Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Adaptations

It's hard to believe that in just a few days, Liam will be 9 months old already! Time has flown by so fast and this little boy is growing even faster. He is as fun and as motivated as ever. What a joy to have around! Also, Liam's orthopedist and his Occupational Therapist have said that every one of the arthrogrypotic patients they have worked with have been exceptionally bright and quite distinctly so. We can already see that Liam is very smart too. He had started to say "mama" and "dada" at barely 8 months old! What an incredible guy!

One of my goals is to give Liam the gift of independence. It became easy for me to see now how much we take our independence for granted once I realized that Liam may not even be able to feed himself for several years to come unless we take the necessary steps to facilitate self-care. I have asked his therapists to help me brainstorm ways that we can adapt his feedings so that I can start teaching him how to hold his own bottles and eventually to bring his own spoon to his mouth. He may seem a little young for doing all of that now, but now is the time for him to start learning. 

The challenge that Liam is facing is that his elbow joints are still too tight that they do not fully bend yet. They are getting looser, thanks to the daily massages and regular aggressive therapy he has been receiving. And while we haven't thought up any major adaptations yet, we have figured out how to prop his bottle in such a way that he can hold onto it while giving his fingers, thumbs and wrists the mild stretch that they regularly need. He really enjoys it!






Sunday, April 7, 2013

Play Time

One of the many challenges for an infant with any kind of restrictive muscular disease is finding motivation to explore the world around them. Fortunately, Liam has been very motivated since birth to seek and explore his environment. In the beginning, my husband and I were instructed to give Liam therapy in his hands, arms and shoulders during feedings to loosen up the tightness in his muscles and his joints. Regular therapy sessions have instructed us on different approaches to take to maximize his range of motion. 

It has been one of our goals to teach Liam how to move and play independently, therefore providing himself with therapy while having fun with it. As he gets older (he is now 8 1/2 months old), he becomes more alert and aware of everything around him and what he wants to do with it. No matter the obstacle, if he wants to do something, he will find a way to do it. An obstacle he faces right now is his special boots with the Ponseti bar. But even with this device on, he plays and moves. Currently, his favorite mode of transportation is rolling over onto his belly and continuing onto his back, repeatedly. In a blink of an eye, he is across the living room moving this way, Ponseti bar and all!

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