How Straight are his feet?

How Straight are his feet?


Rolling over, sitting up crawling and walking was all delayed.  Levi didn’t crawl much before he took off walking. But his walking has that slightly noticeable gait, with one foot slightly turned in and sort of dragging along.  I’ve seen that in other Asperger children and also in children with just the ADHD diagnosis.  Sometimes it’s worse than others.

While going through patterning with my son, we learned that a child must crawl before they walk.   Crawling stimulates coordination in the brain somehow.  The theory back then was that if a child started walking before they crawled there was a greater chance of them having learning disabilities. Thus the thinking that getting the older child to do crawling exercises will stimulate the brain into more normalcies.  We didn’t have much success with our 6 months of daily crawling, when doing the Miriam Bender tonic reflex exercises.  But I’ve heard of it making a difference with some severely mentally retarded children, or those who were brain damaged from an accident. 

One of the questions Doctors ask me over and over during evaluations of the children was when did they start sitting up, crawling and walking.   I used to wonder why the “when” was important and what connection it had to “now”.  But I believe now that there is a definite connection to the age of doing some of those first things and developmental disabilities (PDD).

When My now 20 yr old, was a toddler, she qualified for special services because of her birth parents disabilities.  The therapist, came to our home weekly for her physical therapy. A fun time for everyone! As she got older, she qualified for the center’s preschool classes. Then her sister came along and she also qualified for P.T.  Again the therapist started coming to our home. While she was working with the second child, the third one, was born.   One day the therapist picked up the new baby sister when she was two weeks old and said, “Oh my, she has GOOD muscle tone. She won’t have the same problems her two sister have.”  She was right!  I was amazed that at two weeks old she could predict the baby’s future. When my son was little, doctors didn’t think you could diagnose ADHD until they were in school and Aspergers hadn’t been heard of yet. We’ve come a long ways!

My son fought eating, sleeping, rolling over, sitting up, crawling and walking.  Anything we wanted him to do he was determined not to.  I could see the ODD way back then!  Too much pressure to do anything and he would shut down, likewise, with my girls.  It was like even as a baby his brain was so stimulated that any stimulation we’d try to force on him was met with resistance.   When I’d point these things out to the doctor back then, he would chuckle and say, “He’ll out grow it!”  He didn’t!


How straight are your feet?


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0 thoughts on “How Straight are his feet?

  • May 20, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    My brother was pigeon-toed. A friend of ours suggested putting his shoes on backwards, because it worked it for her son. We tried it, and after about 6 months there was noticeable improvement. Within a year his feet were straight. I’m sure it depends on the child, but it really worked for my little bro. Of course, he did have some difficulty with figuring out which shoe went on what foot as he got older. But that was better than pigeon-toes.

  • May 20, 2009 at 6:50 pm


    Thank you for your comments. I’ll try to answer some of your questions. I adopted my son about 40 years ago. I’ve since met some of his biological family (He’s never met them) and I’ve seen the evidence of Aspergers in them, so I believe his is genetic.

    40 years ago Aspergers wasn’t a word. Doctors and therapists had no clue as to why he was like he was or how to “fix it”. They gave him all kind of wrong diagnosis and tried all kinds of therapy and medicine that didn’t work.

    It was easy for others who didn’t live with him to label him “the bad kid” (See my post “Rotten Egg”) he had few friends and suffered a lot of rejection. I was so frustrated and knew in my heart there was something more going on that was more than learning disabilities.

    I tried to be kind and patient but I felt very angry at those who wanted to punish my son for behaviors he couldn’t control. School was a nightmare (Check out my (School – 4 parts) post.

    I really believe that pushing an Asperger kid too far can cause them to revert into full blown Autism where they shut down and go into their own world where it’s safe.

    Yes, he was “forced” to act normal. But at home I often let him hang lose. We lived on a farm and he could run free with the animals. I saw what stimulation did to him, He hated social situations.

    I guess the point of my article is to help the public understand Aspergers better, so our children can experience more acceptance and love for who they are. I don’t like them to be shunned because they are different. My Asperger children are beautiful and so unique and so refreshing at times. They look like normal kids and I believe in spite of their Aspergers they are fairly well adjusted and are comfortable with who they are.

    The best thing we can give our kids Aspie or NT is unconditional love and acceptance for who they are.

    Does the system work. It sure didn’t back when my son was little. It’s working better now but there are still glitches. My 21 yr old is on the Autism Support Waiver and they’ve helped her some, make the transition into adulthood. I had to fight the Social Security system for three years to get her on disability. There’s help out there but it usually takes a parent or advocate, fighting the system to get that help. I feel sad when I see the homeless on the streets. Many of them are developmentally disabled but have no one to be their advocate.

    I know there is no cure for Autism, so it can’t be fixed. It takes a lot of unconditional love and patience and a lot of prayer to give us parents the strength to deal with the daily issues. I have learned to go with the flow, be surprised at nothing, and give my children space. When I see them getting over stimulated I try to direct them to a quiet room to listen to their music, rub their back, weight them down with heavy blankets etc. what ever it takes to calm them.

    When my 16 year old is in a screaming, throwing, meltdown, I try to isolate her,. If she won’t go to her room, I try to get the rest of the family to leave the room and walk away from her rage. I don’t try to confront her during her meltdown. When she is calm she is responsible for fixing, picking up, cleaning up what ever mess she made in her rage. A natural consequence is always best. Ex “You throw the phone and break it, you don’t have a phone to use.” Break you sister’s stuff, you are responsible for replacing it.” Punch a hole in the wall, you get some calking/plaster and patch it.” You knock a hole in your bedroom door, you lose your privacy” “Throw a glass of chocolate milk all over the kitchen, you get a bucket of sudsy water and start scrubbing.” I believe in consequences and natural ones are best.

    I don’t know much about the change in ‘politically correct’ misinterpretion of mental diversity, ” but I know our mental health knowledge is better than it was we still have a ways to go!

    Thnks for asking these questions and making me think! 🙂

  • May 20, 2009 at 7:08 am

    I skipped crawling, just dragged around on my arms, then up and started walking at 11 months old.  I have higher functioning austim, or Asperger’s, whichever you prefer.  They didn’t have all that other diagnosis stuff back then, so I was considered more a stubborn fidgety screamer than ‘disabled’ or ‘challenged’.  Because I was expected to keep up and do my own work at school and on the farm (I had no help whatsoever), I had to figure it all out on my own.  Sink or swim, survive, figure out why nothing goes right or I’m being punished again.  My next sister down was severely pidgeon toed, and my parents forced her to walk properly, constantly haranguing her, never saw a specialist.  She is so introverted now that she can’t handle confrontation, even though she’s very intelligent.  We’re both classic aspies, and the one thing we look back on in our childhoods with the most pain is never being accepted for who we were, constantly being forced to mimic or pretend to be ‘normal’.  I think doctors and media (and therefore parents) are too over focused on diagnosis at too young an age nowadays.  So what if something is ‘wrong’.  Love the kid.  I totally appreciate this sentence you wrote.  “It was like even as a baby his brain was so stimulated that any stimulation we’d try to force on him was met with resistance.”  Too many people are still under the misunderstanding that autism and Asperger’s is about not having feelings, or lacking emotions, and either using head banging and rocking or resisting outside encouragement because we somehow lack the self motivation to progress.  You hit the nail on the head, it’s over stimulation.  My nervous system is hard wired to be ON 100% of the time, and when I’m in sensory overload, it’s very difficult for me to interact with others or follow directions or solve problems.  I HAVE to shut down for a little while, but people who don’t need to do that and keep talking don’t realize they make it worse.  Reaching out to touch me and condescend to my perceived ‘problem’ almost makes me feel hateful, and I want to lash out for them to shut up and back off.  I think this is the root of the communication gap between normals and the mentally diverse.  That it can be diagnosed or predicted at younger ages now is nice and all, but my mom working on ‘fixing’ me all my life has left scars beyond me ever feeling loved or forgiven for who I am.  I’m not familiar enough with you personally to understand the point of your article beyond a simple leap in the medical field, I don’t know what the parental disability is, what your stance is on ‘fixing’ the ‘disabilities’, and allowing someone else to tell you what is wrong with you and your children.  I know your article was sorta long, but I’d like to know more, like what you thought of the doctors, what you think of the change in ‘politically correct’ misinterpretion of mental diversity, etc.  Since you have so much experience, I think you’d be more qualified than anyone to make solid statements about whether ‘the system’ works, and whether or not it is dehumanizing in any aspect.  Sorry this comment is so long.  =S


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