This post is sort of a follow-up to a couple of my previous posts from July and August. In July I mentioned that we’d scheduled an appointment for our son to see the developmental pediatrician to discuss a diagnosis. The result of that appointment is that our son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome – no real surprise to us, as we’ve been trying to tell people that for most of our son’s life. The August post was about a tough day that we had following one of our son’s OT sessions. He receives his OT in 10-day therapy intensives: an hour a day for 10 days, each school quarter & during the Extended School Year (ESY). After much discussion with his therapy team, we came to find that his ups & downs after OT are pretty normal, and we’re prepared to better handle them the next time he has an intensive.
The point of the intensives are basically to “shock” his central nervous system as they work to help him learn and grow. While it’s tough for the first couple of weeks after his intensives, we are seeing some definite growth. Today, though, I could not believe my eyes – my heart skipped a beat!
One of our son’s struggles is in the area of bilateral integration. He has a tough time using both sides of his body while doing an activity. It’s hard to play catch with him because he has trouble catching the ball & tossing it back. He does not enjoy riding his bike because the training wheels are uneven (typical on most kid’s bikes) and he has trouble alternating legs when he has to pedal.
Today we got out of the van at therapy. My daughter was walking beside me, my older son was just in front of me, and my younger son was about 10 paces ahead.
And then it happened.
My son, who struggles with bilateral integration, started. He took off and it played out like a slow-motion scene that you watch but really can’t believe you’re seeing.
My son started skipping. Skipping! My 7-year old son was skipping! Both arms and both legs were working in coordinated movements, correctly, while he skipped!
I am grateful that this network exists, and that there are others out there who will celebrate this milestone with me! It’s big news for us as it shows us that he is growing well, and that the therapy is absolutely helping! He’s never looked more typical in his life! He skipped for about 5 paces and then slowed back down to a walk as we approached the entrance to the therapy building. I really could not believe what I’d seen. I mentioned it to his therapist and she was so excited for him! (By the way, I feel kind of odd when my first instinct is to share a milestone with a therapist, but that’s where we are in life right now.)
Tonight my parents dropped by to pick our older son up for youth group. I asked our younger son to show Grandma & Granddad how he could skip. He wasn’t sure he wanted to. I basically begged. I didn’t want to push him but I was SO excited and wanted him to share his newly-acquired skill with them! And he did it – again – about 5 paces.
I have no idea if he realizes how well he’s doing, but I realize it! And I celebrate it! And before the week is over, I plan to skip with him – 5 paces, or 500 paces!