Wow, what an exciting day! Colin was invited to play soccer with his team in their last game of the season. It took some encouragement, but he conceded. It was glorious!
He didn’t score any goals, he didn’t make any miraculous saves, but he played. He gave it his all. He ran every shift without skipping a beat. His teammates cheered, along with his coaches and the fans on the sidelines. I am so proud of him that it brings tears to my eyes.
Brendan was there, too. He has been helping the team all season, as they are often short players. The two of them have not played anything together since in-house, mite hockey at Winterhurst.
Colin has done so well in regaining gross motor function, and we recently purchased the Walk-Aid to help lift the front of his foot when he walks. It is a wonderful device, unfortunately the insurance considers it experimental and they are refusing to cover it. Paul and I are not willing to deny Colin anything to assist his recovery, so we paid for it, and we are in appeals with the insurance company.
He put on that Walk-Aid first thing this morning to make sure his muscles were awake and ready to play in the game. He was both excited and nervous up until game time. I think he played the game in total shock – afterwards he lay in the grass and had a teammate remove his shoes!
We had a small cookout after the game – and Colin smiled all night! Eventually he hit a brick wall and was ready to collapse into bed, but he held up well.
As for the last six months:
The most recent doctor visits have been a disappointment – they don’t expect Colin to get much more recovery in his right arm. It has been a year and a half, so they believe he has reached a plateau. Colin hasn’t heard this, and we are not willing to tell him, nor are we willing to give up on him.
He will be participating in a constraint program with the Cleveland Clinic for three weeks this summer. Three hours a day, for three weeks, Colin’s strong arm (left) will be casted and he will do exercises using his right arm. He will have no choice but to use the weak arm since the strong arm will be restrained.
Colin’s speech has improved greatly. I wouldn’t say he speaks fluid sentences, but it is much better than the three or four word phrases he was giving us a year ago. And, far better than the one word utterances that he gave us initially.
Reading is still a challenge. I think he might be reading on a second grade level – third at the best. The odd thing is that he can sound out long difficult words, but cannot get the small, easy sight words like and, the, in, of and is. Lisa still works with him once a week and he will be going to summer school for four weeks at Lee Burneson Middle School. I plan to work with him also.
He has done well in school all year – making the honor roll and high honor roll with Brendan. Paul and I are very proud of him. I also realize that if it weren’t for the support of Westlake Schools and his wonderful aid, Mrs. Jager, he would not be as successful as he is.