Dear friends at Rifton -
I wanted to let you know how Emma is doing with her Pacer!
When we first got the Pacer, we started Emma off in it for 10–15 minutes at a time, just to get her acclimated. At first we kept the Casters locked so there would be no movement; we just wanted her to be comfortable with the Pacer.
And Emma really seems to like her Pacer...she actually crawls over to it and touches it. She wouldn’t even look at the old walker (she uses eye gazes to express want and don't want) and she would be overwhelmed with fear when we placed it in front of her. So crawling over to the Pacer is a GOOD thing!
Today in therapy her PT moved the seat down a little more to encourage more weight bearing on her legs and encourage leg extension (rather than just scooting along with the seat bearing her weight). This went pretty well too. She complains while having to do it, but that is typical (she has no words so complaining sounds like whining) but she is familiar with the concept of "you might not like it, but we need to work on this." She is a trooper and has been her whole little life!
We aren't really walking yet, but we are much more mobile than we ever have been. Emma "feels" more comfortable in an upright position than ever before, and now with the casters unlocked, she is initiating movement, which was not acceptable to her before! The PT says this is because the Pacer offers so much fantastic proprioceptive support to her trunk.
At home, we unlocked the Pacer wheels, rolled up the rugs and put Emma in her Pacer across the room from her favorite video, to motivate her to move to the TV. My husband and I were both in tears as we helped our little girlie move across the room – three times! She just looked so great, standing tall and beautiful as could be!
Emma has been so difficult to motivate because she is one of those contented children who will play with her toes, her tongue, a water bottle – whatever. But now, she is learning that there is more out there and the prospect of what that will mean to her development is just so incredible to us.
Emma is doing what I would call "SUPER GREAT!" in her Pacer. It thrills us NO END! : ) We are truly, terribly excited over all our sweetie has been able to accomplish thus far! Thank you for everything!!!