The Floopy Mystery and Occupational Therapy

“I want floopy.” Jax said with a smile.

I thought maybe he was talking about some kind of food. “What does floopy look like?” *blank stare*

“What color is floopy?” *blank stare*

“Do you like floopy?” I asked, running out of ideas. “YES!” Jax screamed.

OK – so floopy is something really cool. I’m unsure if floopy is a person, place, or a thing at this point so I just smiled and nodded. Hmmm…

Later on that afternoon as I was packing our picnic lunch, I said “Time to get your shoes on, Little Buck. It’s time to leave for therapy!” Jax ran from the other room jumping and laughing “YEAH! FLOOPY!”

Ah – I get it. Floopy = THERAPY!

Jax has started going to occupational therapy two times a week in addition to the four days of services he gets in special education preschool. It has been a pretty grueling schedule and we are still getting used to the change. Neither of us is used to having a place to be every day – we had gotten used to our leisurely walks to the park whenever we felt like it. 😉

In therapy, Jax is working on self-regulation, sensory processing, fine motor skills, and attention and focus. It’s basically a fun trip to a place with tons of toys and things to climb – so of course, Jax loves it. During the first two sessions, the therapist had us moving from room to room to do different activities. This might not seem like a big deal, but Jax has a hard time with transitions, so he had to check out every single thing in each new room before he was ready to work. We wasted a lot of time!

The therapist is discovering that Jax’s ability to process directions in a busy or new environment is almost zero (I already knew that.) This is because he struggles with processing visual and auditory stimulus. His brain can’t filter out sights and sounds in an organized way so he tries to avoid the input as best as he can. He does this by trying to take control of his environment and the sensory input by choosing a new location. In other words, he does not stay still. At all. Not one bit. We think this is his coping mechanism for avoiding too much sensory input.

So, the therapist moved all of his activities into one small room. Now, instead of wasting time transitioning from place to place, Jax can spend the time (eventually, hopefully) focusing on the task at hand. So far, we’ve been able to get him to sit and do a stationary activity (i.e. puzzle, book)  for 2 whole minutes. That’s progress. We had to bribe him with a “special treat” of fruit snacks, but I’m ok with whatever works.

We’re glad Jax is getting the help he needs. Now, I gotta go – we have floopy…

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Working on fine motor skills and drawing lines. Jax wanted to draw a “racetrack” instead.
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I love this pic – it’s a great example of Jax’s neverending activity! He’s a blur!

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