Over the past 6 months Sarah Orit Torem has been providing occupational therapy intervention to David, a 7 year old with grapho-motor difficulties, at the Regional Special Education Support Center “Ma’ale Vehar”.
David’s initial evaluation showed good visual perception and self-awareness with regard to his own difficulties. He found it challenging to perform jumps, play ball games, cross the midline and motor planning. David refrained from using the facilities in the room and avoided climbing.
He expressed his will to communicate with me, the therapist, but his avoidance patterns affected his function during therapy.
I had to find the appropriate challenge, which would enable David to participate in games. Timocco’s therapeutic environment provided me as a therapist with just the right challenge.
I chose to start with “Bubble Bath” game because it requires motion planning on the lowest level – the bubbles are larger than the balloons, accuracy is not required, there is no need to reach all the bubbles in order to succeed – this is contrary to the balloons game which require pinning a specific balloon and does not require midline crossing.
I used some supplementary balance tools along with Timocco to continue challenging David during our time together. We started playing with Timocco while sitting on a chair and over the sessions progressed to less stable objects like a bolster, until we finally succeeded in standing on beanbags while playing, which provided, in this case, sensory input about the standing position.
David was very excited about playing Timocco and playing in Timocco’s therapeutic environment became an integral part of the therapy session.
With time David was able to meet the challenge and play standing, while separating the motion of his upper body from his lower body.
With regards to functioning in space – the therapeutic process showed an increase in David’s willingness to try different activities, improved his jumping ability (sequence and coordination) and fine-tuning his grapho-motor midline crossing in learning activities, such as writing and painting.
In conclusion, I am happy to have had the opportunity to use Timocco. We’ve significantly improved David’s ability to cross the midline and on a personal note, I feel Timocco’s game environment improved David’s willingness to meet challenges.