Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Occupational Therapy

I'll be honest with you guys.  Before Harper-Lynn started Occupational Therapy I really had no idea what it was and how it would help her.  I now personally define it as therapy to help with the most basic of skills the world takes for granted.  

For Harper-Lynn Occupational Therapy means a weekly one-hour session with her amazing therapist, Rachel Werenski.  Rachel is a God-send and safe to say one of the top OT's around! In the 18-months since Harper-Lynn started working with Rachel she has done a variety of therapies under the OT umbrella.  

One such therapy was Hippotherapy funded by a scholarship from the amazing folks at Jacob's FundHarper-Lynn did Hippotherapy for a little over a year every other week. During that time she worked on core strength, verbalizing commands for the horse she would ride and took part in the amazing sensory garden on the grounds of McKenna Farms Therapy Services while on her horse.  Harper-Lynn loved riding and we are so thankful for the opportunity Jacob's Fund gave her.  

Harper-Lynn's first hippo session with Rachel, Spirit the horse and a volunteer, Nov. 2014 
McKenna Farms Therapy Services has a great gym.  Each week Harper-Lynn spends the first part of her session with Rachel in the gym jumping in their ball pit, swinging, climbing a faux rock wall or trying to balance on their small beam.  It's a great workout and a great start to her time with Rachel.  The second part of her sessions vary.  Typically they take place in Rachel's room.  Each week Rachel chooses something vital for Harper-Lynn to work on.  It could be cutting with kid-friendly scissors, creating a social story to work on Harper-Lynn's transition issues, learning how to play pretend (Harper-Lynn had no idea how to play pretend.  Rachel did a fantastic job teaching her this basic but vital part of a child's development), or working on calming exercises to help with H's anxiety and so much more! These sessions have been an amazing part of Harper-Lynn's progress and one of the reasons she's doing so well in the neurotypical preschool she's in.  

 A few random pics of recent therapy sessions

Recently Harper-Lynn incorporated Therapeutic Listening into her daily therapy thanks to Rachel.  I would best describe TL as a therapy that sends sound waves to the brain in different tones and beats.  Harper-Lynn listens to the headset with special prerecorded sounds for 30 minutes twice a day on low.  She can still hear what's going on around her and actively take part in it.  Ultimately the goal is to help calm her and make her more attentive.  So far it's going well!

If you're local to the Metro Atlanta area and would like more information on McKenna Farms or Jacob's Fund please click on the links above or to the right.