We struggle with motivation. I always get a little envious when I see other babies just sit and play with toys or get up and walk toward their favorite stuffed animal. Bea would do just about anything for an episode of Sesame Street or for her Elmo stuffed animals. Nothing like this ever works for Solly. He’d rather just sit and chew on whatever is in his path than press buttons on a toy or play with a toy car.
This has made therapies – both in a clinical setting and at home – rather difficult. It’s impossible to work on Solly’s strength or functional movement if all he wants to do is hunker down and chomp on a puzzle piece. If a 3 year old doesn’t want to do the work and isn’t interested in anything that will trick him into doing the work, how can we make any gains?
Unfortunately, this is something I still don’t have the answer to yet. The only thing we’ve found that really excites Solly is movement, and the wilder the movement, the better. Swings, slides, tossing him in the air, swimming, pony rides, anything that gives him vestibular input is what he loves and craves. When he’s moving is when he talks, laughs, and is happiest. This is one of the major reasons why we’ve dropped our traditional physical therapy appointments in favor of hippotherapy and aquatic therapy. At home, when we’re working with Solly and he’s just not feeling it, we’ll often take him to the park and put him in the swing and on the slide, and afterwards, he’ll take beautiful steps.
To keep the motivation going at home, we’ve put in a swing and small slide in our playroom and continue to brainstorm other ways to keep him engaged. Any ideas to help us with motivation? What motivates your child?