Sensory Saturday

Melissa Schlemmer by Melissa Schlemmer Additional Needs

Melissa Schlemmer

Melissa Schlemmer

Currently I am trying to juggle life with an infant, 7 year old, and a nearly 5 year old with special needs. Life is all kinds of crazy, but we are...

If he had just ONE thing to work on I feel like I could manage a little better but when it’s everything it can be a little daunting!

I often wonder how are we ever going to accomplish all of this?

I recently implemented a new strategy using the days of the week that is most definitely working for us, and hopefully it works for you too.

It all started with Sensory Saturday and has grown into much more!

Motor Monday - This is the day I try to make my focus on gross motor skills.

As much as possible I encourage him to prop sit on his own, practice his quadruped, and lots of standing.

He is extremely curious so if I hide things from him he will work hard to try and get to them. He’ll crawl to a favorite book, or do his very best to pull himself up onto the couch to see the iPad.

Taste and “Talker” Tuesday - Feeding issues are so incredibly hard to deal with and communication is vital so I have dedicated two days of the week to focus on these.

These days I allow extra time for meals to ensure he is watching us eat as well as being offered new tastes and textures.

He still does not take anything orally but with more practice and presenting items to him we are slowly making progress.

Walking Wednesday - Our walking ladder frame may be one of his least favorite pieces of equipment in our house, but I’m hoping with repetition he will come to like it. Or at least tolerate it!

This day we do quite a bit of sit to stand using the ladder and help him initiate steps. We also make a point to get in his gait trainer more often than other days.

Taste and “Talker” Thursday - Along with the tastes of food I make more time to “play” with his communication device to practice accuracy.

He is not always able to be accurate with his choices on his communication device so using the pages on his device with book choices or colors we are able to practice being more accurate.

For instance, I will show him a blue toy and ask him to tell me where the choice for “blue” is on his device.

Fine Motor Friday - Our son still does not have a pincer grasp so we work hard on this as well as using his pointer finger.

In his chair with a tray we will play with smaller items and try to pick them up, poke play-dough, or use his pointer finger to trace maze books.

We will also practice coloring with markers, crayons, or use ink pads for finger prints.

Sensory Saturday - This may be my favorite day!

We fingerpaint, make slime, play with his sensory bins with beans, rice, and water beads...anything a little messy!

He also likes to play with tissue paper and shredded paper. We also have a platform swing and a small ball pit that he enjoys.

Sunday - Day off!

We will still put him in his stander or gait trainer and always use his communication device, but Sunday is a day where I don’t have any plans for the day or try to accomplish his weekly tasks.

Of course our son still has plenty of time to just be a kid!

But for me, pairing a day of the week with a general task he needs to work on makes his list of “to-dos” feel more manageable.

I hope you find this strategy helpful, and please share what helps you manage your child’s therapy homework or skills to work on.


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