Thursday, February 21st, 2013
I am still bursting with pride over my son’s recent idea for ice-skating. The cerebral palsy gives Max balance issues, and so wearing skates isn’t an option right now. But while we were at a skating center this weekend, he spotted a red walker used to train kids to skate and pointed to it. Aha! And then, Max glided across the ice sans skates, looking happy and very proud of himself.
I was doubly thrilled, too—both because he was having such a good time, and because he had found a way to enable himself. For years now, like most special-needs moms, I have done whatever I can to help Max enjoy the same activities others kids do. I have found a local special-needs softball team for him. I have enrolled him in adaptive soccer clinics. I have found an art therapist who helps him with crafts and who shows me how to help Max.
And so, it is both a pleasure and a relief to have Max reach the stage where he himself is starting to think of ways he can participate in activities. I mean, he has always had massive amounts of determination. I can still picture him as a baby trying and trying to grasp toys (cerebral palsy can make your hands and other body parts tighten up). He’d somehow manage to grab the block or the stuffed animal or the plastic ring, and he’d hold on for dear life. My husband and I wold joke that we couldn’t have chosen a better name for him because he tried to the max to do everything.
And now, that drive is accompanied by the cognition that he can help himself. It’s not a milestone you’d ever read in any of the child development books—but it sure is major to this mom.
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