Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Therapy Tuesday: Walking Is Fun

Grace, one of our summer volunteers, has written about Talia's therapy sessions.  Just in case you are not up to date with all the news, Talia is Talley's new name.

The first time I observed Talia come into therapy, Zoey, the therapist, said, “Talia’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with her. She just doesn’t prefer to walk.” The challenge then, is how do we make walking fun so that Talia will want to practice enough to get to the point where she will then want to do it on her own? 

During Talia’s therapy sessions, we work her up to walking. We’ll start by having her do some standing activities, so that she practices being on her feet for an extended amount of time. One thing Talia loves is the magnetic board. While standing, she enjoys pulling out magnetic letters from a bag and sticking them to the wall.

After Talia has been doing standing activities for a while, we will start to walk with her around the room. She doesn’t like to walk unless someone is holding onto her hand, so we try to wean her off of our support as we walk with her across the room. First, we’ll hold two of her hands, then just one hand. This week, we had a water bottle on the floor that we would move around and have her walk to and pick up. She needed a free hand in order to pick up the water bottle, so it helped her be more independent while walking.

The other day, Talia spent a lot of time walking with the therapy walker. The more she can practice walking, the closer she will feel to being confident enough to walk on her own without someone holding onto her hand. She’s definitely making progress and gaining leg strength and stamina!

Another extension of Talia’s therapy is being able to ride the pony that visits us.  With help, Talia is able to sit on the pony as it walks in a circle, which improves her balance. Not only is it helping build Talia’s muscles, but it’s also so much fun!  

This post was written by Grace.

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