I am in the middle of fighting my IFSP plan and life trudging on. But I wanted to take time to post about well, play. From all that moaning and groaning I did at my last post people were curious about toys. Plus, I posted on Facebook about it as well.
I am a big believer in play. Play is how children make sense of their world and create, imagine and move. I am a big time follower of Lisa Murphy, the ooey gooey lady. If you go to her website ooeygooey.com you will find all sorts of really neat ideas, books, discussions. My favorite is her house of higher learning.
You wouldn't build a house without a firm foundation, would you? Play is the strong foundation that cements the child's brain for higher activities. As a teacher I can always tell what kids watch lots of TV and what kids have lots of time to play. It shows.
As a mom with two special needs kiddos play is critical to their development. We use play with Marvin to help him develop expressive vocabulary, act out situations that may lead to stimulation overload, and help empower him to make the right choice. Recently there was a fire and a family lost everything. After hearing about it in church Marvin pretended to be a firefighter and "save" them. This helped him feel powerful in an otherwise scary situation and I used it to roll play as well. I pretended that I needed saving and we brainstormed on what we could do if it was our house. I used the boundaries of play to help establish a fire escape plan in our home if that should ever happen. WE have done this many times and I was able to present this idea in a nonthreatening way.
As for Cary, as she grows play is something that she is starting to enjoy. We play peek-a-boo, sing nursery rhymes, and bounce on my knee. All the normal stuff.
When we first got her Cary was not overly interested in toys. I was the toy she liked best. In the past month or so that has changed. It started with me tripping over one of her sound toys. It made a noise and she lit up and laughed. I was super excited and pushed the toy close to her. That was when the problems presented.
First the main two problems are that Cary's hands are often balled up, like this.
Anyway, whatever the reason it makes it hard for grasping and flat palm touching. The other problem is her touch. I submit exhibit A for your examination.
So being a Montessori teacher and taking pride in my skills to adapt things I started looking around to see what I could do. With a few simple tools.......
There are some downsides with adapting toys. One, you can break them and render them useless. Two, you have to be careful because these can be unsafe for your little one if they are not supervised closely.
So I walk a fine balance. I use things, make things, and
I also find myself lusting after some pretty neat toys from the Enabling Devices catalog. Some of the stuff I could make myself or even buy cheaper elsewhere, but there are some toys that would be fantastic. Like this one.
It's called the Textured Carousel Busy Box. It has all the bells and whistles. It responds to light touch, has bright colors, and textural interest. It would be awesome. But what is not awesome. The price tag. This bad boy is $236.00. Ouch.
When we got Cary we went to a one family income. We were never rolling in the dough, but even less now. There are some pretty nice toys in here that I will only end up dreaming about.
It kinda makes me mad too. Why should adaptive toys cost so much?? I understand they are not for your everyday child, but don't our kids deserve to have toys to play with as well? I believe that they need play just as much if not more so than an everyday child. Play makes therapies more bearable, gives them a chance to strengthen weak areas of development, and most importantly, when we play we are all equals. This gives my children a chance to be like your children. And that is important. The most important thing of all.
On that note, I have some playing to do with my rocking kids! And a soapbox to put away:).