In my last update on Baby G and his XXXXY Syndrome, I talked about his assessment with our team at Niagara Children’s Centre. Since then, over the holiday, I took Baby G to his first physiotherapy appointment. Here’s an overview of what we covered that day.
When Baby G sits up, his legs stay straight out in front of him, and they are very stiff. Our therapist says this is how he’s keeping himself from falling over. So, instead of using his abdominal muscles, he’s using his hamstrings to keep his foundation. One of the markers of having all these extra chromosomes is poor muscle tone. In Baby G’s case, we’re seeing this in his abdominal wall, and he’s compensating, using what he can. The therapist recommends that we practice bending his knees to bring his toes together. This will force him to use his abdominal muscles to support himself while sitting, and makes his hamstrings unusable.
Other positions she recommends are sitting him on our leg with his legs on either side and bent, as well as sitting on the edge of a chair, letting his legs hang over the edge. Holding him at the hips in these positions will again, force his tummy muscles to engage.
So far, these positions are going well and we’re seeing progress in the ease of bending his knees and less wiggling while sitting with legs hanging.
Because of the low tone in his abdominal muscles, Baby G finds it difficult to lean over to reach for a toy or to get to his tummy. While sitting, the therapist showed that by bending one knee in, leaning him to the same side bringing his hands to the floor, his other leg will bend behind him and gradually he’ll unwind to a tummy or crawl position.
We tried this method reaching for a toy and coming back up to sitting, but he’s tending to cheat and just roll to his tummy. As he gets stronger in his core, we believe this motion will become easier to handle.
In a tummy position, Baby G does well, but doesn’t get anywhere. He rolls front to back both ways, and only seems to move backwards using his arms. Recommendations for this were to get him to put weight on his knees and get used to that feeling by having him kneel and reach over our leg for a toy on the other side.
After using this and the therapist’s sitting techniques above, we’ve seen G pull himself along, in somewhat of an army crawl. We’ve even seen him up on his hands and knees, rocking back and forth.
So, some very exciting progress through the holidays with Baby G. He’s excited that he can pull himself along a bit, and is just a little more wiggly in general. More appointments are coming up through to the end of February and we can’t wait to see his wee world open up.