Of course the learning of recent weeks goes well beyond and above discovering my own ability to take procrastination to a whole new level when the sun comes out. Orange has been constantly surprising us with his ability to learn new things and has had a rather exciting few weeks...
Back in May, I took Orange to meet neuro-developmental guru Andrew Brereton, who runs the Snowdrop Programme for children with all sorts of brain-related disorders. The programme is so fascinating, it is more than worthy of its own post which I shall write in due course, but in essence, it's a programme of neurodevelopmental stimulation which is designed to help children like Orange reach their full potential. Orange had an assessment with Andrew that left me feeling so uplifted and positive about my boy. I have full comprehension of the fact Orange has a great many difficulties, but hearing him described as a 'sociable young boy who is full of potential' was such a world away from the endless reports we receive spouting medical jargon that bear no relation to the boy we know. It left me feeling positive and reminded me to focus on what Orange can do, rather than what he can't and to remember to always give him the opportunities and the space to grow and develop, and not to let him be pigeon-holed or written off as a 'Boy Who Can't'.
I had started to blinker myself into preparing for a life of caring for a little boy, who would eventually grow into a not so little man, who could not move his own body around, or know how to ask for a drink when thirsty, or use the toilet, even. In preparing myself for this I had lost a little spark, withdrawn hopes and dreams, and shifted my mindset too far in a direction I actually don't know yet if I need to map out.
Hearing Orange described as having 'potential' has recalibrated my mindset entirely. And since that day, something remarkable has happened that has left me a little awe struck at the power of positive thinking. It could be an enormous co-incidence, of course, but in the days following his assessment Orange quietly just got on with doing some amazing new things. Things I had begun to gently erase from my list of hopes for him but that are now centre stage on his agenda. The 'Boy Who Can't' is now most definitively The Boy Who Can. The boy who can sit himself up from lying on the floor. The boy who can inch himself along the floor, commando style, to get to a toy. The boy who, when feeling under the weather, or just a little sad, can now ask for a 'cugga', his very own Orange branded mash up of a cuddle and a hug. The boy who can put a handful of spaghetti in his own mouth, and take a bite from a bbq'd sausage. The boy who can wave and say 'haaarrrooow' when a pretty lady arrives at the back door. The boy who can kiss and cugga his toys and 'sing' harmoniously along to a tune and bang his feet in time to the music.
|Experimenting with spaghetti|
|Left playing on my front...ta da!|
In recent weeks we have also been taking him to weekly hydrotherapy, upped our game on the daily physio and have been partaking in the most brilliant, positive, eye-wateringly fabulous weekly sessions with the aforementioned lovely Portage teacher who has such a lovely way about her, Orange has decided he wants to show off at every visit and do something new that makes us both blub.
Buoyed up by Andrew's positivity about Orange, I've found new strength not only to get on with his new programme, but to focus time and attention on all of Orange's therapies not just with greater intensity and enthusiasm but also with a sense of joy and freedom in the knowledge that I can help him fulfil his potential, whatever that may be.