Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pool Therapy

I was so nervous about purchasing a pool this summer. I knew it would be good for Ethan, and I knew that the cost/availability was better than paying the fee at our local pool......but I was still nervous about this purchase. However, I'm so glad we did it. The reasons we bought it are confirmed just about everyday.

One really exciting thing is how it is helping Ethan's muscle development. I often say that I feel as if I'm trying to create a body builder because I am always trying to find ways to incorporate "muscle" work into our everyday activities. One reason is because he craves that in order to be calm & relaxed....part of his sensory diet. Another reason is because he really needs to develop his muscles. One particular group of musclse that I tend to focus on are his shoulder blade muscles. If you lift your arm up & down, you will feel those muscles moving around your shoulder area.....these are muscles that help with handwriting & fine motor skills. These are areas that Ethan struggles with partly because those muscles are weak. So, I try to do things that will help strengthen them. When I do laundry, he pushes my basket down the hallway (and he loves to do it!). Playing with Playdoh, silly putty & other kinds of these molding clays are really good for this as well. And, a big reason for the pool purchase, swimming will help with a lot of muscle development but especially those shoulder muscles.

So, I stumbled across a pool game that makes Ethan laugh & laugh (he loves it!), but it also helps those muscles. We have one of those dollar store kick balls. Because it has air in it, it is difficult to hold under water. And when you do manage to hold it under water, and then let go, it flies up out of water. Ethan can't get enough of this! The first day I did this with him, I had to do hand over hand with him to hold the ball under water for a 3-count. The next day, he was doing it by himself....easily. The day after that, he was doing it for a 10-count....all his idea. Yesterday, Daddy showed him how to put it under water & between your legs so the ball pops up out of the water behind you. A new kind of hilarity was reached that day.

We have also noticed that Ethan isn't as clumsy when he walks & he is calmer during the day. This has been so good for him, and I'm so glad we did it. Here is a video of Ethan playing this new game!

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