Kaylee is a five-year-old girl with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. She is not able to walk or move herself around, but she can use her legs to propel an adapted trike. She loves this and can enjoy a half-mile ride with her mom pushing to help out as needed. No insurance source will pay for the trike and it costs too much to buy out-of-pocket. What are the options?
There are many organizations that make needs and wishes like this one come true. If you are based in Northern California, these are some of the best known ones serving kids with disabilities. If you know of other resources, please make suggestions.
Continue reading “Eight Funding Resources”
“My daughter has low tone. What can I do to get her core muscles working? When she is trying to pull open a heavy door, she can’t get any stability and she just gives up and asks us to do it for her”
Are you wanting to work on core stability with a young child? Strengthening is possible, but the way you go about it is quite different from adults. Instead of counting repetitions, I find it is best to strengthen within the context of play.
I am imagining that we are stranded on a tropical island! We have just caught the biggest fish in the sea and we are pulling it to shore! I have a long rope with just the right amount of weight tied to the other end. That doesn’t have you? OK, I am in the water and you are pulling me back to shore! The story is yours to create: castles, sleeping dragons, stubborn donkeys. Allow yourself to have fun with the stories. Once children come up with a story and get hooked into the imaginative play, they don’t realize they are working themselves into a sweat! Continue reading “Core Stability: Pulling”
Have you ever wanted to try out a whole selection of adapted trikes? Try a new swimming experience? Enroll in a summer camp?
Participation is defined as anything that involves friends, family, future, fitness, fun, or function. There are many local activities that promote play, new friends, and new interests for children and young adults with disabilities. However, these opportunities are not always easy to find. Most suggestions on this list are based in Sonoma County, California. Some are further away, but could be a fun destination or a special side trip if you are in the mood for adventure! Additional suggestions are welcome.
Continue reading “Recreation for Children With Disabilities in Sonoma County”
“Is my baby standing OK? It seems like he is up on his toes, and toe walking runs in my family”.
The answer to this question, of course, depends on how old the baby is and how long he or she has been on their feet. I teach in an infant mobility class every week and have the amazing opportunity to watch children pull to stand at the big drum in the middle of the room. How they love to pound on that drum! I love their joy and their success. However, as the class physical therapist, I’m also looking closely at how they are standing. Are they up on their tip toes and leaning into the drum, or are they standing with their hips a little behind their firmly planted feet? Continue reading “Nice Weight Through Your Heels, Little One”
You are playing a game on a flat surface during a PT session and everything is going well, but have you thought about the benefits of playing it on the wall instead?
When we actively reach above shoulder level with hands on the wall, the scapular stabilizing muscles (lower trapezius and serratus anterior muscles) hold the scapula in place while other muscles work off that stable foundation to elevate the arm (humerus). Holding in this position dissociates the movement of the scapula from that of the humerus. Dissociation of this kind naturally evolves in babies at about 5-6 months as they are on their stomachs and beginning to bear weight on extended arms. Most children older than a year don’t enjoy a prone position any longer and will protest. Don’t worry, you can get some of the same movement by playing a game on the wall or other vertical surface instead. Check that you have optimal alignment in all other segments of the body: rib cage, low back, hips, knees and ankles.
Continue reading “Wall Activities for Scapulo-Humeral Dissociation”
Ivan is always on the move, always running from here to there. He never walks slowly, never slows down. Moving quickly and never standing still can represent difficulty with static balance.
How does a person move? What is the quality? Do they have habitual postures, asymmetrical positions, particular movement patterns? In this discussion relating to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability & Health- Children & Youth (ICF-CY), we explore an added domain of Posture and Movement (otherwise known as Motor Functions). As discussed in a previous post, this is an addition to the traditional ICF-CY made by the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association. This domain highlights common postures and movement patterns that run through many activities. Continue reading “HOW does she move? Pulling the ICF-CY Together by Describing Motor Function.”
The couch creaks and slides every time she sits down. “I have no control once I start to bend my legs!”, she says.
Controlled squatting allows babies to get down to the mattress after pulling to stand in their crib. It allows children to sit down in a chair with control. It is the ready position, allowing a low basketball dribble or ease while moving wet clothes from the washing machine into the dryer. If we don’t have the required alignment, strength and endurance, falls and crashes start to happen. Squat with good alignment and build the strength and endurance to squat and recover over and over again in daily life. Continue reading “What Makes a Good Quality Squat?”