This little one's GLOW-IN-THE-DARK wheelchair arrived, after ordering it back in April. The wait was worth it because this girlie is overjoyed about her new chair! Nora can see everything around her better, without the walls of the stroller blocking her view. It also makes her practice holding her head up and sitting straight up, much to my delight. And it helps Mommy and Daddy not feel so guilty about using Nora's handicap placard (we're still getting used to that one). ;)
Nora's new stander also arrived at the same time as the wheelchair. She is strapped into the stander, as you can see below, so the stander does some of the work for her. But standing in it will help her build a little bit of muscle and build bone density to strengthen her bones from the lack of weight bearing for years (crawling can also build bone density, but she's not able to hold a hands and knees position yet).
There are so many perks of having a stander! Nora gets to see what the world is like from a new angle and get used to the feeling of standing. One of my favorite things about it is that we can practice her occupational therapy (OT) skills. When she is in her booster seat, she has to work hard to focus on sitting up, which makes it difficult to work on other skills at the same time. The stander, on the other hand, is holding her body up for her, so she is free to focus on the fine motor tasks at hand, sometimes much to her dismay. ;)
Below you can see how she is strapped in. (She's not quite standing right in the pic (leaning too much on her left leg)). Nora is wearing her new(ish) pink and purple Ankle Foot Orthotics (AFOs). These keep her ankles in proper alignment when she stands, instead of her ankles pronating (or turning) inward. When Nora stands without orthotics, her knees overextend backwards, which is bad because then her muscles aren't really doing any work. Her joints are bearing all the weight when she overextends her knees. Her amazing Orthotist made her AFOs in a way that forces her to bend her legs a tiny bit when she stands, eliminating her tendency to overextend the knees and allowing her muscles to do the work, instead of her joints. Many kids have trouble getting used to AFOs, but Nora seemed to like them from the start, which was a relief!
Hooray for building muscle and leg strength!
We are thankful to God (and the insurance companies ;)) for providing these new tools to help Nora grow and enjoy everyday life!
Sorry we've been MIA. Life has been very full- many doctors appointments, therapies, some challenges, and lots of giggles from our giggliest little boy. We are working to update more regularly, but please be patient with us. :)