At Bumble Bee Physio, we come across many superheroes with the potential to stand and sometimes walk independently, over the age of seven or eight. These children typically have conditions such as Angelman Syndrome, Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Koolen Syndrome and more. When young children and toddlers learn to walk for the first time, it’s quite easy to support them, as they are so small! And it’s also safe for them to fall, as they are close to the ground, and light in weight! However, as kids get older, teaching them to independently stand, and take steps for the first time, becomes a bit more risky! And we don’t always have to means to do it, with one physiotherapist. We have taken some ideas from CME (Ceuvas Medek exercises) as well as Targeted Training, and developed a custom standing frame for these kids. It supports at the feet only, with the option for support as high as the calf, and as low as the ankle. We can adjust the base of support to narrow or wide, and the stand position can be customised to make it increasingly more challenging, and to closely imitate the normal gait pattern, as the child improves. We rent out our standing frames while our clients take part in our six-week Standing Frame package.
Who is this package suitable for?
Generally speaking, to be suitable for this standing frame, a child needs to be able to: sit independently on the floor, take some weight through their legs when held in a supported position, and independently stand at a surface. Sometimes, children can do these things with some very special handling, and their parents don’t know! So if you’re in doubt, have a free phone call with a friendly physiotherapist. Other things that show us your child could benefit from this treatment are: kids tend to throw or rock themselves backwards for fun, walk with a posture control (Kaye) walker, or forward facing walker with 4 wheels and no support (e.g. a Schuchmann Marcey, or a doll’s pushchair or pram), be able to stand or cruise at a surface, walk with 2 hands held, and stand leaning with their back against a wall.
What is included in the package?
You will have a phone call with a physiotherapist to find out if this is the right treatment for your child. If it is, your physiotherapist will visit your child at home, with a standing frame. The first session will be getting to know your child, what motivates them, their likes and dislikes, and what makes the programme fun for them! We will ask lots of questions. However, there is always an option to fill in our form beforehand, if your child doesn’t like boring adult talk! You will be provided with a detailed report and a programme with goals for the next six weeks. This programme could well change over the six-week intervention, because all children progress at different rates.
You will be taught how to carry out standing activities in between the sessions to encourage independent standing. This should come before independent walking. However, some very determined children do walk before they can stand! Over the next six weeks, your child will be seen at home for up to one hour a week. During this time they will use the stander, gradually increasing the time, decreasing the support and trying new challenging positions. Each week, you will be given ‘homework’ for in between the sessions.
During the last session, you will be taught how to incorporate the new exercises into daily play and learning activities. You will be provided with a new programme and goals, for family and school.