My Sweet Little Slowpoke

3 Apr

Little sister has been working hard at PT since October. First twice a week, then three times a week, and back to twice a week.

She’s gotten so used to going to PT that it enters her imaginary play. She’ll pick up her purse, throw it on her shoulder and tell us “Bye! I’m going to PT!”

Patiently waiting for her therapist in the waiting room.

Patiently waiting for her therapist in the waiting room yesterday.

In an effort to extend our insurance-covered visits, we recently went down to once a week. In between, we work on her exercises at home. Some days I’m better at them than others. Some days, we’re just in a hurry and I throw her on my hip instead of letting her walk down the steps, on the sidewalk and climb into the car by herself. She’s my sweet little slowpoke, but she’s also three, and wants to do everything her own way. I’m thrilled by her tenacity and confidence, but we’d always be 15 minutes late if we did things at her pace.

Bless her heart.

I’ve been asking for more of a progress report, so we did an assessment yesterday. You all know how I feel about assessments.

Abby had me in stitches. The tests are very specific, so she was being so silly. Things like walking on a straight line, walking backwards, jumping, climbing the stairs with then without holding onto anything. When it got to harder stuff, she would just kind of fall out in a giggle fit, which didn’t help that I’d start giggling, too. Abby is so good-natured; instead of getting upset she can’t do things, she just gets silly and giggles more. Her therapist did a great job trying to keep her attention. About 20 minutes in, Abby reminded us that she is, in fact, still three and that hadn’t changed just for this assessment.

Bless her therapist’s heart, too.

We did get a pretty accurate snapshot of where she stands, and I’m really proud of Abby’s progress.

  • At the start of PT in October, her stationary balance was at an 18-months-old level. It’s at 33 months old!
  • Her locomotion needs some more, ahem, practice. She was at 16 months old in October and now she’s at 22 months. It’s progress.
  • She is a different kid, now. Confidence is up and she’s able to stand on one foot, walk backwards, walk up stairs holding on to a rail, come down stairs with assistance and uses both feet to kick, pedal, etc.
  • Her core strength has made amazing progress. She doesn’t quiver anymore reaching for things and her flexibility is much better.

After PT, we went to story time at Barnes & Noble. It’s usually her reward for a good session. Coming out of the bookstore after the reading, she fell twice in the parking lot. This tends to happen more when she’s tired or not paying attention. She worked her mouth more at PT than her legs, so she wasn’t tired! She wasn’t paying attention because she didn’t want to hold my hand walking through the parking lot.

She’s three, remember?

After her second fall, I scolded her: “Abby, you have to pay attention.” I can’t feel sorry for her; what help does that do? She’s more prone to falling, but she’s got to learn that she’ll fall less when she’s more aware of her surroundings. She’s not a fan of tough love, but she needs it sometimes.

A lady walking behind me stuck her nose in and said: “You know, she’s really walking on her toes.”

Thanks, Captain Obvious. “Yes, that’s because she has Cerebral Palsy,” I told her, still walking.

After an awkward pause, the woman said: “Oh…well…she’s just so beautiful!!”

CP and beauty aren’t mutually exclusive, can you believe it?!

I don’t really know why I told some stranger that. I think it’s because it irritates me when people point out something negative about my kids, like it’ll enlighten me. Mostly, I do that when I want people to be quiet and mind their own business. It’s a conversation-ender. If you’re going to get all up in our business, I’m not going to make you feel comfortable staying there.

Bless my own heart. Guess I’m a work in progress, too.

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