Thursday 14 June 2012

The Walking Thing....Again

And its all just a little bit of history repeating........

I cannot believe that I find myself writing about walking and Joseph yet again. I thought this was all sorted and I just want to bash my head against the nearest wall. I was looking back in my archives and found this post, and I right back there again.

Yesterday I had trip to Joseph's preschool to have his review, he has two a year, which I personally don't feel is adequate but hey ho, that's what the local authority thinks is reasonable and who am I to argue with authority.

Overall the review was very positive, Joseph is coming on in leaps and bounds, his social skills and communication skills are improving very quickly, and his numerical ability is great. I was very pleased to hear that he is doing so well.

However preschool have noticed that his walking is immature. For some reason they hadn't documented my conversations relaying back meetings with orthotics etc, and hadn't noted that he is hypermobile in his hips and knees and to a lesser extent his ankles.

I feel really frustrated, because she started mentioning physio, exercises, even making adaptations to the room layout to accommodate him! I had no idea that this was such an issue, and what is really frustrating is that no one else appears to care that much. Physio signed him off once he took his steps, as did his neonatal consultant, and orthotics just say to let him develop normally and he'll improve over time.

The preschool coordinator has suggested we go back to the health visitor, which I will do today, but now I have no idea what to do. We don't have a named health visitor anymore. The team at the sure start centre don't really seem to know what to do with Joseph and his weird walking. I don't know whether to go back to the GP and ask for a consultant referral, or just return to orthotics. It's just really baffling me.

And, what's underpinning this for me is that I can hear Shirley Bassey singing in my head. I know, scary isn't it. When I was a child the very same issues beset me, and it feels like history repeating. I walked later than Joseph. Was never particularly physical. I'm still hypermobile in my hips but it doesn't affect my day to day life at all. I still kinda do the weird robot walking to an extent, over compensating in my pelvis in case I wobble and fall.

My gut instinct is that Joseph needs more encouragement to be physical, and choose physical activities that interest him. I am going to look for a street dance class for him, and start looking for a ball skills class too. I just think that because he knows he's not as physical he chooses more sedentary tasks that he is good at. See there it is history repeating.  Reading age of 7 at 11 years old, but couldn't catch a tennis ball one handed, so sent to a special school. Yep that was me.

Joseph needs me to be on his cheer squad, to find creative ways around this, and help him develop at his own speed.

Wish me luck. Any advice gratefully received.


  1. Hi Kylie, my name's Kiran. I'm the mother of a preemie too and my heart goes out to you.
    In my opinion, you need to go back to the top and have your neonatal consultant on board. If you've been discharged, I suggest you call directly and raise your concerns and fears.xx

  2. I'm by no means an expert but, as you know, am currently going through this whole thing with my (nearly 2 year old) daughter. She's very hypermobile and is only just starting to take steps. She has just been signed up for physio treatment and has a pair of piedro boots on order from our local hospital.

    It's taken months to get to this point, but none of the health professionals we've seen have been massively worried. I guess they see kids with walking issues every day so they're not going to panic. I'd always be inclined to trust the doctor / physio rather than the nursery staff or childminder, simply because they're trained in this area and are the experienced ones.

    That said, if YOU feel there's an issue then yes, ask your GP for a physio referral just so they can do a check up. Hypermobility is still a relatively little known issue and there's not masses of info out there. We've also been told to really encourage swimming and cycling as these are activities that put less stress on the joints but are a great way to use them and strengthen them. Does your son have a scooter / balance bike / ride on toy? That could be a good way to introduce cycling for when he's a bit older. That's what we've done anyway.

    But like I said - I'm not an expert and as a mum, all I think you can do is trust your OWN instincts! xx

  3. Thanks Molly

    We still have an open referral for orthotics, so I might toddle off there as its easy and then take it from there.

    At school he's clumsy, always walking into things, he has to work really hard to walk, you can see that, but I am not convinced there's a solution, other than just letting him sort it out.

    He has a balance bike and I'm going to get a scooter too I think.

    Swimming is so frustrating, we were advised to keep him away from pools til he was 2, and now he's scared of the water. Sometimes I just feel so upset about it all, because I remember what it was like for me as a child and I didn't want this for him.

    History repeating

    Kylie x x x

  4. It seems that your son preschool has done wonders with your son with his personal and social skills. Regarding his gross motor skills may be the preschool is trying to make sure that your son gets all the right help and guidance he may need. Credit due where credit due for the preschool at least they are trying to do something about it.

  5. SecureIT-or-Not?14 June 2012 at 15:20

    I have a horrible feeling here that the pre-school may not have known. I have known someone with the same type of problem. He was born prem (this is going back to the 1980's) and the nursery then was concerned that he may have difficulties and they checked their records and did not find any information. When the parents were asked, they said - "well you are supposed to know if there are any problems. Do we have to tell you everything? You are a Nursery and you deal with children all day long...."

    Not good is it?

    Maybe the pre-school (which you have named on your blogs previously) DOES NOT KNOW and you or the health authorities have not been in touch with them. Whenever one of our children had a problem, the first thing we did was to make sure the nurseries knew of the problem. In writing. However slight.

    Sounds like "lets blame the pre-school" to me, when it is not really their fault. Or am I being naive here?

    Remember, is a blog like this not really a place to dish dirt on a pre-school, health visitor, GP, Hospital, Police, Firemen and on and on and on. This page is now in Google's histories and caches and will remain for many years. It could even be used in evidence by whoever. Be warned (Yes, I do work in IT Security...). Just look at the national news at the moment...


  6. Thank you for your comments

    My blog is my personal space to write about my parenting. I am well aware of the consequences of putting things on it, that is my prerogative, and I am happy to take the consequences but thank you for your concern.

    I have fed back on all Joseph's appointments to nursery but these have not been documented. For whatever reason.

    You are reading things into the post that are not there Paul. I have not blamed anyone for anything. I am stating the facts, that in our area we don't have named health visitors for children over 2. That's a fact. It's not dissing anyone.

    I am merely saying Joseph has some sort of problem and I am asking for advice from my community of parents.

    But thanks for reading and commenting

  7. this seems an unfortunate problem. Does the place he goes to have his full medical information?

    Surely you should have a health visitor until he starts junior school.

    Something does not sound right here.

    Go to your gp and ask him for your son to be refered to a specialist and try and find out exactly what the school should be doing, and if it is practicle for them to do it. Maybe they do not have the resources for this problem. I don't know.

    However, I am sure that the school is doing a very good job and is helping him to develope. Does he enjoy going to the school?

    The only bit of help I can give is for you to see a specialist, write down what he or she says and take it to the school - keeping a copy for yourself.

    At junior school they need to have everything written down - telling them is no use. (Something to do with insurance and being sued or something)


  8. Hi Jill

    Just to clear a few things, in our area at 2 they remove their named health visitor so we just use a pool of them. Which means there is no continuity. We have seen lots of different ones. He will be under the health visiting team until he is 5.

    The school don't need any resources, as he doesn't have much of a problem, he walks with an odd gait as he is hypermobile, its quite common. I am trying to get him re referred but no one else seems to think its an issue, and they are resistant! I might have to pay to get him seen privately, which will be my next course of action

  9. If you are not happy with how the school is working (and to the same extent) have you thought about changing school and doctor? I've never heard of that system of health visitors. When I had my two girls, (aged 10 and 7) we had a health visitor until they started junior school.

  10. Joseph loves the preschool and they're doing a great job with him, this issue is down to a lack of communication from the other parties I think as much as anything. I don't really want to move him as he is happy. I will do as a last resort, but this is close to home, and he adores his friends.

    I am not sure if its common practice I only know that this is what our area is now doing, our previous HV is no longer our HV, I have been advised this by the whole team.

  11. Hi kylie. First of all lmao at the secure it comments. Wtf? Secondly, what a shame about the lack of continuity in health visitors ( unless health visitor was rubbish, in which case phew..) thirdly, I wouldn't as to be referred back to paed consultant as it's unnecessary given Joseph is doing so well in all areas really. A physio appointment might be useful to just review his progress but I don't think from the sound of it they are going to raise anything major or new. Dissapointing to hear nursery talking about making special arrangements for josephs mobility, sounds a bit OTT to me. After all, if this was really necessary, I'm sure you'd have made changes at home ages ago. A shame because I know you have a lot of praise for that nursery and they have done a fab job taking care of Joseph, but perhaps they could be a bit more sensitive in communicating the perceived/ unclear difficulties that children may have when talking with parents.

  12. Hi kylie
    Given that you have an open appointment for orthotics that seems the most sensible course of action, they will know from experience a reasonable place for Joseph to be now it could be that his progress is fine and the nursery are just not used to conditions such as his after all his walking may not be normal for a child of his age with no conditions but could be perfectly normal for him. On the other hand he may not be making as good a progress as he should in which case orthotics may be able to help in some way that will be appropriate for both Joseph and yourself. Hope things get sorted x