Soon after our twins were born, we were made aware of Nathan’s Cerebral Palsy (limited ability to control his limbs because of a brain trauma before/during/after their premature birth). Doctors said that CP was non-progressive. It should not get worse.
However, as Nathan regressed into Autism, so did his physical skills.
Nathan lost his ability to sing full nursery rhymes. He lost the ability to say anything meaningful. He lost the ability to look at people’s eyes.
As a toddler, Nathan would pick up a toy guitar, strum and sing ABC and and hand full of nursery rhymes. He lost that skill. When he got a bit older, he would only mouth the guitar, or practically any other toy. Thus, he never got to playing with toys appropriately.
As a toddler, Nathan would pick up a crayon and doodle all over and manage fill up a whole page. When he regressed into autism, he lost interest in doodling and started to eat crayons. We could not leave him unattended with a box of crayons, even at age 4 or 5.
As a toddler, there were moments when Nathan managed to scoop and eat his own food, especially when he really liked the food. I though we were so close to independent eating. As he regressed into autism, he would take only few bites and lose attention. His mind would drift off to “no where land”. We had to continue to feed him to ensure he ate all his food.
I remember reading how Bears and Samarhia Kaufman helped their once severely autistic son, Raun, eat by himself. Just like the Son-Rise® technique of building one thing at a time, they encouraged Raun to use one muscle movement at a time until he was able to do the whole complicated task of picking-up a spoon, scooping, then manipulating the spoon to mouth without spilling.
I remember few months ago, I was thinking that I couldn’t even get Nathan to get the filled-spoon from his bowl to his mouth without it twisting and dropping all his food. What a challenge to learn to eat independently. I was wrong though. All it really takes is practice, lots and lots of it.
I’m happy now a days, he can manage getting most of his food in his mouth with minimal spills. His attention span is much longer thanks to his Son-Rise Program®. During meal times, he is no longer in “no where land”. His mind is now on the table with his body 😀
Looking at Nathan’s toddler videos, before he regressed into autism, used to sadden me, until a good friend reminded me, “Well, think of it this way, that is Nathan’s Potential!” Very true!
Lord, help me find the right path to undo everything I have done that contributed to his autism. Give me the patience and courage I need to run Nathan’s Son-Rise Program® effectively….Give me the courage to change the things I can change. The serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the wisdom to know the difference.