Wednesday, August 1, 2012


At the end of our first meeting with YH our social worker expressed some concerns. She said she had been worried about him, about his tendency to fly from one activity to the next. He would pick up a toy and then drop it in favor of another one. He wasn't interested in books and hardly watched videos or television. He liked commercials, but mostly for the music.

She said she had hoped he would naturally grow out of his "busy-ness" but that she was very, very worried about him. She asked what we thought when we observed him--was his behavior what we expected?

To a large degree his behavior was exactly what we expected. YH's risk factors often result in a comorbid diagnosis of ADHD/ADD--we knew ahead of time this was a potential challenge for our son.

And certainly, the first few weeks with him were in keeping with what we had observed at that first meeting. His busy-ness knew no bounds. Each day every toy in the house would be taken out and dropped in pursuit of something new. By 9am our floors were carpeted with toys. YH was always good about helping to clean-up, but the sheer volume of playthings strewn about was overwhelming (I know: first-world problem).

His interest in books slowly increased. We read him the same five board books at bedtime and naptime and he grew to anticipate the rhythms of the words. We have books of trains and cars (his current obsessions) that he would flip through, occasionally glancing at the pages. The books he seemed to pay the most attention to were a series of small board books focusing on different vocabularies (food, around the house, toys, etc). Each page held a single image--BALL. APPLE. PANTS.

He would ask to watch Korean cartoons on the laptop but would wander off after one or two minutes of viewing.

Inattentive. Easily distracted. Hard to keep engaged.

And then.

Then his glasses came in.

And his world suddenly came into focus.

And *everything* changed.

It almost happened overnight. Once he started actually wearing the glasses (instead of taking them off every few minutes) his attention span quadrupled. He started really seeing the world around him, and paying attention to the things that interested him. I can only imagine that prior to glasses his visual world was a blur of indistinct colors and shapes--and now with glasses, he is able to completely rebuild his mental maps.

Now he really watches his Korean cartoons--more than one 10 minute episode at a time. He really studies his favorite books--pointing out things he sees on the pages. Look, a piano! Look, a dog! Look, Little Pookie is a pig!

He has started to put shape puzzles together--instead of just playing with individual pieces. Yesterday morning we did an art project together--something I never would have attempted in life pre-glasses. But he loved it! He concentrated on putting the stamps in the ink and then pressing them onto the paper, in just the patttern he wanted.

When you are parenting a child with irreversible brain damage the ability to positively change his environment--to augment his abilities--is so, so sweet. I know that the glasses were a relatively easy fix for a tiny piece of his larger challenges but oh! What a beautiful piece they are. 

1 comment:

  1. He is freakin' adorable in those glasses. I love little kids in glasses, sigh. I actually love everyone in glasses :)

    So glad his world is just opening up and up and up and up....