Monday, August 18, 2014

Gymnastics

Allie is out of school this week for her summer break and we're taking advantage of the extra daytime to try out some local gymnastics classes.  All the classes we're trying out are for typical kids so they're not specifically therapy classes although they are very therapeutic.  She seemed to have a great time in the class today.

I talked to the teachers before the class started to tell them about Allie's right-sided weakness and mention that she might need a little more help.  Jonathan and I talked about how we were going to say this to the teachers without freaking them out or overloading them with information.  We settled on "Allie has some weakness on the right side of her body and sometimes has a hard time using her right hand."  We specifically decided not to mention the cerebral palsy or the stroke because both of those terms, while technically true, seem scarier than necessary considering how functional Allie is.  The teachers were appreciative of the heads up and were really helpful the few times Allie needed a little help.

The kids had a number of organized activities and a lot of free time to explore the equipment on their own.  During the free play, she was so brave on the big trampoline.  (She's the one in the purple shirt and the pink shorts.)






She also really liked climbing on all the fun obstacles.   


Some of the structured activities included jumping around a cone obstacle course on a hopping ball.  I was a little nervous that Allie wouldn't be able to hold on well enough to get off the ground, but once again she proved me wrong.  The teacher did a great job encouraging her to hold on strong with both hands at the beginning and then she took off on her own.  I was impressed.


The next activity was for the kids to hold onto a bar, walk their feet up a ladder, and then do a horizontal pull up to touch their noses to the bar.  Allie was the last to do this activity and I could tell she was a little nervous.  But my brave girl ran right up and did a fantastic job.  I think she impressed the teacher.  When Allie hopped down and yelled "Ta daa!!!" the teacher said "Way to go Allie!  Great job not being afraid of a challenge!"


The last activity of the day was a huge zipline.  Allie got to go first this time.  When the primary teacher lifted her up to grab on, I heard him remind the other teacher to make sure she had a good grip.  Allie held on wonderfully and squealed when she plopped into the foam pit at the end of the zipline.


Allie seemed to have a great time and I was excited to hear what she thought about it once it was all over.  When I asked her how it was, she cooly said "It wasn't too bad."  Talk about the understatement of the year.  

Our next gymnastics trial is on Thursday when our county PT is meeting us at a big gymnastics center during their open gym time.  We toured the center with one of their PTs a couple months ago and liked it but didn't love the PT.  They offer typical classes as well so maybe that will be a good fit.  We shall see.

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