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Thread: Kids just adapt

  1. #1
    Senior Member zillazangel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    North Carolina, USA

    Kids just adapt

    I met Chad when my son was 3 years old, and as such, he's grown up around significant disability. Chad is c4/5 complete and can only shrug his shoulders and turn his head; he uses a chin control to drive his chair and a mouthstick to type at the computer. Small Boy is now Medium Boy, at 11 years old now, and I just love so much how easily he adapts his play to include Chad.

    They will play legos by him spreading them out on the table and Chad verbally telling him which bricks to put where. They play Uno by Medium Boy holding his hand up for him then setting it down for him to see his own hand. He allows Chad to select a Hot Wheels car and then he'll race them and someone's car will win. Today he was playing "good guys and bad guys" where he had some plastic fish he had made at school in art, and he laid some on Chad's lap, and he had some in his hands that he would run around the room which would then attack the ones on Chad's lap. Sometime the fish in Chad's lap would win, sometimes his fish would win.

    I was sitting out in the kitchen today while all that was going on and while these kinds of things are literal everyday occurrences, for some reason, today, it just made my heart swell up with love and pride, and made me love that little boy so much the more.

    Post your stories of how your kids, or kids in your life have adapted to you.

    wife/caregiver (8 years) to Chad, c4/5 complete (25 years)

  2. #2
    My husband and I got married when his daughter was 8 years old. She lives in Florida and we live in TX. She comes to visit for the Summer and during Christmas break. The first time she came to visit was at Christmas 2004. We kind of stared at each other at first and then she came and leaned on my chair, when she was done observing me (in a wheelchair). She said, do you think you can put some lotion on my feet? I said sure. We sat on the sofa and chatted about little girl stuff (finger nail polish, lotion, cartoons, and her Christmas presents. We never ever (still to this day) don't say the word STEP MOM. I was raised by my step mom and my father so I didn't want to push myself on her like my step mom did me. She has her own mother and I don't have children so mother is not my title. Elizabeth is now 15 and we are as close as any mother and daughter could ever be. She text and calls nearly every day after school. She comes to me for guidance on the tough stuff that a teenage girl goes through. I feel honored to be that person in her life. We all remember not wanting to talk to our parents about that stuff but I still have the opportunity to influence her the way I would with my own child. Last week she had to write a speech about optimism at school. She wrote about me influencing her with optimism. It touched me deeply. This past year she told me that she loves me. It was emotional because I never expected to say those words to her. I always let our relationship be what ever she wanted it to be. I recently told her I love her too. It means a lot to me that I can be a good influence on her life and I don't have to have a title.....and she still loves me.
    DFW TEXAS- T-10 since March 20th, 1994

  3. #3
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    Here's some perspective on medium boy: One year later is the age I became paralyzed.

    A lot of my co-workers have children reaching this age and can't believe when I compare.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  4. #4
    Last week at the clinic a little girl in a stroller-maybe a little over 2 was giggling and waving at Dave and trying to give him an M&M.
    He stuck out his tongue at her (since he can't wave) and she was giggling and doing it back until her mom turned around horrified.
    I just caught the end of it and it was pretty cute.

  5. #5
    Senior Member wtf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    silver state
    No doubt kids adapt. When my baby nephew was crawling, everytime a person he didn't know would come in to the room he'd crawl real fast and park his butt close to someone he knows. And if he was near me, he crawl over and park his butt right right up next to my wheel. Now that he's two, he knows that he has to climb on my footrest and grab onto my pants while I put my arm under his and pull him up, he also knows he has to sit still while I'm wheeling with him. Kids are great!

  6. #6
    My brother and sister are older than me, so in a perfect world I would have been the cool young aunt taking their kids out hiking and go-kart racing and all the other physical stuff that is part of another world now. And yet, the nieces and nephews do adapt, and we find ways to play and have fun. Luckily they have good imaginations. And excellent taste in pop culture.

  7. #7
    Senior Member anban's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Gold Beach, Oregon
    It cracks me up when my daughter uses her mouth to hold/open things like I do. I use retractable Sharpies to write, and click them open using my chin. My daugfhter does, too. I don't think she even realizes 'most everyone else uses their thumbs!
    And both my kids are so helpful. It's second nature to them...even to the point that I have to remind them I CAN do some things myself. Often we play and they and their friends hitch rides on my chair. I think the relationship I have with my kids also helps break barriers with their friends and other parents.

  8. #8
    Senior Member canuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    BC Canada
    Same for my brothers little guy, a wheelchair is just something that's neat to ride on for fun or when he gets tired of walking. He's fascinated by my chair, from the minute he could move he was playing with the wheels and trying to move it around or push me. He doesn't try to do stuff with other peoples chairs.

    If he wants to show me something he just leads me by the hand

  9. #9
    I am a C5/C6 quad. I am amazed now when I think about how my children adapted to the chair. I could actually lean over and pick them up. I didn't think anything about it until one day I was keeping my toddler nephew. I tried to pick him up and almost went out of the chair onto my head. I then realized that my children gave a great jump and the momentum was enough to pull them onto my lap. I thought the day would come when they were embarrassed by me, but that day never came. I remember going to my son's kindergarten party. I was late, so I hoped to sneak in without anyone seeing me. As I came through the door a happy little voice proclaimed loudly, "There's my mother!!!!" Wow!! Talk about a full heart!

  10. #10
    Senior Member feisty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Midtown, Sacramento, CA
    I think my best friend's kids like my chair more than me, lol. One was at a garage sale and found a toy wheelchair (doll-size) and it was the only thing she wanted. Carried it around for a while. My favorite thing is that they always stand on my footrests to talk to me... like it's a little perch or something? And when I'm kicking it on her couch or sleeping over, they're always crawling in/around it like it's the coolest thing in the house which is filled with FAR cooler things. My neice is similar, but more timid.
    An administrator made me remove my signature.

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