Every couple of months, Oscar is given new sets of targets from his Therapists. Our latest from his Physiotherapist, is walking up the stairs, rather than climbing. Speech and Langauge is all about encouraging different sounds. Portage works along side the Speech Therapist who encourages learning through play, giving him games and activities to carry out. The list is long. Not dauntingly long… Oscar and I like a challenge but they’re all steps into helping Oscar achieve his goals.
One of his latest tasks, issued by his Occupational Therapist, has been to use a knife and fork. He has pretty much mastered the spoon now which is great. He can hold it properly, scoop up his food and bring it to his mouth, without for the most part, losing it in his lap. At times we have to help load it, if it’s a harder consistency food but on the whole, he’s got it.
We had heard about a set of cutlery that were recommended by our Occupational Therapist along with friends of Oscars, called Junior Caring Cutlery. It comes complete with spoon, knife and fork and is designed to aid children when they first start using utensils to eat. They have moulded areas for the fingers to rest in and built up ends, meaning that it’s a lot easier for little ones to grasp.
We started out using them in Oscar’s OT Session. His Therapist Nikki introduced the hand over hand technique to ensure he was holding them correctly.
She used a piece of play dough in the shape of a sausage that they cut together and fed to a toy dog via the fork. Oscar loved watching the dog take the “sausage” and found it a big source of amusement! Perhaps assisted by my sound effects of munching dog!!!!
Each week Oscar attends, Nikki works with him on this task and due to practice at home as well, his grip on the knife and fork appears to be getting better. When we’ve tried using a fork previously, they’ve been bulky and he hasn’t been able to get a hold of it properly, meaning like most tasks for our children when difficult, they do everything they can to avoid it.
At home we’ve been working primarily on the stabbing action of the fork. I try hand over hand with him which is a success, depending on his mood. Some days he lets me, others, being the fiercely independent little boy he is, gets cross and won’t cooperate. Sometimes too, once he’s got it on the fork, he’s too excited to eat and will wave it around in some sort of victory dance.
We obviously have to choose our timings wisely as to when it’s appropriate to give it a go and for how long.
It continues to be a work in progress but he’s definitely getting there. I would recommend this product to anyone. It’s given Oscar a new sense of achievement and independence. It’s easier to grip than a regular knife, fork and spoon and the junior range that’s available is safe (not too sharp) so there’s not the worry they’ll end up hurting themselves.
The service at Complete Care Shop, where we got Oscars cutlery, has been amazing. They couldn’t have been more helpful. Oscar has the Junior Caring Cutlery Set but there are sets available for all ages.
Here’s the link to their website
To all those parents out there, just like me… Good Luck! And as Oscars Portage worker told me this week, “Show him, help him, then step back”… I mean she obviously meant within reason with the stepping back thing… Or perhaps she forgot to also mention, the shares in washing detergent I might like to invest in ;0)