Monday, January 3, 2011
The power of progress, no matter how "small"
We were at our friends' house for New Year's Eve. We see them maybe a couple of times a year, and they always notice the progress Max is making. "He's talking so much more!" Dawne said. "And his walking is great!"
I'm always thrilled to hear these comments. I know, of course, how well Max is doing, but it's heartening to hear other people acknowledge it. They don't even know the half of it; mostly, people notice the biggie stuff, like speech, cognition, agility. Later on, we started talking about Max and I told them he's been using the pointer finger of his left hand. He's never isolated it, but now he's pointing and pressing and touching his iPad screen. It's a Really Significant Thing. This skill alone will make many things easier for him. Although I'm not particularly overjoyed at the part where he likes to make water gush out of the water cooler.
"Wow, I never even thought of not being able to use your finger," Dawne said, and I could see she got what a big deal it was.
I'm totally comfortable educating people about cerebral palsy—the challenges it brings, the meaning of progress. Because I want them to understand that it isn't just the biggie stuff that's important, like being able to walk or talk, but smaller yet significant things, too. And I want them not to feel so sorry for Max.
Max just keeps coming along—not in leaps and bounds, but one step, one word, one finger at a time. And that's every bit as amazing.
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 12:01 AM