - homework so to speak.  Our cognitive therapist gave us this book so I could find a way to sing and play with her.  It was a great book - shows the actions to take with the words and lots of childhood rhymes.  One of the best things about it was that my brain was overloaded with all the information I was learning about PWS, and my physical time was taken up with taking care of her.  I had very little mental or emotional energy left over just to play, and I definitely had zero creativity.  This book was great for that. 

She also gave us the bird.  It's a very old fashioned toy, and if you ever see it, snatch it up.  It has a deep toned, very pleasant sounding bell inside that dings when the bird is moved in any direction.  It's extremely easy to move.  In order to encourage Olivia to move, I used to place it between her thighs as close to her crotch as I could as she laid on her back.  Again, this was in the not moving much at all stage. She couldn't lift her head nor did she have the strength to hold on to even the simplest of toys, literally.  Her legs were the strongest part of her and they would occasionally move, or she might squirm with the slightest of movements.  So anytime any part of her moved, this bird would chime.  It was an immediate feedback for the tiniest of movement on her part.  She loved this bird, and it would come into play during therapy in all different ways during the past year. 

The other toy with the multiple birds is extremely easy to move.  With the slightest touch, the birds twirl and the toy rolls.  Again, this provided excellent feedback to any of her movements and encouraged her to move when she would accidentally touch it. 

The last toy that is her favorite is not pictured here.  It was examining room table paper - the paper from the table at the doctor's office.  I noticed that every time we took her there (weekly for the first two months), it seemed to be the only time she really moved was on that paper.  It's so noisy and crinkly, and again it provided loud, fun, immediate feedback to her movements.  So I asked them if they would give me some of that paper to take home and they gave me a small roll of it.  I would tear off sheets of it and lay her on it for tummy time or for back time and watch her try to move more to make noise. 

Time to move on, toys!!!  I donated them all to EDIS.  She's on to bigger and better things. 

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