Therapy 101: Cognitive Activities—Make them think!

What happens at therapy? Is it just some games? Or hands-on activity to get the child the think? Surely you can do that at home? Do you really need a therapist to do that?
These are some questions that are thrown to me when people find out that Nadine goes for therapy. I know they mean well, and I appreciate that. Just to answer the questions:
Sometime therapy happens behind closed doors. I’m sitting at the reception area, and I can hear the session, but can’t see what’s happening. I can hear Nadine squealing in delight sometimes when she gets excited, or I can hear her frustration when she’s made to repeat certain phrases that’s difficult for her (e.g. words that start with L and Y). I get to find out what happened in that one hour, only after the session, when the therapist does her end of lesson summary with me.
The following is my (and Nadine’s) favourite activity:
Therapy activity
It’s really fun and you can try it too! Each shape represents an activity. Your child has to remember, in this case, Square: JUMP, Triangle: KICK, Circle: CLAP & Star: STAR JUMP.
Round 1: You draw out various sequences on a paper. As you point to it, your child does the sequence. This is the simplest portion. Keep it to 3-4 actions per sequence
Round 2: You do a sequence of action, and your child will draw out the correct sequence. (you can see the part that she drew vs the part the therapist did!)
There are various adaptations that you can do. Generally, the child gets to do crazy actions and at the same time, hone her skills to remember cognitively and sort out her thoughts.
For Nadine, this was very effective. In her jumbled up brain, she has a mish-mash of information that is not sorted out. This activity helps her think through in a fun way, and teaches her basic categorisation.
So since I can do this at home, why does she still need therapy? Cos this is one of the many many activities she does during her session. Cos I can do this activity, but I couldn’t possibly come up with it. Cos even if this activity is found in Therapy activity books, I wouldn’t have known what level of difficulty I should pitch it at. Bottomline, unless I’m trained in childhood development and therapy, it would be really unfair to Nadine if I am her only source to help her through her developmental journey.
Do you have a favourite interesting activity that helps a child’s cognitive skills? I would love to hear them! Leave me a comment if you are have and if there is sufficient contributors, I will start a linky to share our resources! I will share more in my future posts!
Leaving you with a picture of Nadine recently, co-ordinating her hands! She had a blast!
Nadine coordinating
This is part of a series I’ve started – Therapy 101, to document Nadine’s developmental struggles and victories, and to journal my own learning experiences as she goes through hers.
Therapy 101
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