Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Going Fishing

Today Emma had a massive day at the STAR centre.  It was back to back sessions - which last week she struggled with - as it was sensory overload.  But not today.  I wanted to share with you her fishing expedition and see how they work with her many senses and give her complete body sensations and work on proprioception.

Her first challenge for the day was to climb up the tree-house and using the zip line crash into the ball pit.  She was a bit nervous at the start as Miss Nikki would not be holding her waist, but Emma problem solved her way through it, by searching for a soft landing mat to put on the first level of the tree house.

 Seeing her problem solve her way out of this dilemma was fantastic.  She is starting to learn her words to tell us how she is feeling, and to help her.

She went flying down the zip line and crashes into the ball pit.  The ball pit is excellent source of whole body stimulation.  It also helps build up strength as you swim through the balls.  Also, the colours helps lower her sight stimulation - so it works on many different levels.

Once she had crashed into the ball-pit it was time to climb on the boat and start fishing.  She had collected the worms earlier by scooping them out of a mixture of water and sand.  This also works on a sensory level as she is learning about how to cope with wet and dirty stuff on her hands.  She also had to problem solve her way out of having her hands sandy.  She did very well with the help of a spray bottle of water.  But back to the fishing.

She had to row out to the deep ocean blue, and lower her bucket into the water. AND.... lo and behold, she was catching fish.  They were attracted to her worms in the bucket.  

Climbing onto the boat
Row, row row the boat

Pretending to snooze

She had to haul the bucket up (there were knots placed in different positions along the length of the rope to give her some resistance to help with muscles) - then work out how to get the fish out.  

First... she just wanted to whack it out with the oar - but that did not work, so she had to climb up the side of the ball pit and balance to get the fish out.  She did very well and four fish were caught in all.

Then, for all of you who know Emma, know that she has a very vivid and active imagination - and they do let her imagination rule these sessions (they have discovered that if they let Emma's imagination rule her therapy and feeding sessions - she stays more relaxed and less stressed).  She started to make the shark noise... du dum du dum du dum - OH NO.. there are SHARKS in the water.  They are wanting to eat all our fish.   Miss Nikki then used this opportunity to work with Emma with another texture and source of massage.  "Lets make shark repellant lotion".  By using her smell and sight, Emma chose two lotions that would help repel the sharks and Miss Nikki massaged them into Emma's hands and feet.  (As you know smell is another sense which they are also tackling). 

Once they were both safely ashore, they then fed the fish to the giant green serpent.  (Emma sits inside it - it is a tunnel with a hole at either end, so she would take the fish and then crawl to the end of it) .

It was a session that was filled with lots and lots of sensations, body strengthening exercises, an assault on all her eight senses, and she came out the other end happy, relaxed and not stressed. 
Also, very keen to see Miss Lainy for Food School.  (Last time she did not cope with it at all).  So all in all, a very successful therapy session. 

We can see her balance, strength and bravery growing every day.  Also, her tolerance to different smells and textures is also increasing.  They really are doing a wonderful job.


  1. Sounds like a fantastic session and some really big developments for Emma, she's a chamption!!

  2. Great news Roz to see that there steps being made....well done Em you are a star! Keep up the good work you are amazing! xo

  3. Roz thank you for sharing Emma's journey - I really enjoy reading about her progress. You must be so thrilled with her achievements. Well done Emma, we are all thinking of you. XX