Charlotte is a tenacious 10-year-old girl with the desire to scale any mountain in her path. She has been participating in therapy with Innovative Services NW since 2015, starting in the Pelvic Floor Therapy program. More recently, Charlotte has been in Intensive Physical Therapy where she participated in four therapy rotations over the last two years, each lasting three hours per day, five days a week, for three weeks in a row. That’s no schedule for the faint of heart!
Charlotte has severe motor dyspraxia, making it difficult to motor plan activities in daily life, such as walking, running, jumping, handling objects, and verbally communicating. With the help from her therapy team at Innovative and her family, she has developed many strategies to engage with her world.
During Intensive Physical Therapy, Charlotte, her family, and Physical Therapist Jessica DeLong, create goals to accomplish during each rotation, like a “mini-bootcamp.” Some of Charlotte’s more recent goals have included full-body strengthening and coordination, gait training, and body work tasks. Body work consists of manual therapy including massage, lifting, pushing, and pulling her own weight, and integration of basic reflexes. Charlotte initially struggled with processing the information provided during body work, but she now often requests it, and, as any athlete knows, the feeling she gets after all of that hard work is seen as a reward!
One of Charlotte’s most recent accomplishments is her use of the monkey bars. In the beginning, she was able to grip the bars with her hands while her feet were still planted to a surface. Now, using a new motor plan, she can climb up and over the ladder, grip the bars, and swing her body with full momentum back and forth while adding a little twist in her torso for fun.
Another big milestone for Charlotte is her ability to navigate stairs. She is using more balanced steps without the use of a handrail. Additionally, she is able to use her core and hip strength to crawl on her hands and knees.
Jessica has noticed a big shift in Charlotte since she started therapy. Not only is she incredibly hard-working and persistent, but she has become very spontaneous in her movements, and she likes to tackle everything on her own.
We can’t wait to see where life takes this amazing young woman. In the words on Dr. Seuss, “you’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so… get on your way!”