When we first started Beckett in therapy he was so stiff and showed a lot of muscle weakness. We made several goals for him and we were hoping he would meet them in 3 months. After just 6 weeks our therapist decided to reexamine our goals, see which ones he has met and make a few new ones. (because he was meeting so many of them early!)
Goal- For Beckett to learn to crawl. When we started therapy we just worked on him spending time on all fours, strengthening those muscles. He would play over my knee or I would just sit behind him forcing him to do so. We also would help him crawl using several different techniques. But our hard work has paid off, we can officially say we have a walker now! At 13 and a half months (last week) Beckett started crawling as his main mode of transportation.
Goal- For Beckett to be able to stand on his own and play. The first few weeks he wouldn't even put his arms down when we forced him to stand, he just stiffened up and cried. The therapist was worried at this point it may be painful for him to stand, which is way more concerning then just that his muscles are weak. Every chance we got we stood him up to a table or couch. Now he can stand and play on his own for 5-10 minutes and he even has the flexibility in his legs to dance while standing when music comes on!
Goal- For Beckett to pull himself up to standing. I would start with him sitting on my knees and pull his hips up to standing, over and over again. He finally learned to do this on his own and then our next step was for him to pull up completely on his own. He would pull him to his knees then we worked on pulling one foot up, then the other until he was standing. (again over and over again for muscle memory) He started on our fire place (which is pretty low) and this week he started pulling himself up to standing on almost anything. He is mostly using his arm strength right now to do this.
Last night at therapy we crossed off most of our old goals and set some new ones. He has 3 months to complete these. When our therapist mentioned that I realized that we may have a long road ahead of us. She also has been noticing his left ankle is weak and he tends to stand and carry his weight on it crooked. She walked me through some ways to work on this and mentioned a brace may be needed if there wasn't improvement soon. But he is making such great progress so we will focus on that!
New Goal- For Beckett to be able to pull himself up to standing using correct form. As I mentioned earlier, he can pull himself up usng his arms mostly. They want him to be able to put one foot up first then the other. We will continue to physically make him do this to help him create muscle memory and strength.
New Goal- Our next step is teaching him how to walk along things while holding on, or "Cruising." He has been so stiff that this has been a challenge. The strategy that they taught me is hard to explain. But basically while he is standing I hold him around his hips and put pressure on one leg/side. This should then force him to pick up his other leg and you help him move it over and put it down to teach him that stepping movement. Then you switch and put pressure on the other hip, etc.
Beckett is really resisting these three goals and really stiffens himself up. But I'm trying to remember he did the same thing just 6 weeks ago when we worked on the above goals. Sorry for the boring post, I just wanted to document how far Beckett has come. I can truly say, I have never been a more proud momma of him. He is pretty happy with his new mobility too. :)