Thursday, December 4, 2008

Constraint Therapy, Kinesio Tape, and AFO's

PM finished up her first round of constraint induced therapy in October, now I can stand back and see what we have accomplished. She has much improved motor control with her right hand and definitely more strength. PM is now more willing to use two hands to do two-handed activities rather than struggle with one. I posted the rest of the videos I had of her therapy HERE. She is also willing to wear the "clam shell" constraint during the day or during her therapy without complaint. Sometimes she doesn't want it off at all. However, I think she'll benefit from a second round perhaps in the spring. The reason I'd like to do it that soon is that she turns 3 in June, then there is a strong possibility that her state medical assistance will run out. Our insurance pays first, but so far the state has been able to cover the overage. It would be nice to get as many services in before we're on our own. At night, or any time she starts to get tired she tends to curl her right hand up in that little fist again. I don't expect CIT to work miracles, I know she will always have a deficit, but I can see that it helps. The fist has been happening more often during the day, so the clam shell has come back more often for full days. I just wonder when do we have full potential? Will over-using the constraint method eventually slow her expected progress in the "good" hand? I have decided to give the Kinesio tape another go now that winter is fully upon us. It will serve as a gentle reminder to keep her wrist up and open those fingers. My hope is that the dry, cold weather will keep her from getting the rashes she got this summer from it.

She will also be due for new AFO's before spring as well. Her little toes are peeking over the edge of the plastic and I was told to look for spots on her leg that may indicate they no longer fit. PM got the first set of AFO's in April, so it would be pretty good if she makes it a full year before upgrading. It will be several years before she will be out of AFO's. Her biggest hurdle is that her right knee still hyperextends any time the AFO is not on. She needs to build up strength and train the leg not to snap right back into that position. That will take time. Eventually the high AFO she has now will get shorter and shorter until she no longer needs them. In the mean time I was given several pairs of shoe specifically designed for use with an AFO. They belonged to my friend's sweet girl Caroline. The problem with regular shoes is that they are not nearly wide enough and you end up buying regular shoes several sizes larger than the foot...can you see PM tripping around in AM's shoes? Big shoes kind of defeat the effort of helping them walk better.

On the lighter side: MD went to Santa's Village with his preschool. I asked him who he saw there..
MD: (flatly) Santa.
Mom: Who else? (they each got a children's book signed by the author)
MD: (more animated) Mrs. Claus! (turns to AM) She's like a girl Santa!


Joe and Leanna said...

Hey Mel! That is great that you can see a difference and that it is helping. You might ask your therapist if Theratogs (they have some that just look kinda like bike shorts and/or some like yoga pants which would be great especially during winter). We have been using these for Cole and they help a LOT.

the Rambler said...

Hey lady! I tagged you for a meme over at the Rambler (again)... I thought it would be a fun way to get to know you even a little better. ;)

mandy said...

Do you know what brand the shoes are that you got for the AFO?

Julian Robb said...

Thank you for posting this. Kinesiology is very cool and such a reliable tape in muscle pains, not just in muscle pains. It has many purpose, we can also use it to remove wrinkles.(well I just have read it in the article.)

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