Intensive Therasuit Therapy: Day 2 of 15

If you didn’t see the video from yesterday, be sure to check it out.

Caedmon was the embodiment of persistence today! He did so well yesterday that they added an hour to his workload for today and he will maintain that amount unless he gets fatigued. Instead of being finished at 12:30, he is now working up until 1:30. If he can keep it up, it is all the better for his future, both immediate and in the long run.

So, I said I would fill you in on the Therasuit a little more today.

  • It has only been in use since 2002.
  • It was designed by Richard and Izabela Koscielny.
  • The Koscielny’s are both Physical Therapists and have a daughter with Cerebral Palsy.
  • We are fortunate to have this therapy here in Tallahassee, because there are only 161 locations in the world that offer this treatment. 

I’m sure you are familiar with the old adage, “practice makes perfect.” The underlying principle is that repetition is necessary to master any given skill. The younger brother of that cliché is, “perfect practice makes perfect.” Coaches like to use this to motivate players from going through the motions during a practice. The two phrases offer a perfect commentary to what the Therasuit is trying to provide… “perfect practice.”

As toddlers are learning to walk, they constantly practice. Scooting around tables, holding a parents hand, or just standing and thinking about it all lead to the development of their gait, or walk. Caedmon hasn’t had all that practice. To make matters worse, when he does get to practice, it isn’t “perfect practice.” Because of the way his muscles are contracting and the inflexibility in his limbs, he has a very unorthodox posture. His calf muscles are flexing almost all day, quite literally. This involuntary flexing, forces his toes to point downward, which effects his posture. He also has very little strength in his trunk (stomach, lower back, etc) which causes him to wobble. There are other things happening, but you get the picture.

Therefore, when he practices walking, he is developing bad habits. Up to this point, those bad habits were necessary for him to develop independent mobility. But, now we would love to see those habits broken, and the proper motions in their place.

The Therasuit uses a gaggle of rubber bands, attached to hooks on the suit, to place Caedmon’s body into the proper position. In football, they placed 2X6 boards at our feet to force us to use proper footwork, and made us do it under a four-foot tall shoot to force us to keep our bodies low. The Therasuit works under the same concept, although it is more restrictive due to the involuntary nature of Caedmon’s posturing. 

Enough science… here are the pictures 🙂

Using an old trick I learned from the off-season conditioning at FSU, Caedmon is starting each day with a big bowl of Oatmeal. Jack had and egg and bacon omelette before his 2nd day of swim lessons.

Just a better picture of the weights used to help Caedmon relax. They place the biggest ones across his thighs because his hip flexors are so “enthusiastic.”

This is Stacy, another one of Caedmon’s Physical Therapists. She gave him his massage on day 2 and got him into his Therasuit. Caedmon is the third child she has taken through this therapy. I asked her if her previous children gave her reason for optimism with Caedmon and she responded with an enthusiastic, “yes!”

Caedmon’s aunt Angie… Elmo, came to watch him on Day 2. He loved having an audience to show-off for.


This is one of Caedmon’s occupational therapists, Amber.

The team at Progressive Pediatric know the secret to motivation Caedmon! They gave him a cupcake as his snack, and sent this one home for good measure.

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About ryan85

A son, a brother, a husband, a father of eight, and a friend. A follower of Jesus Christ. A fan of the Seminoles and all teams Atlanta. I write, I read, and teach when I can. I prefer red pens. I'm easily distracted. I've lived in Augusta, GA, northern Minnesota, the beautiful western NC mountains, and Tallahassee, FL - Go 'Noles. I played football for FSU, was on the national championship team in 1999, and took a few snaps with the Pittsburgh Steelers. My favorite colors are fluorescent yellow, and Garnet & Gold. I drive a minivan and think it's cool.
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6 Responses to Intensive Therasuit Therapy: Day 2 of 15

  1. Aunt Vickie says:

    I love reading your blog about Caedmon thanks for sharing!!! Go Caedmon Go!!!!! : )

    xoxoxoxo

  2. bigtomky says:

    why do you have to put them in the therasuit for

    • ryan85 says:

      Hi bigtomky, and thanks for your interest.

      It’s not really a “have to.” Caedmon has Cerebral Palsy and it effects his minds ability to get his body to do what he intends. Because he has unique muscle patterns and reduced strength in many areas, he’s never developed a true sense of balance or self-awareness in space. The therasuit helps address all of those areas. The red bands are used to force his body into proper alignment. They will pull his shoulders back, force his hips forward, and keep his feet parallel to the floor, among other things. This gives him a sense of what you and I feel every day when we stand. Imagine a turn of the century school marm making a girl walk with a book on her head, it’s the same idea. The bands also serve as resistance training. As he does his therapy, he is doing it with resistance and developing muscle strength. As he gets stronger, and develops better balance, the theory is that he will be more successful in his mobility when he isn’t wearing the suit. I hope that answers your question. Thanks again for reading.

  3. Pingback: Life Update « Nobody's Normal

  4. Hey ryan, glad to see the update on caedmon. I miss him, and his enthusiasm!
    Bethany

  5. Pingback: Life Update: July 2011 | Discovering Writing

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