Josiah’s intensive therapy went great! It’s an adjustment for our family for me to be gone all day, but his progress makes it worth it! This time was more difficult for Josiah because he attended school in the mornings and ending at 5:00 most days. He did some hard work!
In all, Josiah had 38 hours of occupational therapy, 36 hours of physical therapy, 19 hours of speech/language therapy, and 4 hours of aqua therapy over four weeks.
Aqua therapy was his favorite. It was so much fun to watch him enjoy the challenges in the pool. He really enjoyed the minute of free swim in between each activity, even perfecting the underwater backflip he had just learned at the end of last summer. He has yet to figure out a front flip. But I’m certain if he started with the most difficult flip, he’ll figure it out quickly!
Speech and language therapy has been so good for Josiah in helping him with identifying and regulating his emotions. It’s also provided a good framework for conversation. He also had fun working on idioms and enjoys putting them into everyday conversations. His current favorite is, “I was just pulling your leg!” Helping him understand literal and non-literal language helps a lot. One day when he was younger, he was told, “you better clean up before your mom has a cow.” At the time, he was incredibly scared of cows and asked with fear, “you mean a cow is going to come through the door?” He immediately started cleaning up.
Josiah always has fun with physical therapy. He enjoys telling stories while doing his leg warm-ups to start. He loves jumping in the spider cage, completing obstacle courses and walking on the treadmill. (The treadmill is enjoyable because he gets to watch the iPad while walking – they save that for very last!) He gained a lot of strength through his right leg, and is able to stand alone on it for a few seconds now, and is able to clear the ground on a single leg hop while holding onto our finger. He also built up his endurance to walk and run further distances without getting as tired. This was helpful during our trip to Silver Dollar City this year, especially since we no longer have a stroller to push him when he gets tired!
Occupational therapy went great, and he’s starting to enjoy it as well. He still has to work really hard, but is seeing success and that is really motivating for him. He’s able to grasp and release small blocks with his right hand, even carrying the blocks through obstacle courses. It takes a lot of concentration to be able to do it, and it’s very frustrating for him since the right-hand doesn’t always do what he’d like it to do. Botox also makes things hard. While Botox is excellent in helping the stiffness in his wrist, it weakens his fingers, making them harder to control. We’re always working on the right balance, and it seems we haven’t quite found that yet. He worked on putting toothpaste onto his toothbrush and brushing his teeth.
He is able to fully dress independently now! During his first round of intensive last year, he learned to put his pants and shorts on independently. During the round he completed in October, he worked to put on and take off shirts. He also started learning to put on socks, but that was super difficult for him. He was able to put one of the no show style socks onto his left foot easily. But after that intensive session, he got a SMO for his left foot, which requires him to wear different socks. Since they’re taller socks, he struggles with being able to pull them completely up, leaving no wrinkles without it twisting or catching in between his toes.
During this session, he quickly learned how to get his sock on his left foot. His right hand isn’t able to help, so he grasps the sock between his toes to hold it while he loops it around his other toes and onto his foot. He was pretty proud to have accomplished that. His right foot was a struggle since he doesn’t have control of his toes like he does on his left. So they tried a sock helper, which he loved! He practiced on his left foot first and then worked on his right. By the last day of intensive, he had put them on all by himself that morning!
He was wanting two sock helpers, one for each foot, but they only had one. By the time I had gotten a sock on onto the sock helper for him, he had already put the left sock onto his foot. He thought that was funny, and made it okay that he only has one. Yay for independence! He also worked on buttons and zippers.
It was so great to see Josiah’s progress and excitement as he did all of these things. Nathan’s mom and my mom both helped us out by taking Josiah to therapy a few times, and he loved getting to show off for them! Nathan was able to take him up one day also, and Josiah is still talking about how grateful he was that his dad could come to watch him do aqua therapy. We’re thankful we’re close enough to have family come and help and be a part of these moments.