Most parents don’t do a double-take watching their child walk around the house. For Heather, however, seeing her son Shiv walk into a room feels like a miracle, and she can’t help but stop and marvel every time he enters a doorway.
When Shiv became part of his family through adoption at age 6, he could only walk on his knees because his legs and feet were impacted by cerebral palsy. He was unable to straighten his legs beyond a 90-degree angle. Walking on his feet, something that children typically do at 12-14 months, seemed like an impossible dream for Shiv’s parents. He longed for the ability to walk and do simple things like help his family cook dinner.
Shiv’s parents took him to specialists, who told them the best they could hope for was Shiv walking with a walker someday, but not independently. They wanted to be sure they had exhausted every option, and they turned to 321go Kids at their pediatrician’s recommendation. Shiv began both occupational and physical therapy and started building trust with the 321go Kids team.
Shiv had two surgeries, one to reduce spasticity and one to lengthen his heel cords and calf muscles. 321go Kids Physical Therapist Diana indicates that Shiv’s highly specialized surgery is only successful with a small percentage of kids. She worked with Shiv to strengthen and stretch his muscles to help, which in turn enhanced his outcomes. With Diana’s direction, Shiv started navigating foot placement for walking, discovering how to go up and down stairs, and exploring how to adjust his walker. Shiv’s mom Heather appreciated the opportunity to be engaged in his therapy.
“321go Kids listens to the parents’ request when it comes to certain needs that your specific child might have, and they don’t shy away from letting the parent be as involved as they feel they need to be,” Heather shared. “I appreciate that they were willing to work with me and Shiv’s specific needs to get him the therapy he needed.”
Through surgeries, nearly a year of therapy, and a lot of hard work for all involved, Shiv learned to stand and walk with pediatric physical therapy assistance. And then one day, the dream became a reality: Shiv started walking on his own. While he still wears braces for support, he has started walking at home without braces.
“I was so proud of Shiv when he started taking steps,” Diana expressed. “You could see his confidence and his desire to move and just flourish from that point when he realized he could do it by himself.”
Shiv is now 7 and achieving his goals through drive and determination. When he sees something he wants to do, he goes for it. For example, when he saw the trampoline at 321go Kids, he wanted to be able to jump and was motivated to learn. Within a few weeks, he could bend his knees and jump.
“He is so much fun because he’s motivated by being independent, and it’s just so much fun to see the growth he has because of that,” Diana explained. “I had always hoped that we would get to the point where he would walk independently and walk longer distances. But I had no idea that we’d get here this fast. It’s all because of Shiv and his family working so hard.”
Shiv is not only walking, he’s also able to help with dinner… pouring ingredients and helping stir. He continues to work hard in his therapy sessions.
“He loves the obstacle course, stomping leaves outside, bubbles, and music,” Heather noted. She encourages parents who have children with walking delays to consider working with 321go Kids: “Just try it. Your child’s going to benefit no matter what.”
321go Kids aims to help parents and children “Discover Hope and Unleash Potential.” If you or someone you know has a child who needs a partner in helping them meet their physical goals, 321go Kids is here to help. Get started by completing our contact form.