If you didn’t see the video from yesterday, be sure to check it out.
Caedmon was the embodiment of persistence today! He did so well yesterday that they added an hour to his workload for today and he will maintain that amount unless he gets fatigued. Instead of being finished at 12:30, he is now working up until 1:30. If he can keep it up, it is all the better for his future, both immediate and in the long run.
So, I said I would fill you in on the Therasuit a little more today.
- It has only been in use since 2002.
- It was designed by Richard and Izabela Koscielny.
- The Koscielny’s are both Physical Therapists and have a daughter with Cerebral Palsy.
- We are fortunate to have this therapy here in Tallahassee, because there are only 161 locations in the world that offer this treatment.
I’m sure you are familiar with the old adage, “practice makes perfect.” The underlying principle is that repetition is necessary to master any given skill. The younger brother of that cliché is, “perfect practice makes perfect.” Coaches like to use this to motivate players from going through the motions during a practice. The two phrases offer a perfect commentary to what the Therasuit is trying to provide… “perfect practice.”
As toddlers are learning to walk, they constantly practice. Scooting around tables, holding a parents hand, or just standing and thinking about it all lead to the development of their gait, or walk. Caedmon hasn’t had all that practice. To make matters worse, when he does get to practice, it isn’t “perfect practice.” Because of the way his muscles are contracting and the inflexibility in his limbs, he has a very unorthodox posture. His calf muscles are flexing almost all day, quite literally. This involuntary flexing, forces his toes to point downward, which effects his posture. He also has very little strength in his trunk (stomach, lower back, etc) which causes him to wobble. There are other things happening, but you get the picture.
Therefore, when he practices walking, he is developing bad habits. Up to this point, those bad habits were necessary for him to develop independent mobility. But, now we would love to see those habits broken, and the proper motions in their place.
The Therasuit uses a gaggle of rubber bands, attached to hooks on the suit, to place Caedmon’s body into the proper position. In football, they placed 2X6 boards at our feet to force us to use proper footwork, and made us do it under a four-foot tall shoot to force us to keep our bodies low. The Therasuit works under the same concept, although it is more restrictive due to the involuntary nature of Caedmon’s posturing.
Enough science… here are the pictures 🙂
Using an old trick I learned from the off-season conditioning at FSU, Caedmon is starting each day with a big bowl of Oatmeal. Jack had and egg and bacon omelette before his 2nd day of swim lessons.
Just a better picture of the weights used to help Caedmon relax. They place the biggest ones across his thighs because his hip flexors are so “enthusiastic.”
This is Stacy, another one of Caedmon’s Physical Therapists. She gave him his massage on day 2 and got him into his Therasuit. Caedmon is the third child she has taken through this therapy. I asked her if her previous children gave her reason for optimism with Caedmon and she responded with an enthusiastic, “yes!”
Caedmon’s aunt Angie… Elmo, came to watch him on Day 2. He loved having an audience to show-off for.
This is one of Caedmon’s occupational therapists, Amber.
The team at Progressive Pediatric know the secret to motivation Caedmon! They gave him a cupcake as his snack, and sent this one home for good measure.