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Monday, March 2, 2009

Memory Spark Monday: Tell about an "ah-ha" moment

Saturday night I heard Emily squealing, Dave laughing and Marky shouting. I grabbed my camera and ran downstairs. For months and months we’ve been working on getting Marky to walk. I believe he would love to be able to go where he wants, but he just doesn’t realize what he has to do to get there. At first he wasn’t interested in moving the walker at all. He LOVES loud noises, so I canned some rocks, bent forks, and beads in #10 cans. We stacked them in front of him, and slowly he learned that if he leaned forward and kept moving his feet, he could run over them and kick them. It did teach him to go, but he didn’t learn much about how to control the direction he was going. We’ve been stuck there for several months—not really making any progress—enough that his physical therapist suggested that we stop going for a while, “until he is more motivated…to learn to purposefully go a certain direction.” We decided to remove the “can’t go backwards” part of his walker and hope that exploring would motivate him. It didn’t do much, but we all try to help him spend time in the walker anyway.
Saturday night Emily put him in the walker, sat in front of him and coaxed him to “come get me!” He did, and as he rolled over her legs she started giggling and squealing—exactly the motivation he needed to do it over and over and over. By the time I got downstairs, he was chasing her all over the house. Not straight lines—not wherever he happened to lean, but purposefully chasing her!
Sometimes the challenge in helping him make progress is in finding the right motivation!

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