Special Needs Parents often joke that our super power is indeed simply raising a child who has special needs. While that could conceivably be true to a large extent, it's been my realization that true super powers reside within my child. With each passing year, I've watched Noah find ways around his physical challenges and growth of these incredible super powers. Noah's eye-sight and hearing are phenomenal. I mean better than the average human phenomenal. He can see things in the distance before I ever do. A plane in the sky that looks like a speck to me he can recognize, track and follow with such ease. Vision therapists insist that brain injuries like Noah's are likely always associated with some level of CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment). However, that hasn't been our experience with Noah. His tracking and focus is spot on, and sometimes we even wonder if he's seeing things the rest of us can't.
I thought I'd take a moment to troubleshoot Noah's Tobii Eye Gaze
device. He has a program called Sensory Guru, which is a series of
eye-gaze games. When you toggle between his talker options and Sensory
Guru you have to disable a mouse-like feature which I can't seem to get
down. So I always try to work on it before I set it up for Noah as he
isn't patient and it inevitably takes me a while sometimes to switch the
settings back and forth. Ideally, I need Tobii customer service
support on speed dial. I was in a bedroom at the opposite end of the
house, and as soon as Noah heard me playing with it, he started throwing
a huge fit because he wanted his talker.
*Note to Self:
Next time shut the volume off first!
tried to speed through figuring out what I was doing wrong, to no
avail. Noah's hysterics and tantrum growing larger with each second.
It was over the moment he heard what I was doing... with those super
sonic ears of his. I never dreamed he could hear what I was doing that
far away. I finally fiddled with it to the point of it recognizing my
eyes, but triggering a pop up menu and circle guide that periodically
wanted to magnify, but it was enough to get us by to stop his tantrum.
Noah also has this uncanny ability to detect other people's
movement, even if he's sleeping in his sleep safe bed which is a good
four feet off the ground. Without fail if I happen to turn over in
bed, or get up to as so much go to the bathroom in the middle of the
night Noah is up. He senses everything! It is almost as if he can
sense or feel the movement no matter how quiet things are. We have a
squeaky bedroom door that we leave open purposefully, the alarm that
goes off at 4am that is set to a CD with birds chirping to make it sound
as quiet as possible... none of it works. He stirs, and wakes up to
all of it.
As Noah has grown older I've also found him cognitively working very hard on telling his body how to get around his
limitations. Noah has the ability to open and close doors with his
feet, and can decide when he wants to close the door all the way so it
will latch. If you open the door he'll roll back and close it again
because he wants his privacy. He can open kitchen cabinets with his
knees and legs, and close them with his feet and ankles. He uses his
face and chin to hold books and swipes with his hands to turn pages so
the book can't get away from him. He's very smart, and tremendously
Sometimes I just watch him in such awe. He's finding
ways around all these obstacles in his life. And I love that he has
the ability to out-think problems and things that are standing in his
way. I'm fascinated by his intentional movements and what he's telling
his other body parts to do for him. I suppose to some degree we all
have the ability to compensate for things we can't do.
hardly say that things like me finding a way to reach an octave on the
piano by habitually rolling cords because my hands were much too small to
do it any other way (much to the dismay of piano teachers), even
compares to what Noah is doing. The level of his thought process and
his heightened senses are indeed nothing less than super powers.
brain is amazing. It has the ability to adapt to loss by giving itself
a makeover. The brain is able to navigate new ways of movement and
thinking even when significantly damaged. Researchers studying
neuroplasticity know that our brains have the ability to change with
experience. Which is just one of the many reasons we are drawn to
certain types of alternative forms of therapy for Noah. We know that
these therapy modalities are giving Noah the maximum opportunity to
learn new ways of movement - his way of movement. We are offering him
the bridge to build new pathways. And he's obviously building some
super power pathways!
Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.