Monday, February 23, 2009

The Treadmill

On Emma's birthday she got to try out a new little device (well, new to her).  We started out saying "let's see if she can handle 8 minutes" and after about 12 minutes we brought her off.  She did great!  Emma doesn't have a natural 'stepping' pattern and doesn't know to move her legs forward in a pattern in order to move.  She now can bear weight on her legs with the assistance of the knee braces and ankle braces, but the 'natural' stepping isn't there.  So this treadmill is moving very slowly beneath her feet and for 12 minutes her PT sat behind her and moved her feet in what would be a natural stepping motion, encouraging Emma to bear weight through each step.  By the end Emma was occasionally moving her foot forward on her own!  Yay!  We'll continue doing this with her at the beginning of each session for 8-10 minutes (or shorter if she doesn't tolerate it as well next time).

One of these days I'll get a picture of 'the cage' to share as well.  Another neat tool that gives Emma more mobility and the ability to do things that she couldn't otherwise due to resistance or just having to have too many different parts of her body stabilized at once making it difficult for one person to work with her.

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  1. Yea!!!!! Way to go Miss Emma. She looks great standing and walking.

    Sarah loves your blog design. She is trying to say mickey mouse!!!


  2. I wonder if horseback riding therapy might help Emma. She might be too small for it, or perhaps have too many other sensory or balance issues---BUT it can be amazing. We have a nephew who was in a near-drowning accident when he was 15, and he was in a coma for many weeks. For a full year, he was unable to swallow--couldn't even swallow his saliva and had to be fed through a feeding tube. But a man in their town took Jacob horseback riding every day for a week, and by the end of the week he could swallow and drink and soon thereafter eat. It is truly incredible. I can understand how riding horses helps people learn or relearn how to walk, because they feel the rhythm in the horse's body, but I have no idea how it helped Jacob relearn how to swallow. But anyway, it might help Emma get the rhythm of walking--she would just feel it in her body.

  3. Thanks for not showing everyone how incredibly messing that room is!