Today I will be joining up with some friends at As He Leads is Joy for Therapy Thursday. Therapy has always been a way of life for our family since S became part of our family when he was adopted from Bulgaria at the age of 4. Every week was filled with multiple PT, OT, and Speech sessions, privately and at school. This has been our life for many years. Today, however, we are at a different point in our life with S’s therapy.
What does therapy look like now?
S is now 18 and a senior in high school. He has always had PT including the time he spent in an orphanage. He has done OT and Speech off and on throughout the past 14 years as we have deemed necessary. He has now been exited from all therapies; however, that doesn’t mean he is done with therapy. He is currently responsible for doing things on his own (with a FEW reminders from his parents).
What does S do on his own?
Physical Therapy: S needs to stretch daily. Some days are better than others. He knows the importance of stretching. He can feel a difference in his body when he does it. S also partakes in physical activity: Wii boxing up on tall knees, adapted Pilates to work his core, riding horse weekly at a therapeutic riding facility, walking. I think chair yoga would be beneficial for him. We will see if he is willing to try that at some point.
Occupational Therapy: S works on living skills required for independent living, functional writing (signing checks and/or papers), putting his clothes away, carrying things with one hand to/from the table, etc.
Speech: S sometimes needs verbal cues from us to make sure he is using good breath support and enunciating words clearly. This is helpful for speaking with others and when he uses Dragon Dictation. He has strategies he needs to continue to use if his body locks up which prevents him from speaking. He has a foam bolster he lies on to help stretch himself out which helps his speech.
We are currently working on improving S's executive function skills. It is a struggle for him. We are reading the book, Smart but Scattered Teens: The “Executive Skills” Program for Helping Teens Reach Their Potential. We made it through Part I before Christmas, “What Makes Your Teen Smart but Scattered”. My husband and I are now reading Part II, "Laying a Foundation That Can Help", and we are looking forward to getting some helpful implementation pieces. This is an area that is very important to us given S’s age and the fact that he plans on attending college next year.
I'm looking forward to next Thursday! Until then, you can find me on the couch with chocolate!