I know some people are here for the Charlie news and there hasn’t been a whole lot of that lately, so I figured I’d update.

Charlie is now nineteen months old. I don’t know how he got so old, but apparently time is not standing still and he gets older every day.

Sometime in the last month or so Charlie decided that he’d like to be independently mobile. He commando crawls everywhere. Before it was a couple of yards, but now he’s just truckin’. I’m right on the edge of baby-proofing my house because one minute he’s playing with his leap frog table and the next minute he’s three yards away and chewing on my purse. I’m completely delighted and love finding all the funny situations that he gets himself into with this new-found mobility. I wasn’t completely sure this day would ever get here, so it’s doubly good.

Charlie is also developing some other behaviors that I am less crazy about. He is shrieking and shouting all the time. My husband is thrilled, but after about an hour of his little chants I start to get a headache. I know, I’m a terrible mother, and I’m really glad that he’s making noises and communicating and all that, but OH MY HEAD! It’s like he’s a chatty two-year-old, but with no actual words just ah! uh! arrrrrrr! heeee! guh! gah! Please pray that he gets some communication skills soon. Please?

Also, Charlie has been recovering very slowly from his last illness. He tires out in the middle of his therapy sessions sometimes even cries which is not like him at all. He’s gaining strength, but it’s hard on me when it’s hard on him.

I guess the final bit of news would be to say that I we are thinking about trying yet another wacky, alternative therapy. The therapy is called Feldenkrais and a woman we met in Canada raved about the results that she’d seen in her child. Most of us ther were doing traditional therapy and I have to say that her kid was a Feldenkrais kid and he looked really good. It might be a coincidence, but I’m thinking about checking it out anyway. So far as I can tell, it’s a method of gently moving the body to teach the brain new movements. I’m not sure about the lingo, but I do know that Charlie does well when you guide him through movements you want him to do. He continues to make progress in traditional PT, but I’m curious about this and willing to check it out. I found a woman who does it in our area and her rates are reasonable, so I’m going to try to set something up. Also, I’m thinking about cancelling our private PT. I’ve been pretty disatisfied with the situation there for awhile, and if I cancel that then it would probably free up our schedule for Feldenkrais. I guess I’ll just have to figure it out. We’d still have two days a week of PT plus all the PT we do ourselves, so I don’t think he’d be missing out.

So, there’s your update!
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  1. so great. to hear all of charlie’s progress. drake has just gotten mobile, too, but in the rolling way. he rolls all over the place now. we are working on trying to get him to commando crawl. i have heard good things about feldenchrist. please post on how that goes for you.

  2. I found your blog on your potential interest in Feldenkrais. I am a PT and a Feldenkrais practitioner and have found this work to be incredible for all forms of rehabilitation. One of the many reasons I was so sold on this work was when I watched a session with a child and found the child so attentive, happy and intrigued with this form of therapy. The child was fully participating and enjoying the experience.
    Here is a quote from one of Feldenkrais’ books:
    “The ability to learn a skill such as right-left orientation needs the childish state of mind, the ability to play while learning the ability to pay attention, without intending to learn. It also needs, among other requirements, the ability to feel differences; that is, the ability to distinguish between one sensation and another very similar one. It needs attention with intention. The child does not exercise in the sense a grown up does, by repeating an action in order to improve it. The child’s attention is directed by curiosity, which is innate in all living things. Repetition in a small child is more often due to the pleasure the act evokes and to its novelty, than to any intent to improve. This state of mind goes together with total satisfaction of oneself and excitement and the absence of desires which tense the body and the spirit. The simple mood, posture, and movement are conditions for learning-which is growth.” Hope this helps and good luck.

  3. we have that leap frog table too and i can’t for the life of me figure out how to snap off the legs. do you just give it a good pull? or is there a trick i don’t know. thanks!

  4. Gina (Mannyed) says:

    I’m here for the Charlie updates; the bird updates; the food updates; the art updates…pretty much all of it.

    I am thrilled to hear about Charlie’s progess! I have a feeling those ah and uh sounds are going to turn into words soon! I’m thinking “Manny” will be his first word. : )

  5. I can’t believe he’s 19 months old…geez time flies!!

  6. i just checked online and apparently there are some models where the legs don’t come off, which is the model i have. but of course, they are using the same assembly manual in all models, so my manual says the legs to come off, hence the frustration. oh well. lucy enjoys standing at the table and playing with it. hopefully, one day drake will, too!

  7. You know that I knew you before Charlie and am of course here for all the things in your life. You are a remarkable woman. I love watching the mom that you are growing into. You have become an inspiration to many I am sure. Keep up the good work and do all the things for Charlie that you think are right.


  8. Yummy! You are SO much like me. I was doing exactly what you were doing when Max was Charlie’s age and I was also open to all sorts of alternative therapies. We didn’t do Feldenkrais, only because I got all excited about this pt who did MEDEK. I think MEDEK really helped Max walk. Feldenkrais sounds great, too.

    Max commando crawled all over our house for about eight months, it was awesome to see him getting around. Then he got up on all fours on his second birthday.

    I hear you on the shrieking. Max still does this at times, and it always rattles me.

  9. Nadine Hightower says:

    I’m here to make sure you have shoes on him!!

    Pretty soon he’ll figure out how to climb…you’re gonna love that!!

  10. I don’t blame you on the scream-induced headaches. Hopefully that it just a phase.

    I love that photo. So many bright colors! And SHORT SLEEVES!

  11. Small Town Girl says:

    I’m glad that Charlie’s making progress, even if it does give you a headache!

    Oh, and I can’t remember if I told you yet, but I blogged.

  12. Aw, look at him. His hair is getting so long. He really is growing up fast–glad to hear about all his progress as maddening as it may be sometimes.

    PS this blankie that Charlie’s laying on–where did you guys get it? It’s so cute!

  13. Great update…! Charlie is such a cutie!!! I think it’s great that you are trying all types of therapy/interventions… you seem to be such a proactive and amazing mom! Wish you lived closer so we could have a playdate! :)

  14. Feldenkrais sounded good to me too, but I couldn’t trace anybody in South Africa doing it. Go for it!

    It’s so amazing that Charlie is moving independently. Wow!

    After any illness I found that there was a lot of adjustment in Loren. Just hang in there.

    Compared to Marco who talked the hind leg off a donkey at the same age, Magnus is actually not communicating verbally at all. He’s also doing the shrieking thing, though. Let’s think of it as voice exercises, shall we?

  15. The unpregnantmother says:

    Cool photo!

    Best of luck!

  16. thanks for the update on Charlie. I’m so excited he is moving around so much. When did he first start getting mobile? We hope that day comes for Paxson… hopefully in 2009.

    Also, thank you for your very informative post regarding the G-tube and feeding issues. Jello is a great idea. Also, they said he gained 7oz last week, so if the scale is right we are really excited about that!

  17. I am also very interested in Feldenkrais. There is a woman in Dallas but I have gotten mixed reviews about her. Plus…I’m trying to find the time and money. Right now Conductive Ed is taking up both of those. Charlies looks great!!!

  18. johanna - Daniel's Mom says:

    Hi there! I just found your blog and wanted to say that Charlie is absolutely beautiful! His expressions are just too cute. My son also has CP (left – sided hemiparesis), and we used Feldenkrais for about a year and a half. I know that what works for one child might not work for another, but we definitely saw good results with it. If it’s not too bold of me, I’d like to say that I agree with your decision to cut back but not eliminate PT. We originally dropped PT when we started Feldenkrais, as my son’s PT at the time was a nightmare. We saw many more results with Feldenkrais than with the first PT. For example, Daniel started using his left hand (he had never really used it before), he met his developmental milestones such as crawling on hands and knees (most hemi kids skip four – point crawling and just go straight to walking), and he was able to stand up more smoothly. I really like that Feldenkrais doesn’t try to rush children through their development. The practitioners are very focused on helping the child go through a typical developmental progression rather than just trying to hurry them along to the next step. But when we later added a different PT in conjunction with the Feldenkrais, we saw the most improvement of all. I’m looking forward to reading how Charlie does with Feldenkrais. Good luck!

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