May 24, 2011

Therapy Tuesday: our sensory therapy room

I love our therapy room. Not only because it helps our Grant a lot but also because it reminds me of all the loving people who have surrounded us with support.  

Shortly after Grant was diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome, Aaron's church softball team banded together in prayer and raised some money for us to purchased the equipment needed for Grant's swings. Pictured above are the attachments for Grant's swings. They allow the swings to rotate/spin smoothly and to be adjusted up or down with ease - necessary for attaching various therapy swings. The board swing, in the first picture, was another gift from the church softball team. The board swing is used so many ways it's difficult to list them all. I'll probably do an entry just on all the therapy that is done on the board swing.


Grant loves his "cuddle swing". Some days he would be in there continuously if I'd let him. When he is getting out-of-sorts, wound up, or anxious, a few minutes in the swing calms him down. Swinging is a key component to Grant's sensory diet. (Grant is doing his Therapeutic Listening Therapy while swinging.)

The trampoline was another gift from dear friends. When they heard we were looking for a little trampoline, they pulled one out of their garage and delivered it the next day. In an earlier Therapy Tuesday entry I talked about Grant passion for jumping. He is my Grant-a-roo. :)

A tunnel helps Grant's vestibular issues. Crawling through the space forces his body to orient itself and create body awareness so his arms and legs work together to get from one end to the other. This is yet another example of how Grant's body has to teach itself things that come naturally to many children. Sometimes I have Grant crawl through the tunnel while wearing his weighted vest and pushing a weighted ball. Or I place random items in the tunnel for Grant to feel and crawl over.

Pictured above are a few things I use for Grant's "heavy work" time and various obstacle courses. At the top are the medicine/weighted balls (the red is six pounds and the yellow is four pounds). The coffee containers at the top left are filled with sand (with the lids glued on). At the bottom is a silver workout disk and an orange seat cushion (for sitting on bleachers during sporting events).

Each of these items can be used in numerous ways. Just like with Grant's weighted vest and weighted blanket (see the Therapy Tuesday: Now I weigh me down), the heavy/weighted items are great input for his muscles and joints which, in turn, calms the body. When Grant gets a bit older he will have chores that encourage heavy work such as carrying the groceries in from the car for me. 

The disks are great for obstacle courses. Grant loves to walk on or crawl over them and it help teach his body balance and coordination. They also have different textures which is great for tactile input. Sometimes we'll read books while standing or sitting on a cushion.  

The scooter promotes balance and help strengthen Grant's core. Grant has hypotonia (low muscle tone) and a scooter is a fun way to work on that issue. Grant is still learning to balance while sitting on the scooter but the goal is to be able to pull him around without holding on to him. We also use an exercise ball for the same purposes.

OK. That's all for today. There are many more items I could talk about but I think I've rambled on enough for one entry. If you have any suggestions on tools that could be added to our collection or different ways you use various sensory items, please let me know. I always love a good idea!



  1. Is your therapy room always that neat, or did you just neaten it up for the photo? Please tell me it's the second one so I can feel better that my house is such a disaster. And I love the scooter, where did you find it?

  2. Very cool! I love learning about each of the applications for particular items in Grant's therapy.

    You're doing an amazing grace-filled job, Karen. What a stellar mom you are!

  3. Hello, Rock and Roll Girl! I just discovered your blog today through your mom's facebook page. What a challenging story you are living through. Reading how dependant you are on God and how much you believe in his soveriegnty and love for you is both humbling and encouraging. Thank you for sharing your story. Grant is such a cutie!

  4. @Anita Schlabach LOL - I love that you remember that nickname! Thanks for your encouraging words. We definitely take it one day at a time around here (sometimes one moment at a time) but I'm beginning to think that's the way God wants it. I believe total reliance on Him is my lifelong lesson.

  5. Can you give any advice on how you attached the support for the swings? I am a single mom and unsure how to do this in a safe way to make sure the ceiling doesn't fall through.

  6. Thank you for sharing!! I am also wondering how to attach the swing safely. We are looking at putting one in for our son who has SPD. Thanks!!


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