Apr 16, 2009

Gait Trainer On Order

We are very fortunate to work with a really excellent PT. The intuitive way that she works with positioning the kids is just amazing to watch. Plus she has many years experience, so with that combination, I trust her opinion very much. She has been impressed with the progress that Miss Ainsley has made since she started therapy at the center in the fall. A few months back I was lamenting that I wished there was some sort of device I could use to put Ainsley in so she could sit but also stand when she wanted to, so she could increase her leg strength. Like an exersaucer. Which would be perfect, except that Ainsley is far too tall (at 37") and would likely be bored with the toys. I'd heard other parents talk about standers but Gay felt Ainsley was already beyond that point but she did say that we could look into gait trainers, which are a sort of extra sturdy walker that can have a seat attached for security.

We did a little reading on the Internet and considered a Snugseat Gator and arranged with another parent to try their child's. We thought it was the Gator but it turned out to be the Otto Bock Nurmi Neo http://www.ottobock.com/cps/rde/xchg/ob_com_en/hs.xsl/1391.html and it was a great fit for Ainsley. They are both reverse walkers so the frame is in the back behind the child. I think that is very important for Ainsley so she can play at the sensory table with the other kids in her classroom, and just so she can explore her world up close in general. In the time since we started the selection process she's started taking better (assisted) steps and has pulled herself to a stand so I feel like she is ready. We hope that with this additional support she will start to feel secure and will take some steps.

I also hope that doing more standing and walking may help carve out those hip sockets and perhaps she may be able to avoid that hip reconstruction surgery. Big hopes for a humble piece of metal.

We had our appointment with the rep from the medical supply company on Tuesday. He brought both the Gator and the Nurmi Neo. After comparing them side-by-side Gay and I agreed that the Nurmi Neo seemed like the better choice. It just felt slightly more stable and easier to navigate. He took her measurements and we chose all the different pieces. They are like cars in that you can get various options. We had to go with the medium size because of her height. We'll be trying to get the smaller arm rests and the sling seat so it will look a little different. Here is a picture of her trying it out. Hopefully she'll like it better next time.

The next step is to get the bid, write the letter of justification, get the doctor's signature, get insurance approval, place the order, and then wait for them to build and ship it. Cross your fingers that all goes well and she gets her gait trainer soon.

While we were finishing up she decided to crawl right out the door and take off down the hall. This was the first time she's ever tried to escape. Pretty funny like "Mom's not looking I'm getting out of here!" Actually I think she was looking for her friends. Playing with them is a lot more fun than ordering medical equipment. I was thrilled for her to do yet another rascally normal kid thing. (My other two frequently ran off.) And she was pretty fast too for crawling! Maybe I don't want to teach her to walk......just kidding. Of course I do.


  1. how exciting! I hope that she likes it next time she tries it! great photo though!! Your Easter pics are beautiful too! you have a beautiful family and Ainsley does look so grown up!!

  2. I'm sure Ainsley will take off once she gets the gait trainer. I sure hope the process goes quickly for you and does not require too much hoop jumping.

    Thank you too for your very nice comment on Jack's blog.


  3. OH that pic of her not liking the gait trainer breaks my heart!!! I hope she gets to liking it better!! I know that she will just take off once she gets used to it!!!