Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Look at Physical Therapy

We've gotten several questions since I posted about W's new shoes last week. So, I thought I'd share a little about the PT and OT he has each week. As I mentioned, W has mild cerebral palsy. It affects the right side of his body. He also had some muscle tone issues. He has been in PT for about 3 years now.

Come along and follow those cool new non-orthotic tennis shoes through a typical one hour physical therapy appointment.
Here he is on the Jacob's Ladder. It's his new favorite piece of equipment. His former favorite was the eliptical machine. And yes, even with CP he has more coordination than his mama!
Part of his love for Jacob's Ladder is its newness. Mrs. Pam, the head therapist, has just recently moved to a new building. This is now the 4th office we've followed her to. (She has stayed with the same doctor, but her number of patients keeps outgrowing her space.) With each new office, comes a greater variety of equipment. This is the first office that has had a Jacob's Ladder.
The wooden dowels move downward as you climb and climb and climb.
To me, it looks like torture. Yet, my littlest joy loves it!
And it doesn't look like the newness is going to wear off any time soon!
Here he's doing the 'side-shuffle' against the resistance from the band at his waist.
The further he goes, the more resistance he must fight. As he gets stronger, he can reach the cones with ease.
Now he works the other side of his body by changing the dirction he's facing.This is one of the activities I can actually do!!! It's called 'collapsing during quick break'. Note the way his arms and legs stretch out and go limp...he got that from me! And the cute dimpled smile, he got that from Superman!Now on to 'the dots'. It's pretty much like hop-scotch. He jumps and lands with his feet apart on the two dot sections, and lands with his feet together on the one dot section.I'm sure there's a technical name for this exercise, but I don't know it. This time the resistance bands are velcroed on his ankles. He pulls his legs in against the resistance while making sure to keep his back straight.Ah, crunches! Haven't we all tried to do these before? I really, really want one of the contraptions holding the therapy ball! Crunches kill your lower back when you do them on the floor, but using a therapy ball requires some coordination. The cool ball-holding-gadget would solve my problems (and take away my excuse for not doing crunches!)Look at my littlest joy go!Dear Lord, do you see that he's even smiling while doing his crunches?!?!

By the way, the therapist working with W isn't Mrs. Pam. It's one of the new therapist in her office. I'll try to snap a photo of my littlest joy with Mrs. Pam and post it later.
This cool piece of equipment wasn't used by W during today's therapy session, but I had to share it with you. The kids bounce the colored balls onto the black square. The square is very similar to a trampoline. It bounces the ball back to the child, and the child must try to catch it. It works hand-eye coordination.
Sounds easy, huh? But for an added twist, the child is usually standing on the dark gray oval at the bottom of the picture. Still easy, huh? Not hardly! The dark oval is used to help develop balance. It's basically a mini-teeter-totter!

Wanna try balancing on a mini-teeter-totter while bouncing a ball off a mini-trampoline and catching the ball and throwing it again--- 10 times in a row?

Yeah, I'm afraid I couldn't do it either! At least, I don't think I could do it without getting hurt! In fact, I'm breaking out into a sweat just thinking about the balancing part.

Have I told you before that my children definitely did not get their coordination from their mama?

Whew! I'm exhausted from just thinking about all the physical exertion I've just exposed you to!

Once I recover from this physical therapy post, I may try and take my camera to one of his occupational therapy appointments.

Because you know, I'm dedicated to my 8 loyal readers, and I'll suffer through the exhaustion in the name of education, people!


Sara Mincy said...

Great post! That looks like such a nice place, and equipment! And he looks like he is having a blast!

Amy said...

So- we have the news! It's a Boy!!! Yeay!!!!! We are both so excited to finally know and to have a boy. :0) Hi first name will definitly be Calvin, but we are still praying about the second name. Thanks for checking the blog. I hope to have sonogram pics up soon, but our scanner is not working right now for some reason.

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