Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Feb '09

Makes My Mom-Heart Proud

Sometimes I see other kids do stuff and it seems so effortless for them. Wes gets visits from three different therapists four times a month (occupational, physical, and speech). His physical therapist started coming last July, when Wes was about ten months old and getting close to crawling. Once he learned to crawl (11 1/2 months), she started working with me to help Wes climb the stairs. He caught on to that pretty fast. The next thing was to help Wes learn to turn himself around at the top of the stairs and come back down.

She told us to pick a single, short phrase to say to Wes every time he was at the top of the stairs so he would learn to start coming down when we said it. I chose, “Turn around.” Whenever Wes was at the top of the stairs I would say, “Turn around,” grab his legs and hips and physically turn him around and then help pull his legs downstairs.

I think we started working on this last August. Every month when the physical therapist came she asked how Wes was doing turning around at the top of the stairs, and my answer was always the same: He’s not. Not without a lot of direct intervention, anyway. Like, basically me doing it for him.

Then after a few months when I said, “Turn around,” he would actually turn himself partially (go from sitting up to putting his hands down on one side so he was angled away from me). This was major progress because it meant he was starting to connect “Turn around” with actually turning around. Then I would help him turn the rest of the way and help pull him downstairs.

After a while longer, maybe in December or so, I didn’t have to pull him downstairs all by myself; I could just nudge his legs and he would move them down on his own.

So envision working on a single skill with your baby for six months, with a lot of the time feeling like he’s not making progress at all, and then suddenly:

Video of Wes going down stairs 1. (Also check out some of his awesome standing and walking in this one.)

Video of Wes going down stairs 2.

He started doing it all by himself last Thursday. He’s 17 1/2 months old.

It makes my mom-heart proud.

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