It's been hours and hours of OT (2 years to be exact), countless verbal cues, and two Constraint Induced Therapies later, combined with a little girl who likes to figure it all out on her own time and now, Righty is doing some pretty amazing things. We are finally witnessing Oia master some seemingly ordinary daily functions with two hands instead of just one. Progress is a beautiful thing.
We have had the same OT goals for Oia's right hand/arm, aka 'Righty', for many, many months. To say maybe for even a year now isn't that far of a stretch. The main goals and hopes for Oia is to voluntarily grasp and release an object with her right hand and perform common, every day functions with both hands working together. I have found that as her cognitive development grows, so does her bilateral awareness and willingness. She is learning that Righty is her helper hand and she's quickly coming to understand that some things are far more easier tackled with two hands instead of just one hand and sometimes her mouth.
One thing that helps Oia a great deal is the fact that her right hand remains open and relaxed most of the time. In the beginning, it was her fisted hand that threw us a red flag but now fisting is not the norm. She now does a lot of transferring objects from one hand to the other; from right to left and left to right. This is so neat to see. There's an annoying thing called 'overflow' that made this otherwise simple task very, very difficult for her before now. These days, the overflow is at a minimum and she seems to have much more control over that issue. We have even witnessed her pick up two small objects at the same time, one object in each hand. And just this morning in fact, she successfully reached to the floor to retrieve her binki with her right hand while her left hand was engaged in holding a shirt; no overflow there.
But what makes me most proud is that Oia can hold open a bag of snacks with Righty while reaching into it with Lefty. I wondered if she'd ever, EVER, be able to have this kind of function from her right hand and here is my answer. She absolutely does. This may not be the most flattering video of a girl who loves her chips, but you get the idea.
She does this with no prompting to "use Righty" or to "hold it with both hands". I can hand her a bag of snacks and she works to separate the top and then grabs ahold with the right hand while she feeds herself with the other hand. (The first time she did this I swear the sky parted over us and the heavens began to sing.) She prefers to eat her snacks out of a bag now instead of putting her snack in a bowl. I could not have imagined this just weeks ago. She is spontaneously using her right hand over and over again to do so many things in her day...it's fantastic. Righty is alive and well.