Monday, January 23, 2012

Year 2: Future Unknown

The second year of Beckett's life was full of uncertainty. He was now in therapy through ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) and making small steps to improvement with his motor skills. He began walking with a walker that helped him develop his lower body muscles. His therapist was an ex-marine and her demeanor and motivation techniques did wonders with him. He is a stubborn, bull headed little boy and a bit spoiled.  Sometimes I thought she was too tough, but I understand now that was necessary to set an expectation for him to meet.  Just because he was slow, didn't mean he couldn't learn.  Repetitive commands and hand over hand help made him see he could do on his own. 

Besides our concerns of his motor development came concerns of his cognitive development.  He had and occupational therapist and a play therapist that came to work with him on a weekly basis.  They taught him to hold a cup, turn pages of a book, use a crayon and many different type tasks. A normal toddler typically would just pick up by just watching someone or shown how to use these things with ease.  Beckett was not interested in toys or even watching cartoons on television. Most of the time he wondered aimlessly around.  Almost seemed like he was in his own world, investigating what was around him.  I almost thought he was on a different level than some typical children. At least that is what my "gut" said to me.  My husband and I became very concerned about his ability to learn.  Processing a task took him a long time, not just minutes, but days and days of repetitive working at it.  I found my self saying words to him hundreds of times a day.  I think I dreamed about "more", "juice", "milk", "eat", for months. I felt helpless sometimes when he was not getting it.  I just wanted to quit.  I guess God knew what he was doing, because just when I wanted to give up, relief came when he would make sign or say a sound that was close to the word.  He probably only had about 5 words he signed or sounded during his first two years of life.  His frustration level was incredibly high and I felt so helpless.  I was doing all I could and some days I was just spinning my wheels.

I began doing research online and talking to doctors about his condition.  Of course no one had any definite answers.   I struggled with the thoughts of him not ever being a productive independent person in our society.  I worried about who would take care of him if something would happen to me or my husband.  I ask questions like,"Would my older children have to help him if I'm gone? & Would my extended family be able to help provide the therapy he needed if I wasn't here?" I had to let go of those thoughts and believe that God had a plan and I am included in that plan to take care of him. I struggled with depression all the time.  But somehow, someway it was short lived, because Beckett would do something new that would make the hope return and it was going to be ok.

I will never forget an afternoon that gave me much needed hope and a new faith that God does listen to prayer and answers it.  I went to pick up the twins from the daycare, I saw Beckett sitting looking outside the glass door that led to the play ground.  He turned and saw me walk in and smiled a big smile like he usually does.  His teacher and I were not expecting what came next.  He pulled up on the door handle and took a step, not just one but he kept walking all the way across the room to me.  I dropped to my knees crying. I grabbed him and hugged him.  I could not believe that my little boy was walking.  His teacher, Ms. Claudia also broke down and cried. She was also a part of the many people helping him over come his obstacles. The excitement spread through out the building and all of his former teachers came to see him walk.  I was relieved that he was progressing. I knew that after I was praying for months for him to walk that God answered one of my many prayers for him. He walked at 22 months, exactly two months before his 2nd birthday. It was a joy I will never forget. These are the moments that keep me going when I fall into a "rut" of despair.