I grew up on my parents hobby farm. They have kept pure bred, pedigreed Dairy Goats for many many years (I think my mum got her first one when she was about 10 or 12). At one stage they ran a commercial dairy, but now just keep them for pleasure, show them occasionally and sell off the excess to other breeders. I had often heard about the use of animals in different therapies designed to help people suffering various conditions, and have now witnessed the benefits first hand.
Ever since A was a baby we have visited as often as we could, as he really enjoyed seeing all the animals. They also run a few cows and chickens and have 3 very affectionate dogs. When A was about 3 I took him and his little brother for a visit for a few days. Their “farm routine” usually involves waking up, having a coffee – well, coffee for Gran, Pa and Mummy and Milo for them – then down to do the morning milking and feeding. A is always super keen to help, and as he has gotten older and can follow simple directions, is actually helpful to mum and dad. …continue reading
The annual Earth Day celebration happens to be coming up, April 22nd, and I say, given that April is also Autism Awareness Month, and from what I hear Occupational Therapy Month as well, I thought I would put my own sensory-spin on it.
Namely, how to get sensory input with a little help from Mother Nature in your own backyard. Isn’t great to know there is another ‘mother’ out there helping your little seeker?
Here are some ideas on how you can use this beautiful planet of ours to incorporate more nature in your nurture.
Sun: I think that the sun might be under valued by all of you who see it daily — like maybe those of you in Arizona or California, but it is longed for by those of us in Seattle! That dose of natural Vitamin D puts all of us in a better mood. Make sure your kids (and you) get plenty by venturing outside each day –
Color with sidewalk chalk
Read on the porch
Have a picnic
Set up an ‘art studio’ outside and let your little ones take inspriation from nature
Lay in the grass
Look for ‘cloud animals’ (or other imaginary shapes)
Trace your shadow – or just try to catch it
Look for bugs in the grass …continue reading