Wednesday, March 21, 2012

home based cimt - day one

we had our ot visit us at home on the first day of constraint induced movement therapy (cimt). we talked for a while about the length of time ozzie would be wearing his constraint mitt for. we talked about different activities we'd have him do. we assessed certain toys around our home that would be good for this type of therapy, what wouldn't be so great. she originally thought he'd wear the mitt for 8hrs. after doing some of my own research and reading, i wondered the effectiveness of 8hrs vs. 4hrs a day. honestly, i was overwhelmed with the idea of keeping ozzie constantly occupied with therapeutic activities for 8hrs a day for 2 weeks. i thought he'd get bored or i'd run out of ideas of things to do with him. but our ot came bearing news that in the lastest research and reading she had done, that 3hrs was just as beneficial over time, as the previously thought 8hrs a day.

big collective sigh of holy relief? yes.

so our first day:
ozzie sat in my lap while i put his mitt on. leading up to that first day of therapy, i had told him on different occasions he'd be wearing a mitt on his one hand, he'd always say, "no mama. no want to." but thankully he sat patiently as i put it on. however, i do need to make a few minor adjustments to the mitt itself, more velcro. more velcro!

we sat and played with the bin of wooden blocks. to start we did have to remind him to use his right hand (affected hand) and not his hand with the mitt on. habit. he'd try to grab a block from the bin with his mitt. more gentle reminders. he did well at first, especially tapping blocks on the mitt - which would make a sound because of the splint material inside the mitt itself. so he built a house, a tower or two, a snowmobile. lots of crashing them down too. there were a few times of frustration and he'd try to take his mitt off. "want off. want off." but we'd again, gently distract him to toss blocks back into the bin so we could clean up and start another activity.

next up: melissa and doug wooden puzzles. the magnetic ones with the fishing rod. these were great and we'll do this one a lot. we have 3 versions of it, demolition derby trucks, undersea creatures & bugs. he had fun taking the bugs out but also putting them back in. the m&d puzzles with the little knobs - we wondered if they would be too hard for him. there were a few frustrating moments here too but you can see him trying so hard with his pincer grasp in his right hand. we have 2 versions of this one too, cars, planes, trucks & musical instruments. we did notice that he'd reach for the pieces with his right hand without reminding him that was the hand he needed to use. however he'd try to put the pieces back in the puzzle with his left hand.

a smaller 12 piece puzzle which any other time would prove easy for him, well. proved difficult. the pieces were too small for him at this stage of the therapy and he was very easily discouraged. lots of, "can't do it. can't do it." so we helped him along by putting the pieces together and he'd push them down flat with his right hand.

at this point, our ot leaves and we're on our own. took the art easel outside for some drawing time. ozzie would pass me the chalk with his right hand and bark commands of what i should draw. i didn't mind. flowers, stars, moons, snowmobiles. dad took over while i made some snacks to eat outside.

in the front yard we sat on the steps, chilled out and ate our peanut butter and crackers. he had a bit of trouble with the crackers and his thermos. he didn't want to get messy. and it's totally okay to help him. so we did.

we took the mitt off. ate some more food and off we went to go shopping for some new shoes for ozzie as well as some groceries. we talked to ozzie several times over the rest of the day, that as soon as he wakes up the mitt will go on. just so he understands what to expect. always with a resounding, "okay mom. yep."

folks, at this point i am feeling a big fat phew. that this will go smoothly. well, as smoothly as we make it. it's all about keeping ozzie distracted, don't keep the kid waiting on the next activity, keep ozzie happy!

easy peasy.


  1. Good luck with everything! I'm glad it went better than expected for you.

  2. I'm SO glad it went smoothly! I love his picture face :)

  3. He looks great! I am so happy that yesterday went well, keep up the good work!!

  4. What a little trooper! :) So glad to hear (twice) that the day went well. Chalk that up to me being sleep deprived, and/or insane. I am so glad that the day went so well. Good work mama bear!

    1. Oh and I've repeated myself again! Clearly, I'm 94 years old. *sigh*

  5. This is so good to to read day two...