Archives for the month of: April, 2017

I can remember as a kid jumping on one of those balls with the handle.  They still make them now, but I had them when I was little and I loved it.  My brother and I would jump with these around the basement and try not to ricochet into a wall.  Ah, the memories of childhood fun.

Flash to the future and Elizabeth and I are headed into one of her earlier OT appointments.  Kind of when we were not really sure what to expect and we saw therapy balls in the room.  They kind of  looked like the beloved ones of my youth but minus the handles.  

Elizabeth was not the easiest one to get onto one of these balls due to her special needs.  Specifically that her Sensory Processing Disorder affected her so greatly at this time.

I can remember that the occupational therapist did get her to use the balls, and I can remember the exercises that she learned.

We bought one of the therapy balls to use at home and we tried to do our therapy homework.

We had good successes with the ball but always had to work hard to help Elizabeth keep her balance so she did not roll off of it, get scared and then be afraid to try again.  And as all of you who have a child with special needs and more specifically SPD know, it is so important to end any and all activities on a good note so that the child will be more likely to engage easily the next time.  It is their last memory that they hold onto.  So that was our goal.

Now flash to current day, and in the mail arrives a package.

And in the package is a new therapy product for us to try.

It is called the Gymnio Physio Ball. And Faster Blaster.

I took them out of the box and took a look at the product.  I decided to first tell the kids what we were going to try and then start getting the ball filled.

First off, and I cannot lie, the Faster Blaster pump is incredible.  It allowed for shorter work of filling up the therapy ball.  And I know we all know how some pumps work and how much of a cardio workout it can become just getting it half way filled.  But this one did great.  Fast.  Easy and Efficient.

Now to the Gymnic Physio Ball itself,  once it was filled, it was light and easy to maneuver.   I liked mainly that its shape was almost like an eight figure.  This was new to my eyes at first, but I quickly understood it will be less likely to roll away in all directions when using it or even storing it.  And that the biggest concern we had earlier with Elizabeth could be lessened by the shape of this therapy ball.  It really gives you better control when working with someone like during OT sessions. 

Also, as the therapy balls come in various sizes, you can get one that allows both therapist and client to sit on the ball together to accomplish a skill.  Otherwise stated, I could have sat with Elizabeth and helped her feel secure had we had this special tool.

That is a huge benefit.

physiogymnicball

The Gymnic Physio Ball strengthens coordination and balance skills.

Another great attribute is that you can still do all the exercises and sensory integration therapies with this therapy ball as you can with the round one. But in my opinion with more control.

Any special needs gym, be it home or elsewhere, would benefit from having these therapy balls and that darn, Faster Blaster!  

I know that with summer coming, a new addition for the sensory diet  might not be a bad idea.  Because I know my typically developing son, Michael,  was having a ball with this new item…pun intended.

But seriously, that is the purpose of the therapies we do for our special needs children isn’t it?  To help them progress while making it fun at the same time.

So if this sounds like something that could be helpful to you or your child please take a peek at it. Look at the various sizes to better determine which one is going to work best for your child. Lastly, don’t forget that when not in use for  “therapy” time, they can be used to give some nice sensory input when simply used to sit on when watching television, listening to music or doing homework at the table.

In any event, take a peek and hopefully you will have the same positive thoughts on this product as we all do.  Please let us know and I wish everyone a good week.

Michele

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Sensory diets

They can be kind of overwhelming at first.  When you are not only trying to understand what your child has, but how it affects them day to day. Then you are given something so new to incorporate into your life called a sensory diet.

Once you learn more about sensory processing disorder (SPD), you can see just how it is unique to your child. You can learn your child’s signs of overload, meltdowns and when they need a break.

You can then anticipate these things and use whatever tools you ha
ve to help them keep their body in a calm state or homeostasis.

This is how the sensory diet helps.  

So we are back to, the Sensory diet.

What works for one child will not be the same for another.  And so the sensory diets are as unique as the child’s needs.  

We all have our arsenal of sensory items.  And depending on the age of your child, the items will look very different. I know ours has changed to be more age appropriate for Elizabeth as she is 19 years old.

But let’s face it, we all have our favorite, “go-to” items.  Even though this is true for us, I am now adding one more to our arsenal. And his name is Read the rest of this entry »

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