Thanks to the therapists who’ve made such a remarkable difference in L.’s life this fall.
Not that they’ll read this — neither of them knows about this blog, since the time we spend together is spent talking about L. — but the two young women who have been laboring over my son’s care for the past two and a half months deserve more accolades and gratitude than I can express. We’ve been at the children’s clinic 2-3 times a week, every week, and the difference in my son is remarkable.
I don’t think I ever expressed on this blog exactly what the diagnosis was. L., we’ve discerned, has sort of a cocktail of issues, which can be boiled down into essentially three component parts: 1) a motor planning disability; 2) a sensory processing disorder across 5 of the 7 measurable areas; and 3) overall muscular weakness, particularly in his core. I won’t bore you with any further details, but the nutshell version is that those things all together have been a little bit of a perfect storm, because one plays off another to compound his difficulties doing a variety of things. We’ve been in OT and PT with him to try to make his life easier. What we never expected was the explosion of life in our child after such a short time.
L. is more verbal. He’s more attentive. He’s more engaged. (All of which are strange to type, because verbal, attentive, and engaged were always good adjectives for L. — now he’s just unstoppable.) He’s more coordinated, and the kid who struggled to get up and down stairs can now ride a bike with training wheels. He’s got more energy. He’s jumping on things (and off of them), crashing into things, throwing and kicking, playing more.
And all of these are wonderful milestones, but I get particularly choked up when I notice that my little kitchen helper can now do the things I ask him to do when he’s up on his stool by my side.
Yes, L.’s always helped me bake and cook…but “help” was a loose term, because even understanding how to stir something without losing control of the spoon or knocking over the bowl was difficult for him. Of course, it hasn’t stopped us from spending that special time together. But this year, I pulled out all the Christmas cookie recipes without much of a thought that things would go any differently than they have in the past.
And I was, delightfully, wrong.
L. mixed. He measured. He poured. He didn’t get upset by the noise of the electric mixer, and he didn’t have to leave the kitchen to get away from the stimulation. He was able to roll dough into balls and roll the balls evenly in sugar. He was able to place cookies on the cookie sheets in the right places. And on Sunday, he was able to help me mix, bake, and decorate his very favorite Christmas cookie — Double Chocolate Peppermint Chunk cookies.
I can’t say more. I mean, I want to, but I can’t. It just means so much to me to see my beautiful son becoming even more of all the wonderful things that he has always been, and more of the things that I always knew he could be. To be able to share this Christmas tradition with him in a whole new way has been tremendous. So, to the therapists who have helped my kid, and to ALL the therapists and doctors and health professionals of all kinds who help every kid, thanks. You make parents’ wishes come true.