Friday, July 18, 2008

Water day.

Today was water therapy day for Ralph. The local YMCA donates the pool and lifeguard time to the Rainbows kids twice a month. Isn't that nice of them? There were about 30 kids there today, plus parents and siblings. I always feel good around these people. Even in my bathing suit! There is a sort of unspoken understanding between parents of special needs children.

The therapists split us up into two groups. First Ralph worked with his therapist one-on-one with walking in the water. I hold his hands and the therapist moves his legs under the water as we all say "step, step, step..." He doesn't get that he needs to bend his knees to take a step. I worked with him by myself for a bit. He really did great taking some robot-like steps on his own. Imagine walking with your knees locked and you'll know what I mean.

The groups switched and we went to work with our group along the wall of the pool. First, front and back swishes...swishing our children back and forth in the water as we walk across the pool. Quick swishes for children with low muscle tone and slow ones for children with high muscle tone. Then front and back kicks. I lay Ralph face down on one of my shoulders while I hold his legs. I help him kick as we walk across the pool. Back kicks were a challenge as Ralph just wanted to lay back on my shoulder and grab his feet!

We also did sitting dives and jumping off the side and pushing off the side. We wrapped up the session with both groups in a big circle. We sang some songs like Itsy-Bity Spider and Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear. Ralph liked this part a lot best, I think. We worked on walking a bit more before we dried off. What a fun morning!