Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O is for Occupational Therapy - A to Z April Challenge

Both Sophia and Olivia have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). Although there is some overlap with issues within SPD/SID (e.g., vision/eyesight), each one has different aspects that are unique to them (Olivia has challenges with hearing/auditory processing, tactile/touch, taste/oral sensitivity; and Sophia deals with issues related to proprioception/movement).

Although Sophia and Olivia have different needs in terms of SPD/SID, they both seem to positively respond to occupational therapy (OT) activities related to proprioception/movement.

What is proprioception? Basically, there are small receptors within our muscles and tendons that detect the amount of stretch that occurs in muscle fibers and tendons. This allows a person to sense the movements of her/his body parts without having to look at where they are located.

Any activity that provides positive feedback to the muscles and joints of the body promote coordinated movement. Repetitive movement enables people to know where their legs and arms are in space. There are very good benefits to using proprioceptive activities to organize all of the senses in the treatment of SPD/SID.

Below are some examples of fun OT activities that the girls enjoy doing:

Playing on the playground, and using the monkey bars, ladder, or fireman pole.

Sophia and Olivia swinging on the swingset
at the homeschool co-op.

Pulling a sled or pushing a wheelbarrow filled with toys or other items.


Hiking or walking, especially up hill.

Olivia going on a walk with the dogs
on a "warm" 40 degree day in April.

Jumping on a trampoline or jump rope.

Another area that we work on is Vestibular/Balance. To give a person a sense of balance, there are small structures within the inner ear called the semicircular canals. These act similar to a carpenter's level in that they tell a person when s/he is upright or tilted.

Some fun and easy OT activities that help with vestibular/balance include:

Playing on the playground equipment - particularly on the swings, hanging bars, ladder, and floating bridge.

Still swinging...

Rocking in a rocking chair.

Swinging in a hammock.

Jumping on a trampoline or with a jump rope.

Sophia was jumping so fast 
I couldn't get a picture that wasn't blurry.

Walking through an uneven terrain or obstacle course (stepping over step stools, boxes, bubble wrap, pillows, cushions).

Rolling down a grassy hill.

Walking or running up and down ramps.

Olivia and Sophia on a ramp at the
homeschool co-op.

Sitting and bouncing on a large exercise ball.

Standing on balance boards.

Going up and down stairways or curbs.

Olivia walking down the stairs with 
Cooper close behind her.

Being able to integrate OT activities into our daily and weekly homeschooling schedule helps both Sophia and Olivia with SPD/SID issues while making learning all that much more enjoyable.


Rinelle Grey said...

One of the joys of homeschooling is being able to cater to these needs without compromising learning. A great list of activities too. I think all kids would benifit from more activity during the day.

Rinelle Grey

moondustwriter said...

I think homeschooling helps children feel ok in their own skin. There arent the same hurdles for them to have to jump and they can learn the way they learn best
Bravo mom

nice to meet you through A to Z

Rita said...

I didn't know the girls were dealing with these issues. You really have a list of great activities to help them. I'm sure homeschooling allows them a lot more practice in those areas than they would get otherwise, too. :)