Engaging Families, Intervention Visits, Practical Strategies

Embedding Strategies into Family Routines: One PT’s Perspective (Part 2)

In my previous post I discussed five tips that will help early interventionists in collaborating with families to embed therapeutic strategies into their daily routines.  To review, the tips are: start with a routine based interview, incorporate family goals into strategies, set up the environment, follow the family’s and child’s lead, and be creative.  In this post I wanted to give early interventionists specific examples.  Not all families go to the park or take their children shopping, so I tried to use activities that most families do daily.  The following are some ideas for incorporating intervention strategies into daily routines:

Meals
Language – can work on signs “more”, “eat”, “drink”, “please”

Fine motor – fine pincer grasp to pick up finger foods, hold cup, practice using utensils, wiping face and hands (also a sensory activity)

Gross motor – practice pulling up to stand, climbing up into high chair or regular chair

Social/Emotional – practice playing peek-a-boo with wash cloth during cleaning up after meal

Sensory – opportunities to play with their food, finger painting with applesauce, pudding, spaghetti, etc.

Diaper changes
Gross motor – rolling, transitioning in/out of sitting, pull to sit for head control, stretches (because there are many opportunities to stretch throughout the day and it’s natural to stretch to take off/put on clothes and diapers)

Fine motor – playing with toys during changes, practicing zippers, large buttons

Language – work on opposites: on/off, up/down, and body parts

Laundry
Gross motor – push basket (upright or upside down), pull to stand at over turned basket, toss socks into basket

Cognitive – sort colors, match socks

Sir John Lubbock once said, “What we see depends mainly on what we look for”.  As early interventionists, what opportunities do we look for?  What are some other daily routines families have?  We would love to hear your ideas for embedding strategies into specific family routines.

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