Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Do you have a shelf or closet full of hope, too?

I watched a vlog by my friend Pam last night; she narrates the series The Education of BT. It's about raising her son, Ben, who has autism. Pam is a teacher and she's saved a whole lot of toys and educational materials, some for more than 18 years, as she's hoped that Ben might one day enjoy them despite the fact taht he hasn't shown much interest. Around the time of his IEP, she likes to pull out a couple of things and this year, Ben surprised her.

I knew exactly how Pam felt about that closet full of hope. When Max was little, we went all out buying him toys to stimulate him, enable him to better move his hands and improve his focus and cognition. "It looks like a toy store in here!" friends would remark about our basement playroom. But so many toys ended up sitting on the shelves, unused by Max. At times, they were a painful reminder of all the stuff that Max wasn't yet doing. Still, I kept a bunch for years, because like Pam, I hoped that my son might someday use them. Then our basement flooded during Hurricane Irene in 2011, destroying most of its contents.

In the coming years, Max got into phases that involved buying favorite objects—in the color purple, anything having to do with Lightning McQueen and Cars 2 and then all the fire trucks. It was a thrill to see him take such an interest in stuff, as intense as his obsessions could be (some of you might recall our repeated rides through car washes rides through car washes).

At 16 years old, Max's main form of entertainment involves watching videos of fire trucks and cities he'd like to move to (currently L.A.). But he also, on occasion, likes to play with his little brother. He'll roll a car toward him, toss a ball or hand him blocks so he can build a tower.

It's never too late for breakthroughs.

Photo image: Flickr

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing!