As the proxy therapist, your job is to make the best use of the time allotted for therapy. Your time should be planned well and structured in a logical and predictable pattern to permit maximal outcomes and keep motivation levels high.
Use this guideline in approaching each therapy session. It’s appropriate to call it therapy as it defines why you are doing all these activities. It is important the child know they must pay attention and do their best to make good use of time. Remember, therapy should be lighthearted and fun, even though it may be difficult or challenging at time as you and your child push her limits together.
This is a general outline for a ‘lesson’ or training session. Plan on spending about 20 minutes per day for the first few weeks, then gradually increase the time to 45-60 minutes per night if you can. Begin with an activity to focus attention. Meditation is preferred, but if the child is already in a suitable state of mind and is ready, then move on. It is critically important that activities be approached with some element of seriousness of intent and desire for better performance. Anything else is a waste of time. Spend up to 5 – 10 minutes to centre the mind and open awareness.
- Move on to focus skills involving pencil and paper. “Focus skills’ are skills of particular interest identified by your doctor and should be emphasized. Do 1- 3 exercises of this kind depending on time and what you would like to achieve with the lesson. Be sure at least one activity involves VMI.
- Do free space VSA and VSP skills. These are skills that are not based in paper, pencils, and a table. These generally involve a variety of physical stances and positions.
- Work on gross-motor and balance skills.
At the end of each activity, discuss the results and encourage the child to set reasonable goals for the next time, as is appropriate. This is not only a great way to encourage independence and good planning skills, but it is a great time saving tip!
Tip: It is best to simply not do an activity if you don’t have the time, than to do a poor job of it.
Discussion: The principle is to first establish focus and a sense of purpose in the activity set. then proceed with activities that are progressively more physically demanding so as to slowly increase physical stimulation as cognitive and perceptual stimulation is also heightened. This create an ideal stress situation and readies the child to manage the gross-motor requirements.