Monday, July 9, 2012

Slow, slow, slow...

Sometimes I am happy with taking things slowly.

But sometimes things move so slowly that it's hard to recognize whether there's progress at all.

I've been feeling a little impatient of late.  It just seems like my Little Miss is never going to get there.  I know that isn't true, of course.  But part of me wonders just how far her 47 chromosomes of stubborn may take her.

I know to expect her to do everything, but to expect it to take longer for her to get there.  I know it, I do.  But sometimes it just feels like it's taking forever.

There is such a range for development in the gross motor department.  I see kids all the time (fellow 47ers) who have been doing so much more than Cora for quite some time.  Kids who are walking, who've been crawling and pulling to stand for months, who are cruising around furniture and using push-toys.

But this girl really doesn't want to do it.  In the past few weeks she has actually started voluntarily bending her knees while being held in a standing position or during the very limited time that she deigns to actually stand holding onto something.  I encourage this all the time since this girl loves to dance.  Anytime I say "dance" she starts bopping her head up and down, and if she's standing, she'll slightly bend her little legs, snapping them back into locked position.  (The really cute part is that she will look down at her knees when she does this.)  It's obvious that it's hard for her to do.  She can pull to stand when she's sitting on a bench (taped together phone books and pulling up onto a weighted plastic bin), but she really doesn't like to.  She's also starting to move forward onto one knee (with the other leg splayed out to the side) while sitting, especially if, like on the bed, she can't easily butt-scoot to where she wants to go.

Still, trying to get her to be on hands and knees is like pulling teeth.  Sometimes she'll let us maneuver her little limbs, but then she'll yell and throw herself forward onto her belly, immediately pushing herself up to sit again.  If we try and help her "walk", she just keeps her knees rigid and fights the whole time.

I've totally been slacking on working with her on it, since she hates it so.  I agree with her therapist who thinks that forcing her to do exercises that she hates will just backfire on us, causing her to refuse them even more.  So I've backed off a bit, hoping that she may decide to move forward on her own.  I'm just not sure if that's true.

So today I thought I'd try again and worked her a little harder.  She was not happy with it, but eventually did enough stand-ups and sit-downs from her bench to satisfy me.  Then I took her on the stairs and moved her little knees up to the next step, encouraging her to reach above and pull herself forward.  Again, not super successful.  But I guess I will keep up with it for a few minutes a day at least, and see if she starts to make any progress.

For now, she is ever-so-slowly scooting on her little bum across the floor.  That is, if I'm not in arm's reach.  Otherwise she just whines for me to help her.  She's learned how to move across hard wood with shorts on (something that was challenging since she couldn't just slide across the floor) and now she does a little hop, one leg forward, one leg out, pulling with her hands.  But she's not moving very quickly.

The actual slow movement isn't so bad, since it still makes it a little easier to take care of her.  I guess I'm just feeling impatient and wanting her to make progress.  And I want her to want to do these things.  I want her to want to stand up.  I want her to be willing to bend her knees enough that she can develop some strength in those weak little legs.

Heck, she'll probably start walking tomorrow (ha ha!) just to show me up.

Parents of other kids with low tone:  Do you push and push your child despite serious resistance?  Any tricks that worked for you?  Any ideas on how to make bending knees fun (in addition to dancing)?

In her favorite position of all: sitting still!


  1. I felt that way for awhile with gross motor! I honestly got to the point where I wasn't really pushing the issue and decided maybe it would be one of those things she just did on her own time. I still tried to incorporate it into play time, and then one day she just took off with it and I haven't been able to stop her since. Gross motor used to be her weakness, but now I'm starting to feel like we're gaining speed (literally) there and falling behind in speech. But you are right - its much easier to take care of them when they are stationary!!! I'm sure Miss Cora will just take off with it one of these days!

  2. I remember working with Russell for a long time on bending his knees. I did a post on it way back when, I think he was about 15 or 16 months old, I copied the link below if you want to check it out. Russell use to lock his knees all the time...Our PT said it was simply because he was just not ready yet and pushing him wasn't going to make it happen sooner, he needed to gain confidence, he locked his knees cause he was scared, so we backed off and worked on other things.

    One way we got Russell learning to bend his knees was by sitting him on a shoe box because it was the right height for his feet to touch the floor with his knees bending nicely...Then we put a toy box in front of him, one he would have to pull up on to see what was in it. It worked perfectly! He always wanted to see into the box so he would have to pull to stand to see in, and then bend his knees to sit back down.

    Also I wanted to tell you I remember those long days that would stretch into months where you felt nothing was really happening and no new progress was being made...But our kids are working constantly, the steps involved for them to learn bigger things are sometimes so small we barely notice them...Little Cora is going to be on the move quicker than you think!

  3. I found that the harder I worked Addison, the more she REFUSED to do it. So I would take whatever her current obsession was and bribe her with it. I remember when she was into cheesy chips, I lined every surface in the living room with them- far enough apart that she would have to "cruise" between the furniture to get the next chip while I sat out of sight and pretended that I wasn't watching or caring about what she was doing. If I tried to lift her up and MAKE her cruise, she would lift her legs in the air and scream But if I put something she really wanted in a place where she would have to work to get it, her abilities multiplied by 10. Just my experience. Of course, Addison didn't fully walk until 26/27 months, but she cruised for a solid year before that because she was so anxious to get all of those "out of reach" yummy snacks. Yes, I am a mean mommy. (-:

  4. I don't push Ben. For him, his area of struggle is communication. I do what I can. We do his oral motor therapy exercises. We read together. I do often forget to sign. I just have this sense that he will communicate when he is ready.

    Ben's therapists encourage a lot of squatting. I did make him kneel a lot. He has a mattress on the floor in his bedroom that is the perfect height for kneeling and playing with toys.

    Cora definitely is on her way but she is just taking her time:)

  5. Hi there.I understand your frustration, it will come and go all your life I think!
    Have you heard of cross patterning? There is divided opinion as to its use, but I think it has a place. We used it on our little boy and he crawled easily where as our daughter only bottom shuffled (sounds like your girl) and totally refused to crawl. Both kids have DS, and while the boy is 2 yrs 5 months and still not walking (but crawling heaps) I notice a difference in his abilites compared to my daughter. I no longer see early walking as a sign they are going to be more 'high functioning', so don't worry, your daughter will get there. I guess you could google cross paternig and find out about it but basically it is about creating the neural pathways in the brain that allow both sides to work with each other. Thats a very simpled version but email me if you want to know more. Cheers, jenni PS: try not to compare with other kids !! Also your daughter does not have older siblings to copy, that makes a difference I think in alot of cases.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!