PWS Awareness Month- Day 9

Hey Everyone,

Today we will talk about physical therapy.  Kemett has done PT since he was a couple of days old.  Kemett has made great strides in the 3 and half years he has been doing physical therapy.  He is still behind developmentally but making progress each week!

Kemett’s strength has improved greatly.  He is more easily able to navigate a playground, can walk up and down stairs with a rail or assistance, and just started riding a tricycle (with assistance).

Tools we use in Therapy:

  • Stairs– Some days he is so fast on the stairs.  He has improved so much on this, we are so proud of him!
  • Stools- We use two Ikea kid step stools for obstacle courses, squats, etc!  Who knew we’d get so much use out of them.  Kemett will stand on top of one and squat down to pick up toys or fairies on the ground and put them in a container on a table next to him.  This has improved his strength and endurance in both his legs and core.
  • Therapy Ball- Kemett does exercises on top of the therapy ball for core strength.  When in prone (on his stomach) his reaches for items on the floor which improves his neck and back extension strength. When in sitting he balances during play tasks to increase core endurance and stability.
  • Playscapes- Kemett plays at school 4 days a week and at our house when we can.  He loves climbing all over and is getting faster.  We have a rock wall to get up ours and he scaled it before Andrew could get over to help him!
  • Scooter Board: Andrew made Kemett a scooter board for him to use during therapy!  This provides an opportunity for him to explore his environment while in prone (a very important position), helping to increase core, upper body, lower body, and neck strength and endurance. It helps with core and upper body strength. 
  • Balance Beam- we have one and need to start using it!
  • Trampoline– Kemett can bounce on it but cannot jump yet.  He is making slow progress, and will continue to work on it.
  • Tricycle- He got this for Easter, and we push him while he keeps his feet on the pedal.  He is just learning how to  move his legs in the right motion.  He also is working on holding his body up and not getting too fatigued.
  • Walking– We do 6 minute walk tests in PT and his speed has increased greatly over this past year!
  • Sure Steps-Kemett has flat feet, like his parents, and his feet roll in a little.  It is good for him to have barefoot time and build the muscles in his feet and ankles on his own. He wears them to school and if we are walking far.  Other than that he is barefoot or wears natives.

What are we working on?

  • Stairs
  • Standing without hyperextending knees/tilted pelvis-compensating due to low muscle tone
  • Standing on one leg- this will really come in handy when kicking a ball or playing on his new playground!
  • Half kneel- playing in this position, and using it to stand up.
  • Object manipulation-mostly ball management, throwing, catching, etc.
  • Upper body strength
  • Bouncing and jumping
  • Tall kneeling

We do family walks at night, his tricycle, or yoga.  We are trying to get him moving more and more.  We also want to be motivating and inspiring to Kemett.  I would say I don’t do the best job, and hope that with our OSS challenge, he and I will get out more.  He gets to see Andrew swim at swim meets, and cheer him on.  I know he is doing it for himself, but also for Kemett.

Thank you again for all of your questions!  Keep them coming!  And thank you as always for your love and support!


The Demands

PWS Awareness Month- Day 8

Hey Everyone,

Today we will be discussing hippotherapy!  Kemett does this at RED Arena here in Dripping Springs, TX!  He started when he was 2 years old, and rides 1 hour a week.  We only have a couple more weeks left and then will take a break for summer.


Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy use the dynamic motion of the horse to impact neurologic and sensory systems. Licensed & PATH Registered Therapists properly position the patient on the horse, analyze the patient’s response and direct the horse’s movement to achieve specific patient treatment  goals. This dynamic activity facilitates improved balance, posture, range of motion, mobility, gross and fine motor skills. –

Kemett works in an open arena as well on trails.  Pictures below show Kemett on the trails.

Activities Kemett does on his horse:

  • Fine motor activities- beading/making bracelets
  • Matching animals
  • Object manipulation– Kemett is actually doing most of the motion to throw a ball except releasing the ball.  They do feel that he knows what is going on and one day he will just pick up a ball and throw it for us!  He is so close!
  • Going on all fours while horse walks- He gets on all fours, on top of the horse, while it walks for 10+ seconds.  It is amazing to watch how much stronger he has gotten with this task over the year!
  • Tall Kneeling on horse: He is working on strengthening his core and on transitions as well.
  • Reaching for rings
  • Laying on Horse

How has it helped Kemett?

When Kemett started in August 2015, he was barely walking and not talking.  A month or so into starting, his language exploded! He went from a handful of words to over 100+ in a couple of months.  Riding a horse also helps with walking because horses have the same walking cadence that we do as humans.  Kemett’s gait has definitely gotten smaller and his hands have come closer to center when he walks.  His endurance has increased significantly as well.  This year his therapists and school have noticed an increase in his endurance and core strength.  I am so proud of Kemett and how hard he works during hippotherapy.

Kemett loves RED Arena and his PT (Who is also the owner and woman of all trades!).  He squeels when we drive up and starts talking about what horse he will ride that day.  He also talks about his horses while at home, and even has a horse stable he loves to play with.

The staff at RED Arena is so dedicated to what they do, and it is amazing to see people of all ages getting so much out of their services.  We are so lucky to have them in our community!

Want to see Kemett Ride?

RED Arena Round UP

June 3, 2017

10-2 p.m.

Dripping Springs Ranch Park

We will know a more accurate time for him to ride when we get closer.  If you are interested, let me know!

Please ask us any questions you have about Kemett!  Also thank you for your support!


The Demands

Kemett and his horse Chip!