The Gift of Mobility

Written by Alysha Warman, Grace House Parent

Have you met “C”? My fierce one and half year old. A happy boy who loves to greet everyone with a “Hii”and a fist bump. The one who must stop and dance any time he hears music.

Well, these last few months we hit some road blocks. A lot of tears and meltdowns. His determination overpowered by frustration. Truthfully, it has been challenging to navigate for both him and I.

I’ve spent a lot of time praying for wisdom on how I can engage him better and trying to assess the situations to see if I could figure out any triggers. When meltdowns would occur, I started to ask myself: What happened before, during, and what is coming after this? (Hey, there’s a little bit of my El. Ed degree at work!)

One day, C was out with his friends from the Joy house and he quickly became angry. He was trying use the big scooter but he couldn’t.

Then, it dawned on me. I think he just wants to be one of the “big kids.” He wants to move like he should be able to. He wants to play with all the toys he should be able to. But he can’t. So I put him on up on the scooter and I pushed him. Instantly, he was laughing!

In the weeks following, we got him a hand-propelled bike. He figured it out on the first try. Now, he zooms all over the paved paths on campus and purposely goes off the sides when he wants. And…there is the thrill seeker, I knew. 😉

The bike helped him gain some of the independence he was striving for outside the home. Yet, inside he was still frustrated. Last week that changed when B, from the Joy House, upgraded to a bigger wheelchair and happily passed his wheelchair down to C.

I should have known, just like the bike, he picked up the wheelchair right away. He was all smiles and very proud! The first night he wheeled on over to the Joy house and was yelling for B.  Here is a photo of C sitting for the first time in his “new” wheelchair!

Watching him take off with these should not be a new concept to me, except I am getting to see it with a child in my home for the first time. He is literally seeing the world from a new view.

Of course, with this new found freedom, comes all the other fun learning experiences to navigate. Like “why can’t I eat those snacks now that I can see them. They’re right there. You see where I am pointing? Also, why can’t I pull myself up into the food bins so I can climb into the counters? I see no risk involved.”

When he rolls around the corner into another room and shouts “Hiii” for whoever is there, I just smile. My fierce, happy boy is back!

To see the JOY back on his face and the determination spirit returned, that is something to be joyful about!

Also, it is so fun to see these B and C wanting to go out in their wheelchairs together! I see many wheelchair races in our future.

Look out world…The gift of mobility sure is a game changer!

Alysha Warman,
Grace House Parent