The shoe thing baffles me all the time. I know it seems petty but H doesn't ever take notice. I've watched SD play basketball in flip flops on the wrong feet with her heels crashing against the black top! Can't she feel that? Why doesn't H take notice? Maybe it's a guy/dad vs girl/mom thing? IDK. I don't want to seem as I'm bashing the child because I'm not. I want to see all children thrive and succeed! If I didn't feel that SD had more abilities than she displays, I would say nothing. But it eats me up inside seeing how far behind she is, when I am pretty positive that she is capable of more. It's a matter of her mom and grandma stepping it up and stop using her disability as an excuse.
I have encouraged my H to access more services for SD. It took a lot of work and H getting his ex and her mother to follow through. They eventually did and SD has gotten a lot of items to help strengthen her leg/drop foot etc. SD rarely has those items when she comes to our house. So I have to wonder if they are even used at home? SD is entitled to additional PT/OT services, day habs and outings with children of similar disabilities. Do they utilize them? No.
I'm not looking for praise for helping get these services going. I just can't believe that when there are services (free at that) available to help your child, WTH wouldn't you do it? IDK. It's all frustrating.
Maybe I shouldn't care?
I'd be frustrated, too. You care about your SD and know that her biological family isn't doing all they could to improve her life now and in the future.
My mother had multiple surgeries between ages 6 and 18 to insert pins, do muscle transplants, and even bone transplants. Between surgeries, she was supposed to wear leg and/or arm braces, depending which part of her the doctors were working on.
The years long battle between my mother, who did not want to wear the braces, and my grandmother, who wanted her to wear the braces, was legendary. My mom would have to be wrestled into her braces and then she'd have a friend on the bus take them off for her. Mom finally gave in and started wearing her braces when grandma started going to school with her...all day long.
A LOT of the disabled kids I've known over the years were similar. Braces suck. Weighted braces suck hard. They're uncomfortable, restrict movement, make a kid feel like a robot or a freak. Of course they don't want to wear them! And that's when parents need to step in and get the kid in the braces for their own good. Reason, bribe, blackmail, beg, plead, out stubborn, whatever needs to be done to get the kid to wear the braces. They only grow up once. The braces are there to get the best outcome possible for the limb. Once the growing stops, that's pretty much it. You don't get a second shot.
I was supposed to wear a back brace for my S curve. I was a vain teenager and didn't want anything to do with it. My mom felt I was old enough to make my own choice, so I chose not to get the brace. I live with back pain daily. I do not take meds because the ones that work make me into a zombie. The curve isn't quite bad enough for surgery. So, I just hurt. I also kick myself in the azz for not wearing that damn brace when I was 15.
DH was supposed to wear special shoes because of the way his legs turned out. He was a pre-schooler and threw fits, so his mom gave in and didn't make him wear the shoes. Later, it became low braces, which he also refused to wear. Now, he's 40 with completely flat feet and legs that turn our just enough that he cannot run. Most people don't even notice anything, but it's devastating to him that he has never been and will never be able to simply run.
Getting SD wearing her braces and whatever else she may need, getting her out and doing things with other kids who are disabled and active, taking advantage of whatever therapies or programs that are available is vital.
Is there any chance you could enroll her for services while she is with your family? Even if it's just something like an outing for disabled kids to ride a horse or to an exercise for disabled kids class? Those are usually held in pools in my area and every kids around here loves the water, so they like to go.
Other than that, work on your husband to get her using the gear she needs. Really impress upon him how important doing these things for her is. Make sure he understands that these services won't be as readily available or as effective later.