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Monday, March 28, 2011

Slow and Steady....Walking!

I know I've written a lot about how Emma really wants to move lately.  Scoot, crawl, roll, walk.  This what she is interested in.  Communicating with us, not so much.  Moving to get from one place to the other, sign her up!  She is not deterred by how hard and how much work it is for her to move, she simply digs in and uses 110% of her energy to achieve her goal - movement.  It's amazing to watch her and I get so inspired by it.


We've been using the KidWalk a lot lately.  Inside, outside, on the deck, at PT.  It's easy to know when Emma wants to walk - she either scoots over to the KidWalk and looks at me or when I start moving it near her she squeals with delight.  When she doesn't want to walk, she will resist getting on the seat and we know she isn't interested.  But, mostly she wants to walk.  

We've had the KidWalk since right before Thanksgiving.  We selected it after trying several different gait trainers and this was the only one in which Emma actually moved her feet.  I brought it home and we tried to show Emma how to use it to walk.  We tested it with braces, without braces, on hard wood floors, on carpet, in quiet rooms, at birthday parties.  Emma showed a huge desire for wanting to walk in it but most of the time she wound up in a position where she was sitting a bit back on the seat with her legs out in front of her and no way to get back into a standing position on her own.  To help her be successful we would hold the KidWalk in the "sweet spot" with Emma standing upright and when she took steps we would help her move forward by assisting the forward movement of the KidWalk.  I was beginning to wonder if she would learn to walk in the gait trainer on her own and if we selected the wrong gait trainer for her.

Then Emma got new DAFO braces.  And she didn't really know how to walk in them.  The new size braces, the new size shoes.  You could see her mind working to figure out how to pick up her foot with the new constraints.  It took her a while but she managed to pull it together and start moving her feet.  This, along with the increased time in the KidWalk and her huge desire to move really seemed to make things click for her!  

I'm beyond thrilled to see my little one taking reciprocal steps independently.  She sometimes goes fast, sometimes slow.  She gets caught in corners and walks into some walls.  It makes me deliriously happy!  My little girl is really starting to walk.  Her first steps.  Her first steps!  So much more meaningful to me because of all she had to overcome to achieve this milestone.  

I made a movie of her progress towards walking.  Emma is just starting to explore her world on foot.  We will help her build up stamina, learn to adjust to walking without so much tilt in the KidWalk (it can adjust to more upright positions), and take her out and about in it.  I'm sooooo looking forward to see what Emma does at the playground in her walker.  Once the weather gets warmer we'll head right on over to our local accessible playground.  I'm so proud of my little girl!


My one little word for this year is Faith.  Emma continues to remind me to have Faith that all things are possible.  

9 Comments from readers:

Marcela said...

Go Emma go, you are amazing!!! I loved watching you progress and experience the results of your determination. You are an inspiration!

Karen Owens said...

Her steps are amazing! Oh -- I can't wait to get ours. Of course I'm sure the nice weather will be over by then! Can't wait for a play date at the playground!

Laura said...

Wow she is really figuring it out. Have you ever tried raising the height of the head rest. It seems to encourage Cody to hold his head up. He doesn't necessarily hold his head against but it seems to help remind him. Keep up the great work Emma :)

Hetha said...

Yay Emma! This was such fun to watch! She is just making such amazing progress! I love the resting her head on the giraffe :-) That child just melts my heart.

Angela said...

Go emma go! I love listening to her communicate with you Kristina. She is getting so big :) Give the girls hugs for me

Janet "Grammy" Harrold said...

Go Emma! Well the progress is clear to see. The fact that she wants to go is great! Very inspiring.

Sherry C said...

Fabulous walking... so amazing my girl just figured out her walker in January and is using it at school and home now it's so exciting.

JNR said...

Wow - so much progress. Emma is lifting her head so much more too. I saw your parents at Aunt Jane's viewing and funeral. Your Mom was so excited to tell me about Emma's steps. They both look great.

Kara Melissa said...

All things are possible indeed! Really gorgeous videos. Awesome to see the progress. Sebastian has tried a kid walk, we are applying for funding right now. It's so amazing to be able to build up that independence. Way to go Emma!