Friday, January 2, 2009

More PT stuff

When Goldie was born her muscle tone was VERY low. It was the first thing I noticed when I touched her and I kept asking everyone about for the next 15 hours. (They all played dumb)

She started with OT at 5 weeks and then we added PT at 6 months. Her OT worked on holding her head up and sitting.

The PT and her pediatrician gently tried to prepare for the possibility that Goldie may not walk until she was 3 because of her low tone and she would not bear any weight on her legs at all. I would see moms with their babies standing on their laps and be a little green that Goldie couldn't do that. One of things that I think really helped Goldie was infant massage. I gave her a massage every single night until she turned one. Now we try to do it every other day or so. When she was 10 months old she woke up one day and she could put weight on her legs. It was the strangest thing because it wasn't gradual. Something just seemed to click for her.

That is also the month she became mobile. It wasn't a crawl or a scoot. She would sit, lean forward on her arms, and pivot her butt to the side. Hank nicknamed her Chim Chim because he said she looked like a monkey.

Then around 13 or 14 months she started crawling. But, she crawls without putting her right knee down. She uses her foot. This drives the PT batty. If Goldie is sleeping on her stomach she will even keep her right knee in the air. She also started pulling up on furniture around this time.

During the time from 8 months on, we used to "walk" her around. I would support her weight and encourage her to make stepping motions across the room. It is supposed to help with muscle memory and is the idea behind treadmill therapy.

Well, when she started cruising at 16 months she also started trying to step sideways. At 19 months Goldie took her first steps. We helped break the pattern of side stepping by supporting her as she walks up the steps. You have to move your legs forward to go up and she thinks its great. I'm usually pulling her off the steps. Another thing this has helped with is strengthening her left leg. When she began walking she would always lead with her right leg and the left would catch up, but never pass the right. I don't notice her doing this as much.

Now, at 21 months she is able to stand up on her own and stay standing. Her PT said some kids are so motivated to walk that they don't bother learning to stand until later. She is also stooping down to pick up toys while keeping her balance.

I do worry about her left leg being weaker than her right. I notice it in her left arm and in her left field of vision, too. (Vision is a post for another day) I wonder if this will go away or if her right side will always be dominant.


JaybirdNWA said...

It is good to hear the progression of your child. It sounds like you guys have really helped her. I also enjoyed hearing that baby massage unlocked the door for her. As is the case with us, baby massage seemed to unlock John and allow him to come alive. For her left leg weakness, may I suggest having her to lead off with her left leg when walking up and down the stairs. She is a pretty girl.

Lovin Mama said...

Thanks :) I don't know who like baby massage more, me or her. Her PT doesn't seem to think there is a lot of value in it now that she is older. I'll continue having her lead w/ her left leg on the stairs. I just wonder how much I should worry about the general weakness on her left side? I guess it is what it is and we just have to keep working to help her get stronger.