Solly is a #StrokeHero

This year, Solly was recognized by the American Stroke Association as a Stroke Hero. I submitted his story for consideration to help raise awareness that infants and children can and do have strokes – that it isn’t as uncommon as doctors say it is, that there are therapies and procedures that can make a huge difference, and that after a stroke or cerebral palsy diagnosis, life can be wonderful. I was so happy and honored when they chose to include Solly’s story, which was shared on the American Stroke Association’s Facebook page on August 20th.

See the full post here.

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An Addendum: Walking in Target

Moments after I published yesterday’s blog post, I received the following text message from Solly’s nanny who was with Solly at Target. I thought it was too cute to keep to myself:

If you ever want to feel better about life, take Solly to Target in the morning. He was mesmerized by a solder, saw his Target BFF (the lady standing next to him in the photo below), and he fell in love with a man who encouraged him and gave him knuckles. Not to mention, every person that walks by him says hi and smiles at him! Oh, and this little kid came up to him and started talking to him! It was so adorable. Literally the whole store walks by and encourages him.

Like I’ve said before, the best way to start a conversation with someone who has special needs is to simply say “hi”.¬†Or, you know, cheer and give words of encouragement when you see a cute kid working really hard to walk in his walker. Inclusion is awesome.

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A Field Trip

One of the biggest obstacles we currently face in Solly’s journey to walking is motivation. Solly CAN walk in his gait trainer – in fact, he walks quite quickly if he sees something he wants – but he has to have a solid reason to walk. That reason changes quickly. Lately, his motivation has been helium balloons, golf clapping and cheering, and high fives, however, we struggle to constantly come up with things that excite him enough to walk.

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We love Target!

So, instead of finding novel objects or cheers to motivate him, Nanny Jen discovered that taking him new places might be the trick. Last week, before his weekly OT appointment, she popped his Rifton Pacer in the trunk of her car and carted Solly over to Target where she plopped him, in his gait trainer, at the entrance of the store. There were new sights and sounds to motivate, not to mention people to impress. Solly spent a full hour walking and exploring the store. He still needed some cheering to get him going (a few shoppers stopped to root him on), but little things like the dollar section and a table with folded t-shirts piqued his interest enough to move his gait trainer along.

Just yesterday, we took another field trip over to our local park, where there is a paved pathway that’s perfect for walking. With his hat on backwards and Nanny Catherine cheering him on, he easily strolled around the park.

Our motivation issue has been solved, for now!

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Cute Kid at the Park

 

 

 

Taking A Pause

It’s been a rough couple of weeks.

Bea’s been whiny. She hasn’t been sleeping, eating, or wanting to do anything other than hold my hand. Solly has been cheerful as always, yet somehow not acting himself – running a little warm, not eating great, just a little off. I’ve been exhausted. More so than usual. We’ve been struggling to get anything done other than keeping ourselves fed, staying cool in the summer humidity, and getting in bed at a reasonable hour.

Something just hasn’t been right.

Then, last Monday, Bea started sticking her fingers in her ears. She was jumpy at any noise, crying unusually hard when Solly spoke too loudly or when the dogs barked. She threw a fit – a full-on two year-old’s meltdown at only 16 months old – immediately when she didn’t get her way.

Something wasn’t right. Continue reading