Apr 29, 2010

Ainsley Maneuvers Wheelchair

Since Ainsley's hip surgery on April 5th I've had a lot of back-and-forth e-mails from the school PT. She seemed very confused about what Ainsley can or can't do during therapy. No matter how many times I e-mailed her she just seemed to be at a loss to understand the situation. Helllllo?! Body cast. Can't do anything with the legs, only the arms. I had envisioned her working on upper body arm strength in various different ways.  For whatever reason she didn't want to do that. She claimed that's what the OT is doing. Whatever. So when she couldn't come up with a plan I suggested that she make the IEP goal to teach her to use the wheelchair that she is in, figuring it would give Ainsley a sense of empowerment to be able to move while she is restricted in the cast and would work on upper body skills and give the therapist something to do.  Boy am I glad I thought of it because otherwise I think her PT was planning on suspending services. As is, she cut her PT from an hour a week to 2 -15 minute sessions.  I didn't fight it because I figured it would be frustrating and hard for Ainsley anyway. I actually thought they would be working on that goal until the end of the school year.

Wow was I surprised when our nurse came home the first day and told me she was able to wheel the chair! I didn't really believe her (thought she was exaggerating) but then on Tuesday her school appointed nurse said the same thing so I asked her to get her backpack off the stool in the kitchen and she did it! The nurse has also been letting her steer the wheelchair in the halls on the other days and she is now pretty well able to wheel herself from point A to B. She needs a little practice steering but I think she's getting there and I swear she is even backing herself up when she gets stuck. This takes a fair degree of motor planning, so to say I'm impressed is an understatement. Ainsley has outgrown her stroller so we have been talking about getting her a power chair assuming she would never be able to use a standard wheelchair. I think she might fatigue so perhaps a power chair will be necessary anyway but it's nice to know we might have options when it comes time to get her own chair.


  1. Amazing job Ainsley!
    You are such a sweetheart, and that smile bestill my heart.
    I think Ainsley and Gage happen to have the best smiles I have ever seen! (Or maybe I'm biased?!)

  2. wahoo!!! so rocks!! wonderful news!!!! She is so clever!!!!! Way to go mom !!

  3. Guess the Pt will need a new skill to conquer. WTG Ainsley!!

  4. yeah Ainsley!!! That is so exciting.

  5. Wow! That DOES take a lot of motor planning. How exciting!