Bean smiles. A lot. And he has a way of making everyone around him smile, too. Today, he had his third session with his new developmental therapist and he has already charmed her socks off.
One of our family's main goals for her is to help teach him to communicate and ultimately be verbal. Children with Williams Syndrome are often delayed in speech but once they start talking, it becomes a relative strength. She is working with him (and me) on sign and other communication tools and she is just so good with him. I left the room for three minutes to take a call from one of his doctors - another post for another day - and when I came back, she was all smiles and squealed that she got him to do the sign for "more" AND clap his hands. In three minutes. I've been trying for 18 months but hey, I'll take it. He hasn't repeated yet but she gave me some tips on how to get him to do it again. I am all smiles because of the possibilities this presents. His life, and mine, will be so much better and less frustrating when he's able to communicate his wants and needs.
Bean's developmentalist and I talked about many tools to enhance development including an iPad. I have also discussed the iPad as a communication tool and also a tool to improve fine motor skills with his occupational therapist. The possibilities are endless but it's not in the budget right now. I was so excited when I found a blog hosting an iPad giveaway for 20 children with special needs: www.marissasbunny.com. Marissa is an adorable little girl affected by Infantile Spasms and she is about to undergo surgery. Her father is starting a foundation to supply iPads and other assistive devices for children with special needs. He tells her story so much better than me, so you should go check out.
After spending a lot of time reading that blog, I applied for the giveaway for Reed. I would love for him to have a device that would help him overcome his speech and fine motor delays and eventually encourage building speech as an area of strength for him. That would make us both smile.