Well, for the last three weeks, Anniston and I have been in Louisiana for her to participate in an intensive form of therapy called IMOT! I will try to explain, but you can also read more about it here.
IMOT stands for Intensive Model of Therapy, and basically for us, it was a three week course (four hours a day) consisting of both physical and occupational therapies. Anniston is customed to having three hours total every week of therapy, so going from three to twenty hours a week was a BIG deal! As you can see, during portions of her therapy, she wore a suit over her clothes called a neurosuit. The suit put pressure on Anniston's body to allow her to have more body awareness while creating new pathways in her brain to use her right side. Pretty cool. This extra input gives her recovery since her stroke a nice, big "boost".
This is Karl, Anniston's PT. He is amazing and helped her more than I can say. Despite the fact that he is wonderful with children (Anniston cried alot...was tired and so exhausted...and, he was so good at calming her down), Karl also has such a heart for God and believes in His power to heal and to work through this program. We were able to take part in a group prayer time at the clinic every morning! So awesome. Melanie Massey-Groves, the owner of the clinic, was also her PT for a few days! She is in the picture below, but that's the only one I have with her :(. She did a post on her super cool blog about our IMOT session. She is wonderful, too!
I am being too lazy tonight to remember how to remove these underlines :).
Overall, the PT portion was awesome. Anniston is shifting her weight better, and as you saw in my last post, she even took a few steps on her own! Please be praying for her confidence. Because she is walking at an older age, she is much more aware of the consequences of falling, so we are struggling to get many more steps out of her. Believing they are coming soon, though! Also in PT, she was able to crawl up stairs, go from sitting to standing, and stand independently for several seconds. SO much stronger! The main issue was her balance/alignment, and this therapy definitely helped with those issues.
The OT portion was wonderful, too. This is Patchez, Anniston's OT. She is so very sweet! One of the biggest benefits we have seen from this intensive therapy is the extra movement in Anniston's right arm. We barely have to give her a command, and she will move that arm...even if she is out of her high chair and very focussed on another task...big time for her. Also, Anniston's developmental age was tested in OT the first and last days, and she gained several months in just a few weeks!! She is pretty much caught up now...such a blessing!! Just so I'll remember: her right shoulder is also much more relaxed, and she is keeping her right arm at mid-line more.
They restricted her left arm often while trying to encourage use of her right arm. (The blue stuff on her arm is tape...it is helping to keep her hand open.)
Anniston LOVED the swing. It was so relaxing for her (which was needed sometimes!), and it helped the therapists to stretch her without much of a fight :).
Another plus to this therapy is that since the brain is stimulated SO much, her speech has improved as well! Anniston is definitely much more intentional with her verbalizations, and is for sure more vocal. We still might not be able to understand much, but I know it is coming!
This is a special picture to us because it is of our friend Sam and his sister. Sam went through IMOT at the same time as Anniston, and he is just the most amazing, handsome little boy I think I have ever met!
Well, that is all for now. I will share her IMOT party pictures (from her last day) soon. SO thankful for the boost that this therapy gave Anniston, and SO thankful as well to be home!
Oh, and here is a sideways video of her taking a couple of steps at therapy :).
If any of you from MMPT are reading this, we are more than thankful for you and feel so incredibly blessed to have been a part of this program!