Sunday, February 6, 2011

Zoya's First Super Bowl! and sneaking in some football therapy!

Believe it or not we turned the Steelers going to the Super Bowl into a chance for some hard work and therapy!  I've been researching visual perception and crossing midline (google "crossing midline" and you'll get a ton of results) a lot lately and think Zoya really needs some practice with crossing her midline. She tends to use her right arm for things on her right side and left arm/hand to reach things on her left side and rarely crosses over her body to reach for something unless I help her by gently holding down her other hand.  She can easily cross midline, but is not doing it a whole lot yet unprompted.  We are also going to start working more on using two hands together! Crossing midline is really important for many reasons and it is said to help make new connection pathways in the brain, thus making processing and learning easier. Your brain has to "cross midline" for many things....if you think about reading your eyes read from left to right, you have to move your tongue from one side of your mouth to the other for chewing and moving food.

So with that in mind, one idea I had was to put some doodle paper (that I got for $1.99 a roll) up on the wall (with a "Go Steelers" message) hoping Zoya would draw from left to right with big sweeping movements of the marker and/or crayon. She mostly drew toward the right hand side of her body since that is the hand she was drawing with and the hand she seems to be dominant with.  With a little help and modeling, Zoya was crossing over her midline to draw big long lines from left to right and right to left. It definitely does not come naturally to her, but hopefully with some practice she will feel more comfortable crossing midline and her brain will start to make that connection. We used markers first, then paint dotters, then crayons, then we finished up working on fine motor skills by putting stickers on the paper.

Even though I started this activity to work on crossing midline, it ended up being a really great way to have Zoya practice holding the markers and crayons the correct way using a three-finger (sometimes 4-finger) grip instead of a whole fist grip. This is something Zoya has struggled with. I was very surprised to see Zoya start to hold her crayons and markers in such a "big girl" way! I think because she was drawing vertically, her wrist was in a nice position and helped her to hold her crayons and markers using a little bit of a better grasp. I think drawing vertically probably helps strengthen arm and shoulder strength as although I didn't plan the activity for these reasons, I really saw the benefits when I saw Zoya holding her crayons and markers so nicely! The crayons you see her using in the picture are triangle crayons from her Grandpa and Grandma, which help to promote a proper hold on the crayon. She does really well with these crayons and in one of the pictures you will see her awesome 3-finger grasp...I didn't even realize she was doing this until I took the picture and looked at the picture! Since this was the first time I noticed her holding her crayon so nicely, I'm curious to see if she continues using such a nice grasp if we color on a flat surface in a coloring book or something.

Overall this was a fun therapy activity (except Zoya thought several times she could draw on ANY wall-good thing I'm quick)...oh and she surprised me by having enough hand strength to take the cap off the marker and draw on her face. I left the markers out thinking it'd be safe since I underestimated her hand strenth LOL. Thank goodness for washable markers and baby wipes!


This is fun! (Even though in the beginning she wasn't thinking it was going to be fun!)

Smiling at her Dora sticker

Woohooo...big girl TRIPOD grasp all by herself!

Check it out!

And the real Super Bowl Fun......

She is signing "more" because I kept running into her and Daddy and she thought it was funny!

We practiced the raised arm "Go Steelers" while Daddy was at work and showed it off when he got home!

Watching the game with her whole body....wonder who she gets this from?

Zoya was saying, "Come on Roethlisberger, put your glasses on so you can see who you're throwing the ball to!" 

Working on a post about Zoya's new 16-year-old dirty looks and pout! I just have to get a picture of this! She is somethin' else! Love her to pieces :)


  1. I can see why you love her to pieces!!! She is something. She plays the role of an adorable little Steeler fan very well! Who would know it is her first year at it!

  2. I cannot believe what a precious little girl she is. :)
    Both my husband and I love reading about little Zoya! Even though we have never met, she is such a blessing to us when we see her pure joy!

  3. I just love reading your posts...the pictures are always great and I think Zoya is just a hoot. Also...very smart. Enjoy all of your therapy ideas. Keep them coming. I am always looking for new ideas. Purchased some of the skidders....LOVE THEM. SOOOOO much better than having to put on shows with our sure steps when we are at home. Also, read your fitting into the box posts.....I feel the same and am dreading my daughters going into our school system...knowing that I will have to fight for what is the law....but, I WILL FIGHT!!!! Again, Zoya is always such a joy!

    Stephanie Lynch

  4. Just wanted to say that you guys are the only folks I like that are steelers fan ;) Down here in Cincy people would disown me if they even knew I was saying that. But I mean Zoya has got to be the cutest Steelers fan ever!

  5. I love doing this with the paper. She's doing great with the crayons, aren't those triangle one great!

    Oh Mr. Potato Head we played with him last night too.

    I can't wait to read the dirty looks and pout post, that cracked me up.


  6. Sarah where did you get the great deal on the large roll of paper?