Having a Child with Down Syndrome, Part LXXVII: PT and OT Soup

Copyright © 2014 Stephen Hawley, all rights reserved.

What an interesting afternoon. Alice and I did our usual shopping routine at Big Y. Alice had “1 pound American cheese” on her list and I needed to get some ciabatta rolls so I let her go ahead and grab the ticket to wait while I tried (in vain) to find them. Alice told me she got #44, so I told her to pay attention and I went back to my task, deciding to let her fly solo on this one. To my surprise, when they called 44, she instantly exclaimed, “that’s me!” and went up to the counter and did everything on her own. Independence goal achieved.

After shopping was done, we went out to the car and she took her clipboard and glasses and got in while I put the shopping bags into the car.  I put the cart into to the corral and when I walked towards the car, I could see Alice working on getting herself buckled. My car’s seat belts have more resistance than E’s. I have been assisting and scaffolding back my help. Before I got to the car, I heard a nice solid click. She had done it completely by herself. Independence goal achieved.

When we got home and put the groceries away, I knew that she wanted to go straight for the TV but had exhausted her TV allowance for the week already. I prepped for that by asking her if she wanted to help me make some chicken broth. I pulled all the wilty vegetables out while I was putting the fresh away and set up a quick mise-en-place for her and took out a large crock pot (mental note, take out the camera sooner to get more process pictures).


Alice’s first job was to break all the carrots into pieces. This works both hands and is a good stabilizing task for her stroke-affected hand.  Celery next, same task. Old parsley – remove from the plastic bag, take off the twist-tie and the rubber band and into the pot.  She did all this while I carved up a store-roasted chicken and put the meat into containers for the fridge.

I put the bones into the crock and scraps into the crock and washed my hands.  Next I set things up so she could push cloves into an onion. I poked a knife into the onion to make a half dozen X’s and let Alice push the cloves into the X’s. This exercises fine motor, especially her pincer grasp.


Next I put a dozen peppercorns into a spice jar lid and asked her put in 6. More fine motor and pincer grasp and she has to do the counting. Then a couple of bay leaves.


I topped the crock up with water and set it on low with a 10 hour setting.  Before bed, I’ll reset it for another 10 hours and in the morning, maybe more.  After that, I’ll strain out the solids and after the brother has cooled put it in the fridge. Later in the week, I’ll make chicken noodle soup with it and the cup up chicken bits.

Now you know my recipe for home made chicken broth as well as my recipe for physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Meantime, I have to remember to make an appointment with my doctor about my knees to see what the chances are that I can do the road race. I took a week off training and the pain is less, but still bad. I really want to do the race, but I will arrange a surrogate if I have to.

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