Isaiah Jane has been in her SMOs for about a week now. Supramalleolar orthotics are designed for kids like IJ, with hypotonia (low tone). They keep her foot and ankle in alignment, giving her more support while learning to stand and walk. On recommendation from our physical therapist, we went with a brand called Sure Step. Their materials are a bit more flexible, to allow Isaiah Jane to move and learn what she needs to, without being hindered by a clunky brace.
The orthotist told me he’s seen kids stand mere minutes after he put SMOs on their feet, but I didn’t have high hopes. We’ve had to be patient thus far and I’m ready to wait as long as necessary. Until now, Isaiah Jane has only been able to stand for a few minutes at a time, propped up against furniture or her crib. She also had to be bribed with food, full of energy and a nap, and in a perfect mood. Little did I know that she’d take to them so well. The girl loves them. She smiles ear to ear when she stands (still with assistance) and she even takes little baby steps now. She cruises on furniture and bobs her head up and down with excitement each time she tries something new. Her personality even seems different, like she’s got more confidence. I’m so impressed!
The big boys have been very supportive, taking time out of their football games to help her stand against the porch. They tell her how pretty she is with her “new pink booties.” Ames & Honor don’t try to pull them off, which is nice. Lucas saved the day just before we left for church, when he pointed to her bare feet and asked where her braces were. I’d totally forgotten about them altogether. As he buckled her in to car seat, he went ahead and put them on her for me! They have to be applied very snugly and specifically, so it’s no small feat (oops, there’s a pun).
It’s very likely that she’ll have to size up a few times between now and age three, which is when the orthotist hopes to have her out of the braces. But at the rate she’s growing… we might only have to buy one more pair, which would be nice – those things are ‘spensive! And with the progress we’ve seen over the last week, who knows how long she’ll even need them? Regardless, it’s worth it. To see joy spread from face to face in my family has been indescribable. My tiniest is learning to walk!