Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This blog has been about my grandson Cole, but I now must also give his little brother Cale more attention. Cale is 3 1/2 and is just as full of life as Cole but he also has learning disabilities. He only say a few words and only a few phrases and you have to listen to here those. On the upside he learns tasks pretty rapidly, understands things you say and ask him to do. He is such a cute little boy with a smile that will melt you.

He has a temper and will throw a little tantrum now and then. But he always looks to see if you are reacting the way he wants and is pretty soon smiling again.

Cale and Cole play well together and Cale wants to do everything Cole does. If Cole wnats to swing, Cale wants to swing. If Cole ask to get down, Cale immediately let's you know he wants down as well. They ride in their little cars and on their trikes.
They sometimes have little tiffs but mostly share their toys.

Cale is not as drawn to the Television and DVDs as Cole. Cale would rather play with the vacuum or climb up on the tables. He is in constant motion. Cale shows more ability to figure out the puzzles and recognize colors than Cole. Their abilities are different and we can only hope that Cale will continue to make progress to catchup.

I have been keeping up with Cole's vocabulary and his use of phrases. They are really increasing. He is up over 200 words he uses and more than 30 phrases. Cole will repeat almost any word you say, he just does not use the words other wise. He can also use a word one way but not another. Most notably his name. He will use the phrase "Cole's turn" when playing. You can ask him if his name is John Baker, he says no. You can ask him "what's your name" and barely stammers something out. Cole being unrecognizable and Bake barely so. An effect of the brain connections again.

He has a new Noah's Ark book. Cole loves books, both to read from and to attempt to eat. He will sit in my lap, holding the book and turn the pages. I point out the elephant and he would repeat elephant, then giraffes, then lion and so on. I could then ask him to find the elephant or lion or giraffe and he would turn the pages until he found the animal I ask him to find. All the time saying "find it, find it". But he does not say the animal's name without prompting.

I assume this is due to the connections in his brain being incomplete and not be able to relay the words back to be spoken. I am still learning about FX.

Cole can count to ten with the exception of 4. I watched him through the kitchen window as he push Cale in the swing. He would say "count Cale". Then he would count to Cale. One, two, three, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Then clap and holler "yeah!!!"

We are working on Cale, he is up to four and then he begins to laugh.

Cale is pretty much the same way. He will repeat words though not as many. Cole gives commands such as "Pappy, come here", Granny sit here", "Turn off the light". Cale does not yet. When playing with the cut out puzzles, I will give Cale a puzzle peice, say an fire truck. I will say fire truck and he repeats that although it is not that well pronounce. But then he will ask, "where does it go?" I always answer "I don't know". He then puts it in place and says, "goes here". Of the several puzzles he has he learned to put the pieces in place with just one or two tries. That is very encouraging.

They come to stay with us every couple of weeks and most every time Marcia and I can recognize things, some small and some significant, they both did not do on their last visit. One thing they both do on every visit is make their Granny and Pappy very happy. They run to hug our necks, give us kisses, sit in our laps and make us laugh.
While I wonder what life will be like for them in years to come, years that I may or may not share with them, I am comforted by their overall good nature and desire to learn.

I mostly pray that the world will learn to accept them as they are and perceptions will change for children and adults with intellectual challenges. It is easy to put children with special needs in a good place in your heart, I just hope that they will not outgrow that place as they become adults with special needs. After all we are all God's children, I have to believe they have a special place in his heart.

Please support a children's charity.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Had a great weekend with Cole, Cale and Erin. They are a handful for Marcia and me, but is a labor of love. Most grandparents have used the old cliche, "glad to see them come and glad to see them go". I guess I am the same until I realize how quiet the house becomes and how much I miss their laughter, little hands tugging me to the backdoor to go "outside".

My carrying on here has been about Cole and FX with little mention of Erin and Cale, Chris and Brandi's other two children. I by know means mean to leave them out nor my oldest grandson Andrew. Like any granddad I love them all and they are each unique. But Cole is a "special" child and requires special attention.

I could list all the little things Cole did and said that he did not even a week ago. There are many, his motor skills are improving, his speech is improving, his vocabulary and command of it is expanding exponentially. But today I am filling a little melancholy and philosophical.

All parents of more than one child at some point realizes, willing or not, one of their children requires more attention, needs more support and sometimes pulls a little harder on your heart. Grandchildren are no different. Love is not a measurable commodity and should not be, it is a gift to be given with no expectation of return. There are no scales to balance love given and received only the heart can do that. A child's love is special. It fills your heart to overflowing forcing you to share it with everyone who will accept it.

Cole pulls at my heart. He does so to everyone who comes to know him whether you know of his FX or not. He is just a loving child. He gives us his love with no expectation of return. His innocents allows him give his love for no purpose other than to giving it to you. Not offer it, not trade it, not to manipulate you. When Cole hugs your neck or gives you a kisses he expects nothing, not even love in return. We should all be that way.

I cannot leave without a request for everyone to support a children's charity. I hope that it will be for FX research, but there are many that need our help. With that I want to thank our good friends Larry and Sharon, whose cabin we lived in for three months after our fire. Larry refused rent instead ask it go to a donation to FX for Cole. Something he would never tell and generally I wouldn't either. But today my heart is overflowing and like Cole we should all be that way.