Saturday, 11 April 2015

Getting the balance right

Seth can walk if his upper body is supported. This means that as long as you are holding his hips or arms he can propel himself forward. Whilst using his walker at school he can take the lead when moving through the halls. His visual impairment means that he still needs a guiding hand so he doesn't go straight into walls though!

At home Seth has started being able to choose what he wants; a couple of times I have misinterpreted his body language thinking that he needs to go to the toilet. However, once being helped to his feet (which again as long you are standing behind him supporting under his arms he will bring his knees up so his feet are flat on the floor, push up through his legs and then walk his feet backwards so that he is standing up straight) and walking him out of the living room, he has stopped at the door, turned away and walked to his chair where he eats his meals, with me behind trying to keep up! The 2nd time this happened I had moved his chair and so he sat on the floor where it should have been. I helped Seth back up and asked him to find his chair. He walked around the living room until he came to it whereupon he lifted his foot trying to step up into it.

Seth is now so strong and confident on his legs but his upper body muscle tone is still letting him down preventing him from being able to balance. Every so often I test this though. I figure if he finally learnt to sit unaided he should be able to do the same when standing. So sometimes when it feels like he might be ready I let go of him. I'm ready to catch him as he topples but I want him to feel what it is like to give him the opportunity to find his own balance. And on Thursday during Seth's trampolining class he did it. For at least 10 seconds Seth stood completely unsupported. It was breathtaking. This evening I tried again and after a few failed attempts Seth again stood for several seconds alone. He even took 2 tiny steps forward before I felt he was going to topple and took back hold.

So now I have something new to work on :)

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Seth is toilet training me

We moved into this house over 2 years ago because there was a room downstairs that could become Seth's bedroom and a downstairs toilet. This is a fabulous old house full of character and we love it.

Slight problem has been that in the winter Seth's bedroom with its single glazed window and 3 exposed stone walls and a boiler that isn't powerful enough to fully heat the radiators in this furthest room is freezing.. In the summer on a hot humid night this is the best room to sleep in though! So Seth temporarily moves upstairs to his 'winter residence' sleeping in the guest bedroom/study.

The landlord finally agreed to fit secondary glazing last month and spring has arrived so it should be time for Seth to move back downstairs. We are even getting the downstairs toilet converted to a wet room next week so everything really will be set up for Seth.

And yet I have spent several days lugging his bedroom furniture upstairs and converting the other room back into a study. Why? Because last month Seth started calling out during the night. Not crying or talking but a definite  change of tone that at 4am was waking me, dragging me out of bed and causing me to carry him onto the toilet..... Where he did a wee! I was so proud and clearly so was he. This happened several more times and that was that. It's more important to have Seth close at hand at night and so the permanent move was made.

Since then of course whilst Seth has been calling out and I'm getting him on the toilet, he won't wee. So I'm basically going back to getting up in the night just to change his nappy! Seth thinks its all very funny. Sometimes the nappy is obviously freshly wet but sometimes its dry and Seth seems distressed. I'm sure on this latter occasion Seth wees once his nappy is back on. I'm hoping we get back on track so that its worth my bleery eyes in the morning.

I'm not sure what the long term plan for all this is though. During the day Seth is also communicating better his toileting needs. But whilst he can't stand or walk by himself then he is still reliant on someone noticing his subtle signs and then assisting him in time.