Monday, July 25, 2011

Current Strategies

Because we took the summer off from school we took it upon ourselves to work with both of our girls ourselves. I felt strongly that playing in the sand, swimming, uneven surfaces, plenty of social situations (at the pool), etc. would yield better results that spending six weeks in a part day school program. As their "summer teacher/therapist" I took my job very seriously. We have spent as much time as we can working on our bodies and a our brains.

Right now we are spending a lot of time focusing on three areas: Social Interactions, Muscle Strengthening, Balance on uneven surfaces. These are the areas I felt that the therapists overlooked too much this past school year. We are working on the first one for both girls but the last two for just Abs.

Social - Grace is a typical sensory seeker so she can be a huge "space invader" and completely overwhelm her peers. So for her we are working on social interactions where she is a little more type A. This is a lot harder for her than it sounds but she's working on it. Abby likes social interactions but she has two problems. The first is that she prefers the company of either her twin or adults. The second part of the problem is that she has limited social needs. She doesn't need a lot of social "input" to be happy. Many days she'd rather sit in the house playing on her iPod than going out.

Muscle Strengthening - It seems to me that many people take a "she is what she is" approach to Abby. Because she functions so much better than anyone thought she would people hesitate to push her. We take the opposite approach. Her muscle tone will never be good but it can be better. Thankfully we belong to our neighborhood pool and swimming is awesome for muscle tone.

Balance - Abby has made a lot of progress with her balance and ataxia this past year. She falls less and can navigate her surrounding A LOT better than the previous year. The biggest balance struggle for her is uneven surfaces. Walking in the grass or (God forbid) in sand can be dangerous for her. Taking her to the park can mean 6 or 7 falls... easily. So we are taking every opportunity to walk through tall grass, sand, bumpy playgrounds, etc. I wish she was making faster progress but slow and steady wins the race. :D

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