Friday, April 25, 2008

Walking Details

I thought I would share more detail about Brady walking as I know a few other 1p36 parents are reading our blog. As do many other kids with developmental issues, Brady has low muscle tone (hypotonia). However, he has always been more hypotonic in his upper body and abdomen than in his legs. This probably explains why it took him so long to master sitting but then he quickly progressed to walking. Here is an approximate timeline of Brady's gross motor skill milestones.

  • 6-8 months - could sit in bumbo (head control) for a minute or two.
  • 10-12 months - could sit in bumbo or exersaucer for extended periods. Also started bearing minimal weight on his legs.
  • 12 months - rolled from stomach to back, although he didn't do it very often. He was just never much of a roller. He never really rolled from back to stomach. He just HATED his stomach and has never tolerated tummy time until just recently (around 30 months).
  • 16 - 18 months - could sit up for very brief periods.
  • 18 - 20 months - could officially sit up. However, he had no defensive reflexes (putting hands out to catch himself) and could not get to the sitting position by himself.
  • 20 - 24 months - defensive reflexes slowly improved and he could catch himself from tipping over most of the time, however could still not get to sitting on his own.
  • 24 months - started crawling on his 2nd birthday. It was slow at first, he would take 2-3 "steps" with his arms, then sit up and rest. He is now also able to get in to the sitting position on his own but continues to roll to his stomach and use his arms to sit up because of his weak belly.
  • 27-28 months - started pulling up to standing. Could stand unassisted for brief periods. Could take 2 - 3 steps before falling into our arms. Can walk with his fake walker (see below).
  • 29-30 months - can skillfully walk around holding on to furniture. Does not have good defensive reflexes from the standing position.
  • Currently (33 months) - Brady is pretty good at walking. His defensive reflexes have improved a ton, meaning that he can often (90% of the time) put his hands down on the ground and stop himself from falling on his head. He doesn't pay attention to where he is walking and will often trip on toys or might trip when moving from one surface to another (tile to carpet, etc.)

We have a very talented Physical Therapist who Brady has seen twice a week for the past year and a half. I wish I could share all the PT details but Troy has taken Brady to most of these appointments. Troy will post the details later but for now here are just a few toys/tools that have helped Brady.

Our PT has always used a swing similar to this one during all of Brady's appointments.

This swing helped Brady's trunk control tremendously. He required a lot of help in the swing initially but now swings and spins wildly in it without losing his balance. We have toyed with the idea of getting one at home because he really craves swinging for sensory input. If you do get one make sure to buy several mats to go underneath. We got some affordable mats at Costco and they were great for Brady to sit and play on when he was still falling over a lot and they saved Troy’s knees while Brady was learning to roll over, sit, and crawl. They allowed us to let him fall and eventually acquire defensive reflexes without hurting himself. This was the hardest part about watching Brady learn to walk. We used to wonder if his reflexes would ever kick in. We used to watch other babies fall when they were learning to walk and could not believe how graceful it was. I will never forget the sound the first time Brady went straight to the tile.

As I mentioned before Brady has better tone in his lower body. In fact we just met with an orthotist who said his achilles are a bit on the tight side. We never used a walker because by the time Brady was coordinated enough to push one he was very close to walking on his own. We did buy this push cart...

It is $24.99 at IKEA. It was the only push toy we could find with a handle tall enough to accommodate a taller/older toddler. Brady would lean his body weight into it and it would shoot out ahead of him (with Brady falling on his face) so we put a 10 pound weight inside to slow it down.

As for ankle support our PT did not feel Brady required DAFOs so we have been using orthopedic insoles along with a well-structured, supportive shoe. I would love to buy him a pair of little Chuck Taylors but they are just fabric with little support so we stick to miniature versions of shoes we might work out in.


I'm not really clear on what timeline is expected for kids with 1p36 deletions with respect to walking. I hesitated to post Brady's timeline because I remember how frustrated I used to get with typical timelines. When I was pregnant I signed up for a weekly email that told me what exactly was happening with the baby and after Brady was born the emails switched to developmental milestone updates. Every single week I would cry when I got that stupid email and realized Brady had missed yet another milestone. Then I would take him to the Dr. and they would tell me he was fine. $%*@! So please don't rely too heavily on our timeline. It is simply our experience to date, and while our kids have so many similarities, they will always be unique.


Angie said...

Hi Farnsworth family! Greetings from Illinois. I don't mind that you put Alayna as a link on your blog and I hope you don't mind that I added Brady to ours. It is so helpful for all the families and I'm sure you feel the same way. If we can help even one person out there, it's paid off! Brady has developed on the "quicker" end of things - or at least I think. He is doing well and is so cute. Thank you for typing up that timeline. That is so helpful to see how he progressed. Great idea! I need to keep track of Alayna a bit better, but she seems to be doing right now what Brady did at the same age. We work her hard at PT two times a week as well. I'm glad we found each other and I look forward to reading more about Brady. Stay cool as I'm sure it is warming up in AZ! XXX and OOOO

Lindsay Bailey said...

What a fantastic help you are! I am sure you have been an example to many parents.

Liz said...

Hi from Utah. I have actually met you before, we are friends of Chris and Jen Culleys, actually Chris and my husband Brandon are cousins. Anyway, I just got on your site because I recognized the name. I had no idea about your little "Brady". He is such a darling little angel. But I have to say, you need to write a book, your words have touched me beyond measure...I just sat and wept while I read some of your posts. Especially the one about holding his hand and walking with him. What a true gift. I love that boy and I don't even know him. I do have four kids of my own, and your words just pierced my heart. Good luck to you and your cute little family. I will check on you often. Give that little "Brady" a hug from the Mackays!!!

onceapickle said...

I noticed that Liz found you guys. How fun! She's so sweet. She and Brandon were at the surprise birthday party I did for Chris. Also, Chris works for Brandon at SnugZ. They're so great! =)

Brady is so cute. Everytime I read your blog I miss you guys! Can't wait to see you all again.

Jane said...

I really enjoy reading about Brady's progress/milestones. I think it's awesome that you have such great physical therapists, and that so many resources are available for his improvement.

Debbie said...

I remember getting developmental e-mails and trying to read parenting magazines and finally had to stop. It was hard enough when we went to Jacoby's well-child check-ups and had to answer no to almost all of the developmental questions they ask you. I finally told the doctor how I felt and she stopped.

Jacoby is also much stronger in his lower body than he is in upper and has been able to bear weight since about 7 or 8 months old. He's been 'trying' to walk since about 11 months. As he gets older (20 months now) he takes bigger steps but isn't able to do it on his own or sit up on his own.

How exciting that Brady is being so vocal. I dream of the day that Jacoby can say SOMETHING. I'm not even that picky about it. :)

Gavin said...

Hello from Canada- your timeline of when Brady met his milestones was . . . inspiring for me. It gets frustrating, waiting for Zoe (my daughter, age 15 months today!) to learn something all our friends and familes kids picked up months ago- sometimes it feels a bit hopeless. I know she'll get there, but it's nice to see it laid out in the way your did to show that someone else has been there too. And look at Brady now. Congratulations- you must be so proud. Thanks.

Gavin, proud father of Zoe, age 15 months