Saturday, June 20, 2009

You show 'em, Ben!

It appears that Ben overheard his therapists talking about his lack of progress.... and now he wants to prove them wrong! In the past couple of days, Ben has shown a small surge in strength, and he is actually trying to pull himself up to a standing position. For Ben, just to demonstrate the motivation to attempt this task is a big step.

He has also decided that he should now feed himself. Because of his ataxia, or incoordinated movements, this is a particularly tricky thing for Ben to do, but he is determined to do it nonetheless. If we try to take the spoon away to feed him ourselves, he squawks like a bird and refuses to eat until we give him back the spoon. I'm so impressed with his determination and his desire for independence. So what if he ends up with smashed carrots in his eyelashes, nose, and ears?! He gets some in his mouth, too, and we are so very proud of him.

Because of Ben's physical limitations, I'm afraid that sometimes I haven't always given him the opportunities to demonstrate how much he can do - how much he does know. Too often, I'm ashamed to say, I've just assumed he can't or won't want to do something. Now watching him try to feed himself and try to get around more on his own, my eyes are more focused on the possibilities for his success. He is trying to express his real need to grow up and show the world all of his amazing talents. I'm so glad he is stubborn enough to get his point across, even if he needs to use creative bird-squawks instead of ordinary words. I do so love my little Ben.

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