Since we have Wii Fit board, Namine’s therapist recommended we try her out on some of its balance games. There were mixed results.
When you start up Wii Fit, it asks you to stand still so that it can measure your weight and center of balance. It’s difficult for Namine to stand perfectly still in her walker, so it took a few tries for the board to calibrate for her. Even so, she was fairly patient and willing to keep trying until she got it.
Once we adjusted the height of the walker to compensate for her increased height while on top of the Wii Fit board, she tried a few of the simpler balance games.
One such game was the ski slalom. Namine found it fairly easy to lean to the left, but leaning to the right was harder. Namine still relies on much of her arm strength to keep her upright; she just doesn’t have the strength in her legs to support her full weight yet. So in leaning to the right, she leaned more on her arm than on her leg. She knew what she was doing wrong, and she couldn’t seem to control it. Her mind was telling her body what to do, but her body wouldn’t cooperate.
Namine understood that, and she said as much. “My body doesn’t like doing that!” she yelled. She picked up her right leg, and slammed it down in anger. (You can bet her avatar on the screen veered to the right then.) We took a break from the game to give her a moment to calm down.
After she took some deep breaths, I asked her, “Your body doesn’t like to move that way, does it?”
“No!” she said angrily, almost yelling.
“But that’s why you go to therapy, right? To get stronger?”
“Do you want to be done?”
“With this game. I’d like to play a different game.”
I admired her for that. This was hard work, but she wasn’t giving up.
We found a different kind of balance game, one where you had to shift your balance to move a marble on a surface. Namine liked that one better; it didn’t have the rush, the illusion of urgency, that the skiing game did. She had more fun with that one, and though she still had some difficulty, gave it several tries and remained calm.