Friday, January 29, 2016

Sledding Therapy

Teddy's a regular at physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and Birth to Three. He has more therapeutic goals than we'll ever work on in any given day (or even week if I'm completely honest). We do our best, pick a few to focus on and count much of our everyday play as therapy because in reality, all play is therapeutic.

Since Teddy was unmotivated to be in his gait trainer today, we decided to play outside in the snow instead. Teddy is getting so good at holding his hand out for mittens (and then promptly ripping them off because he didn't really want them on) and knowing that his socks, braces and shoes go on his feet. It's nice to see that recognition and (minimal) assistance with dressing instead of resistance or dressing a boy made of Jello. (The nice red socks are our way of keeping his mittens on underneath. He's a stylish boy.)

We're lucky our house has enough of a slope to go sledding right in our backyard. Teddy and AJ both had a blast sledding, and it was a fun experience that encompassed OT, PT and speech therapy. Teddy had to engage his core to stay upright on the sled while sliding down the hill and then being pulled back up the hill. It's something we don't think about, but it's a lot of work for a child with low tone. He compensated for some of this effort by holding onto the edges of the sled, which is great because one of his OT goals is to hold onto items with a sustained grasp. Lastly, he had so much fun that he was vocalizing almost the entire way down and then back up the hill. Speech therapy. The trifecta of therapy while having the best time sledding.

Watching Teddy sled today reminded me that one of his original goals for Birth to Three was to be able to go sledding with assistance from AJ last winter. He was able to do that, so he accomplished that goal. I think of how far he's come, though, from last winter when he was mostly dependent upon supporting himself by leaning into AJ. Now he can sled down the hill by himself in a regular sled while holding on and vocalizing how much fun it is.

Therapy is not always as fun as our sledding today, but it certainly is worth it when you can realize the progress.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


We attempt to get to church regularly with the boys. I say attempt because honestly we miss more than we attend most months. Sometimes when we manage to get there (at the right time ... oops, our church starts at 9 a.m. not 9:30 a.m.), we walk out feeling more frustrated than filled. Fortunately, we belong to a welcoming parish, where it's not uncommon to get words of support following mass.

Today my support came from one of the songs we sang at church, that referred to the Beatitudes. The thought had crossed my mind during mass that the Beatitudes carry a message of hope for Teddy.

Here are the Beatitudes:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward is great in heaven.

And here's what I take away:

Although many things in this life will be challenging, I take hope in the fact that Teddy's path to heaven will not. Because of how God designed him, he is pure in heart and will forever remain pure in heart. I know this probably isn't true in a theological sense, but as a parent I almost feel that God made Teddy perfectly in a way that the devil cannot touch him. Perhaps that's why there are days that are so hard for me as a parent ... the devil knows Teddy's out of his reach, so he wants to provoke where he can with fear, doubt, anxiety, anger and such in me.

I also firmly believe that Teddy brings out the best in others. There are others who interact completely differently, in a positive way, with Teddy than they may otherwise. I believe Teddy gives others the opportunity to be merciful, so they can obtain mercy.  

These are obviously my thoughts for the day, not any theological expertise. Still, I hope others may find some comfort in them as well.