Advanced Pediatric Therapies


Fun Heavy Work: Play Wrestling!

Play wrestling is awesome!

Play wrestling is awesome!

Traditionally, dad’s are the more physically playful of the two parents a child has at home.  However, some kids are raised only by mom, and others have dads who work frequently or are not as physical as their kids.  Enter play wrestling:  a great non-threatening way to get your child some serious heavy work.

When your child comes home from school, are they cranky, irritable or going a hundred miles a minute?  It may be because they have had to sit most of the day and are fidgety from the lack of the most grounding of sensory inputs:  proprioception (heavy work).  Maybe you are tired too, and you want the kids to do something where they don’t hurt each other.

Here’s how to set up play wrestling:

*place some pillows and cushions in a big circle (better yet, have your kids do it)

*get a bell to signal start of play

*review the rules:  back to back or side to side until one person falls over, when a person is down the wrestling is over, “stop” said by any player means stop, have fun!

*if one child is taller than another, the taller one can try going on their knees

Play wrestling is a fun way to have fun and even establish trust if everyone respects each other and the rules.  It’s a super way to transition between school and homework (especially if you follow it with a piece of gum and maybe a drink through a straw).  Give it a try, you may find yourself jumping in!

Benjamin wins the wrestling title!

Benjamin wins the wrestling title!

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Headphones and Music: What’s Therapeutic Listening?

3 year old Alexa wears headphones during writing activity.

3 year old Alexa wears headphones during writing activity.

You may have seen kids wearing headphones in and around the clinic.  Your therapist may or may not have talked to you about TLP, or the Therapeutic Listening Program.  As therapists, we frequently refer to the program as “TLP” or “listening.” Any of us would love to answer any questions you might have about the program.

In a nutshell, therapeutic listening is a tool for treating a variety of issues related to problems with sensory processing including focus/attention, mood, energy, tolerance for noise, sleep, handwriting and anxiety.  One of the best ways to learn about therapeutic listening and its benefits is to visit the website and view the video on the front page.  With a smattering of case examples and the scientific basis for the program, you are sure to understand TLP more completely.

Your APT therapists all attended the Mentorship Listening day held earlier this month in our clinic.

Your APT therapists all attended the Mentorship Listening day.

Last month, all APT occupational therapists and some invited colleagues attended a mentorship day with Sharron Donnelly to refresh our skills in providing listening to kids, choosing music, sharing case stories and troubleshooting.  It was a fantastic gathering with lots of professional problem solving and interaction.  We all left with renewed confidence both in the program and in our skills implementing it.

Please visit the Vital Links website, talk with your therapist and even other families who have used the program.  We have informational articles, research and home programs we can discuss with you.

Get Listening!

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