My son is going to be 8 in Feb. He is at the point where he just fights and fights about the stretching. We've tried almost everyting from offering him money to alternating nights..etc...any suggestions?
I've explained how it will help him in the long run. He just will not stretch for us anymore and I'm getting concerned. I do get a few ankle stretches in every nite..but not the hamstrings.

Thanks
Darcy

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Is he a deep sleeper? Can you stretch him while he is asleep? I have heard of some parents doing that...good luck!
What really helps us is to allow him to watch a movie that he really likes. That way, he is distracted....And, I always tell him that we will call Dr. Wong and of course, this time of the year, Santa. Good luck.Char Burke
Thanks, we've tried it all. When he's sleeping, he ususally wakes up and rolls over. We are going to try the knee immobilizers? (Anyone else using)?
I'm sorry to hear about your frustration, I was the exact same way when I was younger. Finally my parents gave up because I was always resisting doing stretching or exercises. Looking back I wish I had done them.
Hi,

My son is 18 and has been refusing to stretch or wear is night splints for quite a while now. He even went through a few rounds of serial casting last summer (2008) and refused to do anything after. There is only so much we could do, we kind of got to the point where we had to choose our battles and try to maintain some peace in our home. My son wasn't diagnosed until he was 9, so I don't know if that made it harder to get into a routine or not. We tried letting him watch TV or play a video game while he stretched, but it never lasted very long. We have a wedge my dad made so he could just stand there and it still was difficult.

Susan

When my son was younger we got in a trampoline, just the small jumping he could do alone streched his legs and it was fun...we have a big yard so we have a big one and for the winter months we had a small mine tramp...Good Luck..♥

Misty (Luke's mom)
Hi

My son liked the wedge- 20 degrees. He's uncle made it for him. He would stand on one side of the table, me on the other. We played board games and cards for the recommended time. This stretched both ankles and hamstrings. TV didn't work. He needed the excitement of competition. It was the primary time that I would play those games with him too. I made stretching similar to brushing teeth and combing hair; a part of general hygene. He was given a couple of choices, but not whether he would do it or not. He used night splints until age 12. Then he would take them off 10 minutes after I put them on after he went to sleep. I gave up. He now stands in a stander 30-40 min and gets a pretty good stretch. I stretch his ankles for 1 minute each in the morning before helping him with his pants. He's 17 now. Good luck.
Darcy,
We started our son at age 5 with night splints that he wears only in bed at night, and (BDO/AFO )? shoe inserts ( I have pictures of the ) that help keep his feet in a 90 degree position, we don't stretch him, but he does get 30 min a day at school and during the summer. right now he's almost 16 and a half and still walking , not toe walking. He is able to do about a couple of miles in an afternoon with stops and moving at his own pace of about 1.5 mph or 1/2 my walking speed. Recently I bought him earth shoes on-line at planetshoes.com they have the heel lower than the front of the foot and provide a stretch while he is walking to classes, Once in a while he trips or loses his balance but that's more to the the progression of DMD than the shoes.

Your the parent & he's the kid who needs this done, you need to win. If necessary see a psychiatrist or therapist who can work with your son to alleviate his anger and help him to understand that if he doesn't do this he will not be walking much longer. You are the parent.
Sounds like your son is doing great. We've been taking him to the PT to stretch and he does stretch for her. I think he's going thru a stage and I hope he bounces back soon. Had some behavior issues recently but they've calmed down. He does wear his braces and does not toe walk. Did you son ever toe walk? Did he play sports when he was little?

Michael said:
Darcy,
We started our son at age 5 with night splints that he wears only in bed at night, and (BDO/AFO )? shoe inserts ( I have pictures of the ) that help keep his feet in a 90 degree position, we don't stretch him, but he does get 30 min a day at school and during the summer. right now he's almost 16 and a half and still walking , not toe walking. He is able to do about a couple of miles in an afternoon with stops and moving at his own pace of about 1.5 mph or 1/2 my walking speed. Recently I bought him earth shoes on-line at planetshoes.com they have the heel lower than the front of the foot and provide a stretch while he is walking to classes, Once in a while he trips or loses his balance but that's more to the the progression of DMD than the shoes.

Your the parent & he's the kid who needs this done, you need to win. If necessary see a psychiatrist or therapist who can work with your son to alleviate his anger and help him to understand that if he doesn't do this he will not be walking much longer. You are the parent.
Hi,
No, Jonathan never toe walked. He never ran either, a faster version of a walk, but never got his knees up to run. He did Tai Kwon do for three years until it became too hard, when he was 9,10,11,and 12 he played in the local little league. He rarely got a hit but did get his chances to bat and play the outfield. One year his team won the finals and he has a trophy from it. Unfortunately he was probablly the reason, because the pitcher beaned him hard in that last inning, then they put in a base runner for him and the next kid ... got hits and won the game. He was balak and blue in his shoulder for a week. Ah, at least he got to play with the body , get dirty, scrapes, etc like regular boys, I felt that was important.

Darcy Tumminello said:
Sounds like your son is doing great. We've been taking him to the PT to stretch and he does stretch for her. I think he's going thru a stage and I hope he bounces back soon. Had some behavior issues recently but they've calmed down. He does wear his braces and does not toe walk. Did you son ever toe walk? Did he play sports when he was little?

Michael said:
Darcy,
We started our son at age 5 with night splints that he wears only in bed at night, and (BDO/AFO )? shoe inserts ( I have pictures of the ) that help keep his feet in a 90 degree position, we don't stretch him, but he does get 30 min a day at school and during the summer. right now he's almost 16 and a half and still walking , not toe walking. He is able to do about a couple of miles in an afternoon with stops and moving at his own pace of about 1.5 mph or 1/2 my walking speed. Recently I bought him earth shoes on-line at planetshoes.com they have the heel lower than the front of the foot and provide a stretch while he is walking to classes, Once in a while he trips or loses his balance but that's more to the the progression of DMD than the shoes.

Your the parent & he's the kid who needs this done, you need to win. If necessary see a psychiatrist or therapist who can work with your son to alleviate his anger and help him to understand that if he doesn't do this he will not be walking much longer. You are the parent.
Darcy,

Trey was a pain to get to stretch too...he just didn't want to do it and didn't want to settle down to have it done...we tried bribing, we tried everything under the sun to get him to want to stretch, and it didn't work.

I talked to our Developmental Behavoiral Pediatrician, and he told me it was a test of wills...you HAVE to make him do it regardless of whether he wants to our not, you NEED to make it a part of their routine...he first suggested we get a 'special yoga mat'...that no one else is allowed on and it is used just for stretching...he showed interest in it, but not interest in it for stretching.

Back to the Developmental Doctor we go. He then stated it was a 'wills contest' between us and him. And really it was. I remembered back to when he was potty training and sometimes I would have to sit in the bathroom for hours before he would go, once he realized if he 'just did it already' he could go have fun again. Doctor told us, as mean as it is, we needed to force it and forcing it may mean getting mean...he suggested the 'take away theory' and it worked great. Tell your son as you lay out the mat to stretch, 'in 10 minutes we are going to stretch your legs out for 10 minutes'. Set the timer to beep when 10 minutes hits to start, and then set the timer as you start to stretch him, when it beeps you are done. If he begins to absolutely refuse, you explain to him that it is really important to you that he allows you to help him do this, and if he absolutely refuses you get to then take away something really important to him. This could be a game, a car, a favorite blanket, a jacket, something/anything he really really likes. Of course when he refuses, up you go to get that special thing, all while he is not very happy at all and probably following you, crying, yelling, etc. You grab what you deem really important to him and put it somewhere he can't get it, but where he knows it isn't going to be thrown away, and you start making a pile of your son's favorite things.

We did this and IT WORKED!!! We had about 4 nights of him refusing, so we took something from him, every morning he would want what we took from him and he did not get it back. We explained to him that when he wanted to do the exercises and do what was really important to you, that he could start getting his toys back. When the first night hit that he stretched well, we gave him one of the things we took away, and so on and so forth, once he realized we would take things, and he absolutely wouldn't be able to 'work the system' with us, we got what we needed: him to stretch.

Now we still do have to do the timer deal and in 10 minutes you will have to stretch for 10 minutes and use his 'special mat', but he doesn't fight anymore. Those 4 days were tough, but it worked like a charm!

Maybe this will help, I hope so!

Cori

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