winning the waiting game – a surestep case study

by Megan

No two kids are exactly alike. Each one reaches that next development stage at his or her own pace. But there are generally accepted timelines. And when those windows come and go, parents can’t help but ask questions. Should we do something? Should we play the waiting game?

In this Surestep case study, we examine how Addie fell behind and then, with some help, caught back up.

Addie started pulling to stand on furniture at around 14 months, a milestone most kids reach between eight to 11 months. Her pediatrician recommended physical therapy. It helped. Once she started, Addie began cruising around furniture. However, she lacked the confidence or stability to let go and take steps.

After four months of physical therapy, Addie just wasn’t developing the gross motor skill gains they’d hoped for. Her physical therapist offered a suggestion. Surestep SMOs. At that time, Addie had been cruising for three months and just began taking independent steps, but she remained very unstable. Addie presented with developmental, hypotonia (low muscle tone), and significant pronation, which is sometimes referred to as flat feet.

Prior to staring physical therapy, Addie was approximately five months behind kids her age. And by the time she received her SMOs, she’d fallen another month behind.

Addie participated in a study that monitors how quickly a child gains gross motor skills. The higher the number, the longer it is taking to gain skills. Addie began with a gross motor skill change of 0.61, compared to a typical development rate of 0.43

But after receiving her Surestep SMOs, she dropped to 0.52, a much faster rate than the 1.03 of typical kids her age. By the end of the 16 week study, she was walking backward, running, and had closed the gap to be only two to three months behind.

Addie’s story is all too common – slightly delayed when she started to pull to stand, but continued to fall farther behind in the skills that required her to be independent of furniture. Prior to receiving her SMOs, she was losing the “waiting game”, where we watch and wait, thinking physical therapy and time alone will help her gain gross motor skills. The more difficult skills like standing and walking independently require a stable foot and ankle. The Surestep SMOs help keep the foot and ankle in proper alignment, as well as provide sensory input, which increases stability and confidence. With the SMOs and consistent physical therapy, Addie was able to win the “waiting game” and catch up to her peers.

Learn more about Surestep SMOs