March 29, 2018
by: Emily Hastings
Charlie is a charming five-year-old who is the definition of a social butterfly; he is quick to make new friends and always introduces himself to be sure people will remember his name. Although he doesn’t know it, he is completely unforgettable.
After being adopted from China early last year, the only English word Charlie knew when he and his family first met was “chocolate,” his favorite sweet treat. Four short months later he was speaking nonstop in fluent English!
In China, Charlie was repeatedly told he would never be able to use his arms or his legs after being diagnosed with a condition that causes weak joints, but once he was home with his new family, he didn’t take “no” for an answer! According to Charlie’s mom, he is “always asking if he can try new things and every day he surprises himself with what he can accomplish.” Charlie looks forward to the moment in the morning when his shoes are on and he can show his mom how he is able to go from a sitting position to standing up on his own, something he was once told he would never do.
Charlie has been coming to LeafBridge since June 2017 for weekly occupational and physical therapy sessions and also completed his first Steps to Independence session last summer. Steps to Independence is a unique, intensive therapy approach that gives children with cerebral palsy and other neuro-muscular conditions an extra “push” to quickly achieve developmental goals such as crawling, standing and walking.
Every week Charlie is making great improvements in therapy and is working on building strength in his arms and legs—when he is not asking to take a snack break! Charlie recently received his first power wheelchair which gives him more independence and access to the world around him. He was recently seen racing across the agency lobby, giggling loudly and begging to go faster!
Charlie’s therapists and family are ecstatic with the progress Charlie is making and are looking forward to a future full of possibilities. With the addition of his new power wheelchair, there is no telling where this social butterfly will be off to next.