Thursday, July 16, 2015

Teaching Grace to Walk the Walk

Lately, we've been doing a lot of walking. Grace is a cruise master - she can walk along furniture and the wall to get where she needs go.

Here she is at the pediatrician's office a few days ago:

We're practicing walking on different kids of surfaces too - this was yesterday with her Dad. Please note the fabulous pink shoes with bows, a surprise mistake from Zappos!

At both her physical therapies this week, her therapists talked about how she is doing more advanced movements than first steps, but she is lacking the confidence. She does not need the balance, but she wants it. 

We found a nice park about a mile from our house, so the last two days we've been introducing Grace to the straight, bumpy and twisty slides; the monkey bars; the unsteady bridge; plenty of wood chips. She loves it, which makes us so happy.

Laura loves it too!

We're working a lot on walking... and it's just frustrating for all parties. As long as she feels comfortable, she does well. If she feels unsure (like walking on wood chips), she is much more stiff. This affects her gait. Here is a short video - we're really encouraging her to walk with minimal support:

Then again, if she doesn't want to walk, she won't. 

She wants to walk and move on her own... our hope is that she takes off on her own by the end of summer, or before her second birthday. It's tough to be in limbo. Don't misunderstand me  - we are over-the-moon for how much Grace has improved and how well she is moving: her therapists are beyond pleased. We're grateful that she's high functioning in this way. And sure, even after she's walking on her own, there will still be more to work on. A prescription was written for an AFO (ankle foot orthotics), so we'll get fitted after we get back from vacation next week.

As always, God provides and guides. Grace is flourishing, happy and overall responsive to therapy. Her normal movements are fluid and controlled, and she has does a deep plie!

The park was a total success, by the way. Mom and Dad got their walk in too!

I don't mind answering questions about Grace walking; I would prefer other questions, as well:
  • How's Grace?
  • Tell me about Grace's therapies!
  • What does Grace like doing these days?

(And don't forget about Laura! Wink.)

If you're unsure what questions to ask, a safe bet is to ask about the child over asking about progress the child is making. If the child is plateauing, it can be a less desirable topic. If you're the parent/ loved one and you're feeling sensitive about your child, just be honest: "[My child] is working very hard in therapy right now; he/she is loving _____!" You do not owe anyone outside medical professionals the full story - but don't be afraid of the story either. It's yours too!

Grace is such a bright, spirited child. She loves and feels deeply: she loves shoes, dressing up, coloring, building blocks, dancing to music, and being sweet/ super close to Laura, as well as cuddling with her mom and dad.

It's going to be great when she does walk, but this is where we are now. Thanks for asking, y'all!

Stay tuned for more pictures of that fantastic neighborhood park; we are thrilled to find this treasure within walking distance! Such a nice borough we live in for now.

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1 comment:

  1. Grace has excellent taste in shoes! She is doing so well - I'm cheering her on from here! She will get the confidence - she has great parents and therapists encouraging her. Also, I'm totally tearing up at that video. <3