Our grandson Michael is part of our world. Michael is nine and he is retarded--severe to profound.
There, I used the "R" word, I know it's not politically correct but you know what I mean. Or do you? People often think that it means Michael will never learn anything, never progress but that's not true. He does progress but very slowly and with a lot of help from family, teachers and therapists.
Michael needs to wear these DAFOs to help support his feet and ankles. They make him more stable when he walks. Some thought that he would never walk and he was almost 3 when he did; 18 months when he learned to crawl.
Michael used to pull his foot away when you put the DAFO on. Now he not only pushes his foot in, he hands you the tongue that goes inside and then the shoe.
Michael and Grandma were playing side by side, each with a different toy. If Grandma stopped he would prompt me to start again by handing me the toy or just touching my hand. Michael doesn't speak but this is one of the ways he communicates. If you pay attention you find that he is quite good at communicating.
He likes his bath. If he thinks it's time he will take you by the hand and lead you into the bathroom. Even if it isn't any where near bath time he might try to con you into it. If he is hungry he will find a an empty sippy cup and hand it to you. He might open the dishwasher to find one. He is pretty smart when it comes to getting his needs met. Of course it helps to have a family that loves him and is determined that he have as pleasant a life as possible.
Michael has learned to go safely down the stairs. I will never forget the day when he was three and he crawled up the stairs at my house. He hadn't been out of sight for more than a few minutes when I went looking for him. I saw him at the top of the stairs and raced up just as he stepped off, tumbling down. He wasn't seriously hurt but you better believe there was a safety gate installed the next day.