Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Rain Man

If you haven't managed to guess from my last few posts, I'm feeling a bit disheartened at the moment. There are two reasons for this. The first, is that Max has been a big grump this week. I suspect that it's his teeth moving around and annoying him but there's always part of me that worries it is something more. To use another movie analogy, have you seen the movie 'Rain Man' with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise? Sometimes Max has strange tantrums, it's really difficult to calm him down and it reminds me of this.....

It scares me.

The second thing that has gotten me down is that we have started doing a modified version of 'Constraint Therapy' with Max. Constraint therapy is when the childs 'good hand' is put into a cast to force them to use their 'bad hand' (I'm still trying to figure out another word to use instead of 'bad'). I've mainly read about it online, so I'm not sure if it is done here is Australia but the results overseas look promising. At Max's assessment the other day, we met an OT who is doing her PhD in children with hemiplegia. Max will be joining her study when he is 8 months old. She recommended that we start holding Max's left arm down to encourage him more to use the right.  We started doing it yesterday and it was harder then I thought. When Max is allowed to use both of his arms, he clearly favours the left but is still able to move the right. When his left arm is pinned, his right just kinda dangles there like a dead weight. Sometimes he stares at it like he's just willing it to move (I am too).

It's a little bit soul destroying.


  1. preferred and non preferred, or dominant and non dominant might be more useful terms. Kel

  2. Honestly ... As if child rearing isn't hard enough, especially baby-rearing, and you have all of these things to research, implement, and basically ... Deal with.

    Truly, my hat goes off to you!

    You do an amazing job. You're so proactive. And strong. And you hardly ever go defeatus.

    It really is almost like you're superhuman!

    Thinking of you every step of the way xx

  3. Strength to you and your amazing little boy - Poppy xx

  4. Affected is what I usually call the "bad" arm/hand when I'm talking about my little guy. Also, rather than holding his better arm down, can you just tape the hand up or put a sock on it or something. He is so young to be doing constraint therapy already. My PT told me the earliest she had seen it done was around 4 months. Lastly, all babies start throwing more fits and crying more (especially around 2-4 months). This is normal and how they express their displeasure at anything since they can't talk. Don't worry. He won't be Rainman.

  5. Sorry, didn't realize he was already 5 months. . . still, don't worry about the moods. Babies are silly and change every day (and teething can make the sweetest baby turn into a monster). As for his hand, try taping it or putting a sock on it. It is good for him to still move his arm even if you are trying to make him grab with the affected arm. Hope that helps.