Giant Step Forward: Taking A Walk On The Child's Side

Jax wasn’t walking six weeks ago.

At 16 months, he had bypassed that milestone, and his parents were worried.

“He was doing this funny crawl. It was like a half-pirate, half-gorilla, using his knuckles and one foot, dragging the other leg behind, “ explains his mother, Lindsay Payne. “He had gotten really fast, so he was happy with it.”

But his parents weren’t, and his pediatrician said it was time to move the process forward.

Lindsay made an appointment with another Lindsay—Lindsay Hayes, DPT, physical therapist with Fairview Rehabilitation Services.

In six weeks, his pirate/gorilla crawl was replaced with walking.

“She never picks him up,” says mother Lindsay.

“And she’s so creative. She makes it seem like something he wants to do. It’s not doing squats to strengthen his legs. It’s picking up toys.”

Lindsay Hayes says it’s a group effort:

“I try to make our sessions fun and engaging. My goal is to demonstrate ideas to work on strength and balance, to give Jax and his parents the tools to practice his walking skills at home.

“It’s definitely a collaborative process. His parents know Jax best and have done such a good job of incorporating all of the education provided in therapy into his day-to-day activities.”

Our Rehabilitation Services staff offer physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation to patients facing the challenges of illness, injury or chronic disease. We care for all ages, from newborns with torticollis to centenarians recovering from strokes and cardiac issues.

Today, Jax is climbing a ladder on the floor. Lindsay holds his hands to help with balance as he steps high over the rungs. He receives applause for his effort and then bends over to pick up the ladder.

“Oh-oh!” say both Lindsays as he topples forward as 18-month-olds do. Everyone laughs. New skills lead to new challenges, but welcome ones.

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