Because life would be boring if Jude was the only one needing extra assistance, Sloane decided she'd hop on the bandwagon! It all started with this picture I posted on Instagram three months ago...
Since Sloane was a year old, people have commented on her long legs. When standing on tip toes, she's always looked so graceful. It makes us laugh because a) neither of us had long legs as toddlers (instead they were short and very, very chunky) and neither of us are graceful. Scratch that, Michael is extremely coordinated. Me? I constantly trip while walking. But back to the Instagram picture.
It was a sweet moment I was lucky to capture. A few of my IG friends commented on Sloane's legs and I replied that she always looks graceful on her toes but, like her dad, severely overpronates while walking. And then reason #452 why I love social media: Tracey, a fellow twin mom friend, left the following comment: Funny you mention the pronation... being a pediatric PT that's the first thing I notice on kiddos. I always wondered if she was clumsy. You may consider an insert. We use SureStep SMOs here in Indy for kiddos who overpronate and need a little more stability.
What she said wasn't news to us - we'd mentioned Sloane's feet to the pediatrician several times and she never seemed concerned. However, the fact that a pediatric physical therapist had noticed my daughter's feet from pictures on Instagram... that was a big deal to me. Tracey and I emailed back and forth and she was so helpful. She mentioned Sloane's flat feet and I remember thinking, "But she doesn't have flat feet, she has a great arch." The next morning I saw her standing next to Michael and her ankles were rolled in so much that her entire foot was flat on the ground. They looked exactly like the feet of the guy standing next to her.
Due to her ER visit, Sloane had a follow-up appointment at the pediatrician so I mentioned her feet to the doctor and asked if she could be evaluated (if you can't tell, I am the queen of asking for evaluations). The doctor agreed and referred Sloane to a physical therapist in town.
A week went by and the physical therapist came to our house to evaluate Sloane. She asked all sorts of questions before she even looked at Sloane's feet. When did she start walking? Just before 11 months. How often did she trip? Quite often, but typically because she's not paying attention. Was she able to run and jump? Very fast and very far. She lifted her eyebrows at my last response but kept writing. Then it was Sloane's turn to strut her stuff.
She asked Sloane to walk down our long hallway and Sloane immediately put her arms over her head and walked on her tip toes (we'd been to ballet the day before). I couldn't help but smile. The PT explained to Sloane how she needed to walk and Sloane did as told. After two steps I heard her say, "Oh... that's bad. That's really bad." She asked Sloane to do a number of things. Sloane did everything with a huge grin on her face. Extra attention and showing off skills - this was Sloane's dream come true. She even took a bow a few times. Such a ham.
After the test was done, the PT told me Sloane did not qualify for physical therapy. "But... you said her feet were terrible." She grimaced and said they were... but Sloane was able to complete all tasks with no problem. Because of that, insurance would not cover therapy because overpronating didn't prevent her from doing anything. It was such a backwards compliment.
The PT showed me a few stretching exercises I could do with Sloane and then told me about SureStep SMO (shoe inserts - read more HERE). Tracey had already told me about the inserts so it didn't take much convincing before we agreed Sloane would absolutely benefit from them. I had a laundry list of questions. Would she have to wear them forever? No. Would she have to relearn to walk? No, but she may be clumsy for a bit because they would completely realign her legs/feet. Would they hinder her from doing everything she loves to do? Not at all. Would she be able to wear normal shoes or only giant white tennis shoes? (Let's be honest, I'd seen them on the website and was not thrilled.) She could wear normal shoes - not all, obviously, but the plastic inserts are thin and flexible enough they don't cause many issues.
So that brings us to the present. Next Tuesday someone is coming to our home to measure Sloane's feet and make inserts specifically for her. My kids are barefoot 90% of the time. If we are not in public, they are barefoot. This will no longer be the case as she needs the extra support from her shoes. The hope is in a relatively short amount of time the inserts will teach her how to walk correctly, which will help with stability and alignment. It will also take unnecessary pressure off of her knees and ankles.
With the exact same issues as Sloane, Michael managed to be an incredible soccer player and one of the fastest guys on his team. She's already following in her dad's overpronated footsteps (harhar) so I have no doubt she will handle this like a pro.
If you have any questions about ECI (Jude's post) or SureStep SMO, please ask. I'm in the beginning stages myself but would love to help you or point you in the direction of someone who can.
(Take a good look at her feet and ankle bones - YIKES)