It has been a great summer in terms of PT for Hazel. We have been given a bit of a break. Hazel has been going through a huge gross motor change and focus since she has figured out how to walk. It's so nice to let her just do her thing and watch her try to figure out how her body moves. She's constantly experimenting with movement and balance, dancing and swaying. Some of our best entertainment is to just sit back and watch her go.
Small Disclaimer: I just want to remind everyone again that these activities were given to Hazel, for Hazel, by her PT. If you would like to try any of these at home with your babes, please ask someone in your local community for support and advice on what will work best for your children. Also, we always follow Hazel's lead in terms of how often we work on certain skills with her. If she doesn't want to, we don't force her (especially with PT - she has a motivation that is all her own - Yikes!)
Please feel free to leave any questions you might have about Hazel's therapies in the comments of this post, or email me and I would be glad to answer.
This one is difficult for us to do on a regular basis because we have a ranch. Whenever we go somewhere with stairs, I try to get Hazel to go up. She can go up if she chooses to, BUT we all know if she doesn't see the value in it, then she really doesn't see the point. So there's that...
We are now starting to work on going down the stairs. It usually results in tears of some kind, but only because she is not in full control and needs help to get where she's going. Although, lately she has been very interested to learn how to go on her belly down the stairs. I think she realizes going down gives her freedom to explore new places. FUN!!!
2. Riding Toy
We are working with her on being able to move the rider herself. The goal being to get her to activate her hamstrings and pull herself along.
And to be completely honest we don't put her on it as much as we should (it's been a little more difficult for me to bend that way for long periods of time). It doesn't usually happen at this point, but she has started to show interest in being on it. I am not sure if it's too slow for her and she wants to get off and walk or if she doesn't really see the point in sitting on the car. She likes to get off and on but no forward movement so far. She has managed to make it go backwards a few times.
3. Walking Toy
Hazel has been showing interest in using the walking toy recently. It was difficult to get her to want to do this, as crawling was so much faster for her and she knew it. Now that she is more comfortable walking, she seems to want to do this more often. I know it seems backwards that she learned how to walk without it and now she wants to push it.
Even though babies know how to walk it is still important for them to learn how to push, pull, and maneuver different push toys. Eventually they learn how to reverse, go in a zig-zag pattern and so on, which is important to children's development.
Here's how we start...
And usually how we end...
I like this push toy because you can determine the weight that goes into it. We have 25 lbs in the base so it WILL NOT tip over when she pulls herself up on it. I think you can get them at IKEA. I also like it because there are no "bells or whistles" on it to distract her from what she is supposed to be doing - pushing it.
Helpful PT & OT Resource:
You can find more information in the book, "Fine Motor Skills in Children with Down Syndrome."
I love this book. It really breaks down all the tasks and skills that help children to learn and develop. It gives useful toy suggestions and great teaching techniques. Even though it is more focused on fine motor (OT) activities rather than gross motor, it does touch on PT as well. I will refer to this book more when I do the next OT post.
There you have it. PT in a nutshell!