Have you noticed that I go in phases with the video sharing? It just so happens that Mason had a first today that I wanted to capture on video. Today was Mason's first physical therapy day since his spinal cord detethering last month. Our PT has been working with us since Mason was tiny. Today we embarked on the world of wheelchair transfers.
Our goal in this, as in everything, is to give Mason as much independence as possible. One logical area is getting into and out of his wheelchair, also known as wheelchair transfers or simply transfers. In everyday life he'll need to get onto the floor, into a chair at the table, into bed, onto the piano bench, in a car, and so on. He'll need to get back into his wheelchair from all those places as well.
Our first goal is to help Mason learn how to get into and out of his wheelchair from a surface close in height to his seat. As he builds upper body strength we will try transfers from and to the floor. Today our surface of choice was the couch.
There are several smaller skills that go into this, things I never would have thought of. Mason has to reach the seat, get into it backwards, turn his body around to sit in the seat the correct way, move his legs and feet into position over the foot plate instead of stretched out over the brakes, wheels, or even the arms of the chair. He needs to push up on the arms of the chair when positioning his bottom into the center of the seat because we don't want to risk another skin tear on his bottom. It will be a process and quite honestly we didn't know how he would do.
Want to see?
The physical therapist and I just told him to get in the chair and waited to see what he would do. As you can see, he just got right in. Goal number one - accomplished. Now any time we are home Mason is responsible for getting himself into and out of his wheelchair using the couch. When his physical therapist returns next month he'll have a lot of practice under his belt and we will fine tune his technique and begin attempting transfers from the floor, possibly with some assistance like an incline or pillow to put him a bit higher up.