Tuesday, May 5, 2009
There are definitely times when therapy for your
baby or child that has Agenesis of the Corpus
Callosum is hard work and it will probably
require certain movements and repetitions to be
worked on and practiced with your baby or child
based on your child’s physical therapist’s,
occupational therapist’s or speech therapist’s
instructions and advice.
With that being said, therapy does not always have to be all hard work and no fun though.
Look for and be aware of ways that you can incorporate ‘therapy’ into play time without either one of you feeling like it’s therapy. In fact, you’re probably already doing wonderful things with your baby or child that are actually helping them and building their strength without even realizing it.
In my own experience with my child, Matthew, who
has Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum, it IS possible
to accomplish a lot of good if you are able to
combine an activity that your child enjoys and slip
in an element of ‘therapy’ without either of you
knowing because it’s so much fun and you’re both
enjoying the playful activity so much.
Here are a few examples of what I did with my own
child who has ACC:
When Matthew was very little I would take him to the mall. I discovered that he really liked to throw pennies and coins into a big fountain. I would help him to the low rock wall area that surrounded the fountain and then place a few coins on the slate rock surface. Because Matthew was motivated and wanted to get to the coin and then throw the coin in the fountain he would try and try to pick up the coin and this play was actually therapy as it encouraged Matthew to use his pincer grasp and additionally helped him to learn to toss, drop and throw that coin into the fountain. Of course, the quarters were the easiest for him to pick up. It was wonderful to watch him and fun. I was so excited about it that when I ran out of little coins I would gladly give him all my quarters and empty my purse of change just to watch him having fun. He loved it, I loved it and there was an element of therapy taking place without being forced on him.
Another thing I did with Matthew was to take him to an indoor play structure. You know the kind…the ones with all those padded climbing mats, bouncy stations, cushioned slides and tunnels to crawl or scoot through. I always tried to take him when it was not crowded though so he wouldn’t get trampled on by all the other active and often times bigger kids playing and I always stayed right with him. It was a great place to help him with large motor activities. I would position him on his tummy sometimes or on his hands and knees and have him move up a padded hill to get to the top (with my help and guidance) and I put my hand on his bottom so as not to let him slip back down after all that hard work to move up just a little tiny bit. I would put him inside the tunnels and encourage him to continue to move through the tunnel by whatever means he was able to do so. I would take him into the really bouncy trampoline-like house and help him to try to use his legs to move and bounce. All of it was fun and all of it was work too but it didn’t seem like work because it was so much fun.
So keep in mind (when you feel like you’re not doing enough therapy) that you’re probably really doing a lot more therapy-related activities than you realize or give yourself credit for and be on the look-out for finding those motivational, fun-filled ways that you and your baby, child or your grandchild can have fun doing.
There is a time for therapy and a time for experiencing special time with your baby in the most natural and beautiful mommy/baby way. Don’t feel guilty when you are having your special time with your baby. Allow them to be a baby and experience all that comes with being a baby and learning and by all means enjoy that time.
Time with your baby is very precious. Finding that balance between therapy time and time for play and enjoying your relationship with your baby isn’t always easy when you have a child with Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum but it IS possible to do if you trust your inner voice and do what you know is best for your own baby, yourself and your family.
Remember your baby or child may have Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum but they are still a baby and your baby deserves to experience all of the wonderful things that a baby needs in order to thrive, learn and grow into the very special and unique person that God created and designed them to be.
Your input is meaningful, helpful and valued by readers. I’m just one mom offering my own thoughts based on my personal experience with my own child who has ACC. Each one of you has unique and wonderful information of your own to offer so go ahead and click on “comments” and share your own thoughts, ideas, stories and maybe even something that you have found to make therapy more fun for your baby or child and you.
graphic courtesy of http://christart.com/