By Charlotte Mellor
Scarlett my beautiful six year old angel of a daughter is blind, she has no useful vision, as she has grown older it has become very clear that she has a variety of very complex needs, she may be on the autistic spectrum, she is none verbal and has difficulties around social and communication areas and she is developmentally delayed. Will more things become apparent as she gets older? Perhaps!
The complex nature of my daughters disabilities and the cognitive processing issues Scarlett has she outstandingly oozes with personality. Until she came along I didn’t realise the level of communication and connection that can be made from a person who only has body language, facial expressions and music to express oneself. I know I say this an awful lot in my posts, but she is happy, just simply contented. And for that I am very proud.
Interaction with myself or with say another adult is a much easier process to take place with Scarlett, as adults are much more able to understand the complexity of my very special daughter. Because of this and also because Scarlett seems to be much happier in the company of adults I never see her play with a group of children. A combination of a lack the spoken word, difference in interests and Scarlett’s age group preference means that I never see her play and I mean fully play, like participate in a game with her peers… up until recently.
Two little girls have been a part of our life for the last nine months, two wonderfully kind compassionate and patient girls. Girls that have not only accepted Scarlett for the person she is but have also all by themselves created a fully interactive environment for my daughter and it’s been an absolute pleasure to see.
The trampoline! A hub of excitement and fun for young children alike, including Scarlett was the location of one of the kindest acts I have seen by children. They had created a game which Scarlett would happily express that she wanted to start, not by asking but by lying on her back on the trampoline. From the kitchen I could hear the eldest of the two girls say “Scarlett’s here, she likes and wants to play the 1,2,3 game”. It was very simple but just involved a big jump when the children reached the number three when counting. As Scarlett screamed out in joy I saw the two little girls plus Sonny continue the game, make Scarlett happy and they played and my daughter played.
The synergy between those four happy children that day affected me, it stayed with me, it was children creating an inclusive environment for Scarlett all off their own back, despite being very young. Those two little girls let me see something that day, something I had never seen before, and for that I will be eternally grateful.