This article covers Michael’s use of the Trexo for 2 years. It includes:
- How the Trexo fit into his at-home therapy plan ran by his mother
- How he built endurance and strength to get to 10,000 steps a day to help with neuroplasticity and alignment
- The different combination of therapies and exercises he does that worked for him
- Resources for Neuroplasticity and at home therapy
The Trexo has helped Michael get in a high volume of steps and build Michael’s endurance. It also helped with his foot alignment.
This story shares Michael’s experience only. The following is not reflective of results as investigated by a formal research study and reflects the experience of one family.
Meet Michael, also commonly known as Mighty Mikey CP Hero on his Instagram page. His mother, Maria was told he would never walk and every therapist echoed that message, but he has proved them wrong! Maria didn’t let anyone stop her as she educated herself on new studies on Cerebral Palsy and novel therapies. This is how she got started with Michael’s “mommy-intensives”.
When Michael was diagnosed, Maria stopped working to give Michael her full attention with a 12 hour therapy session a week and home-schooling.
Maria shares that Michael is hard working. He started by doing 10 minutes on Trexo and now he goes up to 1-hour at a time! She shares his journey, and the motivational messages for other children who are working on their goals.
Michael has Spastic diplegia or quadriplegia (depending on the doctor you ask) Cerebral Palsy, GMFS level-3 and he underwent a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery when he was 2 years old. This successfully removed the spasticity from his legs, however he still had limited range of motion.
It was during the pandemic that Maria started running Michael’s therapy at home. During the pre-pandemic with in-person therapy, she felt that he wasn’t really progressing. Then the Pandemic hit and like many parents, she was scared and was not going to risk any exposure. The in-person therapies switched to virtual and she saw Michael regress. At this point, Maria decided to take his therapy into her own hands. For four years, she had observed therapies and read all the journals. At this time and given the circumstances she felt ready to start her Mom-therapy schedule for Michael.
How the Trexo Fit into Michael’s Goals
With the spasticity gone, after the SDR surgery, Maria felt she was starting with a good foundation, but she knew there was much room for improvement. Michael still displayed weakness and lacked stamina for more steps. At this point, Maria had immersed herself in the knowledge of neuroplasticity in medical journals and books. During one of her readings, she learned that when a child is beginning to walk they usually take around 10,000 steps a day and that’s what creates the strong pathways in the brain. After learning this, she was determined to find a way for Michael to take 10,000 steps a day and get proper alignment!
Michael’s Trexo Schedule
Before the Trexo, taking steps was only possible through Michael’s walker; and his endurance was still low with heel-walking. To get his gait pattern in alignment, Maria would manually walk his legs on the treadmill, but after a few minutes she would be tired and couldn’t give him the repetition he needed.
The Trexo is a crucial part of Maria’s neuroplasticity therapy plan. With Trexo, he usually walked 5 times a week for 1.5 to 3 hour sessions a day, depending on the therapy schedule. He uses the Trexo with the chest prompt, without the saddle. Maria first started with 6000 steps and built up to her 10,000 step goal.
Alongside the Trexo, Maria incorporates 3-4 hours of other at-home therapy sessions. Her typical combination includes 1.5 hours of Trexo, 2 hours of DMI therapy, 1 hour of walking independently and swimming. After giving it her all with the at-home therapy, Michael went from being able to stand for 20 seconds to now standing for 10 minutes. Michael hit another big milestone – taking his first independent step in the summer of 2021! Maria is happy with her schedule and loves her virtual therapy consultation with her new therapist.
After recent virtual therapy consultations, she is now introducing some electro-magnetic therapy, vibration therapy, and strength training.
Since hitting the initial goal of 10,000 steps a day in the Trexo, Michael has become stronger and his record has grown to 12,000 steps in a day! There’s no doubt that Michael’s endurance has improved. Initially he could go 10 minutes at a time before taking a break, now walking for one hour in the Trexo is normal!
In the summer of 2021, Michael took his first independent step and he continued to practice walking in his walker. He can now walk independently for two hours with little breaks and can also make turns alone! Now he has walked in his regular walker to his local park! His regularly scheduled walk in the Trexo for the past 2 years has helped him achieve this milestone alongside the therapy combination planned by Maria. Another major improvement she notices is in Michael’s foot alignment. After 2 years with the Trexo, one foot is completely facing forward and the other one is nearly there. Although he takes more initiative when motivated by his parents, his favorite activity is to watch his tablet while walking.
We are so proud to see him grow along his Trexo and to now graduating from it! Way to go Mikey and Mom!
Since taking therapies into her own hands this last year, Maria logs all the activities they do on a daily basis. She was inspired by clinical logs and aims to quantify her observations. She mentions she writes in detail such as “today was the first time we tried this exercise”, then tries to quantify her observations through timed exercises. Maria then looks at this log over a couple weeks, to see if there’s an improvement. Do you keep a personal log of your child? It can be through videos, pictures, or even written logs like Maria. This really helps to see which therapies or exercises your child reacts well to and that easy you can plan your precious therapy time accordingly.
Maria reads medical journals with new treatments in Cerebral Palsy and books surrounding this topic. One book which changed her perspective on her training method is “the boy who could run but not walk”. This made her switch to training him like an athlete, and it has been effective on him.
During one of her therapy planning, Manmeet recommended a call with Jo-Anne Weltman, the owner of S.M.I.L.E. Therapy and co-founder of Dynamic Movement Intervention (DMI) Therapy. Maria found this call so helpful in understanding the different types of therapies. We recommend having professional therapists guide you through your therapy mix.
Thoughts on the Trexo
Maria says “The Trexo has helped with his progress, it enables the child to get repetition. As much love you have as a mother and no matter what, you are not a robot.” With Trexo’s technology, it also helps with those busy days when you don’t have time for therapy but you can still get in a session with Trexo.
Once you receive the Trexo robotic legs, you have access to our team, through our chat app and you can schedule virtual calls with us. We are here to support you and won’t leave you hanging. This is something that Maria valued: “With Trexo you are not alone, the team, Manmeet and Marc, work with you through any issues and concerns.”
What Motivates Michael?
Michael wants to be Youtube famous and Maria would do anything to motivate him to do therapy, so she started his Instagram where she shares his therapy journey. When Maria asked Michael “why do you want to do it?” He responded “I want to motivate them so they know they can do it.” He wants to inspire other children who are working on their goals and loves reading the supportive comments from the community. Check out his Instagram Page (@Mightymikeycphero), where he shares his journey with therapy and motivational messages for other children as they work on their goals!
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