At The Center for Discovery, we work hard to build up the health and well-being of the children and adults we serve through many avenues – including nutrition, energy and emotional regulation techniques, physical exercise, the arts, education, and occupational, physical, and speech therapy.
So being quarantined at home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – away from their regular routine – can be hard for our students and their care-givers. And that is why our incredible clinical team wants everyone to have a slice of The Center at home during these stressful times.
Our clinicians have compiled a list of things you can do to keep your loved one with a complex condition- and the rest of your family – happy and healthy.
First a “social story.” We use these picture-based stories daily to help communicate with our individuals with complex conditions. An example of one that helps explain COVID-19 is included below.
Yoga. The benefits of yoga for the body and mind have been well-documented throughout the years. Among other things, it can help with self-regulation, attention to task, bilateral coordination, sensory processing, social awareness and visual attention. How about a simple spring yoga print-out you can use at home with even the tiniest member of your family? Reference the below. Feeling a little more energetic and daring? Try the more detailed, longer sequence yoga workout.
Our clinicians say deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation exercises should also be a part of the daily routine. Pushing legs gently against a wall or exercise ball and releasing, raising, and lowering shoulders, holding arms straight out and squeezing a stress ball, and deep breathing by inhaling through the nose and exhaling out through the mouth, are all great ways to reset the body through the day.
Here at The Center, our Board-Certified Music Therapists are some of the most creative people we’ve ever met. They know music has a way of speaking to the deepest parts of our beings. Try the muscle relaxation exercises and then grab a weighted or any cozy blanket, a pillow, and turn on this sound healing recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsPiqZVoyaY&feature=youtu.be.
Crafts are an easy way to whittle away all this new-found time at home, but our community with complex conditions can often find some of the tasks difficult. Warming up the upper extremities in general is a great daily habit. Try some of our favorite exercises from the document below.
Now, ready to create?
Try making a handprint flower garden with the whole family – maybe even your dog, too! Perfect for spring!
Not in the mood to smell the blooming flowers? How about creating your family with silly faces and hair? Paper, crayons, glitter glue googly eyes, yarn and anything else you might have around the house will do. The instructions are super simple. (See below.)
Feeling daring? How about building a volcano (not the exploding kind!)? Add a few plastic animals or cut pictures from magazines and you will have endless hours of imagination-building play.
The volcano and others can be projects to build upon each day. No need to rush. Take it slowly.
“Our clinical team would like you to know that even though we are separated by distance, that you and your loved ones are always in our thoughts. Please know that we are here to support you as best we can during this challenging time,” said Nicole Kinney, Chief of Clinical Services at The Center.
For more information, please reach out to the Office of Strategic Outreach and Partnerships at StrategicOutreach@tcfd.org.
For a list of activities and things-to-do from our clinical team, view the PDF below. You will find access to the following: Staying Home Social Story (pg. 1), Relaxation Yoga Sequence (pg. 14), Spring Yoga Sequence (pg. 26), Progressive Muscle Relaxation (pg. 27), Upper Extremity Warm-Up Exercises (pg. 36), Paper Roll Handprint Flower Occupational Therapy Activity (pg. 38), Yarn Hair Occupational Therapy Activity (pg. 40), How to Make a Volcano Activity (pg. 42). To view the HTML version of the recipes, please click here.TCFD_OT_COVID_BLOG_ACTIVITIES_3.30