a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

OT at Build-A-Bear

Despite Oia feeling a little under the weather, we continued with our plans to meet at Build-A-Bear today for our weekly OT session. It's safe to say that OT is Oia's least favorite of all therapies so her OT and I are constantly trying to come up with ways to make the sessions more intriguing and therefor more fun for her.

I took Oia's cast with me (which we make her wear for at least half of each OT session) and the plan was for Righty to do most of the bear-making. We started by giving her a couple of animals to choose from. It's no surprise, because we always end up doing things a little differently anyways, that she chose a bunny, not a bear. Good choice though since the bunny has long ears which are perfect for grasping, one ear in each hand.

This was my first Build-A-Bear experience and oh, the choices! First up was to pick out a sound to stuff into Oia's bunny. We put Oia on a chair and let her kneel at the sound kiosk to push various sound buttons with Righty. Although she can generally grasp and maintain a grasp with Righty, applying enough pressure to push buttons with that arm/hand for some reason is still very much a challenge for her.

Oia chose lullaby music (with mommy's influence) to stuff inside her new bunny.

Next up, time to give Bunny a heart. The hearts were the perfect size for Oia to grasp but not the perfect weight and she had a hard time keeping a hold on it. The hearts were way too light for her to feel with Righty as I imagine the sensation in that hand is different than her left. Objects have to be 'just right' for Righty so this part was a little tricky; she dropped it a few times but eventually Bunny got a heart.
Now, onto the stuffing. The worker at Build-A-Bear was kind to let Oia use the lever to activate the stuffing machine as opposed to the foot peddle. (He thought we were trying to get Oia to be 'right handed' instead of left handed, as if she had a choice, then shared a story about how his son was both right and left handed. I didn't have the energy to educate today so I smiled and let it roll. He meant no harm.)
Ms. Brenda helps Oia stuff Bunny.

Onto a thousand more choices...what in the world is this overpriced creation going to wear? A comfy (cheap) t-shirt, of course.

Oia and Ms. Brenda get ready to dress Bunny.

But soon after, Oia found a dress that apparently she felt Bunny needed instead of a t-shirt but we left that there for other bears and bunnies-to-be. Although she did pull it off the rack with Righty...

And then after all that, it's time to make a birth certificate for the new creation. Oia loves to type, er bang, on the computer so this held her attention for a short while longer. Touching computer keys is a great way for us to help her isolate and use her pointer finger (which she still can't do yet even with her left hand). I'm not worried, we'll just keep working on it.

And Oia's Bunny; the final product of a successful OT session at Build-A-Bear.


  1. What a great OT idea! And fun for her! I will have to tell people about this idea!

  2. Oia is a wonderful, beautiful little girl! Her story starts similar to my little girl's story. We thought we had a healthy girl when she was born, but later noticed things were not developing as they should. That was the beginning of our journey through doctors and tests and more tests. My daughter, Gracie, is now 7, is so happy and doing well.

    Thanks for sharing your blog!