Last Friday we had our final appointment with Reid's physical therapist...what a milestone! Truly...what a milestone, when I think back to my sweet newborn baby who was so floppy and had very little muscle tone. He hated tummy time, didn't sit until close to 10 months old or attempt scooting on his tummy until just before his first birthday, didn't stand until he was 19 months old or attempt steps until 21 months...but now...now my baby is steadily walking (in a very determined way I might ad with both his little arms just a swinging fiercely), running, climbing stairs upright (without using his hands or rails!!!), kicks a ball with both feet (one at a time of course :) )...and is attempting to jump (he tries so hard but still only gets one foot up at a time, but it sure gets points for cuteness...and many giggles from Luke!!)
We could not be more excited for Reid's gross motor growth...or more grateful for all the support we received from Donna, his physical therapist. Donna started with him just before his first birthday when he was only beginning to combat crawl. She was so fantastic with him and pointed out things that we did not even see or know to look for. She pointed out that he was weaker on his left side and therefore only wanted to put weight on the right side. He threw with his left hand and tended to grab toys with his left... we thought that that had meant he was just showing a dominance for his left side (his dad is a lefty) but Donna pointed out that actually it was more a muscular issue in that when he reached or threw with his left all the weight bearing was actually on the right, so we worked on balancing that out and helped him to utilize both sides of his body. Donna helped Reid move from combat crawling to crawling on his knees, to standing up on his own in the middle of the room, then on to walking...he actually took his first steps for Donna...and I wasn't even there for it, Daddy was there in place for that appointment (sigh). In the last few months we actually added Wii Fit into our therapy equation. We started out first just using the step board to help him start working on going up and down a small step...but then we graduated him on to all the activities. He was and is so motivated by the Wii Fit, he runs in place, he bends his knees and shifts his weight from right to left, he moves his hips back and forth for the hula hoop game, and he even bends down and holds his arms up in the air for the ski jump and tries to jump on cue (he is not actually completing the activities as Luke would but Reid is content with just seeing the activity on the screen and moves appropriately for each new activity). I have to say I recommend the Wii Fit for anyone but it is especially great for helping our little ones gain strength and use all their muscles.
Donna...thank you for all you did to help our Reid! We are so thrilled that he is the first child you have worked with to be released so early who has Down syndrome...not because of budget cuts, but because he has met his goals, we attribute that to you! We will miss you but know that you will now have time to help another little one walk, run, and ultimately soar!