Today was our first official occupational therapy session. Jared happened to be home today so it was nice to have him watch what we do during some of these sessions. He normally just gets to hear it from me, and more often than not, I take care of the therapy. It’s not that he doesn’t want to be involved in this process it’s just I’d rather him just be there for Jacob and not have to be all technical when he’s with him. He knows the basics and that’s all he really needs to know.
We have been working on oral motor control with a straw. The muscles in his mouth are very underdeveloped and consequently his mouth hangs open a lot of the time. We’re working on different exercises to strengthen his lips and jaw muscles. He will briefly suck on the straw but he tires easily. So the best thing is to just keep working on it.
The OT had Jacob sit on a stool to complete a couple of activities. We worked on the peg board (one of his favorite games). She had him use two hands to push the pegs into one another and then into the board. We manipulated an oreo cookie so that he had to used two hands to pull apart. Another really great exercise she did with him was using this really great putty stuff. It isn’t sticky, it doesn’t crumble when you pull it apart so it quickly became my favorite toy! She half hid a coin in the putty and then had him pull it apart for fine motor strength.
We also worked on wheelbarrow walking. His arms are still so very weak so we had to support most of his weight on our knees. It’s a little difficult and awkward but it will help him so much. He would start on one side of the room and walk on his hands to a toy in the middle of the room. Once he has picked it up, he carries it (while walking) across the remainder of the room and deposits the toy into a small container. He enjoyed this so much he kept asking for “more please” after each toy.
We need to just keep working on the straw exercise, maybe using a Capri Sun pouch to improve the control of the liquid. She also recommended us using an electric toothbrush for increased oral awareness. Just like when we did joint compressions before he could walk to get his body aware of the areas that we’re trying to work.