Monday, October 13, 2014

October: Up to Speed

So, back to present time.  Elena got her new knee brace (we refer to this as the "sleeve") to help alleviate pain from tendinitis.  It can get hot, so sometimes she takes it off halfway through the school day.  With the weather getting cooler, this happens less.

The Sleeve

The sleeve is bulky, but not enough to really limit her movement.  I can definitely see in Elena's stance when she is tired.  She is also pronating worse (sinking in at the knees from spasticity, tendinitis, and fatigue) and it's leaving her navicular bone and malleolus with pressure points from her Sure Step orthotics (with the yellow velcro in above picture).  It's not very bad, but it is different from the summertime.  I think another round of Botox injections might be considered (hamstrings/adductors) to help with the constant crouch (we see her ortho at the end of the month).

I've made a few changes at home, to try to get the kids (ahem, Elena) more excited about self-sufficiency, homework, and having fun.  If you have other ideas where we can help E's self-sufficiency, efficiency, or things that have worked for you in the home--please comment!

I bought a set of crutch holders from Walk Easy, Inc. (that's her brand of crutches) and have them next to wall hooks.  It keeps them from being a tangled mess with shoes.  Once the kids get home, they hang their backpacks, open them (so I clean out their lunchboxes and homework is on the brain if there is any) and E hangs her crutches by pushing them in the clamps.

"Crutch Park", shown with a broomhandle

closeup of clamp

In the kitchen, I made a space under the counter to put plastic dishes and cups.  That way the kids can get a drink or a snack on their own.  

I made a homework nook, using one of the homemade tables Grandpa made.  Shown with her adjustable chair here, she can start her homework whenever she likes.  It's in the office, with the grown-up desk, and I even put the white noise machine right by the door so Elena can tune out background noise (ahem, Vivian being crazy) while she does her homework.

Homework Nook.  Pictures of E and her Math Coach on her tack board.

The Fall Bucket List is in action!  The kids helped me make a tree with leaves that "fall" every time we do them.  It's going to be a fun season!

We're going to have to add more leaves!

Another recent development is with Elena and one of our neighbors.  Vivian has four close friends within three houses of ours; she always has playmates.  While there are many fourth graders in the neighborhood, none of them are in walking distance to Elena, and that was always a problem.  By chance, our third-grade neighbor K and Elena have begun a friendship--K has several siblings and is often away or at another friends' house.  It has been an awesome change to see E out and about, inside and out, with a nearby friend--without any help from me!

Bonus pictures!
Viv spots a balloon landing
Elena finds a treasure at the Archaeology fair!

Art House

Viv catches the Moon

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