Tag Archives: Hippotherapy

Hippotherapy – All Good Things Must Come to an End

Noah had his last hippotherapy session today.  It seems our insurance only covers 35 sessions of physical therapy a year, and today was session #35.

I can’t complain – most insurance offers less than 35 sessions and some even specifically exclude hippotherapy which has been such an amazing opportunity for Noah.

I told his physical therapist today that if she were a teacher, I’d send Noah to school just to be around her all day.  I’ve never seen Noah connect to anyone or be as willing to work for anyone the way he has with her.  And it’s a good thing – he just doesn’t get much in the way of physical exertion around my house.  It’s not my cup of tea.  But I know he needs it.

I’m not looking forward to next Tuesday – we’ll be home instead riding.

Anybody have any ideas on how to keep Noah active and working those core muscles without making it seem like work?


Rocket Man

I usually let Noah play on the swings for a minute after his speech therapy on Wednesdays.  A couple weeks ago, I noticed he was refusing to let his siblings lift him into the swing.  Instead he stood in front of it with both hands on the chains and pulled his entire body up just using his hands and then came down with his little bum in the swing. 


So I pushed him in the swing for a few minutes and then went to sit down.  When I looked up, he was still swinging, but he was swinging higher than when I left him, and the siblings weren’t even on the playground. 


Yup, those little legs were pumping in and out and he was swinging higher and higher.

I confess, I had been working with him on that, but only once or twice. 

See, it’s all about motivation with him.  I can teach him what a square is every day for a month, and if he doesn’t care to identify shapes, he will go nowhere with it. 

But put him in a swing and let him want to go higher than Mommy is willing to push him . . .

You ain’t seen nothing yet.

So this week I watch him do that, and then he started hollering at one of the girls when they went to push him.  Hmm.

So he starts leaning forward and backward, forward and backward.  And the next thing you know, he’s got some motion going, and then he was swinging, and then he was swinging high.  All by himself.

Pretty neat trick, eh? 

Do you know how much coordination and strength it takes to do that?  He gets that from his physical therapist.  WE LOVE YOU, MISS LAURIE.  Out of all the areas of Noah’s care that I lack initiative in, exercise is at the top of the list.  So everything that Miss Laurie accomplishes, she does it alone.  Okay, so she gets a little help from Mr. Ed and the awesome hippotherapy  volunteers over at Red Arena. 

While all this was going on, Bella was sitting in a swing the entire time with no one to push her.  Once she saw Noah get going, she got the most determined look on her face and commenced to rocking.  She was up and away too in no time.  Big brother teaching little sister a thing or too. 

Love it.

Just a few days left for the Chore-Card app giveaway – just visit Monday’s post at https://wordsofhisheart.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/chore-cards-by-appdads-a-review-and-giveaway/ and leave a comment to enter to win.  Winners announced Monday, September 17, 2012.

Noah’s Courage

Our quiet little Noah seems to be coming out of his shell.  Our landlord was out here the other day talking to a contractor, and Noah ran up to him and signed deer and pointed.  When Noah wants something, he has no problem letting us know, and he has even been signing complete sentences like “I want milk, please.”  I think children with Down syndrome and other speech delays often communicate much more freely with family than they do with others, so seeing him run up to our landlord was very encouraging.

Noah also has started getting the final P onto some words.  Pup and pop are really the only words he can get that final consonant onto.  I can’t wait to see the progression, though.  Miss L, Noah’s SLP says he is following the natural progression of language development, which is excellent, he’s just doing it very slowly.  I love being able to understand just where he is in his language and what is around the bend.   He is also doing great with the Kaufmann cards; he progresses through the sounds exactly the way they progress on the cards.

The kitchen scavenger hunt PECs game I made for Noah has turned out to be a real winner.  I had no idea he did not know where so many things were in the kitchen.  We’ve played the game two times now, and today he remembered some of what he learned the first time.  I LOVE to see that!!!  So often in the past when I worked on teaching him something, like colors, every time we sat down to work it seemed like we were starting from scratch.  Eventually he started remembering, but it took A LOT of repetition.

I also made a third set of the cards and cut them up to play Memory with Noah.  We’re still playing with all the cards face up, but He and Bella really enjoy matching; and I figure when he is ready, it will be easy to transition to the traditional Memory Game method.  Being able to use the same cards in different ways is the BEST way for kids to learn and really internalize new vocabulary.

I’m still getting used to using the iPad to boost Noah’s cooperation and learning experience.  The motivation is high on the iPad, but he is getting frustrated easily. 

Today was Noah’s last hippotherapy session until September when the weather cools down.  I’m contemplating having him take a break from physical therapy until after Andres’ surgery.  It’s a tough call because his therapist says he is really starting to get into running and playing with her.  We have to take some time off anyway, because insurance won’t cover all 52 weeks of the year.  It’s just hard to know when a good time to take a break is.

Anyone wondering what Noah is doing while I’m writing this?









He’s supposed to be napping and was wanting to get up, so I told him to read to his stuffed puppy.  He’s “reading” to his stuffed puppy.  Awwwww.