2016 has been a busy year for Team Bex. Chris accepted a new position and we have relocated to the Atlanta area. Making this change was a hard decision for us. Bex was a big factor. In Charlotte, we were blessed with wonderful therapists. They truly cared about Bex as well as our entire family. We always felt that they had her best interest at heart. You form a special relationship with your child’s therapists. It was from them we learned to celebrate the small steps forward in development and finally felt empowered with ways to help her. Leaving those relationships behind was hard and also scary because we didn’t want to lose any momentum with her progress. However, she has taken the change well and continues to make progress. Here is a little bit about what she has been up to:
Zipzac: About 8 weeks ago, Bex’s PT arrived at our house with something new, a Zipzac. She told us that she was on a big mobility kick and trying to brainstorm ways to help some of her patients gain mobility. She could not have introduced this to us a better time. Bex continues to make progress with her gross motor skills, but when it comes to independent mobility, it is just plain hard for her. We could often sense her frustration that she couldn’t get to things she wanted as efficiently as she wanted to. Plus she wanted to be upright when moving and she couldn’t do that while army crawling. The Zipzac would provide her with a means of upright mobility….and more importantly, some independence to explore! And isn’t that what all toddlers want more than anything? There was a learning curve with the Zipzac. She quickly picked up on how to go forwards and backwards. However, turns were a source of frustration for her. She required lots of prompting and hand-over-hand assistance for about 6 weeks. Then all of the sudden, it clicked! In about 2 days, she went from being totally dependent to getting around completely independently. We LOVE watching Bex enjoy her new independence! We can’t help, but smile as we watch her move around and explore with ease.
|Easter Egg Hunt!|
Up Upsee and Away! : One other item that was recommended to help Bex with mobility was an Upsee. It is a harness type mobility device that helps children with motor impairment stand and walk with the assistance of an adult. You can read more about it here - http://www.fireflyfriends.com/upsee. The plan was to have Bex try one out before we left Charlotte under the guidance of her former PT, but we never had the chance. One day recently, Bex seemed very interested in taking steps as we supported her and at that moment we decided on a whim to buy it. So far we have no regrets as she loves it! You can check her out in the video below. The goal, of course, is to keep Bex motivated to move and, more importantly, allow her to interact with people and explore her environment in similar ways to her peers. The Upsee provides these experiences and at the same can help reinforce step and muscle movement. To see her get excited to stand upright and walk around is amazing and we love every minute of it!
|Goofing around with Dad!|
Other Things and Closing Items: In the past several weeks, Bex has also found her voice more and is really enunciating her “Yea’s” and has also started saying “No” more clearly. We can’t get enough of hearing her little voice and we hope that she continues to express herself verbally with other words. We know we will get our fair share of “No’s” when she is a teenager, but we are just fine taking them in bunches now!
One of our biggest concerns with this relocation was the imminent lag time for Bex with physical and speech therapy. Not to mention she absolutely adored her PT in Charlotte and now she’d have to get used to new therapists. However, we have seen her continue to progress and we’ve continued to work with her on exercises and activities. We’ve also started the process of getting her set up for therapy sessions in Atlanta and will continue to push these to start ASAP. We also have her set up for a neurology appointment at the end of the month. We are very thankful to a friend and his family (you know who you are) for helping to set us up with specialists in the Atlanta area.
The funny thing with this move is we were very worried about the kids and how they would adjust. Much to our surprise, they’ve taken it in stride! Regarding Bex, we were concerned she’d struggle with the transition and potentially lose motivation with physical and speech therapy without her therapists’ guidance. However, she has been a real trooper (as well as Rhett) through this relo. This goes to show that this little girl can take on a lot and then some…and still keep smiling!