Saturday, October 27, 2012

Independence

Today's gift is independence.

I think we all take for granted life's simplest tasks. Do you ever think how fortunate you are to be able to eat using utensils, get yourself dressed, bathe yourself, type on a computer or text on your phone, hold a cup and drink from it....the list can go on and on.

My perspective on these tasks, which I used to take for granted changed once I had a child with special needs.

My daughter requires assistance in all aspects of her day.

  • She cannot get herself dressed independently, but will help me when I ask her.
  • She cannot bathe herself...from getting in and out of the bathtub to actually washing.
  • She cannot feed herself with utensils, but will pick up the fork or spoon if we put the food on it for her and feed herself, place the utensil back down and wait for another bite.
  • She cannot get in and out of the car without assistance.
  • She cannot walk up and down the stairs without assistance.
  • She can not grab a cup from the cabinet and pour a drink into the cup, but she can hold the cup and drink from it.
  • She needs constant supervision as she does not realize danger.
When my daughter is thirsty she will open the fridge and point to what she wants. Sometimes she will try to grab it, but then this is where her "trying to get something to drink" ends. If a cup is out on the counter she will bring it to us and say cup. But this is it.

However tonight...all the steps came together...

We always have a cup upstairs in our bedroom as someone is usually thirsty. Tonight we were getting everyone ready for bed and I heard my daughter in our bathroom...alone. My 8 year old walked in and said, "she is getting something to drink...mom, she really is getting something to drink!"

Sure enough, she found a cup....turned on the faucet....grabbed the cup...held it under the faucet...watched it fill with water....pulled the cup out from the faucet...drank from the cup...placed the cup on the counter...and turned off the faucet.

And then did it again!

She has done this maybe twice....ever.

I love seeing her be independent in areas where she can be independent. I love how the times she is being independent is often times when we are not right on her, but giving her space to explore (times like these are hard as you never know if she will just swipe everything in sight). I love how she overcame her apraxia to put all these steps together.

Something so simple to most, is extremely challenging to some.


Here are two quotes for today...

The things you take for granted someone else is praying for - Author Unknown

Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence - Maria Montessori







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