Skip to main content

Evie's Brave New Ankle World

Evie's world has changed for the better.  She got SMO's, or AFO's. I've heard a lot of acronyms, and this was just another set of them until I realized what they really meant.  Supramellar orthotics or ankle-foot orthotics help a child to feel more stable so that they can learn to walk.  In Evie's case, her ankles were so weak that she would try to keep her legs stiff so that she didn't feel so unstable.  She was really afraid of falling over, and I don't blame her.  Meet the cutest little SMO's you've ever seen.  
When you go to the orthotics place (we went to NOPCO, which is a veritable empire of orthotics centers all across the region), they will take measurements of your child's foot with a measuring tape (hopefully not necessary to make a cast of their foot).  We waited a month for this appointment, so I would advise not waiting to make that appointment. You need a note of medical necessity from the doctor to got here.   

Evie did not like having her feet touched, and I had to hold her down.   But once we got the measurements, we got to pick the little design and the color of the velcro strap.  We waited 3 weeks, and then right before we went on a plane for Christmas vacation, we stopped by and picked up her SMO's. 

Then the fun part--shopping for shoes.  The following brands were recommended to us:
  • Stride Rite
  • Keene
  • New Balance

We didn't have much luck with Stride Rite, but I know many families who love them.  They just didn't have a great selection of high tops in the store that we went to, and were pricier than I expected.  The New Balance shoe that I ordered didn't come up as high as I wanted.  But the Keenes that we ordered on Amazon--I absolutely love them. 

Here's Evie wearing her Keene's.  When she started wearing her SMO's, her posture immediately changed for the better.  Her legs weren't flopping all over the place, and she was happier about standing when we made her practice.  Her crawling seems to be more confident too.
Someone crawled into the shower when Mommy wasn't looking!

When we first got the SMO's, we were given an instruction sheet about how to use them.  We were to build up wear time gradually, from 2 hours a day to 8 hours a day.  They then scheduled us for a 1 month follow up.   I then proceeded to buy more shoes after knowing that I had to go 2 sizes up to make them fit.   Evie has a nice repertoire of shoes now--classic (Keenes), silly (sparkly hippos), and trendy (black "Timberlands"). 

Evie honestly doesn't mind the SMO's.  I think she knows that they make her do less work when she uses her legs.  Here is a picture of her Chinese New Year outfit for 2017.  What you don't immediately know is that this was the very first picture I have of her standing unassisted.  She is leaning back against the chaise, but this is a huge improvement to standing and leaning forward onto a table in fear that she would fall over.  

I did wonder what would have happened if we had started SMO's sooner, but I believe that they were not brought up yet because her core was not strong enough.  Evie is a lot stronger in her core strength now, which makes a huge difference.

I will leave you with an image of Evie's very first piece of artwork that she brought home from playgroup.  I believe it is absolutely brilliant in every way, but maybe I am a little biased.


Popular posts from this blog

Repost with a giveaway! From Straitjacket to Starfish: A Shark Tank win

Update:   Hi all, I am doing my first giveaway! If you read my blog post the other day on the miraculous Zipadee Zip, then you know how this thing has changed our lives as parents.  The makers of Zipadee Zip liked my review so much, that they offered to help me do a giveaway. All you have to do is 1) "Like" their Zipadee Zip Facebook page and 2) leave a comment about why you could use a free Zipadee Zip on this post! The contest begins Wednesday, May 27 at 12:00 AM and ends on Sunday, May 31 at 12:00 AM.  Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway  ------------------------------------------------------------ Original post: There was a point in time when I was just proud I could swaddle teeny tiny Evie with a hospital blanket. Then she came home and started busting out of the blankets, and woke herself up all the time. Her arms flailed and her legs kicked while she was sleeping, which of course woke her up. But then she got bigger and craftier, and I needed to fin

Going public: Down Syndrome Awareness Day and what it means to us.

Starting this blog was a big deal for me. It's hard to throw out there in conversation that my baby girl has Down Syndrome, because that extra chromosome makes people view her differently. But because it is Down Syndrome Awareness Day on 3/21, I'm going public. Do you know why it's on the 21st?  Because of the 21st chromosome having an extra copy! So far, Evie has just been our beautiful baby girl who is learning to smile and reach for things. But as she grows older, I want our extended circle of friends to know, so that they can treat her as a typical little girl who may be a little delayed in her development, but will want to be included just like other kids.  I want the other kids to play with her and to learn that little girls with disabilities like to have fun too. Our story about our diagnosis is here .   Now that we've met Evie and know what we're dealing with, it's not SO scary as it was before.  Still overwhelming sometimes , but I wouldn'

Jumping and Friendship Crafts with Evie

This Youtube video was at first made to showcase Evie's first real jump on a trampoline. Then it became a video with a message about making new friends, because I was just so impressed with how Qole gave Evie the space she needed to feel comfortable enough to say yes to getting on the trampoline.   And then as we were making a paper craft about friendship, and we were pulling out different pieces of color, I was struck with how it became a teaching moment for my daughter that people of all colors can hold hands and can look out for each other. May it be so. The world needs it now more than ever.