proof is in the pudding

by thankfeldenkrais

As we approach Isaac’s first birthday,
An apparent difference was emerging between the other network of medical and clinical staff within the system,
And our Feldenkrais therapy.

This idea of should be’s,
Come pouring in,
Invading my head space,
Creating immense external pressure,
Challenging my confidence and testing my strength.

They were of the thought process that age,
Was a determining factor as to what he should be doing.
With no regard to the reasons why he wasn’t doing them –
What it was that was missing which prevented.
Insisting on the model which compared him to typical one year old’s.

You wouldn’t expect a six month old to get up and stand independently,
Let alone walk – 
So why would we expect this of Isaac who has only just learnt to negotiate his weight along the floor – 
Similarly to a typical six month old.

It made perfect sense to me,
Yet here I am trying to stand up to the professionals,
A wealth of information,
Falling on deaf ears,
And worse  – shrugged off,
A systematic approach so stale,
So miss directed,
And evidently unwilling to open their minds.

I’m in turmoil –
Desperation written all over my face,
To do the right thing,
Cease all opportunity,
And so I’m repeatedly stuck in the spin cycle,
Of external pressure,
Losing faith in myself,
Doubting my repute,
With them,
Holding the power,
So accustomed to throwing their authority around,
Seemingly unaffected by the hard slap it hits across my face.

And after all aren’t they the experts?

Without formal training in movement, physiology, anatomy,
Or child development,
Yet it made so much common sense to me,
And I was seeing the benefits before my own eyes –

The apprenticeship needs to take place,
To acquire the skill.
Movement needs to be reversible,
To be successful,
Body weight must shift to either relax or contract muscles,
A constant back and forth dance between the body,
All movements can be considered the ability to reverse –
To go up, we must know how to come down,
To go forward we must know how to come back,
We reach for something so we can bring it back to self,
If one happens without the other,
You become stuck –
Limited by the inability to transition in and out of the action.
And helpless to initiate independent movement.
Which only spirals into a vicious cascade of set-backs and dependence.

Yet here I am,
Being told he should be standing,
When his feet weren’t even in his body image,
He should be sitting up independently,
Yet he didn’t know how to move his head to counter his imbalance,
They are expecting him to skip the steps,
Steps we see in typical developing children,
Granted it happens at speed for them,
With minimal intervention,
Yet the progression is there,
Their normal nervous system works its way through,
All the subtleties of constant reversibility,
Repeating –
Doing it all – filling in the gaps as they fail one way and try again another.

Yet here was Isaac,
Still a child,
Yet with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy,
So therefore the approach to his movement – his development,
Was being removed from that of other children as if a different species,
And so falls greater expectations on his fragile lap –
To go from one to ten –
Without two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine.

I was shouting,
He needs steps one through nine even more so,
So don’t rush him,
Don’t take his one to nine away because of his diagnosis,
Give it to him in threefold –

Couldn’t they see this?
Why weren’t they jumping on the knowledge I was trying to share?
And in my grandmothers words,
The proof is in the pudding.


He is the proof,
In our Feldenkrais pudding.