One of the hardest things to cope with when we first received Aiden’s diagnosis, was the uncertainty about what his physical abilities would be. We just had no idea where to land our expectation and what to hope for. There was particularly a lot of debate over whether Aiden would crawl or not. He’s was initially diagnosed with hemiplegia, and most children with that condition don’t crawl. This is because the brain is already seeing the body as two different systems and crawling involves imposing two different processes over those two systems. So it’s incredibly complicated for them. When Aiden’s diagnosis was changed to triplegia (meaning three of his four limbs are affected), it seemed even more unlikely that he’d manage it.
After two months of therapy, the physio we were initially with was of the opinion that he wouldn’t crawl. She’d been trying to help him do so but he wasn’t getting it right. But when we changed to our current physio in January 2016, she thought we should keep trying. So we did. For three months we worked hard at crawling, without ever being sure it would pay off.
In April 2016 we saw the neurologist for Aiden’s 18-month check up. When I told him we were working on crawling, he was disparaging, citing the two systems and two processes reasoning. In his response to the physio’s report, he said Aiden didn’t have the strength for crawling and we should cease trying.
Three days later, on the 11th of April, Aiden crawled for the first time!
This breakthrough changed our lives in so many ways. Aidy and I were both feeling incredibly frustrated with his lack of movement, and this sudden ability to do so released the pressure on so many levels. But more than that, it gave me license to hope. We won’t always get everything right, but it’s important to give it a good go before giving up. And more often than not, we’ll probably be massively, hopefully, exquisitely surprised.