Thursday, May 24, 2012

PT is Hard Work!

Today Mason’s physical therapist was in to check up on how my little man is doing with all the physical therapy we do ourselves and to answer any questions we have.  She was very pleased.  Apparently it seems she has a lot of trouble with some parents actually following through with the PT exercises on a daily basis.  I just don’t understand that!  If there is something you can do to help your child, wouldn’t you do it?  Anyway….before she had even reached her car after the visit Mason was asleep in my arms, he was so worn out!  I put him in the swing so I could get a picture of his tired little face: 100_8994Mason’s range of motion in his legs is doing well with what we’ve been trying.  He is a bit tight in his hips and thighs when you try stretching those across the midline of his body, or when you rotate them in towards each other.  We’re to keep working on our passive range of motion exercises for that at each diaper change.

He’s still pretty closed-fisted and we think we’ve figured out why.  When Mason is very well supported sitting up he does relax his hands.  When he’s sat in the Bumbo or on your lap in a way where he’s having to do a lot of work keeping upright he is so busy doing that he can’t relax his hands. 

The plan to help with that is a bit round-about, but makes sense when you think about it.  We’re to keep working on strengthening his trunk, as well as helping him start weight-bearing on his arms (pushing up).  The stronger he gets close to his body the more he’ll relax and work on the extremities (hands, fingers).  We’ve seen Mason begin trying to push up a bit the last week, so she showed us how to work with him from where he’s at.

Rolling practice is also in the works.  We’re to take advantage of his attempts to roll by passively patterning him from belly to back.  What that means is when Mason is on his belly and trying to lean to one side and roll over we assist just enough to help him make it.  Over and over and over on both sides.  We will also help him learn to ‘tip over’ from being pushed up on his hands into a roll.  For that you help him shift his weight to the side while on his hands and support him as his body naturally follows.


  1. First of all, knowing you from your blogs, I am not one bit surprised that you are diligent with Mason's PT (and everything else). He was definitely sent to the right home. :-)

    That being said, the thought of having a child who needs so much time almost moves me to a panic-attack. Not because he or she wouldn't be a blessing, but because I don't feel I handle my four healthy children very well. Organizing my time and surroundings is almost more than I can handle. Sometimes I wish I could send them all to school for just a few months so I could sort out the rest of my life.

    Anyway, I wonder if some parents of children with special needs just feel so overwhelmed. And if they don't have a close relationship with God, they may not know that they can get the extra help they need. PT may seem like one more item on a very long to-do list.

    I do believe that you were led to keep this blog, and I pray that you will help many as you care for your little Mason.

  2. Lisa, those are great thoughts on why some may not follow through. I have those panic-moments and overwhelmed days too. Having all 7 kids home, homeschooling, everything Mason brings, it does get crazy. You're right, without the Lord I wouldn't make it as Mason's mom, or as mom to my other 6, or even just one child! I'm woefully inadequate.

    I think the biggest thing that has helped me is to tack his PT exercises on to a routine. He always has to have diaper changes, so if he's not crying and upset by the end of a diaper change I do his PT exercises. I've realized that while the therapist does 30-60 minutes straight, we actually get the same or more accomplished by doing it frequently. The kids also love to participate so they feel included instead of like Mason is taking time away from them.

    We approach cleaning the same way - short attacks as a group. Many hands make light work, as the saying goes! Still, there are many days when it feels like barely controlled chaos, doesn't it? LOL.

  3. Tristan, thank you so much for your blog! I love hearing how Mason is doing. He is so precious!! I feel like you are blazing the trail just ahead of me, as Halle was born in March with Spina Bifida as well. I am also a homeschooling mom (3 older kids). If you can handle it with the Lords help, I can too, right?! :) Thank you for taking the time to share! I have a caring bridge (hallegrace) but it is not very well updated right now.

  4. Christa,
    You can totally do it! It is just a big learning curve at first and then every so often something new comes to figure out. It's an amazing journey with the Lord's help.

  5. Look how big he is, Tristan!! :-) What a beautiful boy!

  6. He's so beautifully chunky! You're whole family is doing a great job helping him with his PT. :)

    April E.


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