Monday, March 24, 2014

Gross Motor Plateau

Mikan's school PT doesn't think Mikan is ready for his shorter SMO brace on his left foot.  His clinic PT is also skeptical.  We follow up next month with his physiatrist to make a final determination.  He doesn't get too many heel strikes when he walks on that foot, but he really loves the freedom of movement he has with the shorter brace.  He will be devastated to return to a full AFO if that is what is necessary.  Mikan tells us regularly that he can't wait until both of his braces are short because then he will be able to run really fast, "like cheetah speed," he says.  When I mentioned that he may have to go back into a longer brace, he was very worried and said that he needed shorter braces so that he could run faster.  We hope he can learn to adjust with his new brace so we can keep looking forward.

He still falls all the time though.  It's hard for me to tell, but I don't really see much improvement lately.  He can walk relatively well and move quickly when he wants to, but he can't jump or run, and he falls a lot, especially if he is near other people and is bumped (even slightly).  He has to plan each of his movements, and it is difficult for him to react to unexpected obstacles.  Although he doesn't seemed too discouraged most of the time, I can't help but imagine how frustrating his physical disability may seem as he grows older or how embarrassing his falls may feel to him.

Despite his difficulties, it is great to see how he enjoys movement and physical play.  He finds ways to participate in whatever his siblings do.  He likes doing flips off of the top of his bed onto Anica's lower trundle bed.  This dance/gymnastics video below is a typical scene at our house in the evenings.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday Mikan

Today we celebrate the start of Mikan's sixth year of life (and Mikan woke up extra early to remind us).  It seems incredible how much our lives have changed since his birth.  Many would tell us this when we were pregnant, but it is impossible to know the depth of that truth until you live it.  We are incredibly proud of his hard work each and every day–hard work to be the best Mikan he can be.

On the Horizon:

-A follow-up physiatry visit to determine if Mikan can keep his left SMO or if he needs to return to an AFO.  To keep the SMO, he needs to exhibit more heel strike patterns and improved balance.

-Entrance into the high-ability program at his school.  This qualification means he will continue to receive differentiated coursework throughout first grade.

-Gymnastics lessons!  Mikan is really excited about joining a gymnastics class through a local recreation center for children with disabilities. 

-March for Babies.  This is the time of year we are trying to fundraise in honor of Mikan and so many others like him who have a rough start at life.  If you are interested in donating to our team this year, you can visit Mikan's March for Babies Page.

Below is a video montage of the past year of Mikan's life, along with a few brief trips down memory lane.