We are just so thrilled with the Pacer! Only one thing bums me out - that we missed the new colors because we got ours in July! Oh well, we'll make it colorful as we go! : )
Just wait till I tell you what happened this weekend! But first I’ll catch you up on her progress since my last report.
Emma was comfortable in the Pacer pretty quickly. Within a few weeks she had mastered the straight line across the room to the TV with the casters unlocked! So then we turned on the caster’s drag feature to make her work a little. A few weeks later, she had the hang of having to use her leg muscles to move the Pacer along. A few more weeks and we unlocked the swivel on the casters. Now she can choose to go in any direction she wants, and is LOVING it. Of course her steering leaves much to be desired so I made a bumper for the bottom part of the Pacer to save our furniture!! LOL! [laughing out loud!] She’ll get there I’m sure, she gets a smidge better each day.
One of the most fantastic things has been to see her make her own decisions about what she wants to do and where she wants to go. We were motoring into the therapy room one day and our PT was on the phone so I had her doing little laps in the therapy room. When the PT came out to work with her, Emma took off for the door, looking back over her shoulder at the therapist and letting out yelps akin to, “I don’t want to have therapy… I’m outta here!” Of course we headed back in for the session but I was mighty proud of my little girl for making an independent decision! When we were visiting neighbors and she got tired she did the same thing, she up and left, heading back for home! Yeah Emma!
Her legs continue to get stronger and her confidence is definitely building as she is doing a good bit better in getting from sit to stand (where she has to shift her weight in order to stand – one of her “YIKES” moments) and even does it spontaneously on occasion.
But probably the greatest thing happened this past weekend. Emma was in her Pacer moving around the great room when she decided to go outside! She headed for the hall then went for the front door and onto the porch, then onto a brick walkway and onto the pavement! For a little girl who will not crawl from one surface to another (wood floors to marble tiles to wooden porch to bricks to pavement --- through two doorways and four different heights of flooring/surfaces) this was an awesome moment. She is breaking down boundaries everyday and it is just what we hoped for!
We read that a child becomes more engaged when interacting with the environment. We hoped this would happen with Emma. And it did! Granted, we primarily picked the Pacer for its weight-bearing benefits, to strengthen her legs and for building her confidence by standing and moving through space. But, the gravy is seeing her engaged in the world around her. These are terribly exciting and proud moments for us, her parents. I show off pictures of Emma in her Pacer, and tote the Pacer all over the place to show everyone how great Emma is doing.
When her new orthopedic surgeon saw her in the Pacer he was really pleased. He told us just last month that Emma was going to walk. It may sound a bit silly, but it was the first time a doctor had ever said that to us. We knew in our hearts that one day she would walk, but to hear it from a doctor was just great, Emma will walk. She might need help now and will have to work very hard at it over the next few years, but someday… someday, our girlie will walk. Mark my words, mark her steps.
And there’s no more fear over a piece of equipment; Emma LOVES her Pacer. When I roll it into the room she grabs hold of it as it moves by and smiles. She even crawls over to it to let us know she wants to walk! She might not have words, but her message is very clear, “Let’s GO!”
Thank you all for creating such a wonderful tool to help our children… to help my child.
Mother to Emma, a three-year-old little heart thief! She steals them all.