Monday, February 20, 2012

Basketball and Ballet

This week has been pretty impressive in terms of what I'm calling "motor planning". Elena is doing very well with accomplishing tasks that involve coordinating several limbs at once (doing different things). This is hard to put into words--but I guess it's like the mental coordination of patting your head and rubbing your tummy--you can do it, but it takes thought and coordination--and then BOOM you have it.

Like, at Jump For Heart her timing was pretty good--but landing the jump was not, so she needed help there. Still, her coordination and timing were better than they've ever been.

Here's E at PT last week:

What's great here is not only does she keep control of the ball, but she 1) doesn't fall over, 2) doesn't lose the ball, 3) stops in space--WITH the ball, 4) and shoots it without falling over AND 5) when the ball bounces back at her, she catches it and tries again. This fluidity (if I can call it that) is coming more naturally to her, and that's pretty new. Notice once she stops, she does NOT move her feet to get the ball--the impetus to move her feet to react to an object not aimed correctly at her is not there yet--but it is emerging (thanks to lots of soccer practice!).

We've had a few ballet mentor sessions. So far, i think they are going well. I'd put them in a post by themselves but my pictures/videos aren't that good. But I do have E doing a skip!

It started with her teaching her a passe move, and while it was challenging for E, it wasn't that exciting. When Ms. J used that as a building block to skip, E's eyes lit up and she asked to skip all the way to the exit. (She was pretty tired, though).

Sure, it's a skip with heavy assistance, but it's definitely a new way of moving for Elena, and she was very proud of herself--that's a total win!

With Ms. C, E learned a little more about "turn out"--which is brand new to Elena, as her lower limbs constantly sink towards the midline. E can turn out her feet a little now, and can attempt 1st-5th positions, which again--the motor planning aspect is present. She's also getting to know her feet a little better--I'm trying to have her learn the difference between pointing and flexing. We've been doing dorsiflexion drills for years, and she's decent at flexing her feet. Unfortunately, that's the only deliberate foot motion she knows. If E could point her feet on demand, it would make getting dressed MUCH easier (especially putting on pants). So far, I think she's making fantastic progress, and more importantly, seems to be doing so while enjoying herself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, great to see that Elena has started dance! I work with Gregg Mozgala and we are doing some of the same things that you mentioned E and her teacher are doing. Using the turnout muscles is very challenging for a person with CP, it certainly was for me, but it can be done. Once she gets more control of her turnout a new world will open for her. She may become impatient with her body because it will fight her at first but just keep reminding her to be patient and that her body will learn to listen to her. Please make more posts about her dancing! I'm dying to see more!