Monday, September 3, 2012

Physical Therapy with a Peanut

As a mother I have learned to wear a lot of different ‘hats’.  Cook, cleaning lady, driver, teacher, referee, and comforter are just a few.  Mason has brought a new hat for me to wear – physical therapist.  While we have trained professionals we learn from and work with, nothing beats daily one on one work and that is only possible at home.  Sometimes we need to invest in equipment to have here at home.  100_0557This yellow beast is Mason’s peanut or physiotherapy ball.  We call it the peanut.  Amazon offers peanut balls in 4 sizes, this happens to be the smallest.  In the picture above you can see him using his arms to keep upright.  As he strengthens that core we will have a toy to hold up in front of him to tempt him to reach out.100_0560He is not too sure about letting go and sitting upright.  It’s a lot of work and he can’t hold it without help.  Much of his small motor progress depends on his mastering this.  If his hands are always busy holding himself up then he can’t do things with them. 100_0558While not part of his physical therapy Mason is quite proficient in tongue twisting.  He makes all sorts of faces and uses his tongue a lot when he is concentrating.100_0567See what I mean?  That tongue comes out and he focuses.  In this picture I’m supporting his bottom because he can’t use his legs.  He was just finishing up with rolling forward and back on his belly on the peanut.  We pause when he’s laying on the ball and he pushes up and tries lifting off his belly, working on those back muscles.  100_0569Here Mason the reverse of that move, rolling on his back.  He doesn’t like this position, which leads to the next picture: 100_0568This is what we want him to do, try to use those core muscles to sit up.  Every time he tries he is strengthening muscles. 100_0574One last activity – playing in a kneeling position.  It’s really just a perspective change for Mason, a new height to do things at.  He needs tons of support but if you look close you can see his belly peeking out under his shirt.  It’s all tightened because he was trying to tuck his butt under him for stability.  That’s more muscle strengthening! 

One of the things I love is Mason’s attitude about all the physical therapy.  To him much of it just means more time playing.  He is all smiles for most of it, until he gets tired.  I love his cheerfulness!


  1. Awesome! He's such a trooper. Glad he loves it so much.

  2. Looks fun....not as fun when I am on my exercise ball! Mason has a better attitude than grandma! ha ha

  3. This ball looks very interesting.
    I may talk about it with our therapist.

    The strength in Mason's legs is amazing.
    I'd take the "functional level L1" with a grain of salt.
    You could also try to let him roll (sit up) over the side to strengthen the muscles in the side of the belly.

    Again... way to go!
    All the best from Germany

  4. Way to go Mason!!

    I'm really glad you share Mason's story. He's a totally lovable little guy, and I'm sure I'm not the only one smitten with him.


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