Monday, April 18, 2011

backyard therapy: catch, count, sort the fishies


I'm Trevy's mommy. He is a seizure fighting Super Hero and my very own Miracle Boy!  See, about a year and a half ago (he was just a tender 2 1/2) his Daddy and  I agreed to a radical intervention for his chronic (read: 2 years of hundreds of uncountable daily seizures) war against catastrophic epilepsy.  A Hemispherectomy - the removal of his entire left hemisphere.  That's right.  My adorable little guy down there only has HALF a brain!  The curious can click here to see pictures of Trevy's brain - it's groady in a wow kinda way. 

you can click his cute face to visit my blog specific to his seizure disorder

I don't usually lead off with that number.  It has a way of killing a conversation.  


But this being my first BackYard Therapy post...I felt it important to lay a foundation.  Trevy goes to a special school where he receives multiple therapies on a daily basis.  He's doing very well.  But he needs constant , saturating input to keep him making developmental inchstones.  Both at school and at home.  My BackYard Therapy posts will reflect (lots of pictures. because I likey :) various ways we are wrapping him up with learning opportunities when he's just hanging with his fam at home! 

So with no further ado I give you: 

Catch, Count, Sort the Fishies 


  • Multicolored foam fishy shapes
  • Laminated solid colored paper (I should have used blue for water) or a solid colored tray.  It is important for Trevor (who is ADHD hence extraordinarily distractable) for the "pond" to be a solid (read: not busy) color.  This helps him stay focused on the task at hand rather than asking "i(short i)sss" (what's this) for every single thing. 
  • Chopstix - fishing pole 
  • String - attach to pole as your fishing line
  • Small magnet - tie this onto the end of the pole as your Fishie bait 
  • Stapler - I found I needed to add at least four staples per Fishie to help Trevy catch them
  • Sibling (if available. if not try bribing a friend's :) - to help with all the assembly.  This is a two-fold benefit.  Less work for me.  And Heart Shaping for them. 
  • A quiet place and a peer model to demonstrate.  I just so happen to have given birth to a couple peer models for Trevy.  They come in very handy for just this sort of thing too.   

  • Fine Motor development
  • Color Reconition
  • Counting Skills 
  • Sorting 
  • Receptive & Expressive Language development.  "Catch the green Fishy" - promotes receptive speech.  "What color Fishy did you catch?" - promotes expressive speech

    We started by having Bristel demonstrate how to catch a Fishy.

    Trevy then had his turn; however, it is impossible to snap pictures without an extra set of hands.
    Mine are busy Hand Over Handing with him. 

     I originally had just one staple per Fishy.
    It worked for the peer model.  In fact, she was a Fishy catching shark.

    Trevy...not so much.  

    I quickly realized it was too challenging for his current fine motor skills (20-24 months).  So I immediately improvised and added four staples to each fish. 

    I think this would have given him more success.  And more success would have prompted a longer (than 60 seconds) attention span.  However, between the failed first attempt and the time it took to improvise...

    Trevy ghosted outta the room onto Daddy's (Sunday napping) lap.  Where he flashed me cheeky grins without budging every time I asked him to come try again.    

    We'll try again another day...

    I'm participating in love2learn2day's blog hop


    1. What a fun activity! Thanks so much for posting. This is ever so much prettier than what we were doing a week for fish cut out of cereal box cardboard. They are pretty whimpy looking fish. :)

      Thanks for linking up at Math Monday!!! Hope to see you there every week!


    2. How funny! I missed your post last week! We must be on the same wave length. :)

      I'll definitely be linking up again...cause I *heart* your blog. :)


    3. Hey neighbor! I just added myself to the workboxes list and you were the first blog I clicked on to check out. Imagine my amazement to find another Rhode Islander! I'm in West Warwick. We should keep in touch and share ideas, we can give each other tips about local spots to go and places that are having deals.

      Nice to meet you, and happy that your little guy is doing better.