There are three children in this family – Brenton, Savannah and Tanner. They do a lot of things together, including physical therapy. That’s right – all three siblings attend physical therapy sessions to learn new skills, build strength and more.
For parents Melissa and Kyle, finding out all three of their children were in need of weekly therapy sessions was very overwhelming. When they found out that both Brenton and Tanner would benefit from orthotics as well, they weren’t sure what to do.
The one solution Melissa and Kyle could think of at that time was to possibly pull Savannah from therapy. You see, her need is a little less than that of her brothers.
“As a parent, you don’t want to have to pick and choose for your children,” says Kyle. “But we almost had to.”
That was until a physical therapist told them about Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis.
Since then, Variety has assisted with physical therapy sessions for each child, and we have also provided orthotics for both boys. Tanner’s orthotics, which he received last spring, kept him from “toe walking.” They helped so well, in fact, that he no longer needs to wear them.
Brenton just received his stretching orthotics – which he calls “robot legs.” His muscles in his calves are very tight, and these orthotics will stretch these muscles to help with walking and balance over time.
At therapy, Brenton practices these same skills through a variety of exercises, and it is already making a big difference for him.
“We get compliments all the time that Brenton has made leaps and bounds of progress,” says Melissa.
Kyle adds, “He was climbing and fishing with ease at Cub Scouts – we could really see a difference.”
As for Savannah, her therapy also helps tight calf muscles as well as core strength and gross motor skills, and it has immensely improved her confidence. “She actually wants to ride her bike now,” says Melissa.
And Tanner works on improving his sensory sensitivity and, again, his “toe walking.” For the longest time, Tanner wasn’t able to walk without shoes or socks, but now he is not only able, but willing. He also plays with sand, brushes his teeth, picks up items of different textures and more – all things that were difficult before therapy.
Therapy has also helped all three children avoid a painful, expensive procedure. “All three would’ve had to have heel-cord surgery if not for therapy and orthotics,” says Melissa.
“Without the support and help from Variety and your donors, none of our kids would be going to therapy as often as they need to be. And who knows where they would be without the orthotics,” says Kyle.
“We thought no one would help us, but Variety told us they would,” Melissa adds.