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Kathryn - Alden's crawling!
November 17th, 2011
07:38 pm

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Alden's crawling!
Not far, well, or easily -- but he did it!! He had a STELLAR OT session today, just had made all kinds of leaps, not just motor ones but cognitive and sensory as well. He has some sensory. . . differences? Not really problems, just atypical ways he reacts to his environment? that his therapist says to keep an eye on. Like, he doesn't play vroom-vroom with cars, he turns them over and flicks the wheels instead. He likes to feel textures, he flips cups over and over to hear the clattery sound. Stuff like that. It's consistent with the sensory portion of autism, but he has absolutely none of the social signs of classical autism, in fact he's an exceptionally reactive and social baby, he smiles and makes eye contact and laughs when you laugh, and when something cool happens he looks around the room to make sure all of you saw it. . . he's not autistic. But he also doesn't point, and he doesn't follow it when you point, and his language development is. . . certainly not advanced.

BUT ANYWAY, I ramble. He was doing all kinds of great things in OT today -- pulling to kneel, reaching across midline, rotating, waving at the baby in the mirror, waving at the therapist in response to verbal (not gestural) prompting, pulling up his knees to do a lizard crawl, putting things into and dumping them out of buckets, etc. Rhona (the therapist) was so thrilled, she spent the entire session clapping and grinning. At the very end, she put her hand under Alden's chest to help him support himself, and he happily did an assisted crawl all over the room.

After therapy and lunch, Lillian wanted to go to the run-and-shriek -- the indoor playground at the mall, so-called because there the children run, and also shriek. The run-and-shriek has these sort of sculptures that are made of a rigid armature with foam over them and vinyl covering them, so you can climb on them but they aren't hard, and the ground is that spongy bouncy rubber stuff with a really high-friction carpet over it to cut down on slippage.. Lillian took off like a shot, and Alden tried to army crawl around, but the carpet was too frictional to make it easy, and he whined a little, so I got down there with him and did the supported crawl thing with him. (Halfway through, Lillian climbed on my back. Livestrong does not have calorie burn counts for "crawling around holding up your 1-year-old while a 5-year-old rides on your back," but I do not feel bad about skipping the gym today, let me tell you.)

One of the climbing sculptures had a little deck thing that was about 10" high, and he climbed up onto it with very little struggle. . . and then wanted to do that over and over and over again. I kept moving him back and assisting him the 8-10 feet to the thing to give him the practice, and I realized that I was using less and less pressure to hold him up. So I set him back, and let go, and. . . .



(apologies for crappy pixellated iphone video)

I cried. I'm crying now, actually, posting this. I know it is not a big deal, that lots and lots and LOTS of kids go through OT and have delays and are totally OK and there are lots of kids that have way greater struggles than Alden does, but he's my baby, and I just want him to be happy. He actually did that little crawl three times, and then he was DONE. He's fast asleep now and it wouldn't surprise me if he stays that way for hours.

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From:spinrabbit
Date:November 18th, 2011 03:49 am (UTC)
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Yaaaay! I do the kermit arms!
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From:tashabear
Date:November 18th, 2011 04:42 am (UTC)
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Oh, that's awesome.

FWIW, he does not look like an unhappy baby. :-)
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From:quietann
Date:November 18th, 2011 04:51 am (UTC)
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yay! That looks like awesome fun.

(My niece, BTW, had similar motor delays... she did not roll over until 6 or 7 months, sit up on her own until 9 months, and wasn't crawling, so she got referred to OT at one year, and by the time they came for the home visit a few weeks later, she was crawling and "cruising.")
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From:sistawendy
Date:November 18th, 2011 04:53 am (UTC)
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What a relief!
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From:lillibet
Date:November 18th, 2011 05:17 am (UTC)
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Way to go, Alden! That's a beautiful moment--thank you for sharing it.
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From:solarbird
Date:November 18th, 2011 05:29 am (UTC)
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Congratulations to Alden! And relief to you. ^_^
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From:kathrynt
Date:November 18th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
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Yes! We're far from done with OT, but since the fundamental problem that was keeping him from crawling is neurology, this is a huge relief. Because those kinds of neuro things come in two varieties: 1) need a lot of work to get over and 2) nothing, not even a lot of work, will get over it. Now that he's done it once, we know -- KNOW -- that he's in the former category.
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From:nou
Date:November 18th, 2011 11:47 am (UTC)
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Yay for Alden!
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From:toad_hall
Date:November 18th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
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Awesome! Way to go, Alden!
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From:hammercock
Date:November 18th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
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Go, Alden, go!
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From:munchkin62
Date:November 18th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
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YAAAAAAYYY!!! So proud of Alden!!
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From:torrilin
Date:November 18th, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
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Kids vary :D. I don't think there's anything wrong with turning cars over to flick the wheels... I did that a lot. Sometimes I'd try to use Lego wheels as gears too. Maybe see if he likes banging on things, or see if he's interested in music? All the stuff you're describing sounds normal to me, and most of the kids I know are pretty musical. (right down to my nephew trying to sing by eating the microphone for Rock Band... at age maybe 1 year)

But crawling is awesome! Now he can make you crazy in new and different ways!
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From:kathrynt
Date:November 18th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)
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He loves music. He dances to anything, including rhythmic snapping. I claim it's because I sang the whole time I was pregnant with him.
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From:torrilin
Date:November 18th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
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:D

I'd say he just looks at the world a bit different then. Kids who are that musical have plenty of natural math aptitude, and music is a very social thing. Just when he's nonverbal and he kinda needs to grow his muscles for walking, we can't *explain* to the little guy why cars should go the other way, or why he should bother crawling. And I'm not sure crawling can properly be called an instinct... a lot of kids need at least some interaction so they're interested in crawling.
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From:browngirl
Date:November 18th, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
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*cheers for Alden, and for Lillian, and very much for you*
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From:tchemgrrl
Date:November 18th, 2011 05:57 pm (UTC)
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I love the proud little smile he gives you from the top of the step, making sure you saw what he did. He worked darn hard for that.

Also, I swear that kids know wait for their birthday to start doing all kinds of cool developmental things. On verbal stuff, at 9 months, Theo was... not far enough behind to require immediate speech therapy, but far enough behind that we got a special long phone call from the developmental person at the pediatrician's. He was at pretty much exactly the same developmental point two weeks before his birthday.

By his one-year appointment a week after his birthday, he had almost entirely caught up to what's considered normal. Just: boom, 3+ months of milestones in 3 weeks. Hi ma, I'm going to do things you ask me to do, and mimic what you say, and clap whenever you say "yay", even sarcastically, and your name is mama by the way, and I would like to nurse now, which I will emphasize by pointing at your chest and making that word into a question.

I swear you can see the little neurons connecting sometimes.
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From:dianala
Date:November 19th, 2011 10:22 am (UTC)
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Congrats, soooo happy for you. Out of curiosity, have you had him evaluated at the Kindering center or just at your pediatrician's? If not, I highly recommend it. Many of the sensory things you mention are definitely the same kinds of differences my kid with high-functioning ASD displayed at that age. If that is what it is, the sooner you get behavioral intervention the better.
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From:kathrynt
Date:November 19th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
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I had him evaluated by an occupational therapist who does a lot of work with ASD kids. She and the pediatrician both have prepped me for the possibility that he's his own cognitive snowflake, although he has a lot of other features that take classical autism right off the table. Interestingly, in the six categories of things that if you have the majority of the items in four of the categories it makes you autistic, I'm flatlined on all of them. . . except for the sensory portion, where I peg the needle.

But yeah. He's being seen weekly by the OT, and she's keeping a sharp eye on the sensory and cognitive stuff even as she works the motor stuff.
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From:johnpalmer
Date:November 19th, 2011 08:46 pm (UTC)
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Yay, for Alden, and for you, figuring out what's going on and what needs to be done. I can see the challenges he's having, but it also looks like he's starting to figure 'em out, too.
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