Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Physiatry Update

Mikan visited his physiatrist yesterday. Her evaulation was upbeat. She thought his trunk continued to strengthen. Last time she saw him in May he wasn't taking any steps on his own, so she was pleased to see his wobbling progress. She said he still exhibits plantarflexion (pointing of the toes) when he stands or holds someone's hand and walks without his AFOs. This means he is not quite ready for an AFO with a heel hinge that will give him ankle range to walk a little more naturally. Right now his feet are strapped into a 90 degree position to prevent the toe walking. She wants to give him about six more months to develop and then she will possibly reccomend an AFO switch. In the meantime she discontinued his derotation straps during the day and knee immobilizer at night for a trial period. If an awkward walking gait or any stiffness returns, we will go back to them. She also recommended a kind of stretchy tape that he would wear when his braces were off that is supposed to activate certain muscle groups that will encourage him to keep his balance better when he walks. She also wants water therapy to be a regular part of his treatment plan, since the resistance the water provides will provide proprioceptive input that helps his awareness of where his body is in space.

We also discovered at the doctor appointment that Mikan can write his name. We had seen him experiment with drawing a few letters, but he surprised us by grabbing a piece of chalk and writing it on his own.

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