Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Video: This is what good occupational therapy looks like

This is a video Max's occupational therapist took during a recent session. It illuminates one key truth about any kind of therapy for kids with special needs: It has to be fun. Here, she put Max's new firefighter obsession to good use. In doing so, she got Max to verbalize, grasp objects with both hands, raise his arms above his head (not an easy motion for him), raise his legs and engage in imaginative play. In case you're wondering, she was encouraging him to crawl because it works his arm muscles and is good tactile stimulation for his hands. 

I so love that slow-mo motion he makes at the beginning where he pretends the door to the fire house is going up. Also: He does a darn good imitation of a fire engine siren.


  1. Good OT is fun and develops skills you never thought possible.

  2. I found the cutest thing that I think Max would love. Check this out:


    1. That is pure awesome!!! I will show it to him, thanks for sending our way.

    2. Let me know what he thinks. :)

      PS: Ellen, what size shoes does Max wear?

  3. It looks to those with less knowledge of OT like she is just playing, which is what the kid wants, and yet in reality she had this amazing, somewhat spontaneous sequence that included all the motor skills she wanted to work on with him, plus imagination/creativity/cognition, AND it was motivating. Good OT is often the least obvious, which can be confusing! The other piece, as mom pointed out, is that she used his obsession as a very powerful motivator. Many of my OT kids lately are obsessed with cars. Sooo....Zinkies tiny cars for fine motor, bigger cars to crawl with for gross motor, plastic cars hidden in textured materials for sensory motor, flying cars zooming through the air for ocular motor, cars in various configurations in a "parking lot" for visual motor, and all of those can also be used for the imaginative and cognitive play. Letters on cars (Hi Valet, can you get Car A for me?), numbers of cars "I want to buy three cars", and more. Any item obsession can likely be used to teach all the skills you want to teach. I love this OT and how profoundly she "gets" it. And I love how adorable Max is, and I love how awesome this mom is who also obviously has such a great grasp of her child and his circles. :)


Thanks for sharing!

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