Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Max walks up stairs by himself for the first time: the video


For a couple of years now, Max's physical therapists at school have been working on getting him to independently walk up and down stairs. This is tricky for him, because it involves grasping a railing (Max's hands don't always like to open up fully), core strength and coordination.

Using stairs is one of those things I never once in my life thought about until I had Max. After he started walking at age 3, I realized just how many movements are required to get you up and down stairs. Max has given me all sorts of new perspective on (and appreciation of) the ways bodies work.

I've always held Max's hand and supported his back as he walks up stairs in our home. Going down is harder for him and more perilous, and makes my heart lurch every time.

And then. We were on vacation at Smuggler's Notch, and Max decided to go up the stairs alone to our condo.

I was giddy. Jump and down and squeal "YEAH, MAX!" giddy.

What I also loved: How proud Max was of every single, hard-earned step.

When milestones like this happen, I flash back to my first meeting with Sue, the most lovely Early Intervention coordinator. Max was a month old. He lay on a blanket on the living room floor as I told her what had happened to him, and my fears about his future. Sue stared at me kindly. "He will surprise and amaze you, you'll see," she said.

He's never stopped.

42 comments:

  1. Oh Ellen, this made my cry with joy!
    Big hug from Switzerland (hope to see Max climbing mountains over here at some point :))
    a

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  2. Look at him alternating his feet, too!!! He's not just climbing those stairs, he's conquering them!!

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  3. Way to go Max! That is truly awesome!
    Kristen : )

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  4. WOW!!! This is so awesome! And I love how he turns to look back so proud of himself!

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  5. SO EXCITING!!! I love how excited he is to get to the next set of stairs- he runs across each landing! Congrats to Max (and to you).

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  6. Seriously clapping and tearing up!! How bout those last two steps too?!?! Holy awesome Max! Love his look of pride and accomplishment! Hope there was chocolate ice cream at the top for Max and champagne for you. You both deserve it! :)

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  7. The video made me cry (happy tears) WAY TO GO MAX!!!!!!!!!

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  8. OH ELLEN! I am THRILLED for you - and even more thrilled for Max! What an accomplishment!

    And I love how he keeps looking back over his shoulder, grinning, to see if you're still watching - which melts my heart, by the way!

    And alternating steps in that last set! Now he's just showing off! :) He is AWESOME!

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  9. Wow!!!
    This is a huge accomplishment...watch out world here comes Max!!! Congratulations to ALL!!!

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  10. What a big, brave boy!! And I caught that last alternating step at the end too. GO, Max!!

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  11. I LOVE how proud he is. Of course now my screen is all blurry and I need a new application of mascara. Go MAX! Go YOU!

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  12. You've made me cry happy tears TWO days in a row now! Way to go Max!

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  13. Hey - found this via shared on facebook. Just wanted you to know that a complete stranger came by and shared in your moment. FANTASTIC. Especially how he got braver at the end and thought 'you know what? I can take these last two steps easily'. Good man.!

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  14. AMAZING!!!!! We're still working on...Max is an inspiration. :)

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  15. Way to go, Max!! And great job getting video, Ellen. Man, he was getting so speedy on that second set and those last two steps?! The strength and coordination was fantastic! I'm not sure my son will ever walk, but this is a great reminder that our children are full of surprises and miracles!

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  16. Way to go Max!!!! And way to go Ellen for helping him to achieve this goal. Max keeps me so inspired that N will one day do the same.

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  17. Ellem, that is so amazingly brilliant! Well done Max! so brilliant!! love Mel x

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  18. That's a LOT of steps! Awesome job, Max!

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  19. Way to Go Max, this is such an amazing feat, and he does it with much ease. I just love his proud smile...gets me everytime he amazes himself!

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  20. Max, max, max! Amazing! Conquering them as someone else said.

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  21. WAY TO GO MAX!!!!! That's awesome! Good for you!

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  22. What a wonderful victory for Max! Thank you for sharing this moment in his life. It is a joy to celebrate with Max.

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  23. Brought tears to my eyes, and LOOK at that SMILE! GO MAX!

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  24. I totally get the magic of those last alternating steps. For the longest time after his hip surgery, Ben could only walk up stairs leading with the same leg. He still does that most often, but whenever he starts alternating, it feels like a miracle has happened. Bravo Max! xo

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  25. Way to go Max. Yes I do also know all the work that' a flight of stairs entails, from alternating feet, using railings, one handed, two handed there are so many steps to using the steps. After a very intensive (and costly) physiotherapy block Elizabeth went up her first flight of stairs unaided and I was in tears. Unfortunately it has only happened a couple times since (no more expensive PT) but she is now doing great at alternating her feet.

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  26. Congrats Ellen! I love following Max's progress. What a terrific accomplishment!

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  27. Congrats Max & Ellen!
    I'm a mom of a CP kid too and i know how is difficult for him.
    Wow Max never stop you!
    Ciao from Italy!

    Barbara

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  28. woohoooo!!! Way to go Max!!! I meant to comment yesterday but was pulled away from the computer. So glad for you guys and congrats on all of the hard work that Max did to get himself to this point!
    kct

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  29. BRAVO MAX!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  30. excellent...loved his smile when he turned the 1st corner!!

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  31. This is such a great video. I know when my son sent me the video of my Granddaughter Madeline taking her first step, how thrilled I was - the doctors said she probably wouldn't walk - well, they didn't know Madeline, and thank you to therapists like yours, Ellen, who say, "yes, they will amaze you!" So proud of all the Max's and Madeline's of this world.

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  32. I finally got to watch the video - I had just read before. Amazing. Truly Amazing. He does it so fast too - it looks almost effortless, although of course, it wasn't. And you are so lucky to have videotaped it - I almost never get to videotape my son's moments, as I'm so involved in them & there's no one ready with the camera. Blown away.

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  33. Crying fat tears of joy! Thank you for sharing your beautiful Max!

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  34. Very late in seeing this post but so happy I did! Way to go Max!!! Love watching him be so proud of himself. To me that this is the true accomplishment no matter what the skill - he did it by himself.

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  35. I am new to your blog and have been browsing through old posts I COULD not stop smiling after this. great job max!

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  36. Awesome! I'm 12 with high functioning autism and Max inspires me. He needs some ice cream.

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  37. I just read your blog for the first time. It made my cry and smile. Max is an amazing boy and it's clear that he will continue to be. And coincidentally, I have been to Smugglers' with my family for many years...I know those stairs! Thanks for sharing your story.

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Thanks for sharing!



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