Tuesday, January 5, 2010

a unique experience

Like many other kids whose hearing loss is associated with LVAS, Lucas has had gross motor delays since birth. He couldn't hold his head up until 6 months, he didn't sit on his own until almost 12 months, was unable to crawl with his belly off the floor until 12 months, and didn't walk until 21 months. He's doing remarkably well right now, although he's still a bit behind. I attribute his most recent gains to a unique opportunity he has had: aquatic therapy.

Our area is very lucky to be served by a premiere children's rehabilitation facility, the Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center. Through this wonderful organization, Lucas receives both weekly speech therapy and biweekly physical therapy at home through Early Intervention. His PT recommended last August that we pursue aquatic therapy at the center to improve Lucas's balance deficiencies, and he has had weekly sessions since mid-September. His balance has improved and his comfort level in the water has increased immensely. The pool is designed for children, so the shallow end is only 1 foot deep. This means that Lucas can stand and walk there! Oma has been the one to accompany him to therapy, but I've gotten to go with him twice when we've had off school.

His therapist just adores him, and she keeps mentioning that he's ready for swim lessons. He always wants to put his face in the water, he doesn't want her to be constantly spotting him, and he just has no fear! So, we're looking into private swim lessons in that pool because of the depth, and I think it will be a much richer experience for him if he can HEAR. So, I'm heeding some advice that I got from cicircle over the summer, and I'm going to rig his processor so he can wear it in the water, using an Aloksak bag and a Lycra swim cap. I'm excited to try it out, and nervous at the same time. We'll see! I predict it will be well worth it!

I've pieced together some video clips from therapy that capture his incredibly contagious laugh, his complete lack of fear for the water and his ability to stand in the pool. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Hi Lucas and his mom;

This is just a joy to watch. You guys are awesome!


leah said...

What an amazing therapy opportunity! The water is great for so many things- I never thought about it helping out with balance. How very cool! I hope the waterproof bag works out well- it would certainly be nice if he could hear when he went swimming!