Tummy time? Hates it. Stretches? Not fun. May is severely disabled but she is not lacking in opinions.
So how do we get our kiddies who need therapy to do it, when they hate it? It takes a complete re-think of what therapy is.
First, what therapy is not:
It is not crammed into every free moment of the day. Children need down time too. They need time to just play (you do too!) and to let all the benefits of therapy sink in.
It is not everything and anything because, hey, it can’t hurt. Yes, it can hurt if you are wasting your time and money doing something that has no proven benefit.
It is not hard work. Good therapy builds on a child’s strengths, it doesn’t force them to do things that are impossible for them.
So, what can therapy be?
It is inserted throughout the day, in the midst of everyday activities. Therapy should blend into normal life so your child can see first hand its benefits. Try stretches in the bath with lovely bubbles as stimulation. Use snack time to encourage them to bring their hands to their mouths.
Make it fun. It should be as fun and as interesting as possible. Do you like doing reps with weights at the gym? It is about the dullest thing in the world.
Use things they already love to engage them. May loves music so she hears a lot of it when we want her to do something therapeutic. What does your child love?
Finally, here is a simple example of May “doing therapy” and loving it. It looks like she is playing with her monkey toy. What is she really doing? Lifting her head and holding it midline. Stretching out her arms. Pressing buttons to learn cause and effect. Listening for cues.
What tricks do you use to get your kiddie to LOVE therapy?