Sitting Still

May 26, 2022

It may sound ordinary for other people but for special needs parents like me, sitting still is one characteristic that we highly desire for our kids.

Sitting still. Waiting time. These words sound so ordinary, even trivial, and may not mean much to other people. However, for parents of children with Global Developmental Delay (GDD), sitting still is a skill they highly covet for their little ones. In the end, it all boils down to improving the focus and concentration of their children.

Cut out of a school bag from a cardboard with stickers of materials used in school activities
Miguel's activity during his first day in playschool

Sitting Still

Mommy Khris and I have also been there. Miguel is generally a quiet boy. He’d just play with his toys and run around the yard during playtime. He’s not demanding and he has very few quirks. He’s not even had a major meltdown.

However, when we began to implement an occupational therapy home program for him, that’s when the challenges became apparent. He didn’t want any of his activities so he would exert all effort to escape. He’d just be running around and chasing him then convince him to sit still but he'd always find a way to dash out of his chair.

It was really tiring and added to that the frustration that we felt with our seeming failure to implement a successful home activity. That’s not to mention the time and effort that we put in when preparing the materials that we will use for the activities. We were just using and improvising Miguel’s toys as our materials for his home activities but then again, we’d have to think of ways to use them in helping us achieve the goals that we set for our son.

After that home program, we were able to enroll Miguel in a face-to-face program. From then on, his concentration began to improve slowly but surely. Even when we had to briefly stop for a few months, we can observe that his focus is beginning to become better and we attribute that to continuous interventions at home, even if these are just small activities.

Lately, we are able to do more tabletop activities because of Miguel’s ability to sit still longer. And as we do more activities, his progress in the areas that we are targeting (response to his name when called, hand and eye coordination, and pre-writing skills) are also steadily moving forward.

If you also have a child with GDD, here are some of the simple activities that you can do at home:

  • Form board
  • Lacing
  • Color matching
  • Letter matching
  • Dropping of coins in the piggy bank
  • Coloring and painting
  • Loop toy
  • Playing with sand, pebbles, and sticks outside (such as in the garden)

As you can see, the activities that you can do are endless. I think what hinders other parents from implementing home activities is that they also lose their patience when their child is not cooperating. It’s perfectly fine to stop, rest, and not force things. 

However, I do encourage you to just carry on even if your child is seemingly unresponsive and not listening to you. Don’t worry because they’re just taking their time. Even so, just be consistent with your activities. You’d be surprised because one day you’ll suddenly realize that your child is already able to sit still, wait, and concentrate.

Recently, we got feedback from one of Miguel’s teachers who told me that he was very good because he just sat still and waited for his turn to do his activities. He’d only get up from his seat upon his teacher’s cue. Naturally, we were very happy to hear that. Our efforts paid off. We had a lot of frustrations but the effort was well worth it.

If you have any suggestions to add, feel free to do so in the comment section below. If you are interested to contribute an article related to special needs parenting, you are welcome to do so. Just get in touch with me.

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