Toe-Walking Part 2

Thank you all for your suggestions and comments on my previous toe-walking post.  We went to see a man about orthotics last week.  He watched Griff walk a little and then whipped out his catalog and showed us what they make for toe walkers.  It is an L-shaped brace that straps around the foot with velcro, and extends up the back and sides of the leg, securing around the front with more velcro.  G took one look at it and proclaimed he’d never ever ever ever wear it. 

From eating dinner to participating in therapy, I’ve always made sure if I pick a fight I win it.  I never want G to think that escalating his behavior will get him his way.  And frankly, dh and I weren’t on board with the idea of orthotics.  Which means we wouldn’t be motivated to fight that fight with G.  So we thanked the man for the information and went home without casting G’s feet for the orthotics.  We’re just not ready to take this step yet.

Which leaves us trying to figure out how to address this ourselves.  We’ve started reminding G constantly to stand on his heels.  We do exercises every night after bath to prevent his heel cords from shortening further and hopefully to start lengthening them.  We bought some flip-flops which worked for a couple of days so I think when it gets warmer this may be a viable solution.  We have some very stiff hiking boots for him to wear during camp.  And I found a pair of toy shoes called moon walkers that looks like fun for G and would force the heel-toe motion of walking.

I’ve heard other parents say not every therapy is right for every child and as parents you have to choose what you know is right for your own child.  Up ’till now, we’ve tried everything the school team has suggested.  Not all of it was effective, but we made a good faith effort before deciding to move on.  This is the first time we’ve refused a recommendation without trying it first.  I know we made the right choice for G, but I’m still nervous.  Will I look back in 5 years and realize if I’d forced the orthotics I might have avoided surgery?  Will he walk on his toes for the rest of his life?  I want to be a good advocate for my son but making the proper decisions can be incredibly difficult.

Published in: on June 4, 2009 at 10:35 am  Leave a Comment  

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