To kick off my stretch, I had the pleasure of working with an 8 year old who has grown up with a rare form of cerebral palsy. His goals are to improve running, riding his bike and climbing stairs. And so we began. Walking over hurdles, stepping onto platforms and learning strategies to reduce muscle spasticity when running. Finally, we attempted the “stairway to nowhere” (a set of stairs enclosed by railings and effectively only for the purpose of climbing).
“Ok..are we ready to climb the stairway to nowhere?” I asked the kid.
“Yup, I’m ready… but they’re stairs to somewhere for me”. The 8 year old replied.
“Oh? Where do they lead?” I said.
“If I can climb these..then I can climb my stairs at my home and at my school”. He replied.
It was truly a heartwarming experience to witness a child redefine a staircase that was inadvertently labeled with negative connotations and a lack of purpose, ultimately making it his own personal success. He understood his goals, the purpose of rehabilitation and the underlying reason of why he would climb a set of stairs for the sole purpose of climbing them. This session reminds me of why I’m here and the brilliance in the ways a child thinks. I often remind myself of this session in the morning when I’m climbing the stairs to get to the Children’s Rehabilitation office in Camrose.
Trent Hebert – PLLC Scholar