One of the amazing things that happens at Jacob’s Ladder are the hidden moments of miraculous joy. On a typical afternoon earlier this year, Jacob’s Ladder got to experience one of these hidden moments.
Beverly, who just recently turned 18, is a spunky teenager who loves music, socializing with friends, and all things pop culture. She is a beloved part of our Jacob’s Ladder family and is frequently visited by staff and students throughout the day to say hello.
Following the Jacob’s Ladder methodology, students with a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis, who require the support of a wheelchair, are typically found out of the chair and down working on the mat. On this particular day, Beverly was completing her regular program and next on her list of activities was belly crawl. Teachers helped Beverly with get into the belly crawling position, with one knee bent at a 45 degree angle and her opposite hand reaching out in front of her, and began encouraging her to move. Instead of teachers helping Beverly through the belly crawling motions, Beverly did something new. She decided she wanted to move on her own and began independently pushing off her leg to move forward. Not only was she able to push herself forward on the mat, but she was independently switching her legs and exhibiting an initial cross-lateral pattern. An everyday activity became an inspiration as teachers and students gathered to cheer Beverly on.
Beverly has continued to work on her belly crawling and has gotten to the point where she is crawling a significant distance. Working these developmental motor milestones are allowing new neural pathways to be developed and refined within her brain.
Since that day, Beverly has continued to showcase her strength. Along with working developmental milestones, such as belly crawling, she is completing activities designed to address the integration of her early reflexes, such as Tonic Labyrinthine Supine (ball pose). Early reflexes are an important part of our neurological foundation and having Beverly complete these activities aids in reinforcing her new neural pathways.
This summer, Beverly underwent an extensive surgery to correct a curved spine due to Scoliosis. On her last day at Jacob’s Ladder before the surgery, Beverly received a personal send off from one of our teachers and another student.
Jacob’s Ladder is based on the foundation of HOPE. It is defined as one of our core values with the phrase –
“HOPE is a cherished trust in transformation and a life lived through possibilities.”
Beverly is shining example of the transformation through possibilities. The journey that brought Beverly here was long and not always smooth, but through her dedication and hard work, along with that of her family, all of her teachers and her extensive support system, Beverly has redefined her possibilities. She is truly an example of a cherished trust in transformation.