Cerebral Palsy
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16 month old not sitting

twinmomtwinmom Member Posts: 14
edited June 2014 in Cerebral Palsy
Hi, I've 16 month old id twin boys, one of whom was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegia 5 months ago. He cannot sit unsupported. With the physio, his trunk has improved but it seems to me that it is his problems with balance that are stopping him from sitting unsupported. .I'm just wondering if anyone has been through this and can offer any advice - are there exercises that can improve balance?
Many thanks

Replies

  • renacahillrenacahill Member Posts: 145
    Hi
    Balance is certainly an issue with CP but you also have to look at the tightness of his hips, thighs, - whole leg really. To sit well toddlers have to sit on the correct part of the pelvis, not on their tailbone. If you look at a NT toddler the legs flop open quite naturally to help create a stable base for sitting. with Sp. diplegia the tightness around the joints of the lower limbs prevent this. Does your little one have straight out in front legs when trying to sit? If so you will see his twin does not do this. This in effect pushes him backwards and makes sitting impossible. You will need to do lots of stretches. There are lots of exercises (in pictures too) in the book ' teaching children with cerebral palsy motor skills' by seigelinde martin (available on amazon) on balancing and enabling sitting. It also shows you how to encourage 'propping' first with 2 hands and then with just one. The variety of exercises it gives you allows you to tailor your exercises to the child. Hope this helps

    kate x
  • twinmomtwinmom Member Posts: 14
    Thanks for that advice. He does sit with his legs straight out. I'll get that book and try some of those exercises. He is getting frustrated, as he is watching his brother crawling around (he's not walking yet. They were born at 29 weeks and spent 3 months in hospital - long story!) He wants to go but he just can't. Hopefully he'll get there in his own time. Thanks again
  • sarahprattensarahpratten Member Posts: 35 Courageous
    Have you considered The Scotson Technique (TST)? This is a programme of exercises which you carry out at home and seek to address the underlying cause of the problems that arise with cerebral palsy. My own son has benefited enormously from TST. He was 20 months old when we started the exercises and although he was sitting, he would sit bolt upright and was not well balanced. He now has a more normal sitting posture as due to TST the he is now using the correct muscles to sit. He has also made huge progress in other areas and now walks and runs and talks and reads and his body structure is much more normal. (He is now 10).
    You can learn TST at Advance in Easrt Grinstead (www.advancecentres.com). There are peoples stories on their blog - you can search the blog for spastic diplegia. You can also telephone Advance to discuss your son specifically (01342 311137).

    Best wishes,
    Sarah
  • twinmomtwinmom Member Posts: 14
    Hi Sarah, your story is very encouraging, and I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. We are in Ireland, but I will certainly research TST. I've never actually heard of it to be honest but its great that your little man came on leaps and bounds with it, and so definitely worth a try. Thanks again
  • MSSOBER1MSSOBER1 Member Posts: 2
    Hi, Monica my 26 month old has spastic diplegia and was diagnosed yesterday =(.

    I been doing physiotherapy with Monica for 21months as she was very premature during this time I have tried many things to encourage her sitting. I found resting her back against the base of the sofa with a towel rolled up over her legs and a few pillows or books either side of her to rest her hands on worked best. We gradually reduced the height of the pillows and moved on to her handing toys ( and bribing with sweets naughty but it works!)

    Monica has been sitting independently for three months now and happily watches television like this =)

    Best of luck,
    Elizabeth and Monica

    P.s If you sit on the floor with him between your legs hold his hands and rock side to side allowing his hands to pat the floor and playing and singing with him e.g Row the boat with him it doesn't feel as much like work i do this as part of her phsio daily and she loves it x
  • MSSOBER1MSSOBER1 Member Posts: 2
    Hi Sarah, are you based in East Grinstead? I have just moved there and am due to have an appointment at advance next week =)
    Very encouraging for me!
    Elizabeth and Monica
  • renacahillrenacahill Member Posts: 145
    Hi
    We had a babeco baby station and it was fabulous for eli. It is intended for normally developing babies around the beginning to sit age so quite young. It is therefore not hugely roomy for an older toddler. It does have a lovely straight back and the neck is support and a wide padded strap between the legs so it helps prevent the arching (eli does this too) especially as the legs are nicely straight out in front. Our physio said it was brilliant for eli as, at the time he was using it, he was small and skinny and there was a gap around all sides - she said this allowed him to learn to control his trunk and did not support totally. I dont think it would be suitable if the toddler was wedged in as she wouldn't learn to make these fine movement adjustments that are so important if low toned in the trunk. What he has now he is 2+ is a Rifton corner seat (google it) it does all the stuff the babeco does but for bigger toddlers and eliminates the arching (well he still tries to do it but the chair restricts this and, we hope, eventually teaches him it is a useless movement) We bought ours from ebay for a few pounds but they are very very expensive new. Would OT department help with seating - we also have an all singing all dancing jenx chair and he uses both supplied by them. Did love the babeco tho!
  • Daisy2010Daisy2010 Member Posts: 7
    Hi There,

    A few people have mentioned a Babeco Baby Station to me, this is not something I have tried personally for Daisy but I wondered if anyone else has used this chair to encourage sitting? I have looked at it on the net but im not sure if it would help as Daisy has a tendancy to arch back suddenly quite often. Any opinions would be great x
  • sarahprattensarahpratten Member Posts: 35 Courageous
    Hi Elizabeth,
    I live in Kent near Sevenoaks. I will be at Advance with Will on thursday.
    Best wishes,
    Sarah
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