Children with high tone are usually able to support their weight by how tight their muscles are as they use that to stand. Children with high muscle tone are also able to stand long enough for the aide to pull up pants but the down side of high tone is children are more perceptible to developing pain due to their tight muscles. It is a fine line to using a child’s high tone for transfers and keeping them loose enough to stay comfortable through the day. I am on a cocktail of medicines to keep me comfortable but still have enough tone to transfer. As occupational therapists and mentors we have to look for that sweet spot where our clients are comfortable but still able to do transfers by weight baring.
Children with enough muscle tone to be able to sustain their weight making it a one-person job to transfer the child. The down side of having high muscle tone is that children develop pain from a young age as the muscles are so tight. We have to find a balance between maintaining the child’s ability to sustain weight for their transfers and keeping them comfortable enough to be able to live life. I don’t like using leg braces as they are too restricting so I work with the child to be able to tighten their muscles long enough to do the standing transfer and let go as soon as soon they are where they want to be. If they are able to do this at a young age they are going to have the same transfer for the rest of their lives.
As occupational therapists and mentors we are able to give a child a skill to be able to just work with one aide to help them to look “normal” at school. Due to my ability to support my weight I have always had one aide making me to look just like anyone else. I like to support children by holding their necks and the lower part of their body to allow them to walk without touching where they are usually sore due to tight muscles. Children who are able to do a pivot transfer are also able to be toilet trained which makes the child like their peers. As occupational therapists and mentors we are able to use a child’s muscle tone for their own independence.
Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children