1. What does Aidan hear when I talk about him? I think I do a fairly decent job describing him to other kids. “His legs work differently from yours but he loves to ride a bike, just like you.” However, I definitely get caught up in doctor speak when talking about him to adults and sometimes he’s around for that. Those words can be big, scary, and negative. I’m going to do a better job listening to myself. When Aidan learns to communicate more effectively I don’t think I want him going around saying, “This is my mom. She doesn’t back off from kissing me even when I push her away. She gets frustrated really easily. And have you seen her try to be fashionable? She clearly needs special assistance.”
2. Kathie Snow had the revolutionary idea of giving up therapy for her son. She was Therapy Mom of the Year. If therapy is good than more therapy is better, right? I could have been her runner up. If we spend time in therapy trying to fix our kids than clearly they are broken. Her son indicated his desire to stop therapy and participate in karate. He uses a wheelchair. That had to have made karate super fun. When does therapy become an interruption to real life? When is it helpful in assisting a child in activities they want to be doing and when is it all about reaching generic goals?
3. The last issue is presumed incompetence. Why do people talk to people who use wheelchairs in a loud voice and use child-like language? Do we presume they’re hard of hearing and not so smart? Even if they are hard of hearing, there are plenty of things that can be bought now to make sure that they can still communicate with the people that they need to. Someone told me that I should check out these reviews of phones for hearing impaired people just in case we want to have one for Aidan as this could prove to be very helpful for us. Just because he could be hard of hearing, it doesn’t mean that he isn’t smart. Aidan spends a lot of time at school being tested, proving that he’s learned a certain concept. Yes, that’s necessary to receive funding and to try to find out what he’s learned. However, just because he hasn’t proved that he’s learned it (probably due to his motor skills), doesn’t mean he hasn’t. Just today I was told that his speech therapist was requesting that he give her the letter A. He wouldn’t. I’m guessing that she had to document that “failure.” Just as she was leaving the room, he gave the A to another person while looking at the therapist. “Oh, is that what you wanted? Didn’t really feel like giving it to you.” How age appropriate is that! Aidan may not speak but he sure is smart.