I stuck him in tap dance too, hoping that it would get him practice in putting his heels down, but he still has that awful habit of walking on his toes.
What do you do about this? If you've read our first post on toe walking, well, this was really what gave us the first clue that something was different with MJ. We've had so many various opinions and advice given to us on what should be done, but in the end, nothing has really changed.
We've been told he walks on his toes because it's a sensory issue with Sensory Integration Dysfunction.
We've been told it's because his heel cords are too tight and so they stretched and casted him for a summer.
We've been told to just do nothing and then when he was 6 maybe they would do surgery to cut his heel cords.
We once had him in physical therapy which wanted him to be in leg braces called DAFO'S. But that never happened.
All in all, it's not something he can't do---walk with his heels down. I mean he can if we sit here and tell him over and over and over again, but what kind of a crappy life is that?
Poor kid used to have to listen to it all day. It was like Hi, MJ, come play, PUT YOUR FEET DOWN, want some milk? PUT YOUR FEET DOWN! Get in the car, PUT YOUR FEET DOWN! And you would have to chant it all day long. I wouldn't do this. I didn't think it was right to have every word coming out of my mouth to my son as PUT YOUR FEET DOWN!!!
We used to have arguments with family members who couldn't handle this and wanted to spend the whole day pushing him down and yelling at him to put his feet down, but it wasn't worth it.
I mean, yeah, we worry just as much as anyone would that this is going to cause problems and hurt his bones or muscles or joints as he gets older, but what do you do?
I liked the idea to force him to walk normally, but the casting didn't work, and do I really want a kid with Asperger's who already has enough to worry about have to go around with leg braces too?
And even if I thought somehow he could be helped, he now knows when doctors are watching him walk that he walks down when they evaluate him, so then the doctors think I'm just a hyperchondriac over my son's symptoms.
So, what to do what to do? Bad habit? Something neurological? Something physical? What really is it, and will it cause him problems?
I know toe walking is something that has been connected to autism, and so is that just an added thing to his Asperger's? But don't we want to fix that?
Or do we? I mean, really, I don't care how he walks if it doesn't hurt him. I mean, I love MJ and so what if he is weird? He has many quirks, but that doesn't make him a bad person. I get angry at those people who are always trying to "fix" my kids' "issues". If it will cause him problems with his health or mentally, or whatever, then we will find a way to take care of it. As for now, it is the frustration still of wondering what IS right? What should we do if anything. We always ask and always bring it up to countless doctors, and so far they aren't so concerned, so we will let it be at that.
And, yeah, being a toe walker gives him those strong calves that the other little ballerinas seem to have a hard time being up and balancing, but our MJ does a great job!