We have therapy two times a week now (once with the school district and once at a clinic) and we see an osteopath every other week, which is a big part of me feeling like I’m running in circles. It seems like we always have something to do and somewhere to go, but I’m so grateful to have wonderful people who are helping Elijah grow and develop. I feel like Elijah has a awesome team and I’m the co-captain (with Andy as the other co-captain of course!).
Our Early Intervention PT came this week and brought us a walker for Elijah. He had tried one during his clinic based therapy, but now we have one at home for him to learn how to use. Each day, Elijah gets better at using it. At first, I would have to hold his hands on the handlebars. His right hand is stronger than his left, so he would hold on with only his right hand. Today I was able to get him to walk without any help from me for about five feet! He’s holding on with both hands and he’s learning how to use it. That means he could be mobile independently soon! At this point, I don’t think he quite understands that if he lets go, he’ll fall down, but I’m sure that’ll come. And, he has no clue about steering, but I’m sure that’ll come too.
This week during our clinic based therapy, Elijah tried out their walker and the PT said that she was impressed with the steps Elijah is taking. She liked to see how far he could step and that he usually kept his legs apart. That led to a conversation that Elijah doesn’t have a lot of the typical problems that affects children with cerebral palsy.
“Well, he sure is determined,” I said. She nodded, but I detected disagreement. “You can have all of the determination in the world, but if your brain is telling your body to move incorrectly, your determination means nothing.” It was another one of those moments where I realized that God has undeniably intervened on our son’s behalf.
Later, I was talking to the OT and she mentioned that she didn’t think that they could get things past Elijah, meaning they think he knows a lot. This only reaffirmed what I already think…that Elijah can understand a lot more than he can communicate with us. Understanding comes before the ability to communicate and I think that Elijah can understand a lot.
Elijah just seems to be making so many gains lately. The walking is obviously huge. But, also his understanding and his ability to move is amazing. He’s become so much more interactive with toys and is trying to move on the floor now to get them. He’s not crawling yet, but it has to be soon. When I set him on the floor, he’s all over the place. He’ll get on his hands and knees and rock and then get himself up to sitting, roll somewhere else and then side-sit. He side sits a lot now, which, to me, is a great sign of how good his tone is these days. Each week he’s different and sometimes each day I feel like I have to meet him all over again.
A Long Road
Of course, I know that Elijah has a long road ahead of him. For all the things he can do, there is probably a list just as long for the things he can’t. We’ve tucked that list away for now and focus on the positives. The thing he could use the most prayers for at this point is his fine motor skills. While he seems to be plugging along in the gross motor skills, it’s the fine motors where he’s the most behind. Thankfully, he keeps developing in that department as well. He purposefully can turn on toys by batting at them, but at this point, he is still unable to put things in his mouth (other than his hands). He drools a lot too, which also has a lot to do with motor control. We know he’ll get there, as he keeps improving (he holds onto his walker!) but he has a long way to go. Please keep him in your prayers.
On a Completely Separate Note…
A few weeks back, I found a book in a bookstore called My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. I thought it sounded interesting, so I picked it up and read the book jacket. The book is the true story of a brain scientist who had a stroke at the age of 37 and it gave her a completely different perspective of the world. I am aching to read this book, because I feel like it could give me some insight on what is going on in that little head of my little man.
Now, I of course realize that a stroke is different than what happened to Elijah, but I do feel like the more we (as Elijah’s parents) know about how the human brain works, the more we’ll be able to help and understand what Elijah is going through. Anyway, for those of you interested, here is a link to a speech Ms. Taylor gave about how her stroke impacted her. She gets a little too “new-agey” for me near the end, but I thought it was very interesting and that it was worth sharing.
Hope you are all well!