Jasper Walking

Jasper attempted to walk initially in early September. He would take one step to Craig, then fall into Craig’s arms. He then lost interest in trying to walk.

He took his first few consecutive steps on the 28th October 2012, however he didn’t quite feel confident with walking until 10th November.

I would hold Jaspers hand to encourage him to walk. Sometimes this went smoothly, while other times if we both weren’t in sync then my wheelchair would spin around and Jasper would fall over. He would giggle at this, however he wouldn’t get up and try again. I didn’t want to push him too much in-case I was scaring him. And beside I didn’t want Craig to miss out on Jaspers first steps since he had to work away from home.

Over the pervious 5 months Craig has had to work out of town each week and only came home on weekends. I believe this influenced Jasper in not walking earlier. That combined with him using his beloved car to ride around the house. He found it much quicker than crawling and walking and he could carry more toys. I guess he was also just copying me being in a wheelchair!

The first full week Craig was home, Jasper started walking.

Initially I was very nervous about taking Jasper out on my own when he started walking. I was warned by other mothers that he will just run off now that he can walk! I was hoping that my “Go, Go, Stop” technique would work.

I came up with this idea of utilising his beloved car to create a game “Go, Go, Stop” to teach him to stop when I asked him to. This was at the age of about 10 months and crawling. I was fearful that I would have no control over him in public, making it a safety issue. So before I took him out to the park initially we practiced going up and down the driveway, me in my wheelchair and he on his car playing this game.

I would wheel right next to him and say “Go” and he would follow. I would then tell him to “Stop”. When he would stop I would cheer and make a big deal about it. After about a week he was stopping the minute I said stop. So I then felt comfortable enough to take him to the park on his car. This worked perfectly for me always, when I was out with him on my own. If we were out as a family, he wouldn’t always listen to Craig when he asked him to stop. So Craig would give him a warning and say the next time he didn’t stop, he would have to be carried instead of riding his car. I thought he would be too young to understand this theory but he did and soon learnt to listen to Craig as well. Smart little cookie!

So when he started walking, I used this “Go, Go, Stop” technique ( as I call it) and again practiced walking up and down in the safety of our driveway. He listened as per usually, so I took him out in public hoping it would work. To this day I have had very few issues with him running off (The odd time that he ran off, I made him sit on my lap immediately which he didn’t like). He will go so far ahead of me and I just have to say “Stop” and he listens instantly and turns around. If I ask him to stay there or come back to me, he does. He knows he has to hold my hand at certain times and he just does. So thankfully I don’t have a little boy running away from me and I didn’t have to resort to putting him on one of those kiddy leads!

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