Friday, April 21, 2006

Just a quick definition

After writing that I have a disabled son, I thought I should clarify... most of my friends and family would be likely to say - no, that's not disabled... he is able bodied, and smart as a tack.

Which is true - he is. His dexterity and love of climbing has been the cause of concern on many an occasion - 2 storey house are very interesting.. but we worked on that, he has trees he can climb in the yard, and we made a tree house, as well as a baby gate on the outside of the stairs going to the balcony, and some netting under the edge of those stairs - it all helps :)

And - he is smart, he knows exactly what you are talking about most times... you can tell, by his behaviour, and that cheeky smirk that often develops when he knows he's pushing the boundaries, he also has great interest is stars, the universe, words, and other things.

However, what I am referring to, is the fact that he will need assistance, probably for most of his life. Assistance in getting ready for a day, in achieveing, having direction and focus. I know a lot of that could be for any child, but let me explain. He is currently at prep, the year before grade 1 at school. The first term of school her had one teacher assisting him get into routine, so I wasn't really aware of how involved it is. At the end of the first term, I was asked to come and help as that teacher won't be available for the hours she was previously doing. Because, for example, he has trouble in the routine of sitting and listening to a teacher... if it's not directed directly to him, he would prefer to get up and pace, which disrupts the rest of the class, and he has tanty's about not being allowed to do what he wants... coz at home, there was no rigid defined structure.. he has lots of freedom to do whta he wants when he wants.

For him to do a simple activity, like a collage... he needs someone sitting next to him, to help him cutting, to show him gluing, to help him focus, and to help him stick the things down. I did this at home the other day - his 3 yr old sister was fine... he needed the assistance, because he was more fascinated with how the glue had little bubbles in it when you squeezed it onto the paper, then actually putting something onto the glue to stick it down. Now really - it was interesting what he was doing, but not the object of the exercise... and so it will be that way at school, and so he needs assistance, and so he is not capable... and so disabled (or perhaps unable would be better?)

Whatever the case... it has really brought home to me that he has extra needs, and we as his parents need to seek ways to assist him to get those fulfilled, without impacting too much on us, on our capacity emotionally, on our capacity of time for each other, and for the other children... and you know what... I think we will likely get the balance right 1/100th of the time.. the rest of the time, it's purely grace assisting our family along.

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