We just completed the 1st week of our 3rd trip to Health in Motion here in Toronto. So far things are going well; Natan always goes through the same functions, same movements, but adds new layers and takes away support with each accomplishment. So his focus on sitting this week has been to have Maggie sit up from supine entirely on her own. Our first trip here she learned how to sit up properly with verbal guidance and support- we still used our hands to help/support her into the sitting position. Our second trip, she learned how to do that movement herself but with much less support- we mostly supported her at the hips or legs. Usually at home I hold down her feet. Now, however, she’s ready to do this by herself and he’s guiding her to do so. To accomplish this, she works both on the floor and the ball completing the movement from lying down to sitting up multiple times. Not only does she work on the big ball- sitting, standing, pushing up from her hands (like push-ups)- but he also uses a smaller ball to work and increase her trunk support. Maggie will have to grab a ball from Natan’s hands and return them to him from the front and each side. This is a very difficult task for her but she’s getting much better about slowing down her movements so they’re getting smoother. As I mentioned, all these movements increase her trunk control which in turn brings about more independence.
Maggie has also been working a lot on protective instincts this week. This has certainly improved since our first trip here, but Natan is adding that layer and really focusing on it this week because she must be able to catch herself when she falls. All kids wobble and fall when they’re learning to sit, stand and walk, as will Maggie, so she must be able to safely catch herself. Without learning this, she could fall and hurt herself. I’ve already noticed her catching herself much more when working to sit up this week. These are improvements that may seem small to some, but only because you don’t notice them until they’re not there. Not many of us think about how great it is when our toddlers catch themselves when learning to use their bodies in new ways, “oh, wow he caught himself trying to stand up!” We usually focus on the actual standing- but it’s very important. Below Maggie doing the wheelbarrow helps with these protective instincts, as she has to push through her hands and arms, but also works on trunk control as she has to pull against her trunk in order to lift her head. The walking on her hands also promotes one hand in front of the other for crawling but also translates to walking- one foot in front of the other- bear weight on one while you move the other.
Everything is a stair step and it all works together. Today Maggie actually her arm to sit up- she really pushed through it when transitioning- rather than just using her trunk and or pulling through her legs. This was accomplished by using all the movements mentioned above. She’s learning. And it’s a process- I’m learning to be patient. 🙂 Sometimes I think ok, she’s sitting, let’s walk! Likewise, he’s requiring more of her and less support from him when transitioning to standing. You can’t walk until you stand! It’s been a great week and we’re looking forward to the next three. Thank you again to all our supporters out there and taking the time to read Maggie’s updates, I know I can be long-winded!! 🙂