Tuesday, April 24, 2012

playground work

Some of you might remember I mentioned that Maya is a bit scared when it comes to playing on the jungle gym.  These are thing that many of us take for granted.  Sometimes we might rely on one sense over another to guide us.  In this case we are speculating that Maya relies on her vision more than her other senses and so when she is looking down at the platform, the holes which allow her to see down to the ground, confuse her.  After looking down at the platform myself, I could see what she is experiencing.  It is scary.

So Maya's physical therapist and I thought we would try and go to the playground together.  It's really helped especially to get another perspective on how to help her get through this.

At first Maya was very resistant but just by using beads to play with on the platform, while sitting, has really helped.  Rolling a ball or throwing a ball is another way that keeps Maya's mind off of being on the platform.  Each time it seems better, but always at first she is afraid.  By the end of the session she is confident.  Last time she was so confident that she crossed a wobbly bridge.  Then she stood up on the platform all on her own without a hand to hold.

These are small triumphs for our daily lives.  They remind me that she is growing right in front of my eyes.  It makes me fall deeper in love with this little girl of mine.

1st time ever sitting on the platform.  She loved the beads.

After about 40 mins, she stood up on her own.

Exploring the step.

Getting adventurous on the wobbly bridge.

Monday, April 16, 2012

horseys and birthday parties

Around this time of year there seem to be many birthday parties that we attend.  Almost every weekend there is one and sometimes two. Maya has a very busy social calendar.  Sort of like her mama I guess.

Most of the time Maya does pretty well at birthday parties.  Depending on what they are doing.  It is a lot of work because sometimes she just wants to do, what she wants to do and not what everyone else is doing.  She's gotten better over the years in interacting with the other kids though. 

There is one thing that always seems to upset her, even in her own birthday party.  Ironically it's when they sing Happy Birthday and at the end everyone claps and yells hooray or something similar.  It really upsets her and sometimes I just take her away even before they sing to avoid the discomfort.  I'm thinking this is only a typical reaction for a person with sensory issues.  Slowly but surely she is getting better.  

There are a couple of birthday parties that we have gone to this last month that really stand out as successful events.   One was a party at a gymnastics center.  I've been to this gym with Maya before when she was young and she really wasn't that interested in it.  Mostly because she was just starting to walk, I think.  This time I was utterly impressed with how well Maya did.  First off I could really see how preschool has been helping her with following directions.  When the kids lined up and were waiting to take turns for each station (the trampoline, the balance beam and high bars), she actually stood or sat in line with the other kids. 

When it came to an obstacle course of tunnels and balance beams, I was so happy that Maya seemed interested in it and followed the others.  I think that her sensory OT has really been helping her with motor planning.  She loved the trampoline run also, but the cushion pit freaked her out.  It was a good party and I'm even thinking it would be good to start taking some gymnastic classes over the summer.  

This weekend we went to a birthday party at a horse stable.  I was a bit worried that Maya would not like it but I really wanted her to have the experience.  She LOVED it!  Honestly I don't know why I thought it would be any different.  She loved being on the horse.  Of course I was concerned that she would want to get down or fall off, but she didn't move at all when she was on the horse.  She had a smile on her face the whole time.  All the trainers were so sweet to Maya.  They could see the happiness she had from riding.  When it came time to get off, Maya kept signing "more".  It was so cute.

Later on after cake and snacks, we all went over to feed the horses apples and carrots.  Many of the kids were a little squeamish about it, but Maya picked up a carrot and raised her hand to feed the horse without a fear in the world.  She wanted to keep doing it over and over again.  Not until the last carrot and apple was gone did she let up. It was so amazing to see how she reacted to the horses.  She was so calm and happy.  I can see why horse therapy is so good for our special ones.

Here are some photos of the parties and all the fun we've had in the last couple of months.

content and happy.

checking out all the horses.

feeding her new friend.

A natural.

patiently waiting in line.

balance beam with Dada.

parachute play with her friends.