Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Physical Therapy: Session 1

Last Thursday was Brody's first real physical therapy session. (I mentioned before that he went once but it was just an evaluation.)  When he had physical therapy when he was about 2 years old, I felt it was pointless. The therapist didn't seem to know how to work with children, plus Brody was young and didn't seem to understand what to do. So I partly blame the fact that we left weeks of therapy with no progress on his age. So I was a little leery going into this first session. I didn't know if we would be heading down the same road as before. Let's just say I was highly impressed. Chelli did some fun games and exercises with him that I could totally tell were working him exactly as he needed to be worked. And for the most part, he seemed to really enjoy everything she asked him to do. She also was very good about explaining to me why she was doing each exercise and what muscles it was working. She did seem a little annoyed that I kept getting on to Brody when he would disobey what she asked him to do. We discussed this and I think we may be on the same page now. She wants him to learn to trust her and she also doesn't want him bored with an exercise and unwilling to cooperate fully. So she said that if he is disinterested, he's not going to get the full benefit. So if he walks away in the middle of it, she is ok with that and they will move on. (Matt and I on the other hand expect obedience. So it is going to be a struggle to just let him walk away after being told to complete a task such as balancing on the trampoline while catching a ball, etc just because he doesn't like it.) But its only been one session...we'll work through this part of it.

I brought my camera and captured a few of the games/exercises they were doing. I didn't get all of them so here's a quick run down of what I can remember.
-Climbing up and down stairs, alternating which legs he used to take the next step. Also worked on taking the stairs only using one foot on each stair. Currently, he steps up and puts both feet on one step before taking the next stair.
-Jumping on the trampoline, which he loved. And then standing still on the trampoline while trying to catch a ball. This works on balance and strengthens his mid-section.
-Tying his legs together with an elastic band and trying to walk around. Also, try to pull legs apart as well as up and down. (See photos)
-Holding on to the parallel bars while standing on a piece of foam with a rounded bottom. It was quite funny watching him try to keep his balance as the foam rolled back and forth.
-He is old enough to use one of the machines, which he was thrilled about. He laid flat on his back at what look like a leg press. When he pushed off, the part he was laying on slid up. The harder he pushed, the higher up he would go. He couldn't go very far, but it was fun for him for sure!
-Standing on a round disk with a ball on the bottom. She held it stable and then moved it back and forth as he played with some toys. He had to adjust his legs to keep from falling. (see photo since my description is not very clear.)
-And lastly, a ball pit. What little 4 year old doesn't love a ball pit! He was told to kick as many balls out as he could while sitting on his bottom. He went to town with this of course!

I'm so excited to watch him grow and get stronger through this therapy program. I think it is going to be very beneficial for him. We'll get to work with him and do some of the exercises at home as well, in order to keep his legs loose and help him stay strong. I'll try to document the sessions every few weeks so you can see new things he's doing and how he's strengthening. Thanks for joining us in this!

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