Monday, March 21, 2011
The feet and other news
This picture is of her just standing in her walker with her AFOs, after stretching.
This is how flat she can get her feet first thing in the morning with no stretching and no AFO's all night. Her knees are bent, but she can make her feet flat on the floor!
This is her holding onto the sofa and just standing without really thinking about it or trying to put her feet down. Again, first thing in the morning, no stretching and no braces all night. Not bad!!
We've contined to see progress with Mariah Katya's posture, gait, and flexibility. Much of this is probably due to her determination to do what everyone else does. She takes her walker outside and pushes it around in the driveway, the yard, up to the sandbox and she even drove it down into a ditch to play in the mud! Its not easy task to push something with four wheels that are meant for inside, outside. She hefts that thing around
though, determined to go wherever her "bratchik" are going.
She will walk and say at each step, "Feet down! Feet down!" forcing her feet completely flat on the floor. It takes effort and its not the most natural looking gait, but hey she has only had the AFOs for a few weeks :) Her right side is weaker so she has a harder time picking up her right foot and making it stay flat on the floor. She has more control over the left foot as it as more strength, but its also the harder one to stretch as its actually quite strong and quite tight.
I will try to find a picture of how she "stood" when we first met her at the orphanage. She wore the tops of her shoes out from dragging her feet while someone held her hands. The way she walks now is a huge, huge improvement from what we saw when we met her. We thought that she would need surgery to get to this point, but she really is determined to walk and takes her walker everywhere.
I've tried to teach her how to cruise around on the furniture and walls when she can't take the walker somewhere (like around the table to her chair). Its her first instinct to drop to all fours and crawl and its like she didn't have a clue that she could stand up and use things to balance herself while. Once I showed her how to do that, she really has picked it up and tries to walk more instead of crawling. We're still wearing the knees out of pants though lol
We have a CP clinic next month with several different specialist so we'll see how that goes and what they suggest. She's made such great progress that I bet she'll be walking by herself by this summer!
We've also signed her up for preschool with Wyatt. Its just 2 days a week and its a 3 year old class, but that's where she is developmentally. She needs time to be 2-3 years old so she can progress to being 4 and soon 5. I really do not think there are any cognitive delays, just developmental ones and we're happy to let her progress at her own pace there.
A letter to our local school system was sent last week, requesting a complete evaluation for therapy and delays both developmentally and cognitively. I have had it round and round with our school and keep getting the brush off and never getting called back. Hopefully we'll get somewhere with the letter...
We're working on getting set up with a local therapist, but we still haven't had all the evaluations done to even know what we need to work on, plus Mariah can be very challanging to interact with on occasions. I think she still needs time to adjust and get comfortable here. She likes to test us over and over again with the same things. True to her gender (haha) she is very dramatic and can turn on the pout and tears very quickly. We've also seen a few tantrums. I usually handle these by asking her to stop and then if she doesn't, sitting her down in time out. Usually close by, but away from what we're doing. After she has her little fit for a few minutes, she stops and I'll go ask her if she's finished and she'll say "Yep." And then we're good.
We have a Dr. appointment with our new pediatrician this Friday just as a follow up check-up. This Dr. will be prescribing the TB meds for the next 8 months and will keep an eye on how she's doing so we're going in to establish a "This is Mariah now" baseline just in case we have any concerns later on. Hopefully they're on time because I am sqeezing this in-between dropping Wes off at preschool and pickup time...
Sorry if this post is a little scatterbrained. I've been up and down trying to put Wyatt back to bed for naps at least 6 times. I even caught him in Wesley's room, kissing a sleeping Wes. Somehow he also took all his clothes off, turned them inside out, and put them back on. This must have been in-between him scratching the paint off the wall next to his bed.
I'm tired of that color anyways.
We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson