a blog about raising a daughter with cerebral palsy and learning unexpected lessons along the way

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Conquering Extreme Terrains

Walking indoors is a fairly safe venture for us these days if corners of furniture and other dangerous surfaces/edges are covered, blocked, etc. We still hold our breath though while Oia walks around the house but her protective responses have continued to improve over time thus making for a much safer fall. Most of the time Oia is in control enough to fall on her bottom...most of the time...which does make it easier for us to back off a bit and not feel like we have to be RIGHT. THERE. One of her current IFSP goals is to walk indoors, room to room, with only supervision; meaning Rob and I can be in another room watching while she wonders into a connecting room. Really though, we joke that this is much more a goal for Rob and I as her parents, not her. She is fearless.

However, walking outside is a totally different story but still, she is doing AWESOME. Grass, mulch, rocks, pebbles, and not to mention steps, inclines and declines; are all extreme terrain in our world. We have spent A LOT of time in the last month or so walking outdoors on all different surfaces.

This first vid shows Oia walking on flat ground with low grass.

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The second vid is Oia walking slightly uphill on gravel. She usually can maintain her balance for a few feet on gravel but doesn't always stay walking in a straight line as the gravel shifts her balance and direction which makes her fall easily.
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The last video is the most recent one. This is our paved driveway that has a significant incline. We have practiced this for months with me having to hold onto her one hand but she's finally getting it on her own now. Weight shifts for kiddos like Oia don't come easily making slopes and hills very difficult to maneuver. For us, up is doable (kinda) but down is a current no-go...an instant faceplant.
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This is the driveway slant from the side. Doesn't seem like much in a photo but I'm sure this feels like a mountain to Oia. Walking this also provides her calf muscles a good stretch which is important.

And all of that in a cast! Not too shabby.

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