learning to fly

This month is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month.  

CP is something that we always knew would be a possibility for both of our boys.  Not only because of their prematurity, but also because of the fact that they were both diagnosed with Hydrocephalus.  Early on, our Neurosurgeon was able to tell us a few things about our boys.  Based on their brain scans, he told us that Ryan's Hydrocephalus is worse than Aiden's.  Basically, it resulted in more brain damage.  As a result, Ryan would always require more intervention than Aiden.  But overall, both boys would fall on the more mild end of the spectrum when it comes to things like CP.  

And he was right.  Aiden, who does not have CP, has been developing pretty typically.  He may be on a slightly delayed schedule, but he is hitting all of his milestones.  And in certain areas, such as speech, he is exceeding our and his therapists' expectations of him. 

Ryan, who struggles with both gross and fine motor skills, was diagnosed with CP over a year ago.  If you've been reading for a while you know that this diagnosis helped us in getting him approved for more Early Intervention services.  Since then, he has made so much progress in all areas that we can only be thankful for his diagnosis.  Ryan may not walk, or even crawl, but he does have control over his body.  And his cognitive function is quite impressive.  So while he does face challenges due to CP, those challenges do not really alter his quality of life.  

He's a happy boy with a great sense of humor.  And he is a hard worker, impressing his therapists daily.  In the last few months his strength and stamina have vastly improved thanks to the equipment we obtained back in December.  Ryan started by using his stander for a few hours a day.  At first he didn't like it that much, but at this point he asks to be put in it.  He also got fitted for AFO's (which are braces for his feet/legs that give him some much needed support).  And shortly after his PT thought he was ready to begin using his walker on a daily basis.  The first time we put him in it, he took off almost running.  But every time since then was a total disaster.  He didn't like it.  Cried as soon as we put him in.  And refused to walk even a few steps.  All that changed this week when we decided it's really time to hunker down and get this boy to start moving on his own.  We removed our living room rug and the magic happened while I was at work.  Seamus had the day off and was able to work with Ryan and show him that the walker is actually a good thing.  Something that will give him independence.  

I walked in the door after work that day, and baby boy was using his walker like a boss.

Just thinking about how this little boy has overcome so many challenges in his life makes my heart flutter and fill up with so much joy.  He truly is an inspiration.

I can't tell you how much we are looking forward to warmer weather around here.  The plan is to take Ryan to the park and just let him go.  Run.  Skip.  Hop.  Fly.  Whatever he wants, it's his.  We are so excited for what's ahead.  And so thankful that we've had the resources to get him where he needs to be.  

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