Jordan’s occupational therapist and I discovered something a few weeks ago during a session. We had added yoga poses into her life and when we introduced a simple toe-touching stretch. Jordan complained it was really hard. I figured she was pretending. Toe touching for me is so easy. How can it be difficult for an eight-year-old? It turns out, her hamstrings are super tight. So we set out to try and figure out why. Jordan’s OT consulted with some physical therapists and they recommended our OT look at Jordan’s stride.
That’s what we did. And it turns out, Jordan does not walk with a natural stride. She holds her left arm to her side – even when she’s wearing her helper arm. We explained and showed Jordan what a natural stride looks like – with each arm moving equally. She tried but it turned into a strange boogie.
Now we’re going to zone in on finding ways to get Jordan moving more uniform. One idea is by using broom sticks on each side. Jordan can hold on with her helper arm to grab on with one and her hand with the other. She and I can walk at the same pace with me showing her arms how to move. We’ll give it a try and see if it helps. While we’re out of town, we’ll try to march and do a few fun motions we practiced during her therapy session.
I’d be curious to hear if other parents of limb different kids or limb different adults have dealt with a similar challenge and if you’ve found any solutions. Jordan has to break a pretty long-standing habit in how she walks!