Lately: Hippotherapy and Full Weeks

Y’all, it has been a week of crazy busy-ness. We have 11 Solly-related appointments this week alone and there’s really no slowing down until we go to Virginia Tech next month for intensive therapy. To say I’m exhausted is an understatement. Maybe the word “overwhelmed” more appropriately captures my state of mind right now.

But, enough about me. Here’s a quick update on Solly:

Last week, our beloved Nanny Jen captured some great photos of Solly at his hippotherapy appointment at Full Circle Therapy:

Have I mentioned how much Solly loves hippotherapy? This therapy has been amazing, not only because it works so many muscle groups at once and has made Solly incredibly strong, helping him to move forward in independent sitting and taking steps in his gait trainer, but also because it is a fun therapy for him. He acts like it’s play time and not therapy. Every time we hit the driveway for his hippotherapy appointment, he starts shaking and laughing with pure excitement. He cannot wait to sit up on his horse. I have loved horses for as long as I can remember, but having a child with special needs has introduced me to a whole new level of love for these animals.

We’ve been doing hippotherapy for about 15 months at Full Circle Therapy and recently started a new weekly appointment with a physical therapist at Saddle Up!. Even though this new appointment adds to our list of weekly appointments, Solly is going to love the extra pony time and his smiles around horses makes it all worthwhile.

Other Updates

A few other things of note:

  • Solly starts preschool in less than two weeks! He’ll attend High Hopes in Franklin, TN where he currently receives speech and feeding therapies. I’m working on meeting with his teacher beforehand to introduce him or her to all things Solly and we’ll also work it out with his therapists so he receives both feeding and speech therapies while he’s in the classroom. The school is inclusive, meaning classrooms have a 60/40 ratio of typically developing kiddos alongside peers with special needs. We’re starting out slow with just two mornings a week, but I’m excited to see how he does. Something tells me that he will love it.
  • Last week, Solly had a sedated MRI. It was his first since he was in the NICU and was essentially to establish a new baseline as well as help determine if he’s a candidate for SDR. (This is a blog post I still need to write. More on that later!) The days leading up to the MRI were nerve-wracking, to say the least. Any time Solly needs to be hospitalized or undergo any sort of procedure, I struggle with PTSD from our early days in the NICU, which is part of the reason I’m feeling so exhausted. Fortunately, we’re now in great hands with his neurologist, who will walk us through the findings of the MRI this Friday.
  • We’re getting more equipment: Solly is getting fitted for a new adaptive stroller in the morning that will give him the support he needs when we’re out and about. He is also getting a new benik split for his right hand to stretch it during the day when we aren’t working on bimanual therapy, and we have a vision appointment next week to continue a discussion on prism glasses that will help Solly’s eyes work better together.
  • Solly is continuing to go for walks at Target, where the employees and fellow shoppers cheer him on. Through Solly, we continue to see the good in others – and that keeps us moving forward during weeks like this when we are so tired and overwhelmed.

Solly with his Target BFF


What I’m Reading This Week

For other special needs parents feeling a bit tired and overwhelmed, you are not alone. Check out this article from The Mighty: I Parent a Child With a Disability, and Yes, It Is Full-Time Work

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