INTRODUCING JOSHUA HAROON

We would like to share with you the great achievement Joshua Haroon has made. Bellow is clip of Josh using his step by step switch.

You would probably think that there is nothing special about it, any other child could do that and maybe even much younger than Josh. You would be right, the thing is Joshua’s learning style is different to many other children. It is very  unique and requires lot of hard work done by him, his parents and professional team. The research states that children and adults who have the range of impairments and disability Josh has, need to do or try something at least approximately 2000 times before they can remember it and learn it. All this learning has to be facilitated by others.
Josh was introduced to the switch after the previous block of Bobath therapy in July last year. At the start it was used a lot in play and was placed under his feet because Josh seemed to have more control over his kicking than his hands. You can see in the clip that Josh is still keeping the left hand closed in a fist and close to his mouth as he may not yet be that confident to explore his environment fully. His right hand fortunately stays open and means that Josh is ready to explore and to learn more. This is another great step he achieved, and something which helps him now with the switch.
At the last block, February/March, his Speech and Language Therapist at Bobath saw that Josh’s understanding had increased and was able to use the switch further into play and learning. Josh also had to become accustomed to new position, sitting, and to use his hand functionally. This is very hard for Josh, because when he wants to engage the muscles in his arms he increases their tone which makes movement uncoordinated. His physiotherapist worked on reducing the tone and actually took Josh back a stage in order for him to learn to bring his arms down and out.
The added complication of Joshua’s visual impairment means that he is not motivated by sight. It takes him longer to learn the repetitive motion of a task because he has no visual stimulus. To start with Josh had to be reminded that the switch was there. His hands and arms were stroked to remind him that he needs to use them and were brought to the switch to demonstrate to him what to do, over and over again.
Finally he is beginning to play with his switch without coaxing. As you can see in the clip, Joshua wants to continue the song and therefore goes back to the switch. You can also see in his facial expressions that he recognises when he succeeded with the task.
Why is this so important? Josh has oral motor difficulties, which means that speaking may be a long way off. Switch work may be a method of communication for Josh. Perhaps further down the line a communication board may help Josh begin to make choices, like ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Josh has the potential, and we would like to make sure that he can access as many sessions at Bobath as he can. So help us by going to our donate page and contributing what you can.
You would probably think that there is nothing special about it, any other child could do that and maybe even much younger than Josh. You would be right, the thing is Joshua’s learning style is different to many other children. It is very unique and requires lot of hard work done by him, his parents and professional team. The research states that children and adults who have the range of impairments and disability Josh has, need to do or try something at least approximately 2000 times before they can remember it and learn it. All this learning has to be facilitated by others.
Josh was introduced to the switch after the previous block of Bobath therapy in July last year. At the start it was used a lot in play and was placed under his feet because Josh seemed to have more control over his kicking than his hands. You can see in the clip that Josh is still keeping the left hand closed in a fist and close to his mouth as he may not yet be that confident to explore his environment fully. His right hand fortunately stays open and means that Josh is ready to explore and to learn more. This is another great step he achieved, and something which helps him now with the switch.
At the last block, February/March, his Speech and Language Therapist at Bobath saw that Josh’s understanding had increased and was able to use the switch further into play and learning. Josh also had to become accustomed to new position, sitting, and to use his hand functionally. This is very hard for Josh, because when he wants to engage the muscles in his arms he increases their tone which makes movement uncoordinated. His physiotherapist worked on reducing the tone and actually took Josh back a stage in order for him to learn to bring his arms down and out.
The added complication of Joshua’s visual impairment means that he is not motivated by sight. It takes him longer to learn the repetitive motion of a task because he has no visual stimulus. To start with Josh had to be reminded that the switch was there. His hands and arms were stroked to remind him that he needs to use them and were brought to the switch to demonstrate to him what to do, over and over again.
Finally he is beginning to play with his switch without coaxing. As you can see in the clip, Joshua wants to continue the song and therefore goes back to the switch. You can also see in his facial expressions that he recognises when he succeeded with the task.
Why is this so important? Josh has oral motor difficulties, which means that speaking may be a long way off. Switch work may be a method of communication for Josh. Perhaps further down the line a communication board may help Josh begin to make choices, like ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Josh has the potential, and we would like to make sure that he can access as many sessions at Bobath as he can. So help us by going to our donate page and contributing what you can.

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One response

  1. Thanks for this clear account of Joshua’s treatment, Natalie. It puts your joint commitment and great efforts in context.

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