There's another stretch called the whale or alligator stretch, which I apparently haven't taken a photo of yet because I couldn't find one when I was looking for one for this post! So I'll try to get a picture of that one too. She does that one by sitting with her legs out in front of her, and she has to open up her legs as wide as she can, which isn't very wide, so we help her do it, and then she helps keep them like that for a few seconds by holding her knees, and then a toy comes along and she "eats" it by snapping her legs back together.
I'm telling you, I consider it almost miraculous to see her not only putting up with stretches with very little complaint, but also actually enjoying them!!! It's amazing! Of course, I think that stretches done this way may well be not quite so vigorous or maybe effective, but the fact that she's willing to do them is worth the slight loss of intensity. Plus, I think the fact that she's relaxed while doing them goes a long way - when we do them the regular way, her dystonia kicks in straight away which makes it really difficult to even pull her legs into a stretched position.
Here is Avery a couple of weeks ago on the treadmill at physical therapy with the wonderful Lisa. She's been doing this for a while, walking with the treadmill on its lowest setting. She actually quite likes it! But Lisa was even able to let go for a couple of seconds last week! Of course, the second Avery noticed she wasn't touching her, she about fell over and Lisa had to hold on again, but it was still great!
I had my mother send me some long white school socks for Avery to wear with her braces and theratogs. I was thinking about it because the long socks she had before just weren't good enough, because they started falling down, and even if they didn't they weren't great with her theratogs because they didn't protect her skin from the silicone on the elastic, so she was forever getting sore red marks all over her legs where the webbed silicone touched her. These school socks are PERFECT! They are long enough that they don't leave any exposed skin between the top of her braces and the bottom of her theratogs, they don't slip or fall down, they're thin and airy so they won't make her too hot when the weather gets warmer, AND they make me feel nostalgic :D Bonus!!!