Homework Assignment #1
Today was the first day of Allie's second round of constraint therapy at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. It snowed for the first time this season last night so we had to make the trek to KKI with some pretty unpleasant road conditions. Allie didn't mind the extra long commute because she just slept in the car the whole (almost 2 hour!) trip there. On a normal morning, it should take about an hour each way.
Today's session was two hours long, an hour for an evaluation and an hour for casting. We did the casting first and Allie was remarkably good for it. Last time, she melted down and sobbed during the whole casting process. This time, she got to play with an iPad and listen to kid music. Allie had to take a break at one point so that she could get up and dance. She is a cute little butt-wiggling dancer.
She will be using a full arm removable cast. It is basically the same cast as what we had at the end of last year's session but bigger. It takes about 10-15 minutes to get the cast on and molded to Allie's arm. We were happy when it was done but the super cool pink cast material that Allie picked was defective and the whole cast fell apart within minutes! So, we had to repeat the process (dance breaks included) and made the much more solid white one that she is wearing in the video above.
After the casting was done, we walked down to the evaluation room to meet with another OT who was going to help out with filming the evaluation. This part of the session didn't go as well as I had hoped, not because she couldn't do the things we were asking her to do but because she objected to being asked to do anything. Every toy that the OTs handed her got thrown back at them. At first they kind of chuckled but soon they just stopped handing her things. The evaluation ended when Allie escaped from the chair that she was supposed to stay in, crawled out from under the table she was working at, stood up, declared "No! Done! Bye bye!" and stomped away. Her Children's Hospital OT doesn't call her "The Diva" for nothing.
For the next 8 weeks, we will be doing an hour of OT at KKI three times a week for one hour OT sessions. I'll be taking her on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Jonathan will be taking her on Fridays. The goal is to work up to Allie wearing the cast for about 4 hours a day (2 hours in the morning and 2 hours at night).
She did her first hour in the cast tonight and it was great, as you can see in the video. When she was getting ready for bed and the cast was long gone, Jonathan asked her where her head was. She patted her head with Righty. Then she pointed out her nose, teeth, ear, and butt with Righty on cue.
Last time we did this, we were so nervous about how everything was going to go. This time, we are so excited about it. She made such notable gains last time around and we are looking forward to seeing what she can accomplish this time.