Thursday, December 10, 2009

PT update

Today was Rhys's second session with the ECI therapist. I have to admit that I am pleased with her even though she's only seen Rhys twice. I think it is mostly to do with the fact that she is taking a different approach (at least right now) to the therapy. A fresh set of eyes as it were. Where the private PT was working more on sitting and pushing up, this PT is working more on Rhys legs, feet and back.

First, we're working on getting Rhys to bear weight (on command) on his feet. Rhys basically stands when he wants to stand. If you put his feet on the ground he will not always straighten his legs to hold himself up. The PT told us that Rhys has a lot of sensitivity on the soles of his feet and there are times when his feet touch the ground he wants to lift them back up instead of bear weight on them. This isn't always the case (because he will weight shift in his jumperoo all day long if you let him), but we still need to correct it. She suggested that when we hold him we should either rub his feet with our hands or rub his bare feet up against different textures.

Another issue has to do with Rhys's legs. Rhys has low tone, which is one of the reasons he doesn't have the "endurance" to remain in certain positions. We've seen huge improvements as the months have gone by but we still need to train his muscles to do what we want them to. The idea is to force the low tone muscles to act properly, in alignment, so that the remainder of the body can act in its correct position and send feedback to the brain. Right now we are working on two positions with Rhys. First, by making Rhys stand, with feet firmly planted on the ground, and not allowing his knees to buckle. He doesn't appreciate this position, however he is more tolerant of it when his activity table is in front of him. The other way is to straddle his legs over your thigh and have him put weight on his feet. He seems to cooperate more with this position. The way I understood it when it was explained to me (and I could be somewhat off) is that low tone muscles will sort of find their own way, even if it isn't the correct way. If we can get them to act properly the rest of the body can then be properly engaged and hopefully we will see some progress with the motor skills.

Rhys has not been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but as a micro parent you always know that is a possibility for your child. While he is demonstrating some signs of possible CP it is still too early to say that he definitely will or will not outgrow it. We have seen Rhys make great strides in the last months so we are hopeful that with time and a lot of continued hard work he will gain all the muscle control necessary to move independently and unassisted. But at this point only time will tell. The new PT seems positive though and has promised to look into new toys or equipment that might help get him started.

1 comment:

Jodi said...

We had the hardest time getting Olivia to bear weight on her arms. She wanted nothing to do with being in the crawling position or pushing herself up. She also wouldn't grasp anything with her hands. I don't know what eventually helped, but she finally started to and still doesn't have the strongest upper body. She, however, shows no sign of CP. Thinking of you. Good luck!