Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rewind Wednesday - PT

A physical therapist started coming to our house when Beth was a few months old. Cristina came twice a week if I remember correctly and worked on teaching Beth how to crawl.

I remember everything was broken down into bits and pieces with a main goal in mind. We would put Beth on her tummy, then move her legs up underneath her to give her the sensation of crawling. We'd move one arm, then the next to get her mind thinking about the movement of crawling.

We'd open and curl her fingers to give her the sensation of grasp and release. It seemed nothing happened naturally. We taught Beth every little movement in hopes she would eventually do it on her own.

I remember feeling like it was overkill. I mean, she was a baby! Why couldn't we just let her be a baby? She'd eventually do this all herself, right? I had nieces and nephews that did this stuff without much help at all. Sure, we'd move their legs and hand them toys, so we'd do it with more purpose for Beth.

I'm sure I was niave. Beth was our first child. She looked and acted fine to me. But I was glad they were willing to help. It was all new to me. Diapers, bottles, doctor's appointments. Adding therapy didn't seem like a huge leap. It was only once or twice a week. And they came to the house.

When Beth was two, she started school. Got on the school bus 3 days a week and went to preschool. There was no additional therapy. Of any kind. I'm sure they did a lot of therapy during the school day, but nothing I was involved with. I read your blogs and you're going to therapy numerous times a week! I'm thankful your kids are getting the extra assistance.

To be honest, your kids seem more 'advanced' then Beth was at their age. I know all kids grow and learn at different paces but it seems things are improving for kids with special needs. I'm sure as medical technology improves and specialists see the advantages of school and different kinds of therapy, it can't help but improve the future for our kids.

This is Cristina working with Beth to teach her how to roll over.
Beth is 6 months old in these pictures.
(Ya gotta love the old TV and cassette player!)

I don't remember who the specialist is on the right.
I'm sure she was taking notes for Beth's IEP.

These are the results of an evaluation done when Beth was one year old.
It shows she was mentally and physically around 7-9 months.
(You can click on it to make it bigger.)




So this is what therapy was like back in 1984. Is it much different today?


Jennifer Scott said...

I don't think the therapies themselves have changed so much as far as techniques, but attitudes about them sure have. I feel like people are more involved & take more pride in doing the therapies & having the interventions at the ready for their kids now. I also think that the therapists expect more from the kids now.

I had a stereo that had an cassette, 8 track & record player. That thing was a behemoth!! It was so heavy. And the speakers were enormous. We used to use them as end tables. LOL

Unknown said...

Wow. So fascinating. Beth was a very cute baby. So sweet.

JC said...

Excellent post, I loved reading it!! I had to laugh when you wrote back then you thought all the therapies were "overkill" That exact thought has crossed my mind MANY, many times. But I keep on going with everything, for Russell's sake. The more people who want to help us and teach us the better!

And I love those words at the top of your blog header...Life with Special Needs is way more normal than I expected!

Becca said...

Wow, that is so interesting! I am always trying to think about what it was like for kids with Ds back then. I graduated from high school in '86, and have no recollection of ever even seeing people with Ds anywhere, and definitely not at school. I'm glad to see that therapies were still given and great notes still taken - I'm so happy that things weren't quite as different or bleak as I figured they must have been for our babies back then. :-)

Kristin said...

I am amazed when I read other blogs about how much therapy their kids get. State services vary from state to state and we live in a state that does the bare minimum. At 2 1/2 yrs old, Max only has speech therapy twice a month and physical therapy once a month. He has a coordinator type come 'play' twice a month, but that's it. I'm always amazed at the kiddos in other states who have therapies several times a week. I know it's great for the kids, but I'd go nuts with all those appointments ;)

Toyin O. said...

Really interesting post, thanks for sharing.

RK said...

I love that you stopped (or Hopped!) by to say hello today! I just love seeing blogs and stories of kids and adults with DS who are on ahead of us in the journey!! What I wouldn't give to just hang out with Beth for a few days!! :o)