You see, a ladder can be used for many different things. As can the battery for Pádraig’s wheelchair ‘motor’: that is the little but very heavy blue bag strapped to the ladder to pull it away from Pádraig.

What is Pádraig doing here? And what is so amazing about it!?

Well, first of all, he is simply doing something that he has never done before: he is holding the tilted ladder that is trying to ‘get away’ from him, to pull his arms away from him to stand on its four legs, he is holding on firmly to this ladder that is trying to pull away from him with both of his hands; when I ask him, he pulls the ladder towards him, and a few seconds later, again when I ask him, he is pushing it away from him. And he did this a few times this morning. It’s all very gently and slow. But he is doing all this all by himself and when I ask him to do it.

Last year in neuro rehab in Pforzheim, in Germany, they had velcro gloves that held his hands to a stick because he could no hold it himself. Rather than him moving it, a therapist moved it for him. Today, he did all these movements absolutely and completely by himself. Check it out yourself.

We did this today because I wanted to do something different with Pádraig, to keep his interest going, to keep him motivated, and to allow him to show us something new he could do. I remembered that they do something similar in Pforzheim. Active movements. Voluntary movements. Movements that have some kind of purpose. I have never seen anything remotely similar here in Ireland, nor has any physio ever proposed anything anywhere even remotely similar as an exercise for Pádraig.

Now I ask you – why is that so?