Saturday, January 10, 2009

Shoulders and Current Therapy

John continues to do well. He has had a slight bit of upset stomach this week for a couple of days which made him a little cranky but other than that he has been pretty healthy.

His therapies include laying on his back and working on reaching over his head to play with hanging toys. He tends to have a bit of trouble with this. It's not that he can't move his shoulders but the weakness of the muscle prohibits him from holding his hand up for prolonged periods of time. So I use hanging toys and my hands to work with him in this area. I have noticed him making progress in playing overhead but only for a brief 2 or 3 seconds. So we start there and we are building upon what we have.

We then flip over on his stomach. But we do it by rotating his hips which allows him to rotate his trunk so that he is on his stomach. When he gets on his stomach, I allow him to get his elbows under him and raise himself up. Over the past 2 weeks, he has started coming up on hands. This is pretty much what I have been focused on for the past month because his shoulder girdle was and still remains weaker than what it should be for crawling, for reaching out with one hand while on his stomach, for transitioning from side lying to sitting, and for good posture. So we will continue to work on his shoulders. My goal for him at this stage is to be able to reach out with one hand while putting his weight on one shoulder.

After we work with him on his stomach which he has grown to tolerate (the poor boy has had no choice with a Therapist as a Dad) this position for quite a while. We move to a sitting position where we are working on his sitting skills. I sit behind him and place my hands in his hands and let him feel what his body is doing. I can tell that he is working to keep his balance. He still wobbles quite a bit but I let him wobble as much as I can without letting him fall. I believe this will help those abdominals and back muscles to kick in and help him stay upright.

John loves to stand up so I give him a chance to stand. While it is not a short-term goal of mine for him to walk, I started standing him on his feet while on my lap just to give him some weight-bearing through his hips (I placed my hands around his chest while doing this). Well, now he wants to do this all the time so he is now to the point where he can stand on the floor with my hand placement at his hips. He loves this and would rather do this than to sit. But being the Therapist that I am, I do not like to nor do I recommend skipping steps with a child whose muscles do not respond normally (flaccid, spastic, muscle tone problems, etc.)

So as I speak of where John is in his therapy, there is a progression that we have followed and it started with the baby massage we did his first day of life (which we still do BTW).

This is where we are in life. It has been a blessing for me to have my other children in school because I spend all my day with John. It is difficult for me some days and I get to missing my old life of going to work, etc. But when I stop to think about what would happen to John if I went back to work, I wouldn't have it any other way. And when my wife comes home talking about all of the RSV and other illnesses she sees in clinic, she is very glad that we have this opportunity to keep him home.


Beverly said...

It is so wonderful how well John is doing! It is also wonderful that you are able to stay home with him! You will have so many great memories deep in your heart!

Ruby's Mom said...

Thanks for sharing with us what you are doing with John.It is helpful to me since my Ruby is about the same age as John.
I think you are a great Dad for staying home with your son!

Lovin Mama said...

John is so furtunate to be home with you. And what strong legs he must have!

Jeanette said...

Sounds like John is doing well. You should feel blessed that he "likes" to stand. My Syd is not a fan... never has been. We are working on cruising right now and it is all about proper motivation for her. Standing just to stand is not in the cards for her.

Jill said...

John is loving life, no doubt about it. So much positive attention, so much affection and encouragement...there is nothing better you could give him! Your "old life" isn't going will still be there when you decide to return. The memories you make today and tomorrow with John will last your lifetime. I'm jealous of my husband's time home with Nate! Your wife is too, I'm sure! Thanks for sharing your pt ideas!

boo4baby said...

Love this picture of him! He's really growing, Jay! Love you!

Andy and Ellen Stumbo said...

So as I rad I was thinking, "Oh, you should try..." That is as far as I got because, you area therapist! You already know what to do! Man, I sure wish I knew the stuff you know.
I am grateful we got hip helpers for Nichole when we did to correct her sitting on her own, and, it helped her to crawl!