Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer Combos

The summer goes by so quickly as I see kids individually and in groups. The groups at our clinic are called summer combos. There is (in order) 1 part music therapy, 1 part OT and 1 part speech. My aide and I run a group of five 5-7 year olds. They are delightful, but quite a handful. One of the boys has ADHD, another has a sensory modulation disorder. When one "goes off", the other follows. (During the first session, the aide and I learned this the hard way!)

After 6 sessions, we are finally able to run a structured obstacle course in our open gym without both boys making their own agenda. But we worked hard to get them modulated in our environment. I think that our successful formula during the first 5 sessions was this: for the first 1/2 hour, we gave them free play - but with limited options. For example, 3 on a bench swing, 2 in the ball pit, then switch. This let them blow off a lot of steam, but in a semi-controlled manner as they rev-up in the ball pit and then cool-down on the swing. The next 1/2 hour was spent at a table top activity, and so was quite structured. At the end of the hour, they were able to march off to speech (and snack) and sit (relatively) quietly for another hour.

I can't say that combos are my favorite part of the day - I am completely worn out, but I am very glad for these children to have the opportunity to work through modulation issues under adverse conditions.

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