For months, Ellie was on waiting lists for physical therapy outside of Early Childhood Intervention (ECI). Last month she had her evaluation through Seton’s Children’s Therapy Gym. Many of you know how I feel about Seton, but seeing as they pretty much run Austin & she hit the top of their list first. . .well anyway. . . today we had our first physical therapy visit.
Ellie is doing so well! She is a little superstar on the gross motor skills. She has such determination and drive even if she thinks going into “downward facing dog” will lead to standing. (sorry, no picture b/c she goes “ker-ploop” onto her butt before the image is captured).
ECI had us doing "tunneling" exercises. I do not think this is what Jan had in mind. Ellie is carrying that blanket around the same way Sophie carries her bone.
A few years back Andrew got a blue medicine ball that is excellent for toning your abs. You know, the large ones that people can use to sit at their desks with? The problem is that it would not maintain enough air to stay firm for more than 30 seconds. I never in a millions years thought that I would be using this ginormous exercise ball with my infant daughter.
The medicine ball plays a huge roll in both proprioception (knowing where your body is in space) and in abdominal wall development. Ellie sits on-top of the ball and we move in large circles in slow motion seeing if she can keep her body upright. While lying on her tummy on-top of the ball, she is to reach up and behind her, thus stretching the obliques. Then we are to roll forward so that she can pick up a toy from the floor. Finally, we roll back so her feet are planted on the floor. Hum. . .perhaps I need to be doing these exercises for my post-baby abs.
Little Miss Standing. Ellie wants to stand all the time. She gets excited and claps. To clap, she must let go. Therefore, Ellie falls to her butt when she claps. She also sticks her bottom way out and she locks her knees. The therapist has us doing all of these supported stand movements to make her hips, glutes, and legs stronger. I am to help her cruise, squat (my thumbs are behind her knees and fingers on the front of the lower thigh, knee, and shin), shift weight onto each leg--side-to-side, and forward, stoop-&-pick-up toys, and stand on each leg. No tippy toes, no straight leg locking, or butt sticking out.
More proprioception training. I have some static hold exercises that I physically put Ellie through to help her become aware of her joints in space.
Might I mention that PT occurred during nap time. Yep. I didn’t really have a choice in the date or time--waiting list, remember? She did great for the 1st half our and then cried for the last half. She then slept for 2.5 hours! Sleepy Bear.