This week I decided to do a contact-free porch drop-off of a new activity for Joey, with excellent results. I wanted him to work on an alternating left/right grasp and release so I created a “rescue basket” with toys he likes and a long ribbon to pull. We included a 1.5 lb cornhole beanbag for extra weight to help grade the activity as he got more efficient.
The basket is repurposed from holding baby bottle pieces for the dishwasher and has a latch that pulls apart with minimal effort. It has a top compartment that is more shallow and a bottom larger compartment. The ribbon was burned on the ends to prevent fraying.
Initially we attempted to have him lie prone (on his belly) but he wanted to crawl, roll, or wiggle himself closer to the basket rather than pulling it with his arms closer to him. Once he attempted the task sitting up, he understood and was able to alternate arms with adult assistance. He was able to open the latch with assistance using his right hand to stabilize grasping the basket through the holes and his left hand to pull on the latch.
Week Four Areas of Challenge: Keeping activities engaging for the full session, even without being able to use my facial expressions and voice to their full potential. This must be balanced with goal-directed persistence, or pushing through an activity even if it is difficult instead of jumping from one activity to another as soon as it becomes challenging.
Week Four Areas of Success: contact free drop-off of materials for Joey to utilize during his treatment sessions. Finding and using new resources for telehealth including:
- Facebook groups Telehealth OT, Pediatric Occupational Therapists and Pediatric Physical- Occupational- Speech Therapy Telehealth.
- AOTA resource page (available even to non-members at the time of this post) https://www.aota.org/Practice/Health-Wellness/COVID19.aspx
- Books: The Telehealth OT: A guide to teach occupational therapists about telehealth, The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, and 101 activities for Kids in Tight Spaces