GO COLTEN!!! Today he made forward movement – a scoot, if you will! Colten just turned 11 months and has been moving around incredibly well using his technique of twisting, rolling, sitting, and more twisting, rolling and sitting. He moves himself all around the living room to get to toys. But today, TODAY he scooted!
VIDEO: Colten SCOOTS!
While this may seem like a small milestone, when a doctor tells you your newborn son has no movement or feeling in his legs at all, things like this make you pretty excited. It’s one of the reasons I love feeling Colten kick at me under his highchair, or when pushing him in a shopping cart. Spina Bifida seems to be so misunderstood by some medical professionals. And I cannot blame them – how can you know everything about every medical issue? What bothers me is the claims they make about how your child will grow and develop. When really, they just don’t know. No one knows. Every person with Spina Bifida has such different movement and sensation, even if the lesion level is “identical”.
I had to laugh at the timing of this all. Just yesterday, Colten had his annual review with EarlyOn. They go through every little thing – cognitive development, motor development, adaptive skills, speech/language, etc… Of course forward movement was on there and we had to mark no. (Hey, April, can you adjust the review?!) What I am smiling about deep inside is that last week he had two Anat Baniel Method lessons – one with a new practitioner who is more local to our new house, and one with our current practitioner, Bethany, who we are going to miss terribly! Typically, we do “ABM” once a week, every week. It’s a therapy we pay out of pocket for as insurance doesn’t cover it. However, it’s something we see valuable results from. He moves so fluidly when he moves and he uses his strengths to compensate for his weaker areas. ABM encourages what they call “intensives”, where you do multiple appointments close together in rapid succession, then take a long break. This inundating the brain with movement and connections sticks better, especially with children. We just have not had a schedule that allows us to schedule that, nor the money to throw into multiple sessions all at once. Well, having two appointments last week, then watching Colten since then has been awesome.
Just the past few days I have seen him do movements he has not done before. He gets himself twisted up in a way where he keeps his left leg locked and balances on the side of his foot and gets his butt entirely up in the air – his chest is still on the ground but this move seems quite developed for a kid with weak glutes and hamstrings! Yesterday we were playing on the floor and he was able to pull himself up over my legs, using this same locked-leg technique. It’s almost like he’s figured out he can use his straight leg as a lever to propel the rest of his body. I’m sure I’ve never watched a child’s movements as closely as I dissect his – it’s amazing though to watch him progress and figure it out.
Needless to say we might try to figure out how to get him into an intensive schedule. This would make for a busier week than usual one week of the month, but then the other three weeks or so, we would have no ABM lessons at all. So in one sense, it’s a nice way to get them done and take a break, but I love structure and routine and schedules, so we’ll see. We’ll take our ABM “budget” and instead of spreading it over a month, we’ll cram the whole month’s worth into a week.
What else is Colten up to? He loves playing peek-a-boo now – covering and uncovering his own face or ours. He is starting to roll and “wrestle” with his brothers, he’s been clapping for a while and just started waving. He signs MORE and I swear he signed EAT one day but has yet to repeat it again. He finally developed his pincher grasp so he can pick up little bits of food and put them in his mouth (yay for self-feeding opportunities!). He still has a strong gag, or choke, so while most of his foods are pretty pureed, we do try to give some textured foods now too. He has six teeth, wears his helmet 23 hours every day without a fuss, attempts to give kisses, and is still the happiest kid in the world. Except if I leave the room. Then the floodgates open! Hopefully the separation anxiety will calm down, although with a new home in our future (2 weeks!), I’m guessing it will stick around a bit longer.
On that note – Richard is enjoying his teaching job, we are anxious to move to the east side of the state so he doesn’t have to put in three hours in the car each day, and we are living around boxes as we get packed up. This move entails finding a new preschool for Parker (he will start a bit late!), new in-home childcare help, new doctors, leaving friends and some of Richard’s family, and moving closer to my family. So it’s a mix of excitement, sadness and a LOT of chaos.
At least amongst all that chaos, we enjoyed a great long weekend in Traverse City for one of my sisters’ wedding. The boys looked adorable for the first 20 minutes. Unfortunately this picture was taken about 2 hours AFTER that! Still pretty handsome 😉
By the way, some little boy turns ONE very soon! Sound the alarm!!!!