Tag Archives: children

  • 5 Questions with Cathy from Gowanus Treehouses

    The mission at Gowanus Treehouse is to provide the best quality and most comprehensive services to children for their complex and individual therapy needs. The expert practitioners work on behavioral, sensory and motor skills and small group social learning with children. The Gowanus Treehouse is a uniquely designed sensory gym, fully equipped for zip-lining, scaling ladders and rock walls, and a treehouse loft for improving motor planning, strength, coordination, endurance or structured activities.

    Dollamur got with Cathy Reid, owner and operator at Gowanus Treehouse, to ask a few questions and learn a little bit more about the Gowanus Treehouse facility and services!

     

    Q1: What is a day at Gowanus Treehouse like?

    A1: “A typical day at the Treehouse is a lot of movement and proprioceptive-vestibular input, such as, swinging, climbing, rolling and exploring the various layers of the treehouse.  We are transitioning from a focus in fine motor rooms to a sensory gym, which helps children keep their brains and bodies connected and gives them the much-needed sensory input they need but may not be getting daily.

    We are a team of 8 occupational therapists and one physical therapist working with young kids from babies and up and achieve goals through play - That could mean going on adventures as superheroes or pirates, to save animals or take a ride on a boat, train, or plane through the use of obstacle courses. They could be doing more concentrated therapeutic exercises as well to improve specific skills, such as, fine motor skills, core and upper body strength and sensory processing that need support outside of school. We run daily small social learning groups for kids to build awareness and understanding about sensory processing and social participation and to give them the tools and skills they need to better navigate through their everyday lives. Our PT sees babies to older children with physical disabilities due to congenital or developmental delays, like Cerebral Palsy or Torticollis, or other mobility and gross motor issues.”

     

    Q2: What types of injuries/disabilities have you seen benefit most from time at Gowanus Treehouse?

    A2: “We see children with general developmental delays, such as difficulty with writing or sustaining visual attention, postural control or using adequate eye hand coordination really excel in our programs. Children with pervasive developmental delays, such as Autism spectrum disorders or attentional difficulties also tend to really benefit at the Treehouse.”

     

     

    Q3: What is your personal favorite type of therapy/workout/activity to work on with kids at GT?

    A3: “I love to see the kids moving and playing so freely and joyfully on the trapeze and catching them in the various net swings. We have homemade net swings to catch them and they like for us to turn them into a tiny ball and let them spin/pop. I call it the ‘sushi roll’ and that is a big favorite for facilitating a calming response with both deep pressure, deep breathing, and self-regulation. They also love to climb into to the multi-layer ‘cloud’ swings just above.”

     

     

    Q4: Are members benefiting from the flooring diversity provided by Dollamur when it comes to their unique physical therapy needs?

    A4: “The Dollamur flooring allows us to move around all day in a safe environment, learning about body awareness in space through the vestibular (aerial) suspended equipment. Kids aren't allowed to play as freely anymore in parks and on playgrounds and they need to be able to make mistakes, get bumps and have falls to learn how to manage their bodies and overcome fears. It's an epidemic, trying to push kids, before they are ready, into academics and there has been a rise in poor coping, problem solving and social-emotional regulation due to the anxiety it is placing on them.  We have a lot to learn from other countries like Finland, England and Japan who allow kids to rescue each other (vs. adults) and use their hands with tools, play with tires, build things, play outside and climb tall trees. We love technology in our practice too (since it always comes up/hot topic) but we only use it as a teaching tool since it too much screen time takes away from learning about 3-D space and kids who are constantly using touch screens might not develop their in-hand manipulation skills during critical windows of development.”

     

    Q5: Where are your Dollamur mats coming in most useful?

    A5: “They’re great so that we can enjoy our beloved swings to soar high and fast while keeping the kids safe. They also provide a cozy nest-like feel for the spaces under the treehouse and comfort for everyone to be able to work and play on the floor at eye-level with the kids. This is important to develop everything from visual, postural and social skills through play. We work with our shoes off and don't allow shoes and everyone comments on how soft and bouncy the floors feel!”

     

     

1 Item(s)