My Journal - Week 76 (03Feb11)
Today we had our monthly visit from Jenn (Hunter's Early Intervention) and we wanted to see how well Hunter is doing. As usual, he's doing excellent and the only things that we can think of to work on are the normal things like walking and speech. One thing that is extremely consistent with Hunter is his laid back personality which leads to the sit back and take it easy strides. It's clear that ever since Hunter was little, despite the progress he has made, if he doesn't feel confident with something - he wont attempt it. Case and point is his walking. This child can motor around our home in a few seconds flat using his V-Tech Train walker, and doesn't even really require it to walk. BUT don't tell him that. He really believes that he needs his walker to walk. How do we know it's not true? If ever you have watched Hunter walk, or hold onto anything, you will notice that it's simply a "crutch" for support. If Hunter becomes distracted or busy he will completely not realize he's not even holding onto whatever he's holding - all the while continuing to walk or stand up. The hard part of all this is convincing him he doesn't need things to assist him. Take for instance standing. We have caught Hunter standing up holding on to his straw cups with both hands, and not bracing anything while doing it. As soon as he realizes that he's not actually holding anything but the cup, he immediately plops down onto his butt. The same thing happens when it's his books or toys. One would think then we should just distract him... well that is always the plan but he's so smart to figure it out that we have to come up with newer and newer ideas on how to keep him completely distracted. The saddest thing is, I can't prove or show Jenn just how far he actually gets because he is literally become audience shy. So, today after our home visit I decided to video Hunter doing what he does best... standing without paying any attention. Next time it will be showing off the walking without the walker.... (or at least walking with my one hand - which he currently does but not on command!)
It can be puzzling for anyone who doesn't see what happens with Hunter on a regular basis. To wonder perhaps why he isn't walking or doing something else but the truth of the matter is when we catch him actually having balance when he's distracted only goes to prove that he is quite capable of using it for walking. It's actually amazing that he has fooled himself into believing he can't do it, when we have seen him do it. An example of this is when we watch him with the walker, walking with literally a finger on his train and then remove the train and hold his hand and see him miraculously turn into a non-walking boy! All we can do is find other ways to help him gain his confidence. Jenn has recommended removing the train (and I completely agree) and forcing him to walk with things (such as a tea-towel or hula-hoop) that will make him use his balance but fool him into thinking it's all the other items. As for the talking?? Well when the body is focusing on Gross motor skills such as walking, speech can take a natural back seat. I am not worried at all about this because I know Hunter is still working on talking with his sometimes "one-time" words and his newest word "ADAT or AT" which is what he calls each and every cat he sees... be it in book, TV or for real - not to mention we have four in our home.
So for now, here are a few clips we took tonight which I thought were just simply great. Not only is he standing on his own, but he's laughing, playing and actually says "Bye-Bye" at the end of it all.
It was quite the plan to figure out what to use to distract this boy so that he would forget that he was actually able to stand up all by himself unassisted. But just when you think he's forgotten, he quickly remembers and plops back down!
Here Hunter is less distracted and while still standing, he's having a bit more fun now that he's figured out that it's not all about standing!
Standing has obviously become more of a chore but sometimes it's just more funny to laugh and play! How about making Mommy and Daddy laugh... and even a "bye-bye" at the end to finish it off.
So for now, we are just trying to come with all kinds of newer ideas, staying one step ahead of Hunter in order to distract him. Crazy thing is, he catches on so fast that we have to change "ideas" everyday. No worries here, we know he can do it, it's all just a matter of time.