"For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made

in the secret place, when I was woven together

in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my

unformed body; all the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be."

Psalm 139: 13-16

Friday, August 2, 2013

Figure Me Out

Yesterday was Meghan's 6th session in the power mobility clinic at the pediatric rehabilitation hospital. We have long known that she clearly understands the concept of cause and effect, which is instrumental in the ability to operate a wheelchair. First we tried head controls, which didn't work well because the degree of scoliosis in her neck made it difficult to maintain an upright position for very long, which meant that even when she looked right, the left side of her head would still maintain contact with the left head control, making it pretty confusing for her, and incredibly difficult to actually turn right. So next we moved to switches, which were placed on a tray, and activated just by light touch. While she has the ability to voluntarily touch a button, the forced use of her hands was creating a major problem with her sensory processing issues. Meghan likes to be in control- if it's on her terms, she will do what she is able to do with her hands. Force her to do it, and she's not a happy camper. Our Occupational Therapist has been working with her since she was 7 weeks old, and from very early on, we have had to consistently ask her to use her hands instead of her feet. It's pretty clear that she learned to use what she has:) Usually, she prefers to play with toys like this..

When you can't sit up, apparently you learn to use your feet to hold the objects, and manipulate what you can with your hands:)

 So, at her clinic yesterday we first tried going from switches to a joystick. After 10 minutes, and completely refusing to touch anything, she had a mini meltdown and it became clear that we weren't getting any further today than we have for 6 weeks. So we took a break, and our therapist brought out a swing to let her calm down. As she was rocking with Meg, she asked if Meghan ever played with toys with her feet. To which I of course replied, "all the time!". So, she rewired the chair, and put the switches at her feet. And then this happened:
It's go time! (Excuse the geeking out and the sniffles. It was kind of a big moment!)

The look on her face when she first realized we weren't asking her to use her hands, was one of surprise, and then elation! She was clearly relieved that we had finally figured it out for her. I exclaimed that I never even considered that using her feet would be an option! Our therapist replied- "ANYTHING is an option". I can't describe how thankful I am for a person so invested in the success of a child.

We are so excited at what this will mean for Meg and her independence, and we are praising God for his continued provision. Without a therapist who was willing to be creative and unconventional, Meghan might not have had this door opened for her.

Onward! Yeah!!