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Sunday, 25 March 2012

My experience with physical therapy

I wrote this post a while ago, and since J. has made progress, I was already thinking of deleting this story. But I though that I'll share it anyway because of the guilt that I felt when I heard the words "physical therapy". And maybe there is a mother who feels the same way, and she shouldn't feel guilty because first, it's not her fault, and second, for any problem that a child can have, a good therapist can really help.

J. can sit now, but cannot sit up on her own (update: she can now), she only learned to scoot backwards at 11 months, and only did it when stimulated by me or my husband. I thought that she was just taking her time with crawling and walking. After all, her social and fine motoric skills are fine, or better than fine. She's making progress.

However, the doctor at the Consultatiebureau decided that she might need additional help. The doctor didn't seem worried but told me it would be a good idea if J.  was seen by a specialist.I told her both me and K. were late walkers (15 and 14 months, respectively). The doctor agreed that it might be hereditary, but also said it couldn't hurt if J. went to see a physical therapist.

So we went to our first visit. The therapist turned out to be a very pleasant lady. She's Polish, and her husband works in the same office as mine. She confirmed that J. needs additional help with her motoric skills development. We've been there twice (Update: now it's much more), but it seems that it's actually working.  

For example, the last time we went there, J. couldn't scoop forwards, and only rolled involuntarily. Now she can do both, fluently and with a great speed. She loves to be held in a standing position, even though she can't stand up by herself. But she enjoys doing that and the therapist thinks it's a good sign. 

She has shown my several exercises that I can do with J. at home. And J. just loves it when somebody gives her attention. Maybe it's her way of getting more of it? The thing with J. is that she doesn't really cry. But with our last visit at the Consultatiebureau she also seemed to have lost weight even though she didn't seem to be hungry. When I started giving her food 5 times a day, she started to gain weight again. Maybe she can only thrive when she can count on me for knowing what she needs?

I always thought that children cry when they need something. K. always let her needs be known, loud and clear. Apparently, children can have more  subtle ways to communicate their needs. Then I have to be more careful to meet them. I'll have to give her more attention.

Since I wrote this post, we have come a long way: J. can sit up all by herself, and she is preparing to stand up. She is getting stronger, funnier, and cuter every day. She is a delight to watch! She is also extremely lucky to have in K. a hilarious, clever, and considerate yet adventurous sister.



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