For quite a while, I wasn’t sure if Mr. A’s motor delays came from him being unable to perform the task, or him simply not caring. Back when I used to take him to Feldenkrais therapy, his therapist would try to get him to roll by holding toys and such. He had zero interest. Frankly, Mr. D, who could roll, would not to it to reach for a toy in the manner she was forcing, which is part of the reason why I realized she was simply out of her depth with children, much less a special/amazing one. He did learn to roll, belly-to-back about 7 months, back-to-belly about 10. But then he wouldn’t continuously roll, as in, to travel around the room, for quite some time. When they were about 6 months, we hung out with their cousin, who is a month older (though he was full-term, which mattered a lot more then than it does now). He was sitting all by himself. I thought “Huh, I wonder if D could do that.” Put him into sitting, and what do you know–he could tripod and progressed to full-on sitting within a week. A was different. We worked and worked and worked, and when he suddenly realized he could play with his toys (which also required him wanting to play with said toys) better while sitting than while lying on his back, side, or tummy, he began to work. And work and work and work. (And get sick, lose all progress, gain it back, and then get sick again.)
Now we are working on standing. Out of nowhere, he surprised me by doing something of an army crawl. I couldn’t believe it, called my husband in tears. He is not very good at it, yet. It requires so much effort. He doesn’t know how to work his limbs. Half the time he ends up flipping onto his back, then flipping back over, only to repeat. He tries to use his left leg for leverage, since his arms aren’t very strong. (He still can’t hold his abdomen of the floor…though he never really saw much point to it, I dare say.) And I think, from the way he watches Mr. D, that he wants to walk.
I think these skills–sitting, crawling, walking, talking, writing cursive, etc–were all the same to him. I think they fell into the category of “other people do this”. D was pulling to a stand, cruising on furniture, sitting, crawling, all before A really became aware of him in that “I think he might be a person/I think I am a person” way. But walking has happened within the past 3 months. Suddenly, D can appear out of nowhere, grab the toy A was playing with, and walk off. Just like that. When he couldn’t, before. I think A really gets this. I think he understands that he, too, might be able to walk.
This is something I have discussed at length with his PT/OT through Early Intervention. She agrees with me. He now has the desire, but not the ability.
Enter a physical therapy practice about 45 minutes south of us. This place uses fancy types of therapy, but really what it is is some sort of boot camp/torture session. For 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 3 weeks, your child has physical therapy. That is a lot of therapy. It is much-discussed on the local Facebook page I belong to, for parents of awesome kiddos. Everyone who’s done it says the same thing: it is incredibly difficult, but very worth it.
Because I feel like the time is right, and also in order to do something concrete rather than obsess about A’s upcoming surgery, I began doing serious research. I called our insurance company to see what they would cover. I set up a consultation. I got excited.
And then, a mom who was putting her kid in it for Round Two (or possibly more), expressed dismay. Her favorite therapist had left the practice. Several other moms chimed in–oh no, not him! He’s our favorite! He’s the one who kept everything running. He was the best, hands down.
He is opening his own practice, not more than 5 minutes from my house.
I scheduled a consultation with them. And I’ll give my thoughts on both places, as well as our decision, later. Once again, I have run away with a post and am out of time. (Which is to say, I am done pumping breast milk for the night, and am going to bed!)