They say that one of the most distinctive smells in the world are the smell of crayons and play-dough.  They say that once we smell it, the brain recognizes it and kind of takes you to your memories of the the times you used it.  Like childhood.

Well, we loved and love our playdough.

Emily and I sat for hours sculpting and molding it.  We spent so much time relaxing and creating.

Michael and I sat for hours crushing and smooshing any and all creations.  It was the boy version of creating and relaxing.

But for Elizabeth, playdough did not hold any allure.  In fact, it was simply a source of frustration.  I think this was in part because if its texture and that her dyspraxia did not allow her hands to move and work as she wished.  Also, because natural curiosity is not the strong point of dyspraxic people, creating and the like, was simply hard work for her.

It was not until we started with our first Occupational therapist and Mary that we discovered something called Theraputty.  

This Theraputty was a fun game changer for us.  Well for starters let me tell you about this amazing sensory integration tool.

It is putty that comes10-0901_inUSE_v1 in certain consistencies.  Some are more moldable and workable then it goes up in it consistency so that it is a bit harder to mold and work with.  The purpose being that the individual working with it gains hand strength and muscle strength as they work so they will continue to advance through the putty’s realm of offerings. Thus, it is a great tool for sensory integration, occupational therapy and a reliable addition to one’s sensory diet. 

The best attributes of the theraputty are  that it does not color your fingers like playdough, and it does not get under your nails like traditional clay or playdough. Therefore, it made it nicer for Elizabeth’s sensory needs.  

I can remember starting off with this putty at its low end of strength.  We would p
ush beads down into the putty, and Elizabeth’s job was to use one or two fingers to pull out the beads.  So it was a bit of work for her to do this but she did…and she liked doing it.  It was like the putty gave her some sensory input that she was wanting.  

So we did this for a while and then we started to learn how to use two hands to roll it into “snakes” then try to cut them.  We would cut the snakes up and have her reach across her body with her left hand to pick up the pieces from the pile on her right side and put them into the container and push them in. And  then we repeated the other way.  This way she was reaching across mid line of her body, which is a huge thing for children affected with sensory processing disorder and dyspraxia.  

I learned there were so many ways to use this incredible stuff.  We had the OT direct us on ideas but once she did, as we were playing, more ideas would come to me.  Some were met with instant success, and others we simply rejected in short order.  But the thing is she was not afraid to try to do things with this Theraputty.  Which was so nice to see.  I will admit that at times she got tired from working with it as it was just that, work for her, but it was disguised in the form of fun.

I looked forward to the times we worked with the Theraputty as it was fun and reminded me that she is a child and as such, should have the fun of childhood.  Especially since she spent so many hours in therapy.10-1480

Ohh, and I forgot to say that the Theraputty
comes in some fun colors, always a good thing!  So please look it up on the website and see what you think.  It is not expensive.  

Also, something to think about is that my typical developing children LOVED this stuff too. So while Elizabeth was playing with it as a therapy, Emily was happily playing alongside her sister for the sheer fun of it.  So how nice to have that experience together.

I wish you all a peaceful and enjoyable week.

Michele

 

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