Life is Therapy

Guest post by Marie

Sometimes we parents can get bogged down in the notion that the teaching of our children must be done by professionals.

The work of all those teachers and therapists that our children see is valuable and helpful. These professionals are amazing at breaking down a developmental skill or learning project into its many parts so that the focus is on the particular area that a child needs help with. Parents of children with special needs are particularly vulnerable to “leaving it up to the professionals” since children with special needs often have to learn and develop quite differently than children with typical needs.

Over on my blog at All Access Pass to Jack, I am starting a new series called Life is Therapy.

The series centers around the idea that learning can and does occur most effectively through everyday life experiences at home and out in the community–for children with both typical and special needs.

Children need and enjoy whole life experiences. During a school day, a child may learn to count or during a therapy session, an occupational therapist might have a child put things in a container. But in one trip to the grocery store or local farmer’s market to buy apples, Dad or Mom and a kiddo (or two) can navigate the aisles (Orientation and mobility therapy as well as physical therapy), locate the desired apples (vision therapy), compare apples to pick the ones they want (use of senses and comparing/contrasting), count the apples as they put them in a bag (occupational therapy and counting), share a conversation about what to do with the apples (speech therapy, planning, creativity, and development of social skills in turn taking required for conversation), load the apples onto the cash register table (physical therapy again) and pay for the apples (counting, money, math, social skills required for conversation with cashier).

It’s amazing how many oppurtunities we as parents have in everyday life to help our children learn, grow, and develop without sitting down with workbooks or bringing out any special equipment.

Here’s some more examples:

  • Have you ever thought of giving your child an icee as speech therapy? Well, it actually is speech therapy. Sucking through a straw works the muscles required for speech and sucking up an icee requires the recruitment of more muscles than say water.
  • Did you know that riding a tricycle or going for a walk across the yard is physical therapy? Every bite of every meal or snack can be vision therapy and fine motor therapy and sensory therapy as the child finds, touches, and tastes their food. Get the picture?

This series is not just for children with special needs either. Parents of children with typical needs don’t really call it therapy when their children practice their skills such as potty training but it’s basically all therapy.

We’re all trying to help our children to develop skills to help them have the best lives they possibly can.

In my new series, I am hoping that we can share our ideas and stories with one another. We’re all in this together. Let’s laugh together, motivate one another, and stimulate each others ideas. If you have a blog, create your own “Life is Therapy” post and link to your specific post in the Mr. Linky at Life is Therapy.

If you don’t have a blog, you can participate too. Just hop over to Life is Therapy and leave a comment with your life is therapy story.

Marie (mother of Jack, 4 yrs old with Apert Syndrome)
Learn more about Apert Syndrome
Get information and support at Teeter’s page

6 Responses to Life is Therapy
  1. Rachel
    November 12, 2009 | 6:03 pm

    Hey Marie!!

    What a fun surprise to see you here! I love your new series – thanks for sharing!

  2. Marie
    November 12, 2009 | 6:40 pm

    Thanks Rachel. I’m hoping that the idea catches on and lots of folks participate so we can all learn from one another while helping our children reach their full potential.

  3. melissa
    November 13, 2009 | 5:22 am

    its true what you say and i guess its based on that idea that people homeschool in the US nd other countries. i will come by your site.

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