Saturday, October 31, 2009

Celebrating the can-dos

video

Max's latest accomplishment: He's been throwing things upward—check out the bean-bag action! His occupational therapist recommended we get a bunch, along with a CD called Bean Bag Activities & Coordination Skills (catchy title, I know). The music's fun, and although Max doesn't always exactly follow the games, he's getting good practice holding and tossing. Guess which color bag he always wants? "Ur-ul!"

Sometimes, as weird as it may sound, I don't even realize Max hasn't been doing something until he actually starts doing it. Like this. It just never occurred to me that Max was a kid who couldn't toss a ball up.

This is an accomplishment for me, too. I've come a long way from the early years with Max, when I mostly focused on what he wasn't doing. I was so filled with anxiety about Max's delays. I was so freaked about what the future held.

Obviously, I still have my concerns. Lately I've been wondering when and how Max will be able to read and write. But I don't sit around despairing that he's not doing that stuff yet. Max is young; he still has lots and lots of time. Me, I've developed lots and lots of patience. Obsessing over the can't-dos sucks you into a vortex of despair; celebrating the can-dos keeps you going.

18 comments:

  1. Great Job, Max! The things you said are so true! I used to worry so about if Faith would talk, walk or even be able to understand us. I don't worry quite so much now. It's on the back burner, nowadays.

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  2. I understand about not realizing what Luke can't do.

    If you want to teach him to throw upward, get a really wet glob of toilet paper and throw it towards the ceiling -- it will stick ;-) My son "discovered" this trick. I put a stop to it because the bathroom ceiling looks like we had a leaky roof.

    Writing isn't all it that some think it is -- there is this great little machine called an alpha writer. I wanting Luke to start using one next school year.

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  3. Go Max! I'm much the same as you - I don't think about the things Orion can't do, I think about the things he can. Because I never assume he's unable, he has a lot of confidence in himself and manages to do a lot of the things that I might have thought him unable to do. :o)

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  4. We have been on the bean bag bandwagon for years (minus the CD, but still!). Grammie makes them with real beans and scraps of cloth, and we have a fiberboard target with assorted holes in it of varying sizes for "target practice." Those and the sweat sock puppets and the red rubber balls are very popular toys! Funny how the "classics" never go out of style!

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  5. Toilet paper wads: BRILLIANT! I'm there. Janet, who makes the alpha writer? I Googled, and nothing came up for that machine. Felicia, thanks for the reminder, we haven't tried sock puppets yet!

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  6. Love it and love your attitude.

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  7. Ellen, the sweat sock puppets are great for getting a little darling to use their pinching motion, particularly if the puppet is a puppy or a dragon that has to bite, move or tug something as part of an invented story line. One puppet on each hand, and funny how the puppet on the affected hand has to most of the work to illustrate the tale (heh heh)! My mother is a whiz--she embroiders fabulously expressive eyes on the things, and she sews yarn on for hair, and makes little clothes (or scales, or sews on fur as well--all out of scraps and recycled stuff--she will even recycle the fur on a beat up stuffed toy--see, she is crafty, I am NOT. AT ALL. That apple fell far from the tree! I'm good at appreciating her talent, though! She also triple stitches everything--they've got the durability of pit bull toys. It's amazing how many characters you can get out of a discount bag of WALMART sweat socks, too. They've been out in the muddy yard and run through the washer and dryer time and time again, and they come out looking brand new. Best thing is, when they get tired of a character, Grammie makes them new ones to order. I've kept all of them, and they get "recycled" every so often-after six months or a year, even the old ones are fun again.

    Hmmm....you might want to keep your eye peeled for some PURPLE sweat socks....!

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  8. Very well said. Celebrating the can-do's is a MUCH better way to go. Love that video. Great job, Max!

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  9. First of all - Yay Max!!!

    Secondly, you have no idea how much these types of posts help me. It gives me such comfort to know that the darkness continues to lift (although some worries continue) and that there will still be much celebrating ahead. Sometimes it's way too easy to fall into the "can't do's". Thanks for the reminder that the "can do's" matter more.

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  10. I am with you - I don't realize what Eddie can't do until one of his therapists points something out.

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  11. Yes, yes and YES!!!! WTG Max and Ellen. I thin you said it beautifully and I couldn't agree with you more.

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  12. Try alphasmart. I know of a machine I used by that name. Not sure if it's the same thing. Lots of my students have used it too.

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  13. You and Max are amazing Ellen!

    He is doing great with the bean bags & I really appreciate hearing how things change for the parents outlook as the kiddos get older.

    I was thinking about this myself a couple of days ago when I remember the dark days 2 years ago when Little Dude was diagnosed. It is amazing to see how far we as parents come each year.

    Max is so cute! I love the videos! Keep them coming!

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  14. Awesome! I am the same way-I realize that he wasn't doing something when he gets around to figuring it out.

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  15. "Obsessing over the can't-dos sucks you into a vortex of despair; celebrating the can-dos keeps you going."

    Exactly!

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  16. It's so amazing to me when my son, Kameron, learns anything really. He was a 25 week preemie with tons and tons of issues, brain bleeds, "blindness", lung issues...

    I adopted him at 1, an age he was never supposed to reach, and now he's turning ten. Along the way, he's had tons of set-backs: over thirty hospitalizations due to these things called Dural AVMS (arterial venous malformations, culminating in a big risky brain surgery last summer - and since then NO hospital trips! Wow.

    Recently, his PT suggested hamstring and adductor releases to help him walk. I cried. It took me awhile to figure out why - I guess it's because for so many years the deal was about keeping him alive, not "progress". But along the way, this little man with 45% brain damage, and non-stop challenges, has learned to write, to read, to do some math problems...whoa.

    All I can say is it's a good thing that no one tells our kids all the things they "can't" do.

    Love and peace, Max's Mommy.

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  17. Awesome! I love celebrating the can do's.

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  18. He's more coordinated than I am.

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Thanks for sharing!