Saturday, January 31, 2009


Because of Brandon’s stroke and loss of function on his left side we do a lot of therapy with him through our local early intervention program , Kids on the Move as well as the Utah School for the Deaf & the Blind (because of his myopia). So we have a physical therapist that comes to our home twice each month and an occupational therapist that comes twice each month, a developmental specialist that comes once a month and a vision specialist that comes twice a month. In addition to these 7 in-home visits each month we also go to a weekly class – “Motor Class” with other kids working on their gross motor skills (crawling, walking, etc.).

So when you have a child whose body doesn’t work like they want it to, adaptations are the name of the game. We started learning that almost immediately after they were born. We’ve had to learn to adapt and we’ve had to learn to adapt things around us to work for the babies, especially Brandon. We have also been introduced to the world of adaptive equipment, which is equipment that helps him get into the right position to sit, stand and start to move around. The first thing we got was a corner chair for him support and helps him sit up straight (he doesn’t need it any more). We have a creepster crawler which suspends him and carries his torso weight so he can practice the crawling motion with his arms and legs. He loves this but mostly he uses his right arm and goes around and around in circles, but thoroughly enjoys it. It is kind of funny because the therapists say his the first kid ever to even like it, much less love it the way he did especially before he was crawling around better on his own. A few weeks ago we got the the pony walker. It is like riding a very skinny pony with no legs. It gives a ton of support and he can’t fall down out of a standing position. Our most recent addition is the Gait Trainer. He loves it too. Right now he loves being upright and on the move so all of this equipment he just loves.. He wants to be walking like Katelyn, but he is getting really good at pulling up to objects. We let him practice this on the stairs. This has always seemed so funny to me. What good mother teaches their child to play on the stairs? Well I do. It is great for him to learn that process. But the other night at a friend’s house we paid the price when he tumbled all the way down a flight of stairs. We also use couch cushions on the floor and now he is really happy if you take a cushion off the couch so he can pull up to the couch. We have had to learn to be very creative and resourceful to solve problems and give him the opportunities he needs to learn what he needs to learn. The therapists and other providers have been so helpful in this.

He is such a smart boy though and you can just see him constantly thinking of how to make it work. He is very determined and motivated to figure things out. We are especially grateful for this quality in Brandon. We know it is what will make him successful in mastering these skills. So many children with disabilities don’t have this motivation or determination to do certain things.

He has made so much progress in the last month and a half. He is pulling to stand, army crawling, going into all fours and rocking and getting out of sitting without throwing himself back and hitting his head on the floor. He is an amazing and happy little boy. We are so grateful to have him in our family. He is an almost constant source of joy.

This is his corner chair. There were many pictures of him using it on the old blog.

This is his physical therapist, Besty getting him set up in the creepster crawler for the first time.

Here he is in the pony walker.

And our latest.... the Gait Trainer. This is basically a reverse walker with a harness

Brandon in motor class playing with Mark (a physical therapist).

Brandon playing with pudding on a glass wall. This was the "sensory extravaganza" day at class.

This is him with his occupational theapist, Mark.

This is him with Terry. She works with him on everything as it relates to his vision. Who knew there was such a job? She is really good.

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