Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. – Benjamin Franklin
Scarlett, my beautiful nine year old girl, has some significant development delays. Some are down to her sight impairment and some are due to learning difficulties. So we take the little baby steps approach with her and sometimes getting to the end of mastering a new skill or a life progression can easily get forgotten, as they don’t always come thick and fast as the norm for children. I had the good sense to ditch the development journal a long time ago for the sake of my own sanity and to stop putting so much pressure on myself but also on Scarlett.
Although it takes time and although the process can be a hard, long and difficult path, she gets there. She gets there every time and she never ceases to amaze me with the things that she learns to do independently. The fact that Scarlett goes to a wonderful complex needs school really is a big help. It’s not so much focused around the academic. It is more about teaching her skills that people would have no issue doing in a few seconds if they didn’t have the considerable level of sight impairment that she has, on top of her other learning difficulties.
Personal care has been a big one for Scarlett over the last year. She is picking up so many new skills that are just giving her that little bit more independence. These are great foundations for her when she is a young adult to be able to do herself. I can tell that she enjoys learning new things by the joy on her face, despite not being able to articulate it to me. She gets super excited when she feeds herself now. Although this is a skill she has been working on for around 4 years, she’s doing it now. She is doing it happily and in the long run it’ll be something else she just won’t need to be assisted with.
Her mobility has come on leaps and bounds and my reluctant little walker is covering longer and longer distances whilst using her cane all the time. In April of this year she did a big charity hike to raise funds for VICTA. It’s a circular hike of around 2 miles, with a moderate climb to the 1,191 feet (363 metres) summit of the prominent local landmark. She never moaned once whilst doing it. In fact, she seemed very happy doing it and enjoyed the windy sensory experience once she reached the top! She raised £600 for doing that walk and all the people who were renovating the area came to see her and cheered her along.
Her language has improved and now she is starting to ask her for her own songs on the Amazon Echo – she is using commands and naming songs she wants to listen too. It’s great, she’s not fully there yet and is still working hard to get where she wants to with being able to use it. Although it may seem quite small to people, it’s another thing she is doing that’s just for her and something which can grow and develop into her using assistive technology to aid her in future life.
My little girl is getting not so little anymore and it’s great. She is continually growing and progressing, so for that reason Scarlett and all her achievements make her my greatest achievement.
If you would like to share your own child’s achievements please contact us. We’d love to celebrate all your achievements together!