When I was getting things together for Sebastian’s therapy session yesterday, I wished that we didn’t have to go to therapy, that we could do something fun at home instead. It was gray and rainy and he’s had a cough for what feels like forever (over four weeks) so I didn’t really want to get us all bundled up to head to therapy. But of course we did and the session was fabulous.
There is beauty in this therapy, Sebastian actually enjoys it and so do I. In the past I have had to play with toys, sing songs and do everything short of acrobatics – although there was plenty of jumping up and down and even jumping jacks – to keep him happy. Doing physical therapy from two months old, there were a lot of tears from the start. He cried all the way through the first session we had in Cairo and then all the way home. It broke my heart. That is when I began wishing we could go to playgroup instead of therapy. But those wishes didn’t last long because I would stop and nothing to help Sebastian become the little boy that he is today and continues to strive to be. And eventually we did go to fun things too, like music and swimming. I learned to balance things out. Even the tears.
We recently started physical therapy at a new center which I chose because they have the best therapist in the city for using Theratogs. We have trialed them before and plan to get him a set, but I wanted to make sure I had someone to work with Sebastian that knew how to adjust them according to his needs. I have found that person. She is upbeat and sings songs. She has the best energy and Sebastian loves doing therapy with her. There are no tears, only smiles. And me? I get to sit back, encourage and praise while taking photos or videos or just beam at his achievements. In those moments I am 100% parent. I am not the therapist that I try to be when doing exercises daily at home. And it’s AWESOME.
Yesterday Sebastian rocked the session. We see a huge difference in him when he is wearing the Theratogs. He is able to sit up straight and has more use of his arms and hands because he is not also working on holding his trunk in place. He was reaching for toys on his own, grabbing onto them, pushing buttons. In the photos below you can see he is sitting up on his own in the corner. Behind him is a large mat. We are going to get one of those. It allows for him to sit independently, while facing someone else.
Right now when we play at home, I sit behind him and we do a lot of hand-over-hand play. Yesterday he really showed us that he is interested in playing on his own, or with us. He was motivated to play with the toys. This is a huge inchstone for us. Huge. I have often prayed that he would get stronger in his trunk so that he could reach out and play with his toys. I have prayed that he would have the desire and motivation to play with his toys without us doing it for him. That time has come. And it’s only uphill from here.
Sebastian also did some practicing getting from a squat into standing position and then holding that position. He was able to hold in standing for about 20 seconds. It was towards the end of the session and he was getting tired, today was his first day back at school and even with a long nap before therapy, he could only do so much. I love to see how happy he is when he accomplishes things. He is so proud of himself. And I’m certainly one proud mama too.
SQUAT TO STAND
I also took a couple videos of Sebastian popping up the toy above using different buttons and then reaching out for something hanging in front of him and grabbing on. He did this three times, with two different toys. Happy tears for me indeed. I will work towards posting one of these videos too.