A few days before Aiden turned 7 months old, he learned to walk! Yep I here you, 6 month old babies can’t walk! Well this one could!
As we know, when you have autism, you do not follow the rule book, nothing is ever straight forward, except in this case it was quite literally that, straight forward (but not as we know it!)
Aiden was, in a physical sense, extremely rigid. He didn’t bend easily. He hated lying or sitting down and was only happy when he was up right. Everyone would say, ‘he’ll be much happier when he can walk, he won’t be so frustrated’. I longed for the day.
We spent hours on end bouncing him up and down in an upright position, anything to stop his constant moan. But, because of this, he never learned to crawl or bum shuffle or in fact, he couldn’t even work out how to get from a lying to a sitting position.
The picture Above was taken the day Aiden walked. Gorgeous I know – but looks can be deceiving!
Aiden was absolutely no help to himself whatsoever. He could walk ‘straight forward’ and that was it!
Most babies/toddlers crumple to the floor when they fall, not Aiden, he didn’t bend! So he would fall flat on his face, he didn’t even put his arms out to save himself. Once on the floor that was it, he didn’t know how to get up, not even to a sitting position, so he would lie face planted to the floor and screem! Yey, the walking stage was great fun!
He was probably about 18 months before he’d worked out how to stand up and confidently change direction while standing – that was a long year!
Once Aiden had established walking, he decided he didn’t much like it anymore and gave up! Not always, but just when he felt like it – which just so happened to be every time I needed him to!
He has pretty much refused ever since! Walking was on his terms only and just the thought of having to walk somewhere would send him into complete meltdown!
Aiden has hyper mobile joints and his body’s way of dealing with this is to stiffen. He was like a little robot. He couldn’t tell me until more recently that he was in pain, so I didn’t know. On top of this he also has Cystic Fibrosis.
But let me tell you, Aiden surprises me everyday! The child who refused to walk anywhere, just took part in a 10 mile race!
He just completed The Great South Run. It took him 2 hours and 20 minutes, he didn’t run it all, but he did it!
He was in control, it was his choice when to jog or when to walk and he slept for a week after, and is still hobbling, but he did it!
Will him come to the woods for a walk next time I ask? Unlikely! But, if you’d have asked me when he was 5, 10, 15 years old, do you think Aiden will ever take part in a 10 mile race? I would have said ‘NEVER!’
Never underestimate the strength within!
Aiden, ran with his Dad and friend Ian and between them raised a whooping £500 for Just Breathe Cornwall.