Aleck

Aleck Persin, 3, rests on his bed at his home in Logan Square Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Aleck was born with arthrogryposis, a condition caused by multiple joint contractures and characterized by muscular fibrosis and inhibited movement of the joints. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aleck Persin, 3, rests on his bed at his home in Logan Square Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Aleck was born with arthrogryposis, a condition caused by multiple joint contractures and characterized by muscular fibrosis and inhibited movement of the joints. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aleck Persin, 3, gives his mother Lynn a kiss as he plays catch with her and his father Craig on the deck of their home in Logan Square Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aleck Persin, 3, gives his mother Lynn a kiss as he plays catch with her and his father Craig on the deck of their home in Logan Square Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Lynn and Craig Persin stop to show their son Aleck, 3, how tall he is relative to a garage door in their Logan Square neighborhood Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Lynn and Craig Persin stop to show their son Aleck, 3, how tall he is relative to a garage door in their Logan Square neighborhood Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aleck Persin, 3, who was born with arthrogryposis, has a device his family calls the "bat suit," seen in his bedroom at their home in Logan Square Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Arthrogryposis is a condition caused by multiple joint contractures and characterized by muscular fibrosis and inhibited movement of the joints and the "bat suit," which Aleck has recently outgrown, is a vest that assists with elbow flexibility. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Aleck Persin, 3, who was born with arthrogryposis, has a device his family calls the "bat suit," seen in his bedroom at their home in Logan Square Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Arthrogryposis is a condition caused by multiple joint contractures and characterized by muscular fibrosis and inhibited movement of the joints and the "bat suit," which Aleck has recently outgrown, is a vest that assists with elbow flexibility. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Lynn Persin, left, helps her son Aleck, 3, step over the back doorway into their home in Logan Square Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Lynn Persin, left, helps her son Aleck, 3, step over the back doorway into their home in Logan Square Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune)

Aleck Persin, 3, blows bubbles with his mother Lynn and father Craig on the deck of their home in Logan Square Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aleck Persin, 3, blows bubbles with his mother Lynn and father Craig on the deck of their home in Logan Square Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aleck Persin, 3, shows how he can reach the doorknob of his front door as he prepares to go for a walk with his parents at his home in Logan Square Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aleck Persin, 3, shows how he can reach the doorknob of his front door as he prepares to go for a walk with his parents at his home in Logan Square Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aleck Persin, 3, gets help crossing an alley from his parents Lynn and Craig during a walk in their Logan Square neighborhood Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aleck Persin, 3, gets help crossing an alley from his parents Lynn and Craig during a walk in their Logan Square neighborhood Wednesday, July 22, 2015. (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aleck Persin, 3, stops for a moment during a walk with his parents Lynn and Craig in their Logan Square neighborhood Wednesday, July 22, 2015.  (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

Aleck Persin, 3, stops for a moment during a walk with his parents Lynn and Craig in their Logan Square neighborhood Wednesday, July 22, 2015.  (Erin Hooley/Chicago Tribune) 

I hung out with the Persin family last week and one of the more energetic and chatty 3 1/2-year-olds I've met, Aleck Persin. Aleck was born with arthrogryposis, a condition caused by multiple joint contractures and characterized by muscular fibrosis and inhibited movement of the joints. He sometimes has trouble lifting his legs high enough to walk over things and is working on increasing the flexibility of his wrists and elbows, as well. It didn't stop him from reading every "The Pigeon" book he owns, including "The Pigeon Wants a Puppy" and "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus," playing catch and blowing bubbles, and talking a nice stroll around the block in their Logan Park neighborhood while I was there. He was really into my camera, too - probably because his mother is also a photographer.

Lynn Persin, Aleck's mother, started a blog in 2011, telling the story of the difficulties and joys of raising her son with her husband Craig. She also recently opened up about the baby girl she and Craig lost in 2010, an unexplained stillbirth after 8 1/2 months of what she described as an "unremarkable" pregnancy. 

Aleck's condition is not progressive. Lynn wrote on her blog, "We’d love for him to be able to function in this world as an independent being, able to walk, dress, feed and take care of himself without the help of others or machines, but more importantly we want him to enjoy his life as any other boy or girl would and we hope that we can be the encouraging and supportive parents that we know he needs for a fulfilling and happy life."

You can read more about her experience and more about Aleck in Heidi Steven's story.