Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stray Thoughts About Motivators

Cute photo right - cute kid, cute cat. What's the big deal? Well, it actually is a big deal to us. Our son has cerebral palsy which impacts his motor coordination and makes it harder for him to move independently. He does crawl but he was not able to get onto a seat without assistance until Ozzy, our rescue kitty, found a comfy perch on the cushions. Ozzy, it turns out, has been is a huge motivator for Graham. Graham crawls around from room to room chasing the cat and figured out how to get himself onto the couch - by himself- to pet the cat. Clearly this is a skill he had been practicing in PT at school but he put that skill into practice to get to something he really wanted - a fuzzy kitty. Proof once again that good motivators are so key to getting our kids to learn and act. My husband and I are still surprized when we find Graham sitting on the couch with a book.  Now if only we could get Ozzy more motivated to return the enthusiasm....


  1. So true! When Addie learned to walk, it was the huge shelves of books at the library that got her going - all the endless possibilities for reaching up to clear the shelves.... She learned to walk there once at 2.5 and then again after surgery on both her feet about 6 months later. I always bring her to our public library to work on gross motor! And I'm allergic to we'll leave that motivator to Graham!

  2. How incredible! I just stumbled upon your blog and read this entry and was really moved!

    I know this will sound like a sales pitch and there's no way around that. But I volunteer at NEADS in Princeton, MA which trains and places assistance dogs. Do you think if Graham responds so well to the cat that a dog could help him with his motor coordination? So many of the pups trained at NEADS are used as "balance" dogs. And for so many children who go through the program, just having the dog around is a great positive force.

    In any case, their website is Just thought you may be interested and now I'm off to read the rest of your blog!