Play time

As you may imagine, playing with Samuel is different to playing with other children. All the toys he has have a purpose. They light up or sound or have a certain texture. The techniques we use to play with Sam are of course different too. Play is deliberate and very important for his development.

At Julia’s House, Samuel’s hospice, there is a lady called Sue who is the play therapist. She works with all the children and whatever their disability and condition, she devises a special individual play plan for each child.

Now before I go on I’m a bit of a fan of Sue’s. Not only is she fantastic at what she does and wonderful with Samuel, she’s great to chat to and just seems so in tune with everything and she just makes you believe that anything is possible.

Thanks to Sue we’ve already had a mini break through with Sam which I noted in ‘star of the week‘ and she’s really encouraged us and inspired us with different play techniques.

Sue, the play therapist,very kindly gave us this toy which plays the ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ tune.

This week Sue gave me song which she had written for Samuel to be sung to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Samuel’s Dad will of course change it to Daddy when he sings:

Samuel, Samuel I love you,

Yes, oh yes, oh yes I do.

I’m your Mummy, I love you,

Yes, oh yes, oh yes I do.

Samuel, Samuel, I love you,

Yes, oh yes, oh yes I do.

Sue has suggested that whenever I sing it to Samuel I should lay on the floor with him, or cuddled up to him on the sofa. As we go on, we will use hand bells to make a sound every time we sing Samuel’s name to reinforce that this song is for him.

I will let you know how we get on. I may even post a video sometime of us playing and singing the song. Maybe.

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Bath time

The green face cloth is in place to protect Samuel's modesty!

I was asked recently how we bath Samuel, as he’s getting quite big now but cannot sit up or support his neck and head. Via our marvellous occupational therapist from the hospital, last year we were given a special bath chair. The bath chair has soft velcro straps to keep Samuel safely strapped in (straps go around his waist and legs) and means that we can be ‘hands-free’ to wash and play with him.

We have to have the bath quite deep to cover him (we’d just finished bath time in this photo and are running the water out) and we can’t fit very many toys in the bath with him, but it has meant that we no longer have to hunch over the bath supporting Samuel while someone washes him. Now, bath time is much kinder to the back and can be a one-parent task.

We can adjust the bath seat as Samuel gets bigger and change the angle so he can be sitting up more or lay back. Samuel seems to like bath time, so much so, he often sleeps through!

Before we got bath seat.