Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Learn to walk in less than an hour

What a good day. Sheri, our physical therapist came for an appointment to check in on Adam. This is the first time we have touched base for about 2 1/2 months due to sorting out some billing paperwork. Of course he has made progress since we saw her last, Sara especially has made HUGE strides. We shared how Adam first took walking steps the first weekend in June. While he is fully capable, he just takes the easy way out and walks on his knees. She asked if we thought he was still making gradual progress or if he was kind of stuck. Both Shannon and I agreed that he has plateaued.

After Adam got done flirting with her (he's such a ham!) she just watched him play. Then she started enticing him. He was standing at the little music table and once she distracted him, she would scoot the table out in front of him so he had to take a few steps to get to it. Over and over again until they were all the way across the room. And then he found her retractable name badge - what a fun toy! We used that to encourage him to walk to wherever she had laid it down. Her biggest suggestion was to not help him walk by putting your hands under his arms. Instead, she has found great success with toddlers when you put your hand under their butt and encourage them to stay upright rather than collapse back to crawling. Before she left, Adam was walking on his knees. I encouraged him by saying "up, up, up" and, while still moving, he stepped up on one leg and then the other, and walked the rest of the room to me. Even tonight he was initiating walking on his own more. Really, really exciting!

I think a few days of encouraging him and celebrating his successes and he will be walking easily. He has the advantage that he already has great balance.

Sheri rated his gross motor development at 14 months. She feels like that is a really good place to be. If you do the math with me, Adam is just shy of 16 months old. They will correct his age for his prematurity with developmental assessments until he is 2 so she considers him to be almost 13 months old. That puts him on target or just a little ahead. She likes to see those premature kids start to push ahead of their assessment around this time so by the time they are 2 and the correction is taken away, they are caught up.

There you have it. One physical therapy session. 45 minutes. And your toddler could be walking, too!

Sheri rocks!


Jenny said...

So glad that Adam made that much progress in such a short time. Wouldn't it be nice to have someone there giving you their expert advice all the time!

JoLynn said...

That certainly is one of the advantages of having a preemie that needs follow up - you get to check in with the experts from time to time and get really great advice. I wish each of the people who have been instrumental knew how much we value them!