Monday, December 6, 2010
We actually seen several doctors and therapists last Wednesday. We attend a CP clinic about once every 6 months. At this clinic, they bring in a Neurologist, PT, OT, Orthopedic Doctor, Social Worker, Nurse, Nutritionist, Dental Hygienist, Orthotist, and someone who can make adjustments to equipment like wheelchairs.
In my last post, I mentioned Carver's appointment with the Neurologist. Kinnick doesn't really need to see the Neurologist. She seems to be doing just fine - other then delays related to her lack of breath support, lack of vision, and hypotonia. However, even with her hypotonia, she's doing quite well. She's just very weak. The PT suggested some exercises to help strengthen Kinnick's legs - mostly squat type exercises and walking up/down stairs. She also mentioned getting Kinnick a balancing board. So, we added that to the Christmas list.
The PT made some suggestions for stretching Carver. I asked if she thought that Carver was "as far as he's going to go physically". The reason that I asked is because we put him in a sitting position every day and work so hard to teach him to sit independently, but he just can't do it. She told me that she believed he could and would do it. She believes that Carver has "Learned Helplessness". What's that? Well, we treat Carver like he is 3-6 months old. We always watch his head, and we never let him tip over or fall. We guard him at all times when working with him. She suggested letting him suffer some consequences for his actions. Sounds terrible, but I think she has a point. She didn't suggest letting him really hurt himself. Instead, she said to practice putting him in a sitting position while on a soft mat. Or, when there are soft pillows around him. Then, instead of guarding him and catching him every time he leans to one side or tips over, let him fall. This will teach him that there are consequences for his actions and he shouldn't do that. By always catching him and guarding him, we have taught him that he doesn't have to do anything, we'll always be there and help him, and he has no idea that there are really consequences for his actions. We're going to give it a try and see how it works.
We got Carver's wheelchair adjusted just in case he is ready to go to school in March. We didn't bother getting Kinnick's adjusted because she's doing so good with her walking and for distances, the school can put her in a wagon.
Tomorrow, we see the Pulmonologist and Carver gets to try out the new Auditory Conditioning System.