We started him on math, which has always been a challenge. He's able to do addition adding '1' and is learning to add '2' (some of these sums he's memorized). Because he doesn't speak and never wrote, he's never been able to 'play' with numbers the way other kids do. So I'm happy he's just becoming more aware of numbers. It is hard work for him and he has to 'think' about it whereas other kids seem wired to learn their numbers and basic math skills automatically (they can keep all kinds of numbers in their mind at once and manipulate them easily).
Ben gave some really cool ceramic pieces as Christmas presents this year. He made them in his ceramics class at school. I know he's not crazy about the class due to his sensory issues but I loved the aqua vase I got with fish and bubbles on it.
We got a bath bench so that I don't have to lift Ben in and out of our claw foot tub. He can sit on the bench, which is placed level with the edge of the bath, swing his legs over, and he's in. I was secretly thrilled when he got out and put on his pajamas by himself (even if he did leave about five towels on the floor).
I had a call yesterday from an adult hospital that will see Ben for dental when he turns 18 in March. A scary thought. Most of the services we've received under one roof here at Holland Bloorview will now be accessed at multiple adult hospitals where staff won't have the same understanding of youth with childhood disabilities.
Ben had an episode of bad pain in his right knee that kept him up for hours one night last week and left him limping for the next couple of days. This is on the knee that wasn't operated on last year. He has huge bony growths around both knees and I assume one was pushing against a nerve or in some other way bothering him. We haven't had that kind of pain since before his surgery more than 18 months ago and it was a frightening reminder of the constant pain he'd been in before. All seems well now so hopefully it was just a blip. I don't like to think about possible surgeries he may need in the future -- and in particular having them done in an adult hospital.
Ben is still in love with the cowgirl Jessie from Toy Story. I feel pressure to 'push' him into more age-appropriate interests, but then I think: "Why shouldn't he enjoy what he enjoys?" But I can see how it sets him apart from other kids. For example, at Christmas he was disappointed when his younger cousins weren't interested in watching Halloween Town 2. I had encouraged him to ask them if they'd like to watch it and he had his heart set on it. But everyone wanted to see Harry Potter.
I'm reading him the third book in the Harry Potter series and he loves that. In fact, at a recent scary part involving a dementor he put his hands over his eyes, then signed: "I can't look!"
He did have a fabulous dinner at his aunt and uncle's house before Christmas. He chose to rent the movie Cowboys and Aliens for that night.
I am grateful that Ben is in school during the day and I don't like to think about how we'll create meaningful days after age 21.
How are your kids doing??? Louise