A Journey with Love and Laughter

Read about our family as we journey through life as a family, with siblings, school and spina bifida, and lots of fun and laughter along the way!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The story of a Walker

Now, I am not talking about the equipment. I am talking about the boy. The boy who will be a walker. And what I am doing to make that happen.

I fought so hard to get Nick that walker. And we got it. 6 weeks ago we got one to take home.
It has all of the supports for him. A chest strap, a saddle support.
He likes to just hang there (OK this picture was from the first day we brought it home, but he still hangs when he doesn't want to stand).

And I really liked how he picked up how to move his feet. But in a walker, you really need to stay on your feet too. So I started thinking that this actually has too much support!

I did talk to a couple of different physiotherapists about a different type of walker. A lighter one, but everyone felt that this is the one that he needs now. That he needs the support.

Sure, he needs the support now. But what about in 2 - 3 months. You know, the 2 - 3 months it will take for the walker to arrive after we order it. I don't want to be stuck with something he's outgrown. When I really feel in my gut that we should be looking at something lighter. Like the Kaye walker.
Pretty much when I mention walkers by name, I'm told that there are so many different walkers that they don't know the names of all of them!
But I've done my research, I've looked at what other kids have started with, have used. And why can these kids start with such a light weight one and Nick can't? And yes I know that all kids are different.
But I really think that Nick has it in him!

These past 2 weeks I've seen Nick doing some amazing things. Things that he likes to do!
Including walking. Walking holding onto my hands. But weight bearing and moving his feet.
I don't have a video/picture because I'm there with him.

OK, so imagine this:
I am crouching down in front of Nick. He is standing in front of me. I have my hands out and strong (sometimes balanced on my knees). He holds onto my hands. We shift his weight together...
And he walks.
He lifts his leg and brings it forward and then moves the other one.
He prefers moving his left leg (his right side is stronger).
But he walks!

So, now the question is - how can he do this with me holding onto his hands - not holding his chest or legs or bum. But taking his weight through his forearms/hands. Why can't he use a walker to do this and not me. He obviously has the ability and the desire.
He LOVES doing this and walking like this. (And I love showing it off at every opportunity!)

So we decided to make some changes to his walker.

So we took out the pelvic support. So he can't sit when he's tired. And used a hula hoop to try to keep him straight.
But he still slouched.
I really just wanted to get my hands on a light walker (without supports) and see what he could do!

Oh! Look at that!

We tried it out in our conductive education class (they had one hanging around). We tried it forward facing to try to get his posture straighter.

And if you look at the video he is actually standing/weight bearing and moving his feet/legs!

So when we got home I decided to play around with out walker some more. And just take out ALL of the support. Just some handle bars (which is actually what held the saddle part up, but I adjusted it).

We only did it last night, so we are still working on it. But he'll stand and move that left foot to step. But we are trying to provide the right encouragement (like Kyle and Katheryn standing in front of him making funny faces!)

And even his posture is not horrible.

So we are going to work on it for another week or so. And have something to bring to PT when we see her in 2 weeks.
And I think I'm going to go with my gut!


  1. I LOVE IT!! So happy to see he's doing so well!

  2. I think you should push for the Kaye walker! Caitlin has come on leaps and bounds with it, and he is weight bearing and stepping, so I don't see why not. Keep pushing! He's doing great!

  3. OH MY GOODNESS!! He looks awesome!! Wow! You are so right momma and you know just what he needs! I am just so proud of you trusting your instincts and of Nick pushing himself to do such big things! What a milestone and big progress! I see him taking off on that thing before you know it. I am just beaming for you. This is the first step! (no pun in intended) lol. Yay!

  4. Holy smokes!!! Look at that! He IS walking! That kid is so close, just you wait. He'll be walking before you know it!