Sunday, February 15, 2009

Preparing for SDR

Elena has a busy schedule normally, with PT and school, but right before Christmas (under the guidance of our main PT) we ramped up her workout schedule to best prepare her for SDR this year.
I'm not sure if this is for everyone, but here is what we're doing:

Elena's normal PT schedule:
Monday: PT (public school), school (all school days include PE)
Tuesday: school, Little Gym class (gross motor play sessions)
Wednesday: school, speech therapy (she doesn't really need it anymore)
Thursday: private PT, school
Friday: PT (public school), school
Saturday: therapeutic horseback riding
Sunday: "day off", but if it's warm enough, we go to a park or the mall, or the hospital (where I work) to walk around/play
EVERY NIGHT: Stretching regimen (takes about 10 minutes, includes hip "bridges", sit ups, and transitional sit-ups to partial standing)

So, in addition to this, we added weight training, strength training, and treadmill to her schedule. I had been trying to get Elena to use her pediatric treadmill by introducing her to videos on my computer, which she only got to watch while walking on the treadmill. It worked--all too well, actually, as we initially added treadmilling Wednesday and Sunday nights, but she soon demanded it EVERY NIGHT (no joke). She walks (assisted) 5-20 minutes, we end whenever she says she's finished.
Weight training consists of 1-lb velcro weights we wrap around her ankles to do sitting leg raises. While sitting straight up, she is to straighten her leg out as far as possible with the weight on--this was initially difficult, as she wants to move both legs at the same time. We hold down her non-weighted leg to help her differentiate the two. She has gotten better at singularly using one leg at a time. She does (ideally) 5 raises/side, repeated 5 times, with a "playtime reward" after each set (we use magnetic dress-up dolls). It didn't take her long to insist on doing these every night also. Her leg strength increased dramatically once we started the weight regimen.
Strength/flexibility training consists of wall sits (normally bare-footed), where she puts her back against a wall (we have a growth chart here) and with her back on the wall, she squats down and then stands back up, with her feet as flat on the floor as possible. We call this "tall and short". We also do leg lifts--on all fours, with her head up, she raises one leg as straight as possible, as tall as possible, with the end goal being that her back and leg are in the same horizontal plane. We call these "puppy exercises" and tell her she's a puppy looking for something to chase. When she finds it, she points her leg (backwards, but who cares) and after holding it for 5 seconds, she can go chase (we put out stuffed animals down the hallway).

I'll try to get pictures up.


Fancy Pancakes said...

Ah, watching videos while on the treadmill... a girl after my own heart.
Good luck this week, we'll be thinking of you tons!!!

Kenzie Carlson said...

i do some of those same excersises currently, the "dog excersise" one i did in PT a few times, and ive done wall sits in PT too although they arent my favorite haha. can she half Kneel? i worked on that from the time i was 8 to when i was 10 hen i could finaly do it. it takes a lot of balance nad im 13 currently, i tried it earlier today (it meaning half kneeling) and i had some issues because i havent done it in a while, but i did it more nad more nad got it perfecly! ive done the thing witht he weights a lot, especially side stepping with them.. its hard because everything in my lower body wants to cross int eh middle! so i have to watch my legs to make sure they dont cross, if i do then i "messed up" and have to go back to where i started int he hallway fro PT. i have worked on skipping for 5 years (since i was 8) and i hnestly can say i am no where near mastered at it... im working really hard at it though! by the way i ahve cp SD (spastic diplegia) to! you rock Elena!