Today is also the last day of our Second Annual Road Trip! This morning, we’re packing things up and heading home. Another great adventure in the books!!
Over the last few months, I’ve been posting our family’s different ROUTINES. First, I shared with you our MORNING ROUTINE and then, I shared with you our BEDTIME ROUTINE, so today, I’m sharing our THERAPY ROUTINES!
Madeley playing Go Fish as a part of her speech “homework”.
Both of my littles are different therapies. Ashby has been home 4.5 years and has been in speech therapy over 3.5 years. Madeley has been home almost three years and has been in speech almost two years. Both girls see the same speech language pathologist once a week and LOVE her. Oh my goodness, I could write an entire post on just how much we adore Ms. Nikki because she is not only a SLP, she’s their friend. Remember this…
…that’s Ashby’s 5th birthday party and Ms. Nikki is right there in the pic because Ashby had to have her as a guest at her party. Ms. Nikki has been to more parties, stopped by and watched more of my kids’ sports, made her way through more crowds at parades and more just to give my kids hugs outside of therapy. They adore her…
…I always adore that their daily homework we do is always FUN and most of the time, involves other people (so the girls really never feel singled out). All of the practice work we do during the week (to build on what they worked on during therapy) involves coloring, games like Tic Tac Toe, Go-Fish, Bingo and on and on and on, so that when we sit down to do it, several of us can be involved. We joke because Nikki has some of the loudest and most obnoxious games that she’ll let my kids keep for a week and if you don’t think my big kids want to play a loud and obnoxious game with their sisters, you’re mistaken. By including the whole family, it makes it easy and fun to work on their articulation and vocabulary skills. I honest to goodness don’t think my girls have ever once complained about “doing speech” because it’s always fun.
Another therapy we do every week is occupational therapy. We realized in kindergarten this year that even though Ashby is right-handed but has had to use her left hand every day since birth, does not mean it makes it easier for her to be left-handed. Make sense? She’s naturally right-handed and therefore uses a different part of her brain than a true lefty, so even though she’s forced to use her left hand, her brain fights it. For example, if you give Ashby a textile card to trace with a big letter A on it, she will take her pointer finger on the right hand and trace the A. If you hand her a pencil and ask her to write an A, she’ll pick up the pencil and write it with her left hand. Through OT now, we’re trying to strengthen her left hand (physically because it’s naturally weaker since it’s non-dominant) and change the way she thinks so that she thinks more like a left-handed person. Reading and writing are both affected by trying to be ambidextrous when you’re naturally not.
Every week, we go see Ms. Julie for OT and again, we ADORE her!! I’m so thankful for her and her creativity because again, it makes therapy FUN for Ashby! This last week, Ashby’s “homework” was taking a clipboard and walking around finding words in our house to write down with her left hand in a small space (so that her letters are smaller and more controlled). Kensington turned this game into playing “school” and would grade Ashby’s work. Those two did this so many times over the last week because they thought it was so much fun! (Side note: through OT, we have learned that Ashby needs to always use a clipboard because her right hand, which is affected by KTS, does not have the strength to hold down even a piece of paper for writing.)
When I first realized that therapies were going to be a big part of our lives for many, many years, I was overwhelmed at how we would fit them into our routine without them becoming a burden to the girls. I am so thankful for amazing therapists who have made it EASY and FUN to work on these therapies. I know many of you are therapists and I applaud you for your hard work! As mamas, we just want to protect our kids and make them feel secure, and you help us with that by strengthening areas they need help in in a fun way that doesn’t feel like work. THANK YOU!
So, that’s a little bit about our therapy routines. If you’re a mama with kids who also go to therapy or are a therapist, I would love to hear other ideas you have! Please comment and share if you have some fun ways to incorporate therapy into our daily routine. I would really appreciate it!! In the meantime, I have to head home from my road trip. See you guys later!! xo