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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

PT Gymnastics

Last week for PT, we met up with Miss Jessica at a local gymnastics gym. It was a GREAT change of pace from being at our boring ol' house. :) The girls were in HEAVEN, especially Kaida.
She was SO excited to have an excuse to wear her hand-me-down gymnastics outfit out of the house. :)

Raya was a bit hesitant at first. Jessica & I weren't sure how she would do sensory-wise in such a busy environment. There were so many soft, squishy, uneven and unstable surfaces to walk on and those are the things she has always had more difficulty with. Since there were a lot of other kids there that were running around and having fun, she knew she should be having fun too and that helped. Peer modeling can be a huge blessing!
She was really funny when we put her on the tumble track. It's a long skinny trampoline with big mats at each end, and even for me it felt funny to walk on it. It feels very different than a normal trampoline because the shape is so much different. Anyway, we put Raya on it and she just stood there and stared at her feet.
Don't her legs look juicy in those leggings? We've worked hard for every little ripple! :)
Her first few steps were pretty normal. After a couple of steps, she grabbed my hand in a death grip and wouldn't let go. I kept walking, so she kept following me but she got closer and closer to the side of the tumble track, and instead of walking forward, she started walking sideways just like she does when she's walking across a sloped surface. Then she just stopped completely. It was definitely sending her little vestibular system for a loop! Since all she wanted to do after that was cling to me, I left and watched Kaida for a few minutes while she played in the big foam pit. If Raya's having a hard time with whatever her PT wants to do with her, she generally does better if I'm not within her sight. While I was out of the way, Jessica worked with Raya on jumping with both feet (one of her new PT goals):
Why do kids do that? They always do better for somebody other than Mom. :)
We did all kinds of fun things to torture poor Raya. We made her walk on all the different trampolines, including the one that's not a solid surface (it's woven & the holes are about 1/2" or maybe bigger) and boy did that throw her for a loop. She couldn't get off that thing fast enough the first time I stuck her on it. Then I took her on it again and bounced us up the slope and onto the big mat at the other end. Then all the moms that were sitting 4 or 5 feet away at the other end of the mat all turned around and looked at me like I had done something wrong by disturbing their resting place. Annoying.
I got Raya to chase me around the tumbling floor for a while too. She loved that. It's easier for her to move fast on that floor since it's so bouncy. They had all kinds of different shaped mats on the floor. We tried unsuccessfully to put Raya on the one that's shaped like a wheel of cheese that's missing a wedge, but she wouldn't have it. She can't handle being tipped backwards, so that's what we wanted to work on with her since the theme for the day was to upset Raya's vestibular system. :) Once again, we were grateful for the power of peer modeling because as soon as Raya saw Kaida and Jessica's 2 girls get on the mats, she wanted on too. We stuck her in the middle of Jessica's girls and she eventually got to where she liked it (as long as we didn't tip her back too far).
She and Kaida LOVE Jessica's girls and they get really excited to have their friends come over once a week to play. :) They had a great time at the gymnastics gym too and Kaida has been bugging me ever since to take her back. :)

Today we had our regular session at home. Raya has definitely evolved in the way that she refuses to let Jessica touch her when she's tight & sore. There used to be a LOT of screaming, crying, kicking, and resisting in whatever way she could. Now she just does her best to ignore Jessica. She finds something to play with to distract herself and I think she really tries to let Jessica work on her. These days, when Jessica is working on a muscle that's really tight and Raya gets to the point where she can't take it anymore, she just wiggles to get Jessica's hand off of her. It's kind of funny to watch. It's like watching a horse flick its tail at a fly that's bothering it without looking up from whatever it's doing. :)
Today, Raya was really tight in her right calf. She pretty much refused to let Jessica touch it. She was having a little flare-up of her torticollis today too and didn't want Jessica to touch her neck either. Since there was no chance of getting her to cooperate with any of that, she just worked on other things like going up & down the stairs safely, reaching up above her head to grab things, and jumping. Not her best therapy day, but definitely not her worst either!

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