Tuesday, September 11, 2012

callirobics–musical handwriting therapy



   Especially for my Special Needs mommy and daddy friends…I am SUPER excited to share our Callirobics experience with you!


But let me start with the basics first…


The NutShell

  • Callirobics is a wonderfully unique approach to building writing skills!  Two minute penmanship lessons are set to music.  Pairing the simple exercises with music helps the students relax and have fun while working on an often less preferred activity!  It’s perfect for kiddos who learn better with music than they do with verbal and/or visual instruction! 
  • I highly encourage you to peek at samples!
  • Callirobics is great for anyone of any age who needs handwriting therapy!  Young children with fine motor issues.  Adults who may have health issues that effect their penmanship.  Children with developmental delay! 
  • Prices are affordable and vary based on which product you’re looking into purchasing.  Find the price list and ordering information here
  • Callirobics is a Dr. Toy best toy winner!  And comes highly recommended by professionals. 




The Review


Oh penmanship…how we loathe thee in our home!



Not just Trevy either.



Just him especially.  Trevor despises anything…positively anything…involving fine motor work.  Of both fingers and toes.



The thing is…writing is an essential!



Which is why I have invested my time, energy and resources into all sorts of therapies and techniques to help Trevy with his writing skills.  While he has made progress…it hasn’t been dramatic.  And to be honest, I’ve been discouraged.  I even heard through the grapevine that one professional mentioned that he may never be able to write and it might be time to start thinking about adaptive gear.  My heart ached at that.  Not because I thought she was wrong…more because she voiced those secret whisper thoughts that echo way down deep in my core.



It wasn’t long after that I stumbled on a Callirobics pin.  And it looked AH-mazing!  So amazing that my heart shushed those sad thoughts to make way for HOPE again!



Then I got really crazy and asked Liora Laufer if she would consider allowing me to sample her product, Callirobics, in exchange for a review.  I was thrilled when she said YES!  Not only did she send me Callirobics for Beginners – she also gave me tips to help me get the most out of the product!  I am persuaded that behind every really great therapeutic product is a really great PERSON!



She recommends staying with one movement (and accompanying song) for a whole week.  The repetition is SO important!



I couldn’t take a picture of one of the tips she gave me but trust me when I say, we have fun with it!  We start each session by playing the music cd and preforming the movement directed with just our arms/hands or with puppets or other fun hand held objects.  Pretty much anything to get Trevy engaged.  Toby and Bristel don’t really need this extra practice…but Trevy does!  I start every single time this way before moving on to either our whiteboard or our workbook.



Here is a sample of how Trevy was making the letter T prior to us starting Callirboics.





You can see the shape.  However, it is VERY large and not very fluid.  He also overlaps his T several times.




For the first few sessions I have the kids use the whiteboard to work on the directed movement (down, up, across).  You can see they got a little too into it and knocked the bulletin board off the wall!  In love



Below is a closer sample.  Bristel’s lines are to the far left.  Toby’s to the far right.  And Trevy’s are dressed in blue right smack in the middle.  Again, you can see how wobbly his lines are.  Not very organized.  This photo was taken during the very first lesson.





For the first few days of each new lesson, I support Trevor hand over hand and try to slowly back off as much as possible.  With down he needed minimal support.  But the up movement has been more tricky.  Each workbook page is structured with simple but specific targets.  I love how she gives a starting point (always a happy face) and an ending point (changes with each target movement).  For a few lessons I have him work on the whiteboard rather than in the book.  I even break out my rusty artistic skills to draw a happy face start point and turtle or dove ending point!



When we do move into the workbook I use this wonderful dry erase sleeve that a friend gave me!  This allows us to keep working as often as he needs to on that movement! 



We’ve only been using this program for a handful of weeks and I’m already seeing improvement in Trevor’s writing skills!  In fact, other people are noticing too!  Nothing in his therapies have changed other than adding Callirobics.  In fact, he’s been out of school so if anything he’s had LESS therapies! 



It’s not a perfect example but below you’ll see a MUCH more fluid T.  He drew this of his own choice while we were playing outside (hooray for generalization!).  I love that he only drew ONE T too!  He typically draws T after T after T…all overlapping and not very organized.  It’s hard to tell, but this T is a lot smaller than the giant Ts he was drawing when we started Callirobics!




And remember his super squiggly down lines from the white board picture above?  Again, he did this tracing unprompted.  His sister drew the yellow sun…but those really really neat and fluid blue traced lines are HIS!




Look at how closely he followed her lines!  He’s been tracing for awhile…but in the past his blue line would have extended far beyond her yellow.  SO much more fluid and organized!






with the progress he’s making using Callirobics!



I am in love with Callirobics because it is working for Trevy when nothing else has!  It doesn’t hurt that he comes happy running to the room whenever he hears the cd start playing!  Callirobics has eliminated that battle of the wills that used to take up the majority of our handwriting time!  There is no question, this is one resource that I believe is absolutely worth the investment!





**This is my little space to disclaim that I was given Callirobics for Beginners in exchange for my honest review shared on my blog.  All opinions expressed are my honest own.  I hope that you enjoyed and found my review at least a smidge helpful.**

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