If you are a caregiver to a little one, you’ve probably heard the song “Baby Shark” a few times (like, maybe on a loop before bedtime). For adults, is somehow simultaneously catchy and exhausting all at once – but kids love it.
Dr. Michelle Schultz at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital decided to use this beloved song as a way to encourage 2-year-old Harper Comparin to learn to walk.
Harper was born with spina bifida which impacts her ability to move and walk. The sweet tot has spent a lot of time in doctor’s offices over the course of her life, which meant Dr. Schultz had to get creative when it came to earning her trust.
As Harper worked on learning to walk on a tiny treadmill, Dr. Schultz wanted her to pick up the speed a little bit, so she started singing “baby shark doo doo doo doo doo”. It provided the perfect rhythm for the pace Dr. Schultz wanted Harper to meet. And, like any toddler would be, Harper was thrilled to hear the familiar song.
Harper and Dr. Schultz have developed a strong bond, thanks in part to the doctor’s creative use of music. The two do lots of activities together during rehabilitation sessions like throw balls, run around, and “grocery” shop.
Not only has Harper’s walking improved, but her newfound confidence has inspired her to talk and smile more (basically every parent’s dream!). Her parents were thrilled just to see their little girl take a few steps at a time, but now, Harper will full-on “walk up to total strangers and just say ‘Hi!'”.
Between Dr. Schultz’s unique treatment planning and Harper’s determination and big spirit, we have no doubt this sweet girl is going to go places – spina bifida or not!
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