Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Itty Bitty is WALKING!!

We are SO excited!!  The title says it all :).

But as always, there's a backstory!

Those who have been around for a while will remember that I scoffed when Itty Bitty failed an early intervention screening at around 6 months of age (and again at almost 8 months). I didn't understand how serious his problems were at the time...and in hindsight I am extremely grateful for the knowledgeable professionals who worked with us and helped us through the evaluation process.

Itty Bitty has several diagnoses that affect his physical development. We'd been told that he would likely walk around age 2, but of course, there were no guarantees...and we were told to expect leg braces and/or a walker to be a part of his life.  We were also told that our best chance of taking advantage of the plasticity of a baby's brain - and therefore as much progress as possible - was intense intervention. He has been involved in intense therapy since his diagnoses, and currently has 4 therapists (for whom I am also very grateful) that work with him regularly to help him develop skills (he has 3-4 hours a week of therapy, plus exercises that are completed at home and at daycare). He's had some setbacks, but has made TONS of progress.

In June, a month after turning 1, he began rolling over consistently. Later the same week, he figured out how to get into a sitting position and how to crawl. Shortly after, at 14 months, he began to try self-feeding. He took his first independent step - quite by accident - at the end of August, at his first session with his child-life specialist, and promptly sat down. Last month, at 15 months, he learned how to pull up, and he began taking steps with adapted (weighted) push toys. Then, he began cruising a LOT at the beginning of October, and he began to get into a standing position and stand without support for a few seconds. Climbing came next, and he quickly became a pro at climbing anything he could get his knee on, or that he could step up on (he also discovered how to find, move, and stand on objects to reach things that were intended to be OUT of reach...).

BUT - until today - walking had been an elusive skill. He had developed the skill of walking while holding on to an object or a hand, but could not figure out how to move his feet without some support. We went to a physical therapy session, where we were going to be playing a game to help him with standing balance. Just as we started, he took two steps...mostly by accident...but didn't fall.  He was surprised - and very excited. For the rest of his therapy session, he attempted walking over and over again, by his own choice.  We tried to have him take some breaks, but he was determined to practice and to see what he could do.  By the end of the session, I was thrilled to see him take as many as 8 steps in a row without losing his balance.

Itty Bitty still requires special shoes, and may need some assistive devices as he gets a little older...but he is making INCREDIBLE progress!

Praise be for this beautiful and amazing progress in the midst of our other trials.

No comments:

Post a Comment