I think one of the more difficult parts to having a child with extra needs is being their advocate. They need you to stand up for them, even when it puts you in an awkward situation. When Trevor first qualified for an Early Intervention teacher I was very unhappy with her service. She cancelled all of the time and never really did anything with him. Luckily I used to work at the same EI center Trevor goes to, and his FRC happens to be a friend of mine. So I voiced my concerns to her and we were able to switch teachers. It was simple and I never had to see that teacher again. (It was also one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. His new teacher rocks!)
But now I’m back in that same situation, only this time there isn’t a go-between to do the dirty work for me. Trevor currently receives OT services through a charitable organization in our state. Our insurance is horrible and we have a very limited number of therapy sessions, so using this organization seemed like our only option. However, he’s had this OT for over 6 months and he hasn’t made any real progress with his fine motor skills, adaptive skills or sensory issues. Since we weren’t happy with this lack of progress we decided to test the waters and see about switching. We had our first appointment with a different OT today and she is amazing. She taught me more in the hour long session we had today than I’ve learned in 6 months with our other OT. The only negative is that because this OT bills our insurance we will have fewer sessions with her than with our current OT. But I really think today proved that one session with a great therapist beats ten sessions with a poor therapist. I know in my heart we need to make the switch. For Trevor’s sake I need to tell our old OT that we don’t need her services anymore, but this time around I’m going to have to tell this therapist myself. I’m really not looking forward to this conversation. I’m just not quite sure what to say!
When we were teaching Trevor to stand we did this same sit to stand to sit activity. It helped him a lot. Since his recent growth spurt he’s really tightened up and we’ve gone back to doing some of our older gross motor activities to help stretch out his tight muscles. He’s lost some range of motion recently and so we’re hoping that by focusing on building leg strength and stretching his tight muscles he can reacquire the skills he’s lost.
You can do this activity with a small chair like we used (borrowed from his EI teacher), or simply use a sturdy box (like we used before we were able to borrow this nice chair). Trevor’s doing this activity at his easel now, but before we had the easel I used painter’s tape to tape the paper to a wall for him.
This activity is just like it sounds: sit, stand, sit. Repeat. Have the child sit in a sturdy chair, or on a box. Then have the child stand up to reach a sticker (if they need to pull up to stand that is just fine). Give them the sticker to put on the paper, then sit back down. Repeat until you’re out of stickers or your child is bored. Trevor loves stickers. They are a huge motivator for him, so we did this activity for quite awhile. It’s always great when you can focus on a skill and have tons of fun at the same time.
Sitting back down:
Having a great time putting stickers on the paper:
On Thursday we have our first transition meeting with the school district. Honestly just thinking about it makes me want to puke. Will Trevor get the services he needs when he turns 3? If he goes to preschool will there be an aide to help him safely navigate the playground? Will the noise and lights from the classroom be too overwhelming? All of these thoughts are keeping me up at night. As much as I try to tell myself that worrying does no good, I can’t stop it. This last Friday I was observing him in his Language Group. Currently there are only 3 kids in the class (including him), and 2 teachers. Even with a ratio of 3 kids to 2 teachers he struggles. He needs one-on-one support in the gym. He can’t sit in a regular chair. He is so distracted by the other kids (and there’s only 2!) that he can’t focus on learning. Now Trevor is one smart cookie. He has many delays, but cognitively he is just fine. If anything he is gifted. But to learn he has to have the proper supports and environment. Watching him on Friday made me wonder if he’ll ever be successful in a brightly lit classroom filled with 30 other kids and only 1 teacher. It kills me to think that this intelligent, curious little boy might struggle mightily in school.
I’m really hoping for the best. I hope that this meeting goes smoothly and they offer Trevor preschool services as well as pull out PT and OT services. I hope I don’t have to fight for him the way I know many parents have to fight for their special kids. And above all, I hope that with whatever that magic number 3 brings, he’ll be successful.
Dreamcatcher Weighted Blankets is giving away a custom weighted blanket through The iMums. Weighted blankets are great for kids with sensory issues, and I’d love to win one for Trevor. If you’d like a chance to win a weighted blanket, head on over and enter the drawing here. And if you already have a weighted blanket you love please leave me a comment and let me know about it. I’m very interested in finding the perfect weighted blanket for Trev.
I always like do holiday themed projects with Trevor. With Earth Day coming up I thought it would be fun if we went outside and made a sticky collage. We went outside and picked dandelions and other wildflowers and put them onto contact paper. Trevor loved doing this. It was his favorite project since the ornaments we made at Christmas.
What You Need:
- Wildflowers, leaves, grass, etc.
- Contact paper
How To Make It:
- Cut a piece of contact paper off the roll.
- Tape it, sticky side up, to a piece of cardboard for strength.
- Go outside and pick wildflowers, grass, and/or leaves and stick to the contact paper.
- Top the finished collage with a second piece of contact paper to seal everything in.
- If you want to flatten it with a heavy book for awhile you can do that too.
- Hang in your window and enjoy!
Contact paper on cardboard:
This activity was a great way to sneak in a little PT and OT too. Walking on uneven ground and squatting is great gross motor work. Picking the flowers is an excellent fine motor activity too:
Working on shifting weight and having fun at the same time:
Sticking some dandelions on the contact paper:
I thought Trevor might enjoy this activity for maybe 10 minutes. It turned out he loved it so much we were outside for over an hour. Luckily the sun came out and it warmed up:
His jam-packed collage before we put the contact paper on top to seal it:
The finished product hanging in the window with the sunlight beaming through:
Tummy Time is not just for babies. Doing Tummy Time activities is a great way to strengthen the core, an area that Trevor still needs a lot of help in. One of the fun ways to do Tummy Time with a toddler is by doing “Superman” on an exercise ball. Trevor lays on top of the ball and reaches out, Superman style. To make it more interesting and to encourage extension I usually have a musical toy for him to press, or a container for him to drop small objects into. Today we used his multicolored pegs, but you can use bean bags, Easter eggs, or other small toys.
Dropping a toy in:
Being a goofball and trying to drop one in with his mouth:
Putting another one in:
We’ve had a lot of fun this Easter weekend. Yesterday morning we went on an Easter egg hunt organized by our community Lions club. I was debating whether or not to take Trevor since he’s not a fan of crowds, but I decided to go for it. We got there at the perfect time, just after they blew the horn to start the hunt, so we didn’t have to stand around with a huge crowd of people. Trevor had a blast exploring the campground and hunting for eggs. The ground was uneven and he fell down a lot, but being muddy apparently makes egg hunts more fun! After all the eggs were found we walked to the entrance where it was a total zoo. As soon as we got into the crowd, Trevor said “bye bye”. He just can’t handle crowds, so we left. But I consider this a huge victory. Instead of crying or screaming he SAID “bye bye”. He told me he needed to leave. What a major breakthrough!
He absolutely loved his eggs and basket. It was a chilly morning, but the sun was actually shining so we played outside after the egg hunt. He had to take his eggs and basket out to the play structure. He held on to the basket while he was swinging and had me put it up in the “treehouse” part of the play structure with him. We discovered it’s pretty fun to throw Easter eggs down a slide too!
Then last night we put out a plate of carrots for the Easter Bunny (our dog Sadie decided to “help” too). Trevor got sort of obsessed with the Easter Bunny after we did that. All throughout dinner and his evening routine he kept saying “Easter Bunny” over and over. He was so excited I was surprised he fell asleep!
This morning we discovered that the Easter Bunny enjoyed his carrots. He even left footprints behind! And of course, he left a basket full of goodies for Trev. We had a great time reading his new book, playing with stickers, shooting hoops (and Easter eggs), as well as exploring the grow capsules the Easter bunny left. I told Trevor the capsules would do something magical in water, so he kept repeating “It’s magical” over and over while we were playing with those. He’s just the cutest little kid!
Todd had to work this weekend, so he missed out on most of our Easter fun. But luckily we live close to where he works, so he was able to watch Trevor hunt for Easter eggs at our house on his lunch break.
Because of his food dye intolerance his eggs were filled with stickers instead of candy. He loves stickers, so he’s definitely not missing out on anything 🙂
Happy Easter everyone! I’m excited that next year there will be 2 Easter baskets up on that mantle. Hopefully Trevor will enjoy sharing the holiday magic with his little brother or sister.