Saturday, August 7, 2010

August 6th: Physical Therapy for Annelies

It had been a while so it was time for me to freak out once again about one of my kids' development. This time it concerned Annelies, and the fact that her friends seemed to be able to climb up stairs where Annelies had not yet done so. In her last IFSP we finally were able to add PT (as well as speech) so I was happy for this. Now Annelies gets ST, PT, OT and general Early Infant Education as well as a weekly play-group. She has a packed schedule. Our first visit with the PT was...uh...interesting. The PT concluded that Annelies is very stubborn, and has a very strong will (tell me something I didn't know, lady). Although this is a wonderful thing that will serve her later in life (with some serious guidance), it makes her less 'mallable' than other kiddo's, sometimes making sessions with therapists more challenging.
I shared my concern that Annelies can not crawl up the stairs, nor does she seem to have any interest in it. I also shared that this concerned me because her friends seem to be able to climb up stairs verrrry well. One time I found Annelies on the 4th step and kind of freaked out. Maybe THAT was the reason that she doesn't do it, since I really never freak out around the kids that much (my freak-outs only happen inside my head...).
She asked me if anyone had addressed "motor-plannimg" with me. HMM, that was a new term for me (so the answer was 'no'), and another thing to freak out about. (I think one of the reasons I have my 2 kids is to teach me a lesson about not worrying so much- so far it has not really done the trick though). Anyway, since motor planning was not brought up to me, and I thought that the fact that Annelies may have trouble with it made me worry that maybe she was more behind than others, and that she may be less capable than others physically and cognitively. But as I was speaking more with the PT, I kind of started thinking that Motor Planning is a challenge for many kids with Ds. Maybe it just means they need to be SHOWN what to do, what the logical progression of movement is for, say, standing up (one hand on table, second hand on table, on one knee, on other knee, on one foot, on other foot first and eventually one hand on floor, then foot, foot). Same for crawling up the stairs. So we showed Annelies how to climb up the stairs. She resisted when we insisted on her getting onto her right knee (she wanted to just use her right foot and not her knee at all, but the PT said she had to get on her knee first). But she got on the first flight of stairs and then went towards the second, so she climbed the whole way!
Next morning, Aaron was alone with Annelies. He was in the kitchen, and heard thump thump in the upstaris halleway and realized Annelies crawled up the stairs in record time all by herself, without anyone asking her too. Now, she can't get enough of climbing the stairs, like a new world opened up to her! Little superstar... :)