Friday, September 10, 2010

equipment purchase process is in the works

After "thinking" about it for many weeks, we're finally getting the ball rolling on Rhys's orthotics and equipment. The PT has been waiting for Rhys to start breaking out of his tone pattern (i.e. move his legs independently and with purpose) before she moved forward with the process of requesting and ordering everything. She thinks he'll only need ankle supports, called AFOs I believe, for walking. This would be to help Rhys's feet stay in the proper position and help him use his muscles in the proper way instead of using the muscles in the tone pattern. Long term she doesn't believe he will need the braces, but that is something only time will tell us. CP isn't progressive, however the effects of not being able to move do ultimately affect the body and cause it to change. Rhys's case seems to be moderate, and he's making great progress, so we're hoping all this hard work pays off for him.

We've decided to get him a gait trainer instead of a stander. Since Rhys does very well bouncing in his jumperoo the PT feels this will be more beneficial for him than a stander because he'll get the benefit of mobility and the weight bearing. His gait trainer will look something like this.

The straps, handles, etc. that you see are removable and Rhys will not require all the attachments. The idea is to get everything Rhys might require and remove it as needed. I'm super excited to get this for Rhys. It is going to take a bit of learning for him (initially I think he will be more interested in the straps than the ability to walk), but I think he's going to love it once he figures it out. He doesn't get in the baby walker often because it isn't designed for toddlers, but when he does his face lights up when he starts moving around. The PT doesn't think he will need this long term, but again we don't know that for certain.

Rhys started his level 2 swim classes this week. Not much different than level 1 classes, just more under water work for the kids. He is getting good at grabbing onto the side of the pool (they teach and encourage "monkey crawling" for safety), but he doesn't yet understand the concept of moving around the edge. He tried to steal a little girl's toy while we were sitting on the step waiting our turn and I had the most inappropriate response of "way to go, Rhys!". He's never tried to take a toy from anyone other than Zoe and she doesn't really count because she can't take it back! He's becoming much more aware of his legs, literally, and grabs onto his pants/shorts a lot. He is also using his upper body to hang on to things and hold himself up. And the boy has mastered the art of rolling and can get pretty much get anywhere in the living room that interests him.

1 comment:

Mary Anne Whiteley said...

Sounds like your little man is really moving right along, even if at his own page. A great children's book series I would recommend has the first book called "Ruby in her own time" and there are some other Ruby books. Our local library has them, plus I've got a couple at home as well. You could even change the name to Rhys instead of Ruby. :)