On our way, the sequel

By this time tomorrow, Malachi and I will be back in California for a therapy trip to the Anat Baniel Method Center. I truly didn't think we would ever do that again after last time, but through generous support from the Sparrow Club at David Douglas High School, we were able to take the chance.

I am more convinced than ever of the efficacy of the Anat Baniel Method and hope that I can make the improvements in Malachi stick a little better this time. It also seems like the universe is arranging itself to send me on this trip. It sounds crazy to me to write that, since none of this would even be necessary if the Powers That Be had prevented Malachi's brain injury in the first place, but it seems as though providence has been providing for us lately and urging us to take this trip. We only decided to do it two weeks ago, and already we were able to get appointments; out of the blue someone offered a free roundtrip airline ticket down there; and I even found the perfect carry-on bag in our garage today that my husband said a stranger simply gave him one day. Oh and get this, the cheap car service I had to order to get us to where we are staying wasn't available but the guy arranged a limo service to pick us up for practically the same price. (It'll be like when Sex and The City went to California, only I'll look like a pack animal with a baby strapped to my chest and all of our luggage trailing behind me.)

Lots of weird little details like that that seem to just be coming together. Makes me hopeful.

It will just be the two of us, Malachi and me. I'm excited (only one baby?) and nervous (only one parent?). I'll also miss Jaden and Matt. I bet I'll be shocked at how much Jaden will have grown.

So, in the interest of science (SCIENCE!), I took this "before" video of Malachi on the floor. As much as I talk about Malachi's disability, I think regular readers may have noticed how I almost always post pictures and videos showing him as normal as possible. But he's definitely not. And taking this video left me falling again. I try so hard to look at how far he has come, how bright and cute he is — all the positives and all the hope for the future. But sometimes it hits me so hard. My baby is almost two years old. He can't walk. He can't sit. Dammit, he can't really even roll over.

I really thought he would be doing more by now.

Hopefully soon I can say that he does.

Malachi at 21 months from Shasta Kearns Moore on Vimeo.

Stumbo Family Story
This post is part of the CP Connection, a monthly blog party for all cerebral palsy-related blogs! Click the above graphic to read more or participate in this blog party!


  1. I know first-hand how bad CP sucks :( I hope the therapy goes well :)

  2. I am thinking of you as you are working with him down there! I too, always post pictures of Parker that look so "normal" and happy. You would probably not even know he also can't sit up, walk, roll over, or talk. It makes me sad too. Hang in there mama...

  3. I love it when the universe conspires to make good things happen - and we're able to recognize and seize those opportunities. Best wishes for a productive trip. And I just have to tell you, Shasta, Malachi is absolutely adorable. Watching that video made me want to reach through the screen and scoop him up. Enjoy your time with him on this adventure!

  4. I haven't heard of this method. I am fixin' to look this up!

    1. Please do! I think it's pretty wonderful.

  5. So excited to hear about your trip and hoping it goes very well for you! :)

    On another note, I've been looking into the Masgutova Method after you mentioned it on Facebook. It seems very interesting. There is at least one ABM practitioner in California that employs both methods when working with her clients. The other thing that seems very interesting is that they encourage the parents to learn the method so that they can work on their kids on a daily basis (found at least one blog where a woman posted her reflex schedule she did with her autistic son). Although I still think ABM is very promising, I'm wondering about pursuing Masgutova because it seems like it would help me as a parent be able to help my child continually progress. Curious as to your thoughts since I know you have investigated both theories (which really seem similar on the surface to me).

    1. Hey Torey,

      It's true. Musgutova looks very promising. I bought an introductory DVD and though I haven't watched it yet (in fact, I lost it... I really need to find it again!) I had my ABM practitioner watch it. She said it's great, but it's still "exercises" and that the brain doesn't learn through repetitive action. But I agree with you that it would be very nice to have something that parents can do and I think "exercises" are the way to do it even if it's not ideal. Anat herself seems to think that anything less than ideal is not worth doing, but I think there's a lot of middle ground that she and other practitioners could walk on that would help parents. I've rarely gotten "homework" from ABM practitioners like I do with other methods and it would be nice to have something I can do, too.

    2. What's interesting to me from what I've read on the website is the various reflexes that they say are part of learning movement (and neurological change) and how when you don't exhibit those reflexes/movements it is hard to learn correct movements. So from my initial reading it sounds very much like "movement lessons" aka Feldenkrias. They don't seem to be forcing the children to do anything they can't do (and they do talk about using whatever motions the children can to and building on them (like ABM).) I know that my son (20 months, right hemi cp) absolutely is missing some of these building blocks necessary for movement, hence he is butt scooting around the floor but has no idea how to get into kneeling, pull himself up, push up on his arms. The website does have a bunch of dvds, books and these online lessons you can try. We are taking a break from traditional therapy this summer and working with a massage therapist who does lots of cranial sacral work but I'm really trying to figure out what to pursue. Thanks for your thoughts and so happy to hear that you had a great trip to CA!


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