Thursday, October 14, 2010

One Step at a Time

One of the many things we have been working with Grace on has been climbing up and down the stairs.  This is a skill that has been difficult for her to learn.  We started at least two years ago (maybe longer) when she was receiving in home Physical Therapy through the Early Intervention Program.  I remember week after week, her PT having to force Grace to participate in stair climbing by manipulating her feet and arms to mimic climbing up the stairs.  First we tried to teach her to crawl up the stairs and then when she could walk with assistance we tried to teach her to walk up the stairs.  These sessions would always end in tears.  Always.  I hated doing this outside of her PT sessions but I knew that she needed to learn this skill, so I would make her climb the stairs.  Sometimes, we both cried.  In 2009 we added an additional PT session to Grace's therapy regime and they would make her climb stairs there too.  She cried every week during those sessions too.  Then Grace started school at the ARC of Chester County in January and one of her goals was to be able to independently climb the stairs.  So guess what?  They have been working on stair climbing with her at school too.

I noticed a change in her a few months ago.  When we walked to the bottom of the stairs at bedtime, Grace would climb up the stairs without being 'forced' while holding onto your hands (picture me or Mark behind her, with her hands raised in the air holding our hands).  So every night, she walks up the stairs with help.  And every night she walks down the stairs the same way.  Going down has always been so much harder for her.  We are not sure why but thought it may be due to her visual impairment or maybe she had issues with depth perception. 

Yesterday was nice out after school and the boys were wound up.  So we went outside to play before dinner.  As the boys were getting out every ball and bat we own trying to decide what to play.  Grace was quietly walking down the stairs of our deck to the back yard BY HERSELF.  I couldn't decide if I should help her or grab the camera.  So being the good mommy that I am, I made sure she was okay and then RAN for the camera to snap some pictures.

Evidently, girlfriend has figured out how to go down the stairs!!!
She even let go at the bottom step, walked over to the middle and stepped down without holding on to anything.

See how happy this new skill makes her!

And just so I wouldn't think this was a one time thing, she did it again today. 
Going down our front stairs trying to chase her brothers.

And even stopping to pose for the camera.

This is such a huge accomplishment for Grace.  Now I'm wondering if I shouldn't have given ALL of our baby gates away...


Tiffany said...

What a happy day! Love the new look, have a great weekend

Cheryl (in Buffalo) said...

WOW!!! Yeah Grace!! We are still working on stairs with Isabella!!

Jeanne said...

Go, Grace, go!

Anna said...

Oh WOW...Yay for Grace!!! This is so exciting to see Anne and you must be thrilled to see how she has progressed with this.
She looks very pleased with herself too:)

Great news!!!
(love your new blog look too)

Hannah said...

Yay!! Grace is amazing. She looks so proud and she should be!

Gardenia said...

look at Grace go !!

Kelly said...

YAY!!! THis is SO Awesome!! what a blessing!!! And I LOVE the new blog look by the way!! Hugs to you!!!