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draelynn
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29 May 2011, 10:47 pm

Odd thing I've been thinking about lately. My most obvious concern was for my daughter. She is still working on stairs, She needs to take a single step at a time and hold on for dear life when going down. She is much more stable going up though - able to bi-ambulate and occassionally not even hold on. It took 5 years of OT to get to that point.

When I take the stairs, I have no trouble going up. Going down, I have some of the same issues she does. I do bi-ambulate - and I can't recall if I had trouble with this as a kid - but I do and always have had to hold onto the rail. I can't do steps without one unless they are very wide and very shallow. My most bizarre reaction is when I'm carrying laundry down the steps. I carry the basket with both hands. I have an elbow leaning on the railing and I go very slowly and deliberately, making sure my heel contacts the back of the next step down since I cannot see my feet. My stairs have 13 steps. BUT when I get to that last step I get this sort of vertigo - a sensation like I'm about to fall - even though I logically know the distance and depth and that my footing is solid. This only happens when I cannot see my feet. Don't know if it is anything other than me just being my typical weird self.

I also count steps whenever I take them. Even my own. And escalators screw me up because I can't count steps, if that makes any sense. I can take them but again, I need to hold on going down but not up.

Anybody else have issues with stairs?



Hands
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30 May 2011, 2:00 am

What you described when you get to the last step, that happens to me. I have no trouble going up stairs either and I hate escalators, it's like if I can't count the steps and if I can't touch each step going down then I don't know where I am in space. If that makes any sense, I could not think of another way to put it. My brother has the same problems but he is dyspraxic as well as autistic.


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30 May 2011, 2:04 am

it's kind of embarrassing to admit, but i routinely fall up and down the stairs. that said, i have always bi-ambulated. i am just BAD at it. my sisters and i all tend to (on occasion) go up the stairs on our hands and feet because we'll fall over and not bother to get back up...lol. and it's generally faster...and funny. i also get that weird feeling at the last step...and have fallen. escalators don't really phase me. getting off is an issue because i am always afraid that i will trip but so far that only happened once when my shoelaces got sucked in.


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abyssquick
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30 May 2011, 2:04 am

When I was a kid I always would slip on escalators - several times I was thrown off or fell down backwards. It was painful..... I eventually learned to kind of 'hop' (in a literal way) onto them, and just brace for wherever my feet landed, without any expectations. Just maintain vertical balance. It's what I still do to this day, and people still look at me strange every time I do it. I'll take stairs usually if it's an option.



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30 May 2011, 2:08 am

I get that vertigo on the last step too. It also happens taking a step off a curb. I don't have any other issues with stairs though.


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Verdandi
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30 May 2011, 2:20 am

I get the vertigo on the last step, too. And curbs as mentioned above.



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30 May 2011, 2:25 am

For those who can't find a proper definition. What do you mean by bi-ambulate?

I once had an episode of paralysis which was so traumatic I wasn't sure I was walking normally for months afterwards. And yes stairs were one step at a time.

Nowadays I almost always take stairs for exercise reasons.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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30 May 2011, 2:27 am

abyssquick wrote:
When I was a kid I always would slip on escalators - several times I was thrown off or fell down backwards. It was painful..... I eventually learned to kind of 'hop' (in a literal way) onto them, and just brace for wherever my feet landed, without any expectations. Just maintain vertical balance. It's what I still do to this day, and people still look at me strange every time I do it. I'll take stairs usually if it's an option.

When I was a kid, escalators attracted me. My mom got onto me for playing on them every time we visited the mall, where there were several. I wanted to get close to the part that flattens out, the part that's most dangerous and my mother was concerned about that. I just loved those!



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30 May 2011, 2:49 am

I have been living in a bungalow for a long while now which is useful but when I lived in my Mum's house, I had to crawl up the stairs and slide down on my bum! If I stood up, I had to walk one step at a time really carefully and I often fell forwards or completely missed a step!


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draelynn
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30 May 2011, 12:45 pm

@ Hands - that is EXACTLY what it feels like. Just not knowing where you are in space. I'm not sure why i only get than on stairs though. I'd think it would happen in other instances...

@blackcat - I used to as a kid too - I also used to slide down the stairs on my butt. I did that until I was 7-8 and never really questioned it until now. I often bend over and use my hands too if I'm particularly exhausted for the stability. If I'm tired the 'lost in space' feel is much worse.

@abyssquick - OUCH!

@ bodrik - bi-ambulate is a term our daughters OT uses although I've never heard it anywhere else before. It seems to fit. Instead of going down steps one at a time, having to place both feet on the same step before preceeding - you walk down them one foot per tread, foot over foot. She can do it going up stairs, but not down... yet.



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30 May 2011, 1:13 pm

I have, and never had, a problem going up stairs, or up escalators, but still can't go down properly.

Stairs- I always have to hold on, and if I can't see the steps, have to put both feet on same step and go down that way. Used to have to go down stairs at home on my bottom as a child. I have to count stairs as I go down.

Escalators- if I can avoid going down, I will, as I really hate them, and spend ages trying to step on them. Would rather go down stairs or lift.


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the_curmudge
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30 May 2011, 2:00 pm

I go up stairs and ladders one step/rung at a time; down ladders one rung at a time; down stairs normally, but I often feel I'm about to pitch forward and cling desperately to the rail. These difficulties have increased with age. Fortunately, I have few stairs to climb in a normal day.

Other than a bit of anxiety at the end, I have no trouble with escalators.



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30 May 2011, 2:55 pm

Interesting. I almost always do one step at a time going down stairs. And since we moved to a new house at the beginning of this past winter, I have worn holes in one of my hoodies from bracing myself with my forearms against the walls when I go down the stairs. It took me a while to realize why those holes appeared, and when I realized I was rather embarrassed. It really shouldn't be that difficult for an adult to walk down stairs. :lol:



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30 May 2011, 3:14 pm

I have no trouble going up stairs. I don't even bother to turn on the light. Going down stairs is a completely different story, however. I have to pay careful attention, and hold on not just to the handrail, but have one hand on the wall as well.


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30 May 2011, 6:38 pm

I can skip up stairs, no problem. Coming down varies from cautious (wide, shallow stairs with a good handrail) to giving a good impression of someone who's just downed a bottle of Jack Daniels in one (steep/no handrail). However, my youngest daughter, who I would swear is as NT as it's possible to be, also has the heebie jeebies about descending steep stairs to the point of it verging on a phobia.

I have a similar problem driving up/down hills. Not a problem if I'm driving upwards, but panic and disorientation on a downward slope. As we now live in an area of incredibly steep hills I can only drive 'the school run' which is one mile each way on the flat. All the walking to get to the only 'local' shop which is two miles away (down a hill) and carrying two heavily laden shopping bags back up several times a week keeps me incredibly fit!


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draelynn
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30 May 2011, 6:52 pm

My daughter definitely has dyspraxia issues but I generally do not. Only this weird steps thing. I have no idea if I had more trouble at these things as a child and no way to find out. I've got pretty good to excellent motor skills and drive better than your average driver but I am notoriously clumsy.

It's curious that even this many people know exactly what I'm talking about.