Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Katie's Contraptions

  Katie has had so many different contraptions to help her with walking and balance. Here they are through the years:

Katie started wearing leg braces early on, by two-years-old.  She was probably about three or four-years-old here with a brace on her feet to keep them in the right position, and all the way up to her knees.  She has now graduated to using only a foot brace, and she is doing so well walking that she will switch to only a heel insert next week.

Katie had this Swash (standing, walking, and sitting, hip orthosis)  in preschool for only that school year.  It was left at school and they would put it on her for three hours a day.  It was to help keep her legs and hips in the right position while sitting and walking and prevented her from scissoring (crossing) her legs (when walking). 

We have seen several different walkers in our house throughout Katie's lifetime, this was the first one. It held her in and up since she didn't have much strength in her legs to hold herself up.  We usually had to bribe her with cake or some kind of dessert to get her to move in it.  Even though she is smiling, she really was not a big fan of this walker. 

Katie has done horse therapy for five years now, this is an earlier picture when she still was in glasses, and so little!  Hippotherapy has helped Katie to gain core strength and works muscles that are not usually concentrated on.  I think that this  has helped her a lot with sitting balance, as well as her balance in general.

This lovely outfit is a SPIO (stabilizing pressure input orthosis) . It is a compression garment and expensive ($300.00) and helps kids to know where their body is in space because it is tight to the body.  It is also supposed to be good for kids with autism.  Katie wore this under her clothes for about a year or so, and here in Phoenix in the summer that is no fun!  She mainly wore it in the winter.

Here is Katie today, this morning actually - carrying her backpack around the house, she loves her backpack!  She is walking pretty well and I must say does not like to sit still, which can be hard on a Mommy over 40 (way over)!

All of the above have helped her to get to this point, and although her balance is not yet without worry and requires "catching" more often than I'd like - she is doing better and better every day.