Monday, February 11, 2013

Cohen's Therapy

Thank you for all your kind words after the post about story time. I'm glad to know that many of you have kids who would have been playing right along with Cohen. I'm not sure where all those kids were that day, but they definitely weren't at story time!

Many of you have asked what we do to help Cohen develop his vestibular/sensory system a little better. For him, it seems to be about his movement. We do a lot of swinging. We actually have a swing in our house, because when you live in the northwest it rains 362 days a year and it's hard to get outside in the winter. So we have a regular outdoor swing attached to a pull up bar in the doorway. This is nice because we can take it down when we aren't using it and it isn't anything permanent. Cohen would literally spend hours in his swing if we let him. I think he likes the sensory input he gets from the movement. Sometimes if he is just super busy and we can't quite get him to focus on anything, we put him in his swing and he just relaxes.

{Cohen has been swinging for quite some time and is now an expert}

Cohen also spent some time doing therapeutic listening. He has cds from his OT that are some kind of special music where certain pitches or sounds are taken out and then added back in. It sounds crazy and distorted but somehow is supposed to help with organization in the brain. We aren't as good about these as we should be because Cohen is supposed to stay within 5 feet of wherever the music is coming from and well, that's pretty impossible unless he is in his swing, which is generally when he listens to it.

{Cohen also gets to ride horses at therapy when it's nice out!}

When he is at therapy, he plays in a lot of different types of swings. The goal is to have him experiencing movement of all kinds back and forth, round and round, and side to side to help him develop the vestibular system (that helps with movement and sensory regulation). He was swinging in a hammock the last time at OT and it was amazing just to see him relax, like almost falling asleep, and focusing on and actually playing with a toy for more than 5 seconds. We are looking at a way to be able to get a swing like this in our house since Cohen is now only going to OT once a month.

{Another type of swing at therapy. If he looks exhausted, he is! It's a lot of hard work for him}

As I've mentioned before, his issues are fairly minor compared to what he could be experiencing because of his prematurity. But, we would still like to take care of them as much as we can early on so that they don't become bigger or ongoing throughout his life. He's been through enough already and we want him to be able to take on life the best he can so we will help him do that however we can.


  1. I vaguely remember reading this somewhere but can't seem to find it. How did you first start to suspect that he had vestibular/sensory issues? I feel like my son might be very similar but have no idea where to even start!

    1. We started really noticing it when he was around 10 months old?? Here is a post we did when he first started going to his OT and what we had noticed in him. He was very "out" all the time, arms and legs always straight out, he didn't really seem to know "in". It was like he was always looking for that sensory input any way he could get it. Here's the post with more details!