Namine sat up by herself in the changing table again. She’s funny; sometimes she’ll refuse to accept any help, but sometimes she’ll be convinced that she needs it. Tonight was the latter.

Namine has never been able to roll over by herself. The caudal regression has left her hips pretty much dead and unresponsive; she can move her legs at the knees, but at the hips, she’s limited to swinging her entire pelvis and moving both legs at the same time that way. So she’s never been able to swivel like a normal child would, hence never been able to roll over. But she’s stronger now than she ever has been, especially in her trunk and arms. So I’ve resumed trying to teach her to roll herself over. (Her therapist has more or less moved on to other things, since Namine can move herself around; and there is the wheelchair to content with as well.) I figure the best place to start is on her changing table, where there are handholds on either side. It’s up against a wall, so the danger of falling is limited to one plane, and I’m standing right there making sure that doesn’t happen.

Namine can roll herself over enough to grab onto the railing, and pull herself enough so that she’s completely on her side, and more on her stomach than on her back. The difficulty is in getting her other arm underneath her in such a way that she can push up with both arms, putting herself into a crawling position, from which sitting up is cake.

So Namine rolled over, tried pushing up a couple times, and gave up. She rolled onto her back again, looked at me and said “Haha. Ell, ee” (Papa. Help, please) and signed “help” to me. So I put my hand behind her so she could feel it on her back, slightly under her butt, ready to left her when she started to lift herself. Under the impression that I was going to boost her up, she swung around and pushed herself all the way up to a crawling position without any assistance from me.

Namine looked at me, wide-eyed. “That’s right,” I told her. “You did that all by yourself.”
“Ay!” was her reply, and she clapped to congratulate herself.
I held out my hand. “High five, Namine!”
“Eye!” she said, and slapped my hand with hers.

Her hard work is paying off.


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