We’re seeing improvement in Ben’s eye contact, concentration, and social engagement — the first real gains since Ben’s diagnosis at age 3. Yesterday was Ben’s 8th birthday. It was one I won’t soon forget. Over my lunch hour I surprised Ben at his classroom, discreetly handing him a pack of Starbursts and then giving him a not very discreet hug that nearly swallowed him. Later I saw him use a touc…hscreen computer (see pics). I can’t tell you how huge this is. The teacher explained that they’d tried for over 12 months, but Ben could not concentrate long enough to grasp the concept. This month, seemingly out of the blue, Ben has taken to the touchscreen computer, sitting still while he manipulates and moves objects across the screen. His teachers attribute it to the IPAD that he has been getting aquainted with at home. I watched later as he did an art project; he needed guidance from the teacher but he was unusually engaged, if distracted by my presence.
I hadn’t given up on Ben, but let’s just say this — I had adjusted my expectations and focused instead on just loving my boy. The gains he’s experienced seem like game changers. And they extend to the playground, where, with the encouragement of his little brother, Ben now attempts the monkey bars and climbs more confidently. For his birthday we are getting him a bike. Can’t wait to see him cruising around, feeling free. I am feeling a sense of possibility.
Have a great weekend!