I have always been interested to hear what types of therapy activities parents are doing with their kids with Down syndrome. There is such a vast array of options out there and I love to learn and experiment with Hazel. I like to have ideas to discuss with her PT (physiotherapist), OT (occupational therapist) and SLP (speech and language pathologist). One thing I have learned raising a child with special needs is that it truly does take a village. This post was inspired by my love for learning new activities to try and help my girl reach her full potential. I'm hoping this gives you some ideas to bring to your next therapy session to find out if these activities might work for your children.
Please feel free to share your ideas and activities in the comments of this post. I would love to hear from you.
1. Big Ol' Piece of Foam (PT & OT)
A piece of very firm foam that's about 2 feet x 2.5 feet. We used this for almost everything (kneeling, sitting, weight baring on arms, reaching, playing and standing). I know this could be tricky to get but ask around I am sure you will find it somewhere.
2. Mirror (PT & Speech)
We used this to encourage Hazel to sit, balance, reach, and TALK TALK TALK. She loves looking at herself and hearing her voice.
3. Baby Signing Time (Speech)
These DVDs are great for introducing common signs to your toddler. I find that as long as I use them in her day-to-day routines she learns them in context. They are an excellent tool to teach me the signs so I can use them to communicate with her.
4. Flap Books (OT & Speech)
5. Large Peg Puzzles (OT)
6. Pegs (OT)
7. Blocks (OT)
Stacking anything is the idea. It doesn't have to be blocks but this is what we use. We also use nesting cups, books etc.
8. Piggy Bank (OT)
Anything that has a slot and something to put into the slot is a winner here.
9. Push Toy (PT)
We used this toy for the longest time. We started with reaching, then kneeling, then standing, then walking. It really is a great investment.
10. Exercise Gym (PT)
We used this for standing and shifting weight on each leg. Then we used it to get her to cruise around the outside when she was bigger. Also, we used it for pulling to stand. We used this toy for a long time so I think it's definitely worth the investment.
So these are 10 of our favourite tools to use in therapy. To read more about what else we do check out my older posts here.
Also, don't forget to take a second to share your ideas or activities that you do with your children in the comments of this post. Also, feel free to ask any questions you may have!
Wishing you all success in your current and future therapy ventures!