It is amazing sometimes to watch the new things that Case is able to do. Coming to North Carolina also offers a laboratory of types, where we live in the same small atmosphere, without many distractions, and we can allow him to test some of his newly emerging skills. Milk, monkeys, balls, swings, and scooters. Don’t miss it a single one.
My monkey. On the playground, Case is both learning to do new skills and re-learning skills he had lost. A few months ago, he learned to hang from the monkey bars. With a disease that makes your shoulders stiff and kids are often unable to reach their arms in the air, this is pretty cool. He has watched his brother and friends start swinging from bar to bar and is wanting to try this as well.
Playin’ ball. Two other skills are ones that he had down cold at around two years old. When he was two, he could throw a mean ball. A baseball, a spiral football, a basketball. It was amazing to me in the midst of his diagnosis that he could throw almost a perfectly spiral football.
But he lost those throwing skills slowly over the next two years. He lost the ability to throw far, to throw with any accuracy, and to throw with his shoulder even at the level needed to throw a baseball or football.
So when his IEP meetings came around, I asked that we specifically work on what is a foundational child’s recreational skill, throwing a ball. We worked on it at home, they worked on it at school. We gave Case a glove and threw the baseball at his brother’s baseball practices.
I am so excited to say that he has now got it down! He is throwing a tennis ball with deadly accuracy. Incredible. He has that same “snap” in his shoulder with the throw that I remember from when he was two.
Just a swingin’. When Case was a baby and until about 18 months, he loved to swing. Loved it. But around diagnosis at age two and thereafter, he lost his love and gained a fear of swinging. He would get quite distressed after only a few seconds. His occupational therapist worked on this vestibular aversion for quite some time, which also coincided with a fear of sliding down a slide. The willingness to slide came back within maybe 6-12 months (they have a fabulous jungle gym with a slide at the therapy clinic). And she finally got him to the point where he would tolerate swinging, but the love never returned.
We went to the park, Case, my brother Chris and I. Case ran to the swing, jumped on and asked Chris to push him. We had been going to the park lately and there had been some swinging, but it was short-lived.
But yesterday Case jumped on the swing and out came the laughter! He loved it and went back several times for more.
It is quite strange to say that your child is acting like he’s two again and for that to be a good thing.
Scooterific. And this is an entirely new thing…. Case’s brothers have scooters and Case has a hand-me-down red Radio Flyer three-wheeled scooter. We’ve taken it to the park with us on the off-chance that he might keep watching his brothers and pick up the foot-push skill needed to make a run at it.
And that he did.
Milk Monday. Case has been getting things out of the fridge for awhile now. He gets yogurt, applesauce, cheese, pre-made sandwiches, his sippy cup, etc. He can even open his yogurt and applesauce himself, get a spoon and sit down to eat.
But pouring drinks has been where I drew the line.
Doesn’t mean he hasn’t tried, mind you. I’ve walked into the kitchen several times to a wet counter and an overflowing cup.
So now he’s pretty much mastered this one, as long as the pitcher or jug isn’t too full. Wow.