I got this tip while we were in Florida, and decided to give it a try (thanks, Magan!!!).
Piper walks, great, with two-hand support. She’ll go anywhere you take her (or, rather, she takes you), and her endurance is really good, too. She’ll walk with her little walker, if someone is touching her (that someone doesn’t have to be doing any work for her, however). So walking with the stick seems to be a good transition piece, because it doesn’t allow personal touch.
And guess what? It works. It works, it works, it WORKS!!!
Instead of using a broom stick, I went ahead and got a shorter stick from Michael’s, because the broom is a little big for our house. And I could get it a little smaller in diameter this way, too, which made Piper feel more secure.
Yesterday we were playing this game, and I kept lowering the stick until I wasn’t holding it at all. Piper stood all by herself (while holding the fairly heavy stick, mind you) for a few seconds by herself.
The best part about this, though, is that she’s walking with her walker by herself, now, too! It seems like we always have to give her the confidence to do a skill, and make sure that she feels like she can do something. Her confidence is always behind her actual abilities; I hope that someday it’ll get easier for her to try new things. But, in the meantime, we’ll just give her all the chances and make sure that she’s trying to do the things we think she can do!