See Christian and Lola's ISR video!

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Tools

I would love to take credit for every neat idea and learning tool I put in front of my kids' faces.

But the truth is that other parents before me have paved the way.

I'm a stealer. I mean I happily steal the awesome ideas these parents have passed along . I hope they don't mind because I've come across some really cool things lately.

So I saw this idea on our friend, Suzy's, blog. It's a way of seating Christian that's different from our usual positioning.

This was our version of a seated position in a corner with one leg bent in. It wasn't the best rendition, I'm sure, but we tried. Before Botox, Christian's poor little chicken legs wouldn't have stayed bent like this. They would have straightened right out. The original idea is to have one leg bent in but I thought I'd take advantage of Christian not straightening out his leg, so I bent the other one up so we could get a good heal stretch on his right leg. I think he did pretty well. He didn't tip over and he tolerated the position for some time.

For Christian's birthday, we got him a little red bench. At Napa in California, they did a lot of bench work with him. We've been working on him bearing weight in his elbows so he can prop himself up. This is the closest we've ever gotten to sitting unsupported (meaning not supported by me). He actually really dislikes this position, by the way. So to get him to stay in it for long enough for me to snap a picture is a real accomplishment.

"No, Christian, you do it like this!"

Another really great tool I picked up from Suzy's mom is this website, SENSwitcher. It is a website with applications that strengthen visual acuity and performance for special needs children. It is the neatest tool! Christian has Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI), and although his vision has improved and continues to do so, it is important to keep up his vision exercises so we see even more progress. Greater visual abilities can also lead to greater head control, more awareness, more communication, and more cognition. Here he is doing the exercises:

It's the coolest program. You can change to single shapes, lines, movement, and you can even adjust the background and foreground colors. Contrasting colors are really effective with getting Christian's attention. As you can see here, we chose yellow background and black foreground. You can adjust the time of the animation and there are different levels, too.

This is how we positioned Christian at the computer...

We put him in his stander and just wheeled him right up to the desk, to which he was a perfect fit. By the way, the visual on the computer is the program using white background, black foreground and objects (like the arrow shown) moving around slowly from side to side.

And for the rest of the day he seemed more visually stimulated and responsive. This is saying a lot because we've have a few tough days with him.

So thank you to those who let me "steal" their ideas. Feel free to steal from me anytime!

As parents, and not just special needs parents, we are our best resource.


ferfischer said...

I've got that program bookmarked on my computer too! And you're absolutely right, we ARE each other's best resource. Thank goodness we are all connected!

Jendioguardi said...

Awesome!! It is so great that you have other mommy friends to share and help you through this journey! What fantastic resources for Christian!! I love the photos of him sitting so big and tall. And the photo of him and Lola cracks me up! LOL. She's such a doll and you can tell she loves him to pieces!! He is getting to be such a big boy and has made so many improvements. I'm so proud of him!! Keep up the good work mama!! XOXO

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