It’s been a while since I wrote about where Caleb stands with his current therapy routine and his progress so here it goes:
Caleb is doing fantastic. He has great stamina and is very strong. His upper-body is actually especially strong since he uses it to compensate for his legs, which are affected by his cerebral palsy. He’s a very hard worker, but does experience his share of frustration from time to time. I honestly feel like some of the frustration might stem from having a twin brother who can do some things that Caleb can’t quite yet but he always finds a way. Caleb is also very sneaky and sometimes likes to find shortcuts during therapy because he’s a super-smart kid. When the therapist is trying to get him to twist his trunk and reach for a toy, he’ll just look at her and grab the closest toy and start playing with it instead. Silly guy. He has become really, really fast with his walker. With quickness comes decreased proper walking form, but you can tell he loves the feeling of going fast so how exactly are we supposed to take that away from him? When he wants to walk slowly, he’s gotten so much better at lifting his leg high enough so his foot clears the ground (no toe dragging) and he’s even able to heel-strike properly when he really puts his mind to it. Here’s a video of Caleb and Wyatt playing outside in early December.
Over the fall, Shane would take Caleb up to Baltimore 2x/week for a 6-week boost therapy treatment. The increased frequency definitely helped Caleb’s stamina and form. Not only that, but he starting using the Lite Gait apparatus to suspend him over a treadmill to get familiar with taking a lot of steps. The more steps he would take, the more his muscles would loosen up and his stride would get bigger, with less muscle tone interference. Of course, this treadmill work was really tiring so it wasn’t uncommon for Caleb to fall asleep before they even left Baltimore!
We’re back to our old schedule of physical therapy in Baltimore every other week and a therapist from the Infants & Toddlers program in our home 1x/week. We’ve also starting seeing a new physical therapist locally every other week on the weeks that we don’t go up to Baltimore, so Caleb averages 2 PT sessions per week and 2 occupational therapy sessions per month. The new therapist Rockville puts Caleb in downhill ski boots which gives him the proper support he needs to get his ankles, knees, hips and spine into alignment. With the boots on, he’s able to stand up independently from a seated position and stand in place all by himself! It’s quite the feat and his best time was 28 seconds of standing completely unaided. He will occasionally lean forward or backward, but the stability of the boots forces him to use his core to correct his posture, so he’s the one figuring out what it takes to stand up straight and how to correct it.
Caleb is still practicing on the treadmill with the new therapist too. Here’s a video of him walking, holding onto a bar for support at 0.5 mph on the treadmill. We worked on this at the very end of the session when I thought he would be tired but his muscles were actually very limber from all the exercises and stretches he had been doing.Pretty amazing that he doesn’t need any help aside from the bar!
We’ve been really impressed with all the therapists that are involved in Caleb’s care and have enjoyed watching Caleb gain greater independence in his every day activities!