Shortly after Michael turned 2, he was checked by an orthopedic doctor for a slight curvature in his spine. The doctor referred us to a pediatric physical therapist for an evaluation. The therapist found several areas, in addition to the spine, that could benefit from weekly therapy sessions.
One of the first things that the therapist recommended was orthotics for Michael's shoes. He has worn these since August 2008. They help with the pronation of his feet. We definitely noticed a difference in Michael's walking after he got the shoe inserts.
Michael continued to go to therapy once a week, as well as see the orthopedic doctor every 6 months for continued evaluations and spinal x-rays. At his last visit in May 2009, the doctor changed the visits to once a year.
Therapy was helpful but quite a fight at times. I mean, he was 2 when he started and turned 3 after he had been going for about a year. Up until I had Katie, it was almost a weekly fight to get him to cooperate and follow the therapist's directions. It didn't help that the sessions were at the end of a long day either.
In April 2009, he started seeing another therapist in the same office. What a difference that made! I truly believe that he just did not connect with the first therapist. The new therapist was younger and made the exercises that he had to do seem like a game, not a chore. I think this was a turning point in Michael's treatment. He still had weeks where everything didn't go well but for the most part, I saw a big attitude change.
Fast forward to November 2009, his therapist advised that she thought Michael could benefit from a break in therapy. At first, I was skeptical because I didn't want to lose the progress we had made. But at the same time, I knew he was getting burnt out on the same exercises and he had been going every week for the past year and a half. We left, armed with a list of exercises to do, promising to come back in 3 months.
Today was his first appointment back since the break. It was great. Michael was much more receptive to the exercises and she said that she could see a difference in his understanding and cooperation. She gave me the exercises that we should concentrate on and we will resume weekly sessions for right now. Next week, she is going to introduce some new exercises. I am hoping that goes as smoothly as today did.
I was so relieved that Michael adjusted well to the return to PT. I had been telling him about seeing Dottie, the therapist, and he remembered that he would get a treat if he listened and did the exercises. I knew that it had gone well when Michael walked through the door with a big smile on his face and a Reeses Peanut Butter cup in his hand!