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  #1  
Old 06-29-2003, 02:49 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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How do you keep a 7 yr. old girl with two broken arms occupied?

My boss's daughter broke both arms falling from monkey bars about three weeks ago. Friday it was decided that the bones had to be adjusted and the casts , er, recast. This basically puts her cast clock back to zero and she faces 8 more weeks in them.

The breaks are very serious (she needed some surgery before the first casts were put on), and both arms are immobilized from the palms to just below her shoulders. Her elbows are fixed at about a 45 degree angle, so she can't feed herself, she can't dress herself, etc. She CAN grip things, but with both elbows and wrists out of action, about all she can manage is being able to use a wireless remote. Great thing that may be, but can anybody come up with some more ideas?
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2003, 02:53 PM
UncleBill UncleBill is offline
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Firstly, YOWIE! So sorry for her!

GameBoy? I hate to encourage things like that, but she's out of commission for a lot of options.
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2003, 03:17 PM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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a telephone with a voice-dial and a headphone so she can speak to her friends?
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2003, 03:36 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Books? If she can't turn the pages, maybe books on tape from the library?
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2003, 03:47 PM
Flymaster Flymaster is offline
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Get her a wireless presentation mouse, the kind with the thumb joystick, for the computer, and some good, kid safe bookmarks, and let her loose on the net. It's better than nothing, that's for sure.
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2003, 03:48 PM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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You are aware that there are special stores that cater to the handicapped? Often they let you hire stuff instead of buying it.
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  #7  
Old 06-29-2003, 04:32 PM
StanDup StanDup is offline
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You can buy the Harry Potter books on tape, not sure if she doesn't like HP or if she doesn't lik it, though... What does she like to do?
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  #8  
Old 06-29-2003, 04:34 PM
StanDup StanDup is offline
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Correction: You can buy the Harry Potter books on tape, not sure if she doesn't like HP or if she already read it, though... What does she like to do?
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  #9  
Old 06-29-2003, 04:37 PM
Doomtrain Doomtrain is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Topaz
You can buy the Harry Potter books on tape, not sure if she doesn't like HP or if she doesn't lik it, though... What does she like to do?
Just be warned, an unabridged set will probably be pretty expensive. At my library, you can borrow audiobooks if you want.
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  #10  
Old 06-29-2003, 04:40 PM
ParentalAdvisory ParentalAdvisory is offline
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Peanut butter?
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  #11  
Old 06-29-2003, 07:08 PM
modro modro is offline
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Have her lay on a ramp with her head towards the bottom, then try to get up.

sorry, that was in poor taste

Wow, that is really a hard thing to come up with stuff to do. I'd prolly say some video games, movies, etc..

I can't even imagine how boring it must be having a single arm broken, let alone two.
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  #12  
Old 06-29-2003, 07:24 PM
Lobsang Lobsang is offline
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Is she getting bags of attention and having everyone respond to her every whim?

That helps. My niece recently broke her leg. Because of all the attention she got I am sure it will on the whole have been a positive experience in her life.
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  #13  
Old 06-29-2003, 08:17 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lobsang
Is she getting bags of attention and having everyone respond to her every whim?

That helps. My niece recently broke her leg. Because of all the attention she got I am sure it will on the whole have been a positive experience in her life.
Her 10 year old sister is pissed off because the 7 year old has "ruined summer for the whole family". Which I suppose in a way she has. The mom is a nurse and the father is a county cop, and they were both overextended on their time commitments even before this happened.
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  #14  
Old 06-29-2003, 08:49 PM
MaryEFoo MaryEFoo is offline
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Encourage her to get skillful with her toes (don't laugh, 7-year-olds are more physical than inclined to reading, TV, internet). She's probably flexible at that age: next thing you know, she's showing you how she can pick up things, scratch her ears, who knows what. This may not attract her if she is inhibited; your efforts might go to encouraging her to loosen up.

Have her visit friends and vice versa. Social life is good. 7-year-olds keep each other occupied.

Also join any possible classes.

She might be able to do some cooking, but will probably need adult attention for that. Maybe her 10-year-old sister can help here.

There are a lot of hours in a week. Arranging for a lot of trading visits with friends could take care of 4-8 hour chunks of time. The idea is, she visits the Jones kid for the evening tomorrow night, the Jones kid comes by for most of Saturday. Interleave other kids and classes as possible. Parental time would involve calling to set it up, and drop-off/pick-up of kid.

For quieter times, there may be some table-top craft she would be interested in: weaving, jigsaw puzzles, ...

Horse books.
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  #15  
Old 06-29-2003, 08:54 PM
MaryEFoo MaryEFoo is offline
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I should have said, she and the 10-year-old can visit a lot. The reciprocal visits by the friends are a pay-back to their parents, and a few hours with four kids is not twice as much trouble as the same with two kids.* (And the parents may be glad of the free time during the trades.)

*Usually
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  #16  
Old 06-29-2003, 09:11 PM
jacksen9 jacksen9 is offline
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How about spending some time on a Life-Cycle just to get a little exercise? Maybe some walking, out and about, or a treadmill.
Lots of movies, books, music.

This may be a good time to begin voice lessons.

Time with a family pet and if you don't have one, you could possibly arrange to be a foster - caretaker for a few weeks. Your local animal shelter may be able to direct you to a program that does this kind of thing.

This could be a good time to buy a telescope.

Sounds like a very tough "break" for anyone but especially for a person this age.

Sorry this happened.
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  #17  
Old 06-30-2003, 12:59 AM
Lissa Lissa is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ferret Herder
Books? If she can't turn the pages, maybe books on tape from the library?
I've seen people who have lost their arms use special rubber-tipped wands that are held by the mouth to turn the pages.
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  #18  
Old 06-30-2003, 01:11 AM
skaterboarder87 skaterboarder87 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by UncleBill
Firstly, YOWIE! So sorry for her!

GameBoy? I hate to encourage things like that, but she's out of commission for a lot of options.
What do you have against the GameBoy?
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  #19  
Old 06-30-2003, 01:20 AM
tram2 tram2 is offline
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Hide and seek.
Tap dancing lessons.
Ice cream.
Nature walks.
Nursing home visits.
Finger painting. (with toes of course)
Jump rope.
Cartoons tons and tons of cartoons.

Hope she gets to felling better soon.
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  #20  
Old 06-30-2003, 01:26 AM
thatDDperson thatDDperson is offline
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Paints and a mouth-held brush.

Start her off with tempra, as it's cheap. If she likes it and wants to do more, then try water paints.

She'll need an easel, but an old music stand would do.

And inexpensive paper is as close as the nearest newpaper printer. Better paper, if she really likes it and does well, will be a bit more.

And tapes, both video and audio.
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  #21  
Old 06-30-2003, 06:51 AM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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Thanks for the punch line, ParentalAdvisory. That's really all I came for.
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  #22  
Old 06-30-2003, 07:01 AM
Shirley Ujest Shirley Ujest is offline
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The poor kid.

This will be the summer that she will never forget.

How about sending her "secret pal" cards and notes and doing the same for the sister, who is feeling more than martyr-ish for what her sister did on purpose. (Yeah for sibling logic!)

I second the Painting. Only using her feet. She could have a contest with her sister on who can make a foot painting look like an animal/house/whatever. Could be loads of fun.

Teach the sisters how to play chess and cards. Boardgames can be loads of fun at this age.
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  #23  
Old 06-30-2003, 07:34 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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How the hell would someone do a Game Boy with the hands in casts?

Get her some CDs

Get her a gift certificate for Blockbuster

Get her a cheap tape recorder so she can keep an oral diary of her time in casts. It'll be interesting to her years down the road.

Take her to an art museum

Take her out to eat. I imagine she's used to being fed by now.

Organize a sleep-over for her and her friends.

Take her to get her hair cut or styled.

Poor kid...
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  #24  
Old 06-30-2003, 11:15 AM
mnemosyne mnemosyne is offline
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Wow. My SO just broke his right elbow, and although his left arm is ok now, for the first couple days it was sore from having been jarred badly in his bike accident. The amount of the limitations on him right now are staggering sometimes - I can't imagine if he had in fact broken the other one! It would certainly make going to work a lot harder/more stressful than it already is at the moment! Poor kid!

Is she able to use a mouse or a keyboard (at least the number/arrow pads?). There are plenty of video games that don't require too much input other than using the arrows or a couple of other keys. Maybe an advernture-style game, where you collect items and have to figure out a puzzle with them? These games don't usually have a time-component, and you don't get into fights where you have to make quick decisions. The only games I can think of off-hand are the Sam and Max games (though they're old, they might be hard to find) and Grim Fandango, though that one is recommended for 13+ due to "suggestive themes" and "animated violence" and "use of cigars/cigarettes and alcohol". I don't know if her parents would allow her to play that (though its really not that bad - more comedic violence than anything else, besides, all the characters are dead to begin with). Take a look at it with her parents, but also if you go to a good computer game store and ask for something similar for her age, they might be able to help you.

And maintaining flexibility in her fingers, even just by using a keyboard will be a good thing in the long run. I'm not sure how her arms are placed, but perhaps investing in an ergonomic keyboard (the kind thats split down the middle and on an angle) could be a good idea, as it might allow her to use more keys. I suppose the same comments go for console games, too.
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  #25  
Old 06-30-2003, 11:35 AM
Isabelle Isabelle is offline
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get her a cordless mouse and surf
books on tape are good
visits from friends
the library generally has story time during the day
games
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  #26  
Old 06-30-2003, 11:43 AM
Gorgon Heap Gorgon Heap is offline
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Quote:
Peanut butter?

YEEEEEE, ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!




Um, teach her to play the piano with her nose? Help her discover the art of complex tongue-folding?

A set of one foot high monkey bars?
__________________
The continuing stooOOory of a quack who's gone to the dogs.
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  #27  
Old 06-30-2003, 12:58 PM
X~Slayer(ALE) X~Slayer(ALE) is offline
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Get her a playstation and get a game called Dance Dance Fever and similar games. It has a pad that she has to stem on in paterns and in sequence to music. Lost of jumping around to get all that pent up energy going. Requires no hand input other than turning it on. The food pads also act as controllers.

Also take her to museums, plays, fairs and possibly roller coasters (?)

get her some legos and lots of dolls
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  #28  
Old 06-30-2003, 01:00 PM
X~Slayer(ALE) X~Slayer(ALE) is offline
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GAWD! I need medication!!

stem == step

food == foot

Mea Culpa.
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  #29  
Old 06-30-2003, 08:36 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Thanks all. I'm going to print this out and give it to my boss.
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  #30  
Old 06-30-2003, 09:40 PM
AbbySthrnAccent AbbySthrnAccent is offline
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My brother broke both arms compund fractures near the wristed that required surgery when he was 12. He fell in excess of 20 feet from a very tall tree.

His was during the school year though, so he had a teacher three hours a day and then he had to do "homework" on a cassette recorder and that managed to keep him busy part of the day.

At first he listened to a lot of books on tape and watched too much T.V. He learned to play chess calling the squares by the numbers, so that he could tell his opponent and they would move the pieces. Short visits from various friends who brought comic books or something from their homes helped break up the monotony and give him something to look forward to.

After about the first month he pretty much was back to doing everything he'd done before (not climbing trees though) just without the use of his arms. He played hide and seek, soccer ("If they called hands it wasn't me!") and leg wrestling.

One time my friends and I painted his fingernails and toenails while he slept.

By that time he could manipulate his arms at the shoulder so he could play games like Trouble and Risk, if everyone was patient while he moved pieces about or helped him with them if the angle was too awkward.

He still participated in scouting activites. He was the patient while they learned first aid and practiced first aid carries and such. The awkwardness of the casts make it a little more realistic.

We still took trips to the zoo, museum, sporting events and plays and concerts put on by school groups.

Sometimes when he'd say he was bored. We'd put it back on him and ask him what he felt like doing.

Other times we'd have goofy races. For example, carrying a spoon with an egg on it in their mouth, or partners one putting baggy clothing on the other that couldn't use their arms, or watermelon eating contests and bobbing for apples.

It's just not going to be a good summer for hanging out at the pool and on the beach. She can still watch fireworks displays, go to baseball games and kiddie cnncerts. Summer isn't ruined, thousands of kids have fun summers with greater problems than two broken arms.

Hope she heals quickly.
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  #31  
Old 07-01-2003, 12:05 AM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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I guess juggling is out...


















Sorry.
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  #32  
Old 07-01-2003, 12:15 AM
Muad'Dib Muad'Dib is offline
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Did anyone else think that the title was the opening to a bad joke?
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  #33  
Old 07-01-2003, 05:47 AM
Tarantula Tarantula is offline
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I wouldn't put her on a swing...
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