Friday, August 31, 2012

Gabs in therapy

Let's take a moment to celebrate my little one and how much she's been learning this summer.  She's in OT, PT, and Speech Therapy, each now only twice a week. 
This is her OT, Miss Patchez.  She has already worked wonders with my girl.  Patchez works will all kinds of issues in OT, and call it mother's intuition, but I am fairly sure Gabbi would have issues with learning and reading if we weren't being very proactive with all of this.  They are practicing basic letter recognition in these pictures, but Gabbi learns best when her whole body is involved. 
Typical learning is with the eyes and ears.  You see the teacher write something or see what's on your paper, make sense of it in your brain, activate the parts of your brain that need to organize the output and put the answer, or letter in this case, on the paper.  The same would be true of your ears.
You hear the letter and the teacher telling you the beginning sounds, and can translate that into letters, phonics, and ultimately reading. 
That's not so easy for Gabbi.  And YES, before I get a critique, I AM AWARE that she is just barely 4 years old.  But I am also aware of the time and attention I invest in her learning.  And that Miss Donna has invested in her.  As well as...
Gabbi struggles with whole body organization.  For those of you who have followed me on Facebook, you are probably aware of how long it took for her to figure out how to simply put her hands on her hips.  That didn't come "natural" to her.  It is something that if you think back, you probably didn't have to "teach" your own kid.  Well, I had to TEACH Gabbi!  Many of her photos were taken with her looking at Ellie to use a different system, vision, to emulate the pose, when her own proprioceptive system (knowing where your body parts are in relation to each other and to the environment... for instance, without looking, is your right ankle pointed down or flexed up right now? I'll bet you knew!!  Thank your proprioceptive system!) was not strong enough.
So, here, Patchez is getting Gabbi's eyes, ears, and body all geared up to recognize her letters.  She has many, many ways she uses the tactile system to reinforce the letters of her name.  She only started this approach about three weeks ago, and Gabbi is now recognizing and naming "A-I", with fair consistency!
She's also learning to jump with both feet together and apart, while keeping her hands on her hips, and how to do things with her right arm/leg at the same time and her left arm/ leg simultaneously.  We'll progress on up to opposite arm and leg activities. 

An organized body makes for an organized brain.  And vice versa!
and this is Jenna.  She was my student doing her internship from St. Augustine University in Florida, but who is originally from Ohio.  She was a fun student.  But what really, really cracked me up was when she had to pull up a bench for her lunch.  Talk about "excessive"!  One day we counted and she had 14 baggies or jars!  Cracked me up. 
I've actuallly noticed that healthy people eat like that.  Chunks like myself just get one thing.  Like, a burrito.  Jenna had hummus, green peppers, red peppers, sliced turkey, blueberries, pita bread, etc.  It was a total smorgasboard. 
So there's a little peek into MMPT to get your weekend off to a great start.  Have a good one.



Zhohn said...

What an awesome momma! I'm sure Gabbi will be right on track for school next year.
By the way, thanks for the interesting information.
Oh, and I agree, healthy people eat ten small, healthy things while you and I eat our one big burrito. Haha but I'm working on it! Changes, changes.

Mrs. McDaniel's Class said...

Can you tell me exactly what they are doing. Is she matching lowercase and uppercase? Is she tracing the letters with her fingers? I teach kindergarten and have 2 active little boys that are struggling learning their letters. Maybe this ativity can help them.

Mrs. McDaniel's Class said...

Can you tell me exactly what they are doing. Is she matching lowercase and uppercase? Is she tracing the letters with her fingers? I teach kindergarten and have 2 active little boys that are struggling learning their letters. Maybe this ativity can help them.

Riley said...

Way to go for being proactive! I think any preparation for school is a great thing even if Gabbi is only 4.

By the way, I've been meaning to tell you if you think MMPT could benefit from a Child Life Specialist ever - I am your gal! I love the work you do in your clinics and keep trying to come up with a reason you might need a Child Life Specialist. I'm not job hunting yet, but I will be in May!

Renee said...

Kudos for you for working with her before real school. I find the children who struggle in school take a long time to play catch up.

snekcip said...

Teaching and reaching the MASSes. Thanks Mo for another informative post. Way to go Gabbi!

Julie said...

Go Gabbi!!!! Tori, my 8 yo, had issues with body control. She was a preemie and for awhile we had early intervention services coming to our home to do OT/PT/ST when she was a baby. We couldn't take her out and about for services for fear of RSV. LOL @ all of the abbreviations. Anyway, they quit coming before she turned 1 because she wasn't more than 50% delayed and we thought she caught up to her peers. Imagine my shock when she had to go to Kindergarten screening and they told us she wasn't crossing her midline. I'm an older Mom and her brothers are significantly older than she is so I had no idea, but I learned and we worked it out. However, I've noticed things that other people don't notice and I'm thinking about taking her back to see if there's something else we might need to catch up on. She does great in things like softball. She can throw a ball like nobody's business. She can hit too. Ok, now that I'm typing this out, it's when her legs are involved. She can't use both her arms and legs in the right rhythm for things. She can't swing on a swing, she can't jump rope, etc...

Sorry for my tangent,lol I was just saying that I understand the total body thing. Our schools actually have you fill out papers about their birth when did they sit, did they crawl, etc... because it all goes together.

MaryH said...

Only a mama knows exactly what her baby needs and Gabbi is especially blessed because her mama has a very special knowledge and will not sit still until it is fixed. God love you for all you do and for informing all of us about things we may not even recognize.