#4: Taking a Stand
When NACD added a sit-to-stand exercise to Collin's program, I admit that I cringed. One more activity in which I would be doing all of the work did not even remotely appeal to me, especially since I knew we would be doing it multiple times a day. And even though on the one hand it is empowering to have tasks to complete each day for the retraining of Collin's brain, on the other hand, it can be very discouraging to do the same things day in and day out with no sign of change. Collin had never shown the smallest inclination toward bearing weight on his legs. He kept them drawn up like a baby or a bug and touching his feet to the ground only made him squeeze his legs in more tightly.
Imagine my surprise when I almost immediately started getting promising reports from Collin's helpers. Both women who work with Collin in our home during the week felt that he seemed willing to try straightening his legs during the activity. I heard hoots of surprise and encouragement from the other room, but never made it in time to witness just how well he was doing.
So, when I took my turn at assisting him in sit-to-stand, and he stood straight up before I even had a chance to count to three for him, I could barely choke out my praise through the tears. I wasn't prepared for just how tall he looked standing up. How much like a little boy. With his developmental delays and the fact that he still spends much of his time laying down, I struggle with a tendency to still see Collin as a baby. But standing there in front of me, his face shining with the excitement and effort, he looked like a 2 1/2 year old. It was amazing to see.
Almost as amazing as the sudden onset of his standing was how fast he got better at it. Those first few days, we were in awe of the 10 to 20 seconds he could stay upright. Within a week, he would stand as long as our arms were willing to do their part supporting his upper body and he fully expected to have his chance every time he got off the potty and as many times in between as he could get. It was quite a shift in our reality.
What brought on such a change? It could be from the extensive body work we had done through his NACD program. It could be from the aquatherapy that had opened his mind and body to new possibilities. It could be from the much-anticipated effects of growth hormone. It could just be his own natural progression of development. Most likely, it is a combination of all. In any case, it appears to be a change that is not only permanent, but also opening doors to other awesomeness.
I tried to take some newer standing video tonight, but it turned into more of a dance party. Sometimes Collin likes to stand like a statue and sometimes he likes to feel his legs move. Tonight was one of those latter times. He might be watching too much Yo Gabba Gabba lately. My name is Collin! I like to dance!
PS - Sorry about all of the cackling. He's never been quite this wiggly while standing up and I just couldn't get out of my head the idea that he was doing real dance moves. Maybe he was. Who knows with that crazy guy.
PPS - We did not stage this video in the jungle. That monkey you hear in the background is coming from one of Collin's new favorite toys - a talking monkey he got for Christmas from Uncle Kevin and Laura. He would literally be happy just sitting there with it, listening to the monkeys chattering, for hours. What a funny kid.