As I mentioned in the last post, the program is measured in 4 week sessions and we booked 3 this trip. Maggie just finished weeks 5 & 6 so we’re halfway through her second session and subsequently, halfway through our trip overall.
Maggie is still doing great, little by little she gets better with each task. She’s starting to bear weight through her hands better and is even keeping her right hand open some without assistance! This is huge for her! She still fists both hands plenty when she’s working because she’s focusing so hard on the task at hand, but this is a step in the right direction. Maggie’s work with the small spiky ball is improving as well. Meaning, Natan asks her to put her hand on the ball and she slowly reaches straight out and places her hand on top. This is an improvement because in the past, Maggie has generally swatted at objects. Instead of reaching straight in front of her- from the elbow- she would move her arm to the right or left (depending on the arm) and then hit the ball, as an example, several times before her hand would land on it. She’s starting to slow down and her movements are more precise because of it. As she gets used to this, she’ll gradually learn to do it quicker, like we do.
Maggie’s standing continues to improve slowly as well. She’s been standing and walking more with the big ball and is doing great. Each day, each week, she understands more how to bear weight (push) through her feet. She’s standing more evenly on both sides, rather than trying to put most of her weight on one side or the other. I don’t think she has stood more than 10 seconds yet, but the quality continues to improve. It’s hard to explain, but I can see that she’s wobbling less and is falling forward (where she can catch herself) more than backward.
I honestly suspect that fear is a big obstacle for her as well. I don’t mean to go all Psychologist (esp. since I’m not certified as one:) ) but this is a big change for her – as I’ve said before- she’s spent most of her 4 years on the ground. And now she’s learning to maintain herself in an upright position, it’s scary. All kids go through this in development- that’s why they fall so much trying to stand and walk- they’re learning that control. But most kids are around 1 year old when they learn this, so they are much closer to the ground than and controlling less body mass (in terms of height) than Maggie. A lot of times she falls simply because she’s afraid of falling. And in Maggie’s case, when she gets scared, her muscles tend to tighten and are harder to control, thus actually causing her to fall.
I continue to be so amazed and impressed by Maggie, my beautiful little girl and I’m so proud to call her my daughter. She is overcoming big obstacles and at such a young age. She’s always been a hard worker but this program is intense and she keeps fighting through. I’m SO proud of you, Maggie, I love you!!