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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PT: Obstacle and Ladder

Since Oia began therapy at just 7.5 months old, she has been nothing but complacent and willing to do all that has been expected of her. Sure, there have still been tearful moments during more challenging sessions but she'd always, and I mean always, work through the tears. Her will has always amazed me and still does. However, in recent days physical therapy has been a little challenging for all involved, which is myself, PT and of course the star of the show, our Oia.

Challenging for a couple of reasons. Let's state the obvious. Oia's been in therapy pretty much all her life. Right now, an average week generally consists of 5 or more therapy sessions in one form or another, either at school or privately. Is she getting burned out? I don't think so, sessions still involve lots of singing, toys, and any diversion that Oia finds particularly motivating. As her abilities grow, the exercises become more demanding, more challenging, especially so in private CME sessions where she is often pushed past her comfort zone. Combine all the above with a 3 year old and you sometimes get a healthy protest. In recent CME sessions, Oia seems to hit her limit with about 20-30 minutes left. This translates to major attitude, saying "No", crying, bending knees, and refusing to stand. There's nothing to be done at that point. Sessions are pretty much over or let's just say a whole lot less productive.

But, it doesn't really bother me. I don't blame her. The behavior isn't ideal but I am still thankful to be experiencing it. She is in many ways like every other 3 year old, full of opinion and able-bodied enough to perform such drama. It's a phase. This too shall pass and I'm not sweatin' it.

Witness for yourself a very small taste of the Teaster 'tude. This glance is very mild in comparison because this particular day she remained on her feet and still stepped on. This was not her best attempt at the obstacle course as protest throws off her game a bit, however, subsequent trails were better. Note: You'll hear her say "bye-bye" which means she's done and ready to go home. (We've been working on this course since about spring. The goal is for Oia to do this independently.)

Once sessions become "less productive", we have to switch gears, step away from CME exercises and focus on what Oia does like to at least work on whole body strengthening. This ladder followed by a huge tube slide dried up a few tears which means we ended the session on a positive note.

Happy, mad, smiling or cryin'.... I'm still pretty darn proud of this girl.


  1. First of all, her little sweats are adorable! :)
    But more importantly, I can see how your so proud of her. She gets frusterated and exhausted, yet, she keeps on going. She's such a trooper.
    And I know exactly what you mean about not minding the not-so-good behaviour. Bring on the bad when it comes to our kiddos!

  2. Her cry reminds me of Hannah, the shriek of an intelligent girl who wants to tell you off but lacks the words to do so. I was really pleased when my duaghter pushed an alarm button on an elevator and somewhat less pleased that she clocks people with her cast, but again, glad to see normal behavior! I think she looks strong and fabulous.

  3. WOW! All that hard work!
    Great that even though she is crying, she is still working hard. And that giggle climbing the ladder is wonderful!