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The magic of therapies

Some people consider that children undergoing therapies have problems……are not well….are not functioning correctly and some just pity them.  We consider going to therapies as SMILE, where our son learns to socialize while being merry and happy, where the therapist helps to build the interest in educating while having fun laughing along the way. Our son previously suffered from sensory overload and the therapies have helped him to overcome it.

Our son’s therapies started in The Carruth Center, where the therapists are really a gem. He did speech therapy, occupational therapy and music therapy, all which helped him to develop his skills. His motor skills improved, and his two-way communication was formed.

As, he learned to read by himself at a young age of 2 years old, All the 3 therapies he went to helped a lot in this aspect. He also had low motor skills and the occupational therapy he attended to, supported his needs on this.

Speech Therapy really helped our son in communication and  in understanding the world around him. A read about knowing what is speech therapy and why it is needed, can be found in this link https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/speech-therapy.html

Our son is hyperlexic, he could already read by the age of 2 years old but has problems in understanding the meanings of words and forming sentences. Reading at an early age is great but understanding words he has never heard or even things he never knew are in existence does makes it a bit tough to comprehand. As he loves books and loves to read, the therapist uses books to help him create sentences and opened his world to other subjects and topics that are non-related to numbers and alphabets only. One such book is ‘Katy Cat and Beaky Boo’ by Lucy Cousins.

Books that were used in the speech therapy sessions are books that have questions and multiple answers, in order to have the child think and respond. It also shows that for the different answers, the answers are meant for others. These type of books also helps with interactions, two-way communications and social.

In the first picture taken from the book ‘Katy Cat and Beaky Boo’, it is stating, “I am Katy Cat.” and then “Where is my friend Beaky Boo?”. A flower as a flap covers Beaky Boo and the child reading will have to turn the flap to see Beaky Boo.

The second picture taken from the book states, “I live in a house.” and then asks, “Where do you live, Beaky Boo?”. The child reading will have to think and will see some multiple suggestions and will start to open the flaps as in the first page, where he or she opens it to get the answer. The first answer is “in a shell” and when the child opens it will see a snail under the flap. The second one “on a rock”, Beaky Boo will be under it and the child will know the answer but will still be curious to look at the other two flaps, “in a pouch” and “in a hive”. Eventually they will open the flap and learn that a joey or baby kangaroo lives in a pouch and bees lives in a beehive.

There is a video made on the book ‘Katy Cat and Beaky Boo’ to view how this books helps to support a child to think and talk at the same time while enhancing more knowledge. The link can be found at in YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9DW-zaM63s

Occupational Therapy has helped our son not only building up his motor skills but has helped him in communication, social, learning to adapt to the environment and improving his daily tasks and needs. A read on occupational therapy can be read from the links below:

 

Some simple occupational therapies that we think are simple enough to do at home and benefits the motor skill, especially the fingers:

  • Playing catch with a ball – helps the grips on the finger to fully train the muscle in holding a pen or pencil.
  • Lacing a shoe and tying it – helps with the fingering and teaches patient as the child laces the shoe and is one necessity learned for daily life activity.
  • Playing with playdough – the hands and fingers learns to co-ordinate while playing and enhances imagination with the different things that can be created with playdough.

 

Other activities that assist occupational therapies that helps, with links to the activities and benefits:

Music Therapy is a therapy that not only helps in daily life but helps a child to express themselves by making songs and creating sentences and it does help with social and can be implemented to assist a child in their daily activities. Our son responded very well with his music therapies, where he started to communicate and social more after going to his therapies. The therapist tries to ask questions in a musical way or ask our son to finishes a sentence in a sing song environment. Different musical instruments are being utilized

It was seen that children that have challenges in speaking or communicating, could vocalized their needs after a few sessions. Have a look at the video link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P14eZZEG64. View how a child that does not open up or does not want to communicate at first, will slowly do so with music therapy. Ryan Judd, a music therapist, utilizes music to help children with autism shows how it can be done at home. Watch his videos for some ideas that could be use to help and support your child.

For more information on music therapy, do go to the link https://www.verywellhealth.com/music-therapy-for-autism-260057.

From HARKLA, it was stated that while autism can affect an individual to different degrees, music therapy is consistently beneficial across the entire spectrum of autism. To be specific, autistic children have an enhanced ability to recognize pitch, memorize tunes, and map emotions onto musical pieces. In some specific individuals, they have been able to master playing the piano fluently even before they can speak complete sentences (https://harkla.co/blogs/special-needs/music-therapy-for-autism).

Music and songs alike can help calm anybody from young to old. Our son could calm down after a tantrum or a meltdown listening to some soft music or a familiar song. This link provides a list of music and songs for children that are hypersensitive, where largely autistic children suffer from that but if it could be controlled, it will help them in their life.

https://www.domaninternational.org/blog/10-calming-songs-for-hypersensitive-children

 For our son, listening to some notes from the piano does calms him down, which  he does at times plays it (https://www.instagram.com/p/BnoHcK8jplB/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link). He also calms down by listening to songs he loves and are familiar, usually songs or music associated with a movie or cartoon he has watched and felt entertained. Different children may have different songs or music they like, try finding your child’s favorite tune! Most importantly, do it with a  .

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