Monday, September 17, 2007

Hand Strength and the Rubber Ducky

Occupational therapy has set my sights on all kinds of new goals for my little daughter. My wife and I have started working on important things like Whitey’s being able to get undressed all by herself but we have a long way to go. We’ve started with letting Whitney take her socks off by herself. If we pull them down past her ankle she can usually pull them off by herself after quite a struggle. Her hands are just so weak.

So the occupational therapist has a plan for strengthening Whitney’s weak little hands. Squeezing exercises are the key. And how to get Whitney to cooperate with regular squeezing exercises? Well that’s where the rubber ducky comes in. I take the ducky and squeeze it to show how it squeaks. Whitney thinks the squeaking duck is hilarious and she always tells me “want more”. But if she wants more she has to squeeze the ducky herself.

Whitney will take the ducky and do her best. She has to use both hands to get the thing to actually make any noise but she’s pretty proud of herself when she does. She always smiles proudly and keeps on trying. Hopefully after a few weeks of playing with rubber ducky we’ll see some improvements with her hand strength. Then it’s on to more work with her socks, holding a spoon without any extra help and one day maybe even undressing herself. All in good time though. For now we’ll be content to hear the ducky squeak.


Angie said...

It really sounds like Whitney is getting great therapy and you are getting great ideas! Thank you for sharing them with all of us. Your therapy is like our therapy too. Lately you've put some things on here that I wouldn't necessarily be thinking about since Alayna is only 8 months old. This blog is very inspiring and serves a huge purpose. You do a wonderful job with it Nate.

Candle Ends said...

Irina and I were talking the other day and the question came up if Misha would stay in Nursery after he turns 3 (in a year) or Primary. Where does Whitney go?

How is Whitney's pincer grasp? That is an area Misha needs some work in. He still prefers to grab things with his paw, although he will take cereal and other small things using the pincers if I hold it between my thumb and forefinger, forcing him to.

Nate said...

Hi Angie,

You're always so nice. Thanks for reading!

Hi Josh,

We've had Whitney in the nursery with the youngest group of kids because they're closest in developmental age. However, next year when she's four we'll start her in sunbeams. The teacher is a special ed teacher. She signs to Whit when she sees her and she's actually excited to have her. So we'll see. I'll keep you posted.


Nate said...

Oh yeah, and her pincer with first finger and thumb is pretty good. Melanie worked on that for a long time and Whit's gotten pretty good at it. Although sometimes she still gets greedy and grabs a handful of things instead.