I figured it’s been a little while since I gave an update on Caleb’s progress. He is currently receiving physical therapy once a week through our county’s Infants & Toddlers program. Our wonderful therapist comes to our house and teaches Shane or I the stretches she wants Caleb to focus on for the week. We both stretch Caleb each morning and evening and his day care provider stretches him in the middle of the day as well. Our therapist has been really impressed with his progress. He’s stronger and more flexible. His hands are more relaxed so he’s able to grab and play with toys. He’s able to sit up on his own by propping himself up with his hands. I really can’t wait for the day he can sit and play without worrying about him tipping over!
We’re still doing a lot of work on the stability ball. Caleb loves it! He thinks it’s a big game. We work on getting him from his tummy to his back by rolling the ball from side to side. He really resists changing positions but he tolerates it more on the ball then he does while lying on the mat. It’s so funny to think that a few months ago, Caleb was able to roll from his tummy to his back just fine. Shane even posted a video on Facebook showing the boys rolling in sync. The therapist explained that as Caleb got bigger his spasticity was also increasing and his muscles were getting tighter. This explains why he’s regressed when it comes to rolling.
The therapist lent us a little table which I think is actually a TV tray that’s meant to go over your lap. It’s the perfect height for Caleb when he’s sitting or kneeling. We’re trying to teach him to sit upright so bringing his toys up a little will allow him to sit straighter.
We also purchased a small little step stool for him to sit on. This takes the pressure off his leg muscles which are stiff and make it hard for him to sit on the floor with his legs in front of him. Caleb’s natural reaction is to bend his knees to compensate for his lack of flexibility. Sitting on the stool with his feet on the floor also guides him to bear a small amount of weight on his feet. We’re really just starting this type of exercise.
We had Caleb sitting on the stool in front of our living room couch playing with a “busy box” (a very vintage toy I’d never seen). I couldn’t believe how straight he was sitting and he was so engaged in this new activity. He was focused and isolating each hand to play with different parts. He was so cute just sitting there like a little man.
And those superman shorts you see over his jammies are called Hip Helpers. They’re like spandex shorts except the two legs are stitched together so, when kneeling, Caleb is forced to keep his knees together. Without them his knees would be further apart to create a wider base for himself. Our goal is to get him to use his core muscles instead to keep himself upright and these shorts really help with that.
We got some not-so-great news this week. Nothing too serious but our beloved physical therapist is being reassigned to a different team which means she’ll no longer be on Caleb’s case. Bummer! We’ve really grown attached to her and she’s just so loving with Caleb. I can only hope her replacement will be just as good! Fingers crossed!
Once the new therapist starts in July, we’re also going to have Caleb start occupational therapy. It’s unclear to me, at this time, what that entails exactly but we’ll take any therapy we can get to help him. Currently, Caleb is pretty good at grabbing foods during meals, but hasn’t gotten the pincer grasp down quite yet. I’ve noticed a few times he’ll get frustrated if the food isn’t making its way into his mouth fast enough. It’s like his brain knows what it wants but his little hands don’t always cooperate.
Our next doctor’s appointment is with a developmental pediatrician at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at the end of July. I’m encouraged by the fact that KKI has an entire center dedicated to cerebral palsy so I’m hoping Caleb’s treatment plan will be laid out for the foreseeable future. So, as of today, that’s where we’re at with our little C-Monster.